OPINION – Being a Knick fan has to be one of the most painstaking affiliations in all of sports. I’ve been a Knick fan since Kenny “Skywalker” used to literally sky high with his deaf defying dunks (did I just reveal my age?). Nevertheless, I have watched countless disappointing seasons and playoff and finals losses that have literally made me sick to my stomach. I still can’t get over 1994 and John Starks shooting us out of any hopes of a championship. The only thing I like to talk about in that year is how O.J. interrupted the Finals with his white Bronco. After decades upon decades of this psychological pain the New York Knicks have inflicted on me, I still love them like they were my kids. I’m not a bandwagon fan like countless others who join teams because of an individual player (hi Heat fans) or because a franchise has gathered enough championships to make a person feel cool by stating they are a fan. I was a devoted Knick fan through their ups and downs and remain that way.
With the possible addition of Phil Jackson, who has been appointed President of Basketball Operations as reported by NBA TV, Knick fans still feel some trepidation. One of the main factors is that Phil is not going to be coaching, but is in charge of making decisions on whom to add or delete from the roster. Jackson has never held that position, so this is where Knick fans are conflicted whether to celebrate this hiring, or continue to fear the future of doom and gloom when it comes to this franchise. Jackson has some key decisions to make, whether he even wants Carmelo Anthony back. Hypothetically speaking, if Jackson does not want to re-sign Anthony, I’m going to be a little ticked off, while some of my fellow Knicks fans will celebrate the move. It still rests on the shoulders on whether Anthony wants to come back on not. Either way, Jackson either thinks Anthony doesn’t fit his vision and is part of the losing problem or he sees that Anthony needs a better supporting cast. I will go on record and say everyone is expendable except for Anthony and Hardaway. If Jackson decides to get rid of everyone else, so be it. I do realize that the lame duck head coach Mike Woodson is as good as gone. Replacing the head coach will also be one of the first major decision that Jackson has to make. There are rumors of Steve Kerr getting the job, which I do not support. I’m looking at two head coaches that are defensive minded, which is former Knick head coach Jeff Van Gundy or the current coach of the Chicago Bulls and former Knicks assistance Tim Thibodeau whom reportedly is unhappily with the Bulls.
Let’s be honest the Knicks haven’t won since I was an embryo and, unfortunately, that says a lot about one of the oldest NBA franchises, where winning the big one has eluded them for decades. Many will say the Knicks had opportunities especially in 1994 as I stated. Or in 1995 when Ewing’s finger roll slid out of the basket. Many situations have plagued the Knicks, from poor management decisions: their ineffective way they have handled the salary cap, draft picks (Frederick Weis) and many countless errors that have made the New York Knicks one of the laughing stocks of all sports. Hiring Jackson brings us instant credibility and excitement. The addition of Jackson should be met with tons of optimism. I say give Jackson a chance and I have a strong feeling he is going to surround himself with people that know a lot about basketball operations. The last thing Jackson will like to leave is a legacy of mediocrity in terms of his management skills. Jackson comes across as a perfectionist that has an ego to match his work ethic. Also, Jackson will bring what we considered free agents who might find the idea of working under someone like him in any capacity to be hard to pass up. Guys who would have run for the hills instead of even thinking about playing for the Knicks may just sign here or request a trade to play here, just to be close to a man who has guided the careers of Michael Jordon, Kobe Bryant and has the championship rings as a player and head coach to show for it.
The sticking point is whether New York Knicks owner James Dolan can fade to black. Dolan is a micro manager when it comes to the Knicks and he has demonstrated down to his analyzation of the Knicks city dancers, that he is indeed too involved. Yes, this is his team that he inherited from daddy, but it does not mean he knows what he is doing, clearly he doesn’t. I wish Dolan would sell the team to be honest and let someone who doesn’t act like Jerry Jones take over, but that will never happen. Dolan will never sell a team that has continued to generate profits even if the season is down right dreadful year after year. I just want Dolan to do the same thing as he has done with the Rangers, which is to fade to black and let the folks he hired run the show, without him sticking his nose into everything. I’m sure Jackson is quite aware of the micromanaging owner and he wouldn’t take the job if he knew he could not have complete control, so I have a feeling this may give Knick fans some hope. Dolan has to be told this his basketball IQ is non existent and to focus on his other toys, and leave the Knicks to those who know what they are doing.
I’m hoping the Knicks can turn this boat around and sail home to a championship before I die. Really, I’m serious. New York City and their fans need and want this badly than no one can ever imagine. Knick fans are one of the loyalist fans in the world (many call us stupid for even hanging around this long), but we stayed with this franchise through the good and bad times. I’m going to take a wait and see approach, but I am already excited about the future possibilities now if only Dolan will fades to black; time will tell.
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