One of the things that stands out from the conversations between Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony is the fact that Anthony reportedly mentioned he would like to play the type of basketball that the San Antonio Spurs displayed last season. The New York Knicks should use the same formula, from the front office to the court, in order to get themselves back into NBA relevance.
The way the Spurs do business and the coaching staff handles theirs should be the benchmark for what kind of administration a franchise must have to be successful on the long run. Future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan has been with the team since being drafted in 1997, Toni Parker since 2001 and Manu Ginobili since coming from Argentina and joining the league in 2002. Gregg Popovich has been the Spurs’ head coach since 1996.
This type of consistency is very rare. San Antonio has managed to hold on to their key pieces, making them all believe what the franchise believes: long-term planning and loyalty generates good results. Instead of thinking only about next season and trying to generate revenue through marketing (and results through miracle chemistry between players and staff), teams should look up to San Antonio and start thinking about what identity do they aim for.
The results are clear. In the past 15 years the Spurs have been to the playoffs every season, won five NBA Championships, six Conference Titles and 11 Division Titles.
There’s no argument against reality. The Spurs are a dynasty both consolidated and in the making. With this business mentality — even when their trio retires — the organization is going to keep succeeding.
The Knicks, owned by James Dolan and his family, have had the same short-term, money-making mentality for the past 15 years and look how far have they gone.
One can only hope that Jackson will remain true to his promise to transform this reality, not only making the franchise relevant, but a real champion again. New York deserves it.