Herb Making It Hard To Isiah To Have His Phil

By Jerald LeVon Hoover
Updated: March 11, 2005

Herb Williams

NEW YORK, NY – At this time last season, the Knicks were fighting for dear playoff life. At this time this year, the Knicks are fighting for an identity. Having had 3 coaches within the last year the Knicks were looking like a team that was mixed up.

Then suddenly at the eleventh hour came the “trade”. No, not the trade of Tim Thomas for Keith Van Horn, that’s old news. The trade of this year that brought the Knicks Malik Rose and Maurice Taylor for Vin Baker, Moochie Norris and Nazr Mohammed that had fans up in arms.

The media lambasted Knicks president and general manager, Isiah Thomas, Joe Torre style, (pre his four World Championships). Headlines such as “dunce cap” rivaled those of “clueless Joe” aimed at Joe Torre just before he started giving orders from the dugout.

But, now there’s a new sheriff in town by the name of Herb Williams. Well, actually there’s nothing new about him save for his view from the bench as he is now the interim head coach. And he’s the same sincere minded man that is probably reading the papers each and every day and also hearing on radio just how much the Knicks need Phil Jackson or Larry Brown, who currently coaches the Detroit Pistons.

For all it’s worth, the Knicks are playing their most inspired basketball in a very very long time. The team is actually playing defense when it counts the most; in the fourth quarter. The team is actually talking on defense and covering for their teammate.

Sure the Knicks are horribly shorter and there are a few times whereas this team’s current roster will be severely overmatched; and will pay for it dearly. But, for the most part this team shows grit and guts when it counts.

Herb Williams is quick to point out, “it’s the players that play and make the plays”. Yes, this much is very true, but it’s the coach that devises a game plan and a philosophy that the players must buy in to in order to make it work.

Williams has brought that philosophy of better defense and more attention to detail. Sure, he’s still learning on the job, but for what it’s worth why waste millions of dollars on the bigger and more sexier names when you have home grown talent in Williams? New York isn’t that spoiled anymore. What New York wants and needs is a “winner”. For in the Big Apple, if you win they will come. And if you lose, they will come, but they will come and they will “BOO”!

The Knicks should do the right thing and give Herb a fresh season.

Jerald LeVon Hoover