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Knicks welcome the Zen Master back to the Garden
NEW YORK—The Phil Jackson era has begun in the World’s Most Famous Arena of Madison Square Garden. After weeks and weeks of speculation, rumors and innuendo, the moment of simple truth arrived with fanfare and much ado about something. Jackson has brought his Knicks NBA world full circle having played and won 2 NBA Championships as a player.
There was so much excitement about Phil’s return that they even had number 18 t-shirts on display during the press conference. The number 18 was Phil’s number as a player with the Knicks from 1967-1978.
Phil in his typical fashion was blunt and forthright in his answers. He spoke of the culture needing to be change and or shifted to the more positive. He spoke about even having the media’s support to help create a positive atmosphere for the teams as a whole. The media and team frostiness should be a thing of the past.
Besides the obvious of having to gut the roster, one of the first orders of basketball business would be the services of one Carmelo Anthony to which Jackson said, “There’s no doubt about Carmelo being one of the top scorers in the league, maybe the best individual isolation player in the game, I have no problems with committing to saying Carmelo is in the future plans.
Jackson no doubt is beyond smart but is categorized a brilliant and even he knows that the triangle is a beautiful offense and philosophy to run but it’s best run it you have a superior player in a Michael Jordan or a Kobe Bryant.
“I think there are a number of things I see Carmelo doing as he moves forward,” Jackson added. “And I think I was on record saying a year ago that I think Carmelo, as great a player as he is, still has another level he can go to. And I hope together, with the team we create, he can get there.”
The question now is will Carmelo have enough faith and patience to allow the Knicks to make good on their intentions.
Patience however isn’t one thing that Carmelo exhibited in his career. Case in point, had he decided to want and not push for the trade to New York a few years ago, he could have walked onto a Knicks team stacked and loaded with young players that he could have teamed up with or watched the Knicks parley some of that talent for more established All-stars.
Faith isn’t something that Carmelo had a great virtue of having as he didn’t trust in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and thus wanted to be signed to an extension before the season was done. Those types of action, although one could commend him for even wanted to come to the Knicks but had he exercised some restraint that Knicks wouldn’t have been in the situation and perhaps he would have had Chris Paul as his point guard and not Raymond Felton.
Jerald L. Hoover