The New York Knicks haven’t seen a World Championship since 1973, forcing owner James Dolan to hand the reigns over to the best coach of all time in Phil Jackson. Jackson has brought multiple NBA Titles to Chicago and Los Angeles. Can he bring one to the Big Apple?
11 NBA Championships
If Phil Jackson never wins an NBA Championship again, this is what it will read on his tombstone as he’s coached some of the best players of all time in Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Scottie Pippen, and the greatest of all time, Michael Jordan.
When Jackson was a player with the Knicks in the 1970’s, he also won 2 championships ,but at that time, he was a role player. The future odds aren’t out, but let’s see what Phil has to work with.
Jackson was named president of the Knicks and has already let it be known that this is his team as he fired head coach Mike Woodson. Jackson and the Knicks are trying to work out a contract with former Chicago Bulls player and TNT color analyst, Steve Kerr. Word has it that Kerr is a done deal and is trying to get the maximum amount of money.
This is a guy who has played under Jackson and his famed triangle offense. You can bet that this offense will be implemented in New York because it has been so successful for Jackson over the years.
Phil has sat down with Melo because Anthony is a free agent this season and Jackson would like Melo to stay with the Knicks. It appears that Melo will stay, but let’s face it; he’s never been a real team player. Carmelo Anthony is coming off of a monstrous season in which he finished 2nd to Kevin Durant in points per game. Getting Melo to buy into the triangle will be the key to success for the New York Knicks in winning a championship and competing with teams like the Thunder and Heat.
Pau Gasol a Knick?
Jackson wants “his guys” to be a part of this and Lakers center, Pau Gasol, has expressed interest in being a Knick. Gasol had won 2 championships in his first 3 seasons as a member of the Lakers. Although he’s getting older, this is a legitimate 7 footer with a good touch, is a team player, and still has a little gas left in the tank. It’s unknown whether Gasol will actually be a Knick.
Draft and Trade
Of course, the Knicks will be open to trade propositions and will be looking to get a player in the NBA Draft that will fit their new offensive scheme. There’s salary cap room and free agency is always another option.
As for the players who are currently on the Knicks roster, nothing is etched in stone. You have a lot of money out there in Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire, but they’re a question mark at this point. Raymond Felton is facing gun charges and is coming off of the worst season of his career.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
This a team that could be gutted, but one player that Jackson has already said that he’s liked is Tim Hardaway Jr. Hardaway Jr. is coming off of a big rookie season and there’s a major upside with the former University of Michigan star. You can expect Hardaway Jr. to stay or be used as trade bait.
Iman Shumpert is another player with tons of talent, but has expressed his displeasure with the amount of playing time that he’s gotten. This won’t fit well with Phil Jackson’s team oriented style of thinking. Then you have players like Andrea Bargnani, who are injury prone and taking up cap space. Bargnani could possibly be seeing a one way ticket out of New York if they can get something for him. He’s a 7 footer that can shoot the 3-ball.
What To Expect?
Rome wasn’t built in a day and don’t expect the Knicks to win a championship in a season, but expect Phil Jackson to get the ball rolling, having the New York Knicks headed in the right direction in the next few years.