When legendary coach Phil Jackson retired from the stands and assumed the position of president for the New York Knicks, it almost seemed that the path to victory for New York was bright as day. After all, Jackson is not only a well-respected basketball personality, he’s highly recognized as a champion maker.
But with the entire city and Knicks fans across the globe watch closely at Jackson’s moves, he finds himself against the ropes once again.
Let’s look closely at Phil’s most surprising moves: First, he traded a very talented defensive center Tyson Chandler, and the Knicks most consistent point guard Raymond Felton to the Mavericks. Let’s not forget that same year, he appointed Derek Fisher as New York’s head coach. He gave away Pablo Prigioni for a below-average guard and two picks in 2017 and 2019. Prigioni had already been an important asset to the Knicks prior the trade.
Last year, he signed Joakim Noah as their starting center, and is cuffed to a four year contract. Noah isn’t exactly the best player the Knicks want on both ends. He’s averaging just below six points, and gives away easy baskets at the post. His best contributions are the rebounds he chips in with an impressive nine a game. On top of that, Jackson signed Brandon Jennings. This might have seemed like great news for Knicks fan the first time around, however we’re looking at a guard who likes to gamble too much defensively.
His next big odd move was to sign Derrick Rose as their starting point guard. What could go wrong when the world’s mecca of basketball signs a two-time MVP on their team? Besides his off-court behavior and his recovering knees, he’s just alright.
Despite his decisions, Jackson has a franchise player in Carmelo Anthony. He has one of the league’s most efficient scorers from anywhere on the court. But at 33 years old, the window for Melo’s championship dreams seem to be getting smaller.
It’s a rough time for the franchise especially when Melo does recognize the situation he’s in- soon he could be looking at his opportunities in the west. What we could see in the next two months is a possible blockbuster trade including Carmelo Anthony, and that’s Jackson’s ultimate decision to make.
It would be safe to say for die-hard Knicks fans, is that our franchise player isn’t surrounded by much talent. Besides the Latvian version of Dirk Nowitzki, Kristaps Porzingis, it seems that most if not all cast members of this team look like they’ve reached a ceiling.
With a trade deadline approaching, Jackson should act, and act fast. As of now, Melo has confirmed that he wants to stay in New York, and that he has proven his loyalty. Will Jackson redesign his New York roster to fit around his franchise player? Or is he going to have to build a team without his superstar?
Without a doubt, Knicks fan remain positive despite the situation. For now they have to trust their team’s president to make critical decisions.
Image source: New Yorker