Phil Jackson spoke today to the media and that coolness and confidence got me thinking. The New York Knicks are going through a major revamp process this offseason. Players will come and go, superstar Carmelo Anthony can’t seem to make up his mind about staying in the city or not, the team has yet to land a coach for next season and the owner, James Dolan, apparently took his hands off the wheel. So, what is the biggest change that we are going to see in the Knicks?
Well, I think we’ve already seen them. Jackson took the job of President of Basketball Operations earlier this year, and since then has been painting a different kind of picture than the fans are used to seeing. A better picture, thankfully.
The biggest change this offseason is the transparency between the Knicks’ front office and the media, something that never fully happened before. Dolan always had his hands all over the front office, both business-wise and media wise. Now we can clearly see that he is indeed a background supporter and financial enabler of whatever the president’s decisions are.
The biggest change this offseason is the way Jackson is handling the team’s business as he is taking his time, thinking before acting and focusing on the team and the team alone. He wants to take the franchise to another level, make future plans and make the team a consistent contender, not just a hype for the year. Jackson understands what previous presidents should have understood, that the sales are going to happen no matter what (we are talking about the biggest media market in the country) and you don’t really need to make moves that are going to generate sales as a priority. Instead, you can indeed focus on making the franchise better and the fruits are eventually going to grow.
The biggest change this offseason was that the Knicks were in need of a father. For the longest time they’ve had an abusive older brother, in the figure of Jimmy Dolan, that didn’t take full responsibility for his actions, and now they have a father in Jackson.
The biggest change this offseason was not whether Melo is leaving, or a coach that knows or doesn’t know the triangle offense. It’s not about making the team likable or profitable. It’s about getting back to the good days, not the 1970’s winning team, but the 1999’s team when Pat Ewing took the team to the Finals. That was good enough.
The biggest and best change that could ever happen to the New York Knicks this offseason is Hall Of Famer, Phil Jackson.