The Sixers made a choice a few years back to follow Sam Hinkie’s ways labeled “The Process.” Should the New York Knicks follow suit?Reality Television has ruled the airwaves over the last two decades. Some of the most popular shows involve a makeover of some sort. Whether it’s a home renovation, a restaurant rescue or bringing new life to antiques, you can turn on your flat-screen and find a reality show any time of day.
For a large group of people, they find joy in the greatest reality show of them all: sports.
One of the teams that creates soap opera storylines is the New York Knicks. As dysfunctional of a franchise as you will find in any of the major four sports, the Knickerbockers have been must watch TV for all the wrong reasons.
This isn’t about the past, though. Dolan and the Knicks brass are looking into the mirror and are not enjoying the sight they are seeing. Change is obviously needed, and it will be only a matter of time for the decision to rid themselves of their biggest star, Carmelo Anthony, and their president of basketball operations, Phil Jackson.
Everything ends badly, otherwise, it doesn’t end. Knicks fans deserve better, but to get better, the New York Knicks will need to get worse.
In a land, not so far away, there was a city who also loved its basketball. Let’s call it Philadelphia.
The new ownership group, headed by Joshua Harris, took a chance on a “round-ball visionary.” He was smart, confident and he wore the same color suit every day.
His name was Sam Hinkie.
Hinkie believed that to build a sustainable force in the NBA, a team in a city like Philadelphia would need to strike it rich in the draft. To strike it rich meant obtaining as many assets, in this case, draft picks, as possible.
Popular stars who could lead a team to the playoffs would not be good enough. Hinkie traded the foundation of the Sixers, Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young, as a way to get the ball rolling.
The second phase of “The Process” would be losing — and losing, they have. Right, wrong or indifferent, losing creates better opportunities in the NBA Draft Lottery. For Hinkie’s plan to work, he would need to always be in the lottery, and if possible, have multiple chances within the lottery.
The Process certainly isn’t a complete product, as Hinkie’s gone, replaced by a more seasoned general manager, Brian Colangelo. But his plan has started to come to fruition. The team is winning, Joel Embiid is a superstar in the making, Ben Simmons will debut soon and because of deals made by Hinkie, they will have a presence in this year’s loaded NBA Draft.
James Dolan and the New York Knicks should move on from Phil Jackson and hire Sam Hinkie. That’s about as clear as it can be.
Sam Hinkie’s “Process 2.0” in New York City, at the “World’s Most Famous Arena,” would be highly criticized. The patience of Knicks fans would be tested greater than it ever has been in the past. Pressure on Dolan from the NBA to deter a tank would be unbearable. No one wants to see a team purposely lose, but this is especially true of the largest market.
It has been the Dark Ages for the basketball teams in New York City, years filled with mediocrity. The trend has been set, and to end the trend, something extreme needs to take place.
Dolan Dolan needs to replace Phil Jackson with Hinkie.
Having said that, here’s what a Sam Hinkie Plan might look like: