Phil Jackson has abandoned his plan for the New York Knicks. Overpaying Joakim Noah is a last-ditch effort to preserve his basketball dignity.
NBA Free Agency was underway, and everything started out normal. Thousands of Twitter users were obsessively attached to the next thing Adrian Wojnarowski would say, do, or write.
Perhaps he’d juggle? Then all hell broke lose.
Teams going on a spending spree was anticipated, but this was seemingly a fight to see who could go the craziest. The Los Angeles Lakers won round one, giving Timofey Mozgov four-years, $65 million. Not to be upstaged by his former team, Phil Jackson threw a huge uppercut.
Jackson’s failed to build a championship team. He never will. He’s 70-years-old, and through with the charade. Phil’s not trying to build a champion anymore, at this point he’s just hoping to make the playoffs. This is the Zen Master’s last-ditch effort to preserve his basketball dignity before it’s too late.
He broke the bank on a 31-year-old big man coming off shoulder surgery hoping that he can still be a starter in the league. Noah’s played just 96 games over the past two seasons, but it’s not just the injury. His play has clearly regressed to the point where he’s almost a non-factor on offense.
Noah played in 29 games during the 2015-16 season, yes that’s a small sample size, but big enough to gauge how rough things were. In his defense, the unfortunate move to the bench definitely hurt his production. But keep in mind that 111 of Noah’s 133 FGAs were from less than 5 ft. from the basket, and he shot an abysmal 38.3% from the field (via NBA.com). 124 of his attempts were in the paint and 85 of them were on layups with another 35 on tip shots.
All that would deter most people, but not Jackson!
In his efforts to preserve his basketball dignity Jackson ignored the all the evidence suggesting the Noah contract was a bad idea. Jackson proved that he would be content with a team that took the No. 8 seed and got pulverized in the first round of the playoffs.
Can’t you see Jackson at a podium now? Spouting something weird that makes no sense about the improvements he saw this season mixed in with a veiled insult at Carmelo Anthony. I can.
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Barely making the playoffs, that’s the ceiling for this squad. With a healthy Derrick Rose anyway, and don’t count on that. Did we mention that Jackson’s top shooting guard target is Eric Gordon, who’s also made of glass?
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard the Noah deal will be worth $72 million.
Joakim Noah will meet with the Knicks Friday in Orlando. Sides nearing agreement on a 4-year deal worth $72 million, sources said
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 1, 2016
So the Knicks will have less than $15 million in cap room when they’re done signing Noah. Is it really worth it? To sign a guy who could return to his form from 2013-14. Not to any rational person. But Jackson is on a mission. He needs to keep the respect of his peers.
As much as he acts like he doesn’t care about what anyone says, it will hurt him if his reputation takes a hit when he’s done in New York. That’s only natural. Phil’s the best coach of all time. Just ask him, he’ll tell you all about it. He’s not used to losing and he’s certainly not used to criticism.
Jackson took this job because of the money. Looking back on it now, he may tell you that the $60 million wasn’t worth it. That $60 million could cost him his basketball dignity. Running a franchise into the ground will do that. If you need proof, ask Isiah Thomas.