The tenure of Present of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks, Phil Jackson, can be summed up as a constant struggle of triangular miscommunications between his philosophy of how to run an offense, finding the right man to coach it and the right players to run it.
The latest example of this three-sided miscommunication came in the form of a midseason cast-off, backup point guard Brandon Jennings. Jennings, the now backup point guard for a playoff-bound Washington Wizards team, recently discussed what exactly he felt went awry for the Knicks inconsistent offense. “It was just too much going on behind the scenes that I didn’t understand,” Jennings exclaimed, speaking of the triangle offense. (NY Post)
Coming into this season with new Head Coach Jeff Hornacek, the expectation was that the new look Knicks would utilize some sort of up-tempo, triangle hybrid that would allow the team to play as fast as Hornacek wanted and still incorporating notes of Jackson’s beloved triangle system. This was supposed to be the answer to the offenses problems with a new star point guard who only knows but one speed to play, a legitimate backup point guard, an elite scoring option, young European players, and of course the unicorn in Kristaps Porzingis. Yet, since the team started out 14-10, it’s been mired in a downward spiral of confusion mixed with new and gut-wrenching ways to lose games, equating to a 13-36 record leading to another underwhelming season.
The former backup point guard offered some additional examples of the triangular miscommunication with his former team, “The thing is, there really wasn’t a lot of talking,” he added. “It wasn’t like, ‘This is what we’re going to do.’ It was just we didn’t know what was going on. So it just kind of left itself blank. And I think that’s where the frustration built for the team. Because guys didn’t know what was going on.”
It’s one thing if the fans or the media aren’t hip to what the Zen Master has planned. It seems from what Brandon Jennings is stating that this wasn’t just the fans or us media that were confused, the players themselves don’t even know what direction the team’s going in. This is a bad look for a once proud franchise, in what’s supposed to be “The Mecca of Basketball”, give me a break. As long as The Garden continues to fill with fans, James Dolan and the NBA are lining their pockets with money. The Knicks aren’t going to fully be able to resolve their organization problem of disconnect until Phil Jackson has disappeared into to Wyoming sun and Carmelo Anthony has moved on. I would throw Dolan in there as well but we all know he’s not going anywhere. I just hope the organization gets it right while Porzingis is still in town and doesn’t drive him away with their countless number of miscues as the season fade away.