Saturday, June 27, 2015

N.Y. Knicks: Storm Brewing in the MSG Triangle

From the desk of:  DUTCH PANTS CAN'T JUMP

Phil Jackson Delivers Melo's World a Deflating Blow

New York Knicks: Phil Jackson has wrinkled Carmelo Anthony's space/time continuum since the moment he arrived.

Those weren't boos raining down from disgruntled Knicks fans sitting in attendance at Thursday's draft.  Wait a minute, yes they were - collectively reliving their worst Frederic Weis nightmares, and acting out.

They weren't the only ones.

When GM's start acting on the passions of their fan base, that organization is in clear danger.  It's no different when an organization's top star wields his opinion like an unsheathed sword.  In that scenario, the GM, backed by strong organizational conviction, must remain alpha.

There's the rub.  We're talking about James Dolan.  Among Isiah Thomas, Carmelo Anthony, and Phil Jackson, I suspect Dolan trusts Jackson least.

And so, without hesitation, and fear of recrimination, it was Melo amplifying the angry fan chorus on draft day.


James Dolan made it perfectly clear 4 1/2 years ago that he was abandoning pursuit of the team concept for the more marketable star system featuring Carmelo Anthony.  That's why Mike D'Antoni's system ultimately reverted to Melo Ball, and Mike Woodson's system ultimately reverted to Melo Ball.

Last season, even Phil Jackson's triangle offense, at some point broke down, and defaulted back to Melo Ball.  The priority, however, focused more ping-pong balls once Melo opted for surgery.  That said, now that Phil Jackson is in charge, he's outwardly re-instituting the team concept again, which appears to have Melo out of his comfort zone.

Anthony indeed underwent surgery to address his first major injury.  That sort of thing can weigh heavily on the mind of a 31-year old, particularly when his prime physical years are winding down, he's struggling with his legacy, and is now faced with his team's untimely rebuilding effort.

Unfortunately for Melo, Phil Jackson's reign as head guy in charge unofficially, or effectively, started with Thursday's draft, and Melo felt the effects with haste.  Thus, the selection of Latvian cager Kristaps Porzingis and the trading of Tim Hardaway Jr. inspired a contrary response from Anthony.

Fact is, Phil Jackson has wrinkled Melo's time/space continuum since the moment he assumed office. Jackson has been an intruder in Melo's World more than anything.  In fact, I'm somewhat astonished Phil and Melo hammered out a new contract when they did.

Ultimately, Melo stayed for the money.  Now, it's up to him to buy-in.

I do know this, Phil Jackson will be alpha to Melo, whether Anthony likes it or not.  That's a battle Carmelo will not win, unless, James Dolan comes to his rescue.


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