Trouble In New York

Derek Fisher just shot himself in the foot with this comment. He says that the reason the New York Knicks are the worst team in the NBA, with a mind-boggling 5-34 record, is that the team has not accepted and learned the Phil Jackson Triangle Offense, intimating that Jackson’s credibility hurt the learning process. That makes no sense to me and it may not sit well with Jackson … unless Phil orchestrated it.

Does Derek Fisher want me to believe that the Knicks are 5-34 because they did not master some offensive scheme? If that is what he means, my response is this: That’s absolutely crazy. Please do not insult my intelligence with such nonsense. One reason the Knicks are 5-34 because they misjudged their talent pool last summer, talking about the playoffs with a poorly-assorted team. They have an aging and ailing roster … which they are starting to purge (excellent idea!). They have players that are not smart and that are, as I say, unfundamental. In other words, a mess.

Earth to Derek Fisher: Here is the REAL reason this team is 5-34; you did not do what any incoming coach must do when he takes over a losing team; you did not change the CULTURE. You thought you would come in, with Phil Jackson’s great credibility and your great on-court leadership qualities, and install your Triangle Offense and show everyone else just how things are done. THAT is why they didn’t buy anything you and Phil Jackson were selling! You started out at the South Pole when your team was sitting at the North Pole.

Well, the damage — considerable — is done. Here’s my guess on what’s next. One, Derek Fisher may not be the coach of the Knicks next year, as I just don’t see one single thing that tells me he’s an NBA head coach … in New York City. Two, Jackson will try to get rid of every single player on this roster … including Carmelo Anthony. Three, if Jackson picks the right coach this time, and if the Knicks do well on the player market and in the Draft, the Knicks might just make it off the runway next season. For now, Jackson and Fisher made their own mess. It will be hard to clean up.

May my readership forgive me for yet another blog on the Knicks! But, I can’t stop! The Devil makes me do this. I’m like the guy driving on the highway, that slows down to see a major accident along the roadside. Well, the Knicks are, most certainly, a 16-car accident, with pieces of steel and glass strewn across all 8 lanes of the turnpike. Sirens are blowing, ambulances are arriving, the State Police is cordoning off the area and the traffic cops are telling me to move on down the road!

Just when you think the situation can’t get any worse for the Knicks … it gets worse! Last night, on their home court, at storied Madison Square Garden, they suffered the ultimate humiliation, being blown out by the Charlotte Hornets, 110-82, to sink to an NBA-worst record of 5-35 and extend their losing streat to 15 games. Only it was worse than that: At a certain point, they were doubled on the scoreboard, 62-31; They took one partial of 27-2; they were outscored by 41-13 in the 2nd quarter; they had just 44 points after three quarters, lowest in their history in the shot clock era.

President Phil Jackson stepped up and said this is all his fault. Of course, it is, but no one really expected Jackson, whom many say has the biggest ego in sports and by several kilometers, would take the resonsibility. But, he did so and you have to say that’s a start in the right direction, though it took him half a season to do it. He’s defending coach Derek Fisher. That’s nice but here’s the reality: Fisher needs 10 years of coaching experience, as assistant coach and as head coach, before he’ll be ready for the Knicks. Jackson has his hands full here. Why? Free agency has changed.

Will a free agent, like LeBron or LaMarcus Aldridge, want to go to a dysfunctional team and a dysfunctional organization like the Knicks? No way. So, forget about the usual ‘quick fix’ that the Knicks and the NY Yankees love so much. The Knicks are going to need five years — the duration of Jackson’s contract — to get this thing turned around. They traded several players the other day and got one draft pick. Denver traded (ex-Knick) Timofey Mozgov and got two picks. Huge lesson there for Phil Jackson, who is, like his coach, a raw beginner at his job.