At one point it would seem sacrilege to criticize the great Phil Jackson. Afterall, the dude has coached the game’s greatest players and has 13 championship rings as player and coach. But, at some point, maybe when he took over the New York Knicks late in the 2013-14 season, the Zen Master failed to assimilate himself to a new era of basketball. Apparently, Jackson feels like hoops will never progress and that his beloved triangle offense and overall principles of basketball will always remain the same.
We all know about the failed free agent signings, trades and, ad nauseam, the triangle offense. While Jackson did draft Kristaps Porzingis, and didn’t give up future draft picks like his predecessors, the Knicks have hardly been successful since Phillip has taken over. And what’s worse is that after an offseason where he has finally given Knicks fans a bit of hope, Jackson is claiming making the playoffs in the Eastern Conference will be difficult — in addition to making the bold prediction that he thinks the Knicks might be able to win “as many” as 39 games.
via Today’s Fast Break:
“Making the playoffs will be difficult, but not impossible. If we can beat the teams like us, that are below .500, we can win as many as 39 games. That might be enough for us to extend our season. We have understood from the outset of the season that making the playoffs was our goal, but that it wasn’t our only goal. Getting players to assimilate and adapt to playing with and for each other was really what we were looking for in this year. There is still a chance for these guys to step it up and rekindle what we started in Nov/Dec.”
Phil, you just brought in Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah and Brandon Jennings to pair with Carmelo Anthony and rising phenom, Kristaps Porzingis…WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!!
Wait, there’s more.
Jackson also elaborated on the Derek Fisher firing, his take on the players worrying more about how a team can add 10,000 followers to their Twitter accounts, the simplicity of the triangle offense — even going so far to compare it to the San Antonio Spurs offense, and, lastly, defending ol’ Kurt Rambis.
He (Derek Fisher) was training individuals, which was really in tune with the so-called millennials, young people and young players who are primarily interested in themselves. In the NBA, these young guys are concerned with what playing for whatever team they’re on can do for them. Can playing in New York or Boston or LA or wherever add 10K followers to my Twitter account? Will the local media get me lucrative endorsements?
To be fair to Phillip, he’s probably somewhat right on this. Players are about their brand these days — a fairly obvious statement that the rest sports fans, analysts, coaches, owners, scouts and 99 percent of the human population already knew since 2008.
Then Jackson backed up his triangle offense again, because, Christ, why not!
”The prevalent game plan in the NBA today is to keep the offenses very simple. Most coaches just want their players to go out there and bust it. They’ll run something for this guy or that guy off a double-screen or a high screen-roll, but their offenses are not formatted.
“That’s all most players want to do anyway. It goes back to AAU ball where the kids play ON teams but not WITH teams.
“What the triangle does is to format what players are supposed to do. Basic basketball is all it is. And it’s a lot simpler than some critics believe. When the Spurs’ early offense doesn’t turn up something positive, they frequently go right into actions that are incorporated in the triangle offense, so it’s not mystery ball and, it’s not outdated by any means.”
Christ. What a blowhard.
We all have that one friend who can’t move on from their ex-girlfriend and it’s been like six years, this is the basketball equivalent of Phil Jackson right now. Phil, you had a good run with the triangle, but now it’s time to move on and find something new.
Oh, and don’t compare characteristics of the Spurs secondary sets to the triangle. You can find elements in any damn offense and compare it if you look hard enough. You have to love it when Phil goes to great lengths to defend his tiresome triangle.
And lastly, while I didn’t even get to Jackson’s ideas of extended group therapy sessions he would like the players to have, I would be remiss if I didn’t quote another Zen Master full-court defense of his lackey Kurty Rambis.
“Kurt is an NBA veteran in both areas as a player and a coach, and he has been through the grist mill of excellence and trial. His tenure with the Lakers as a player was on winning teams, and then he spent a couple of years with Charlotte and Sacramento on some so-so teams before ending up in Phoenix. As a coach he worked with Del Harris, in LA, and was the interim coach during the lockout year of ‘99. He did a good job with that team, but they were not successful in the playoffs. His time with the Minny T-Wolves should not be seen as a measure of his ability to coach. He was handed a team that was rebuilding after the Kevin Garnett trade and was given a short lease and an ever-changing roster for two years.”
Well, if Rambis’ two-year tenure with the T-Wolves shouldn’t be a measure of his ability to coach because of the team he was handed, then why did you fire Derek Fisher? Are the scenarios not strikingly familiar? Oh, and Rambis was screwing around with Kevin Love’s development like he started doing with KP, the guy is an absolute moron!
Sorry Knicks fans…
Unfortunately, I’m one of them.