On the Mike and Mike radio show, Jeff Van Gundy said the NY media is nicer now than it was when he coached. I like Jeff and often agree with his counter intuitive approach to the game, but he was high or drunk. I’m betting drunk, not fully drunk but that point early in your drunkardness when you still think you’re sober but you walk at a 45 ° angle and don’t realize it. The NY media could definitely be nasty during his time here but maybe because he’s not here and having to deal with it, he’s oblivious to the nightmare that is the NY Knick’s media coverage.
Here is blog post that details my position on Phil Jackson, and Phil Jackson’s indignation towards the media is sure to have made the situation worse, but the coverage is no longer journalism, if it ever was. It is pure uneducated fanboy, whiny , simpleton, surface analysis and guesswork at best, fiction at worst. We’ve read the highly speculative reports about Phil wanting out of NY, even that he had an option to leave his contract this summer (false), him not being committed etc., all year long. In reality, Phil held a Triangle offense seminar after the season not because he gets paid overtime but because….committed.
We should be used to this type of reporting, it is not new. Stephen A. Smith has reported that Carmelo was as good as gone from the day Phil arrived, and again with Porzingis was drafted. Again an article written by Marc Berman, of the NY Post, with the headline, “Carmelo Curiously Skipped Phil Jackson’s Triangle Meeting“, managed to fuel the the narrative that Carmelo was fed up with the Triangle and Phil, while simultaneously provided facts that suggested otherwise. The meeting or seminar was meant to be a tutorial of sorts for the players. It goes on to say that Carmelo is very comfortable in the Triangle and wouldn’t need such a meeting and that Carmelo is reported to be receiving treatment for his knee. Adding that Carmelo has voiced satisfaction with the offense in a season where he has never hesitated to offer criticism of his teammates and frustration with losing. The article mentions Carmelo’s criticism of Fisher, saying coach Kurt Rambis was more committed to the offense. Charley Rosen, who actually is close to Phil Jackson and the Knicks said the same and Fisher’s own comments support the notion. Marc Berman actually wrote an informative article that contradicted many reports about the prevailing notions about Phil, Carmelo and their current mindset, buuuuuuuuut that headline tho……
Listen to sports talk radio and read the papers, all you hear is how terrible a situation the Knicks are in, how terrible the Triangle is, how no one will want to come here. Every media report is 10% fact and 90% sarcastic, anti Knick sentiment. For example, there were several different coaches reported to have spoken to Jackson about the coaching position in the span of a week. This was after reports indicated that Rambis was getting the position. Every day the Knicks were reportedly talking to a different coach, even reports that the Knicks spoke to Luke Walton but he turned the Knicks down. When Sean Marks of the NJ NETS quietly hired Kenny Atkinson, I read, “Knicks Can Only Wish Phil Jackson Handled Coaching Search Like Sean Marks” , by known Knick troll, Mitch Lawrence. Huh?!, are we supposed to believe Phil Jackson was leaking these stories to you folks? Phil Jackson has said that he wants to hire a coach that he knows but he was reported to have spoken with Mark Jackson- it’s legit 50/50 that these guys are making these stories up………aaaaaannnnnnd maybe no one sniffed out Marks and his coaching search because no one really cares….people barely even know that Sean Marks is actually a real person and not a form of currency not to mention the obscure (but qualified) assistant he hired …that’s not being discreet, that’s just being the Nets.
Phil Jackson spoke on this, admittedly a bit clumsily, saying that it is the media, not him or the current state of the Knicks, that’s driving potential free agents away. I agree wholeheartedly. The Knicks are in no worse shape than they were last summer. Phil’s lowkey moves last summer made sure of that. The drafting of Porzingis was a huge leap forward for an organization in the midst of a rebuild. The firing of Fisher, the mounting losses and the general disinterest in Rambis as coach, has put a bad taste in the mouths of many. Sounder minds can see they are in a solid place to move forward. With cap space, a group of low cost veterans, Porzingis and contrary to popular belief, a still very effective Carmelo- the right free agent can improve the fortunes of a team more in need of another all star level talent than a regime change. The fan and media’s general disdain for the triangle, is another supposed roadblock for free agents. However this makes me wonder if the media is conspiring to use this propaganda to keep the Knicks in the doldrums. Do they make more money with the Knick hate? I think they might. The negative emotions and anger fueled rants make for good TV, radio and click bait. Maybe Phil, known for his discretion in regards to his motives with the media (rolls eyes at that Sean Marks comparison again), makes these guys’ jobs a lot harder. When no one gives you any information, you’re forced to hold on to every unsubstantiated rumor like it’s a gold nugget. They’re forced to sensationalize to keep the lights on. Media coverages about more important matters are worse, so we shouldn’t be surprised that the greed and general need for business survival drives the need for the excessive storytelling. Otherwise, I’m wondering why so many believe every free agent would see the hall of fame careers of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant and think, “Why would I want to be in that offense? That Rockets’ offense though….”.
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