The New York Knicks basketball team is currently in a volatile and unstable state of affairs. They have started off the season with the worst basketball record in the history of the franchise at 5-21. Right now, the team seems to be filled with discord, doubt, rebelliousness and ‘a losing mentality,’ according to team president Phil Jackson. It is obvious that the team does need help. Jackson has already proven that he is a good coach because of his success in the past with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. Now he has to work with a makeup of different personalities. This might just be the one that challenges Jackson the most. His philosophical approach to life and basketball may not work for some of these current players as it did for his previous record. While Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were introduced to Phil’s philosophy and were able to accept it as part of their success, the New York Knicks may not be ready for that yet. In the latter case, the Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were handpicked for success and had the ability to build a team chemistry that many players are yet to emulate. Shaq and Kobe of the Los Angeles Lakers had personal issues, but they played the game professionally and won NBA titles under the tutelage of Phil Jackson. Of course, there may have been locker room squabbles, but they knew how to leave it where it belonged – in the locker room. It never showed on the court. Can the New York Knicks follow suit? It is evident that they are having problems doing so. A good leader would be able to ‘nip it in the bud.’ So the question remains in the minds of many – whether Jackson can reform the team to his liking. How does he fix this problem with the New York Knicks while wearing the hat of a president?
10 Team chemistry
9 Teach the Coach
8 Get through to Carmelo Anthony
It is apparent that like Michael Jordan, Carmelo Anthony is the ‘go to’ player when the team is in need of a big play. However, according to sources, many players are displeased with how Anthony handles the ball. He is said to ‘hog the ball,’ always wanting to shoot instead of passing the ball to his teammates. He doesn’t move around during play and only defends when he wants to. If you watch the games, you may feel the same way as the players do. Phil Jackson needs to have a personal ‘one on one’ with Anthony to deal There is no ‘I’ in ‘team.’
Sources have also indicated that there is tension between the newly acquired Hardaway and Anthony. Apparently, both players don’t particularly care for each other. This has been the case from the time Hardaway was brought onto the team last season. Both of these players believe that each other does too much shooting and don’t defend the ball. Hardaway also had a problem with the favoritism that he thought Anthony got from Mike Woodson, the coach last season. So there is a lot of animosity among team mates toward the franchise player. If possible, he should assign a heavy monetary fine and punishment to any player who doesn’t adhere to the rules of engagement for playing the game how he and the coaches want it to be played, which includes:
7 The Offense
6 Build Trust
5 Get the players to accept change
4 Determine the role of the franchise player
3 Keep egos in check
2 Learn to close games
1 Distribute the ball
It is apparent that Carmelo is not such a good passer. When he gets the ball, it is as if the ball stops with him. There should be someone else (like Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen and Tony Kukoc) to blend everything together. Jackson can show Carmelo how to improve his game and make the team better, but also providing Carmelo with a strong supporting cast like Jordan had is probably the key to winning.
Even though, Carmelo Anthony is not where Michael Jordan or Kobe is, he still has a lot of talent to work with. If Jackson can get Carmelo to believe in his ultimate plan for the team, then he can stay on to find out how great Jackson can make him. Derek Fisher was an excellent player and worked with Phil Jackson as a Laker Player so he understands the triangle offense and what it takes to win. In actuality, the team needs cohesive teamwork, change in attitude, elimination of ego and a desire to win at all cost.
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