The toxic culture of the New York Knicks under Phil Jackson’s management will scare this year’s top free agents away.
Things have to get worse before they get better, right? The New York Knicks remained the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons during the 2016-17 NBA season. Owner James Dolan’s commitment to Phil Jackson, president of basketball operations, lasts two more years. The franchise’s status of disarray is an unattractive sell for upcoming free agents.
A packaged deal for the Holiday brothers is the best available scenario for a signing that Knicks fans will cheer. Justin Holiday‘s contract expires, and more than likely the Knicks will look to r-esign him. His younger brother Jrue is on the market as well after four years with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Knicks are in the market for a point guard with Derrick Rose impending free agency. The brothers have discussed the possibility of playing together and would be in the team’s best interest to go all in on Jrue as well, who would be a great fit for Phil’s system.
According to reports, teams reached out to the Knicks after Kristaps Porzingis skipped out on their season end exit meeting. Porzingis expressed frustration with the direction of the Knicks as well as their treatment of Carmelo Anthony. To make matters worse, a suspicious text message surfaced from KP’s twitter account saying “LA Clippers 🙂 🙂 :).”
According to the franchise’s cornerstone, he was asleep when the tweet came out and it was the result of a hack. The future of the franchise is frustrated after only two seasons especially over the treatment of his mentor. This does not bode well for attracting the talent the Knicks need to improve in a timely fashion.
The culture that Knicks management created is as toxic as sewage water from a nuclear power plant. It is extremely difficult to envision any player not desperate for an opportunity taking a chance with the Knicks.
Phil Jackson made it public that Carmelo Anthony is no longer useful to the New York Knicks. He also clearly stated that he is not apart of the plan moving forward. Players looking for new homes will see the track record of hopeful players leaving the Knicks disgruntled. Additionally, Jackson is viewed negatively by players across the association who side with Carmelo. Phil recently reiterated that trading Carmelo Anthony is a priority of his.
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The Melodrama doesn’t end with Phil pushing him out. Carmelo holds the ball in his court and it remains to be seen what his final decision will be. Melo would have to waive his no trade clause for the Knicks to move him and he hasn’t publicly changed his standpoint of loving it in New York. The souring of his personal life amid speculated cheating rumors may be the nail in the coffin.
Over the past four years, the Knicks roster has been a revolving door of overhyped talents that did not survive the bright lights of the big city. There’s been big names such as Amar’e Stoudemire, and Derrick Rose as well as hungry players seeking a resurgence like Arron Afflalo, Joakim Noah and Derrick Williams. Regardless of the preexisting circumstance, the outcome was the same, an underwhelming season for the team.
Compare that to a team with continuity such as the Golden State Warriors or San Antonio Spurs whose core has grown together resulting in perennial playoff or championship level basketball. The Knicks need to build continuity to attract game changing players.
Mid way through the 2016-17 season the Knicks wholehearted recommitted to the triangle offense. From the public’s standpoint, Phil has undermined Jeff Hornacek by forcing him to run the triangle. Many have commented publicly in support or against the polarizing system. The lack of coaching imprint and wavering feelings towards the system ran by the Knicks is another hurdle the team faces going into the free agency period.
The current status of the Knicks is a complete mess that needs total overhaul and a clear and concise plan. Besides Porzingis, who’s still finding his way in the league, the rebuild appears lethargic. The Knicks will have to rely heavily on the draft until the culture improves enough to make an impact signing via free agency.