No team with as much talent as the Knicks should have a losing record. Ever. about 1 hour ago
… could not, possibly, be further from the truth.
Simple facts regarding the New York Knicks and Phil Jackson:
#1. James Dolan, historically, has been a meddlesome owner.
#2. At this stage in his life, Phil Jackson – at 67 years of age – has zero need to work for a meddlesome owner.
#3. New York presently has only 2 players who would fit readily with a Phil Jackson coached team: i. Landry Fields; and, ii. Iman Shumpert; as solid, multidimensional, players.
#4. Specifically, Amare Stoudemire [i.e. as a Pick & Roll and Isolation Big, exclusively], Carmelo Anthony [i.e. as an Isolation Forward, exclusively], Tyson Chandler [i.e. Defensively-focused Center, exclusively], Jeremy Lin [i.e. as a defensively weak starting PG], JR Smith [i.e. as a Perimeter 'jacker', exclusively], and Baron Davis [i.e. as a defensively weak back-up PG] are the anti-thesis of what could be accurately described as “a good fit player for the Triangle Offense“, based on their individual skill sets.
If New York Knicks actually want to hire a highly experienced NBA championship winning coach with a different mind-set than Mike D’Antoni, who has a history of working well with established veterans and would be a decent fit with their current roster they should think seriously about one of their own former coaches, i.e. Mr. Larry Brown.
Mike Brown has already demonstrated that he is nothing like his one-time mentor, Gregg Popovich … or, Doc Rivers … or, Rick Adelman … or, Rick Carlisle … or, the as yet, untested Brian Shaw.
Mike Brown is most definitely nothing like the ZenMaster, Phil Jackson.
Mike Brown is someone who has been incapable of exercising the required “level of control” over a superstar player – like LeBron James [in Cleveland] or Kobe Bryant [in LA] – and lacks the type of “wholly integrated system of play” which is necessary to achieve major success in the NBA.
Mike Brown is a good defensive coach. Period.
Mike Brown is not someone who will improve the Lakers’ chances of the winning the NBA title next season, or anytime soon.
The Lakers’ major problems this year had nothing to do with their defensive systems of play … and everything to do with:
i. Their overall lack of talent, in comparison with previous editions of their team;
ii. The poor play of Derek Fisher and Steve Blake;
iii. Their lack of Team Cohesion;
iv. Their overall lack of offensive discipline.
Mike Brown is not the right man to effectively address the Lakers’ specific needs.
This is what the current standings look like in the NBA.
These are the lowlights of last night’s game between the Lakers and the Wizards:
The following is one example of what is being said elsewhere in the blogosphere today about the Lakers’ current plight with Mike Brown at the helm of their listing ship:
With Kobe Bryant firing away, Pau Gasol addresses Lakers’ ‘selfishness’
We hold the Lakers up for a more strident brand of criticism because, frankly, they’re smarter than most teams. And they lost on Wednesday to perhaps the least-cerebral NBA team we’ve seen in decades of watching the game. Kobe Bryant watches more tape than any player in this league. Pau Gasol knows this game (literally and figuratively) inside and out. Mike Brown is absolutely obsessed with going over film and finding statistical quirks to take advantage of.
And yet, the Lakers are 23-16, and 15th in the NBA in offense. Let that swirl for a bit — a team featuring the league’s leading scorer paired with perhaps the NBA’s two most effortless low post scorers is mediocre offensively. No amount of arguing away the gaping holes at the point guard and small forward spots can make this any better. There’s no reason the Lakers should be this poor, 39 games into a season.
Actually, there are several reasons. And though we can point to Kobe firing away on Twitter all night, this comes down to coach Mike Brown actually attempting to stand up to his star player. Something he was clearly incapable of doing in Cleveland with LeBron James, and something he’s failing miserably at in Los Angeles.
When trying to understand properly what exactly is going on with the Lakers, so far this season, it’s important to place both Mike Brown and the players on their roster in the proper perspective.
1. The Lakers still have more than enough talent on their roster to win the Pacific Division this season:
2. Mike Brown is far from being properly described as a terrible basketball coach.
What Mike Brown is … is a terrific defensive coach who, at this point in his career, is wholly incapable of coaching a star player like Kobe Bryant the way he actually needs to be coached … i.e. with the highest degree of personal discipline and responsibility possible … on a daily basis – in conjunction with other far less-talented but, nevertheless, still elite level players like Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Metta World Peace, Troy Murphy, Josh McRoberts, Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, Derek Fisher, Luke Walton, Devin Ebanks, Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock – in order to win a NBA Championship.
As they turned Krause into a punch line through the years, Jackson and Michael Jordan forgot something about the man. Krause had the vision to bring everyone together, to make those Bulls the greatest dynasty of modern times.
Krause was right: Organizations do play an immense part in winning championships. No one does it alone. Those words were twisted on him, like so much of the way the people clutching for credit on those Bulls twisted Krause’s legacy. All those years that Krause so relentlessly pushed for Winter’s inclusion into the Hall, no one was ever so grateful, so loyal, to Krause to do the same for him.
Yes, Krause inherited Jordan, but what he did to discover the most successful head coach, assistant, system, sidekick and supporting cast for six championships over two distinctly different eras is unmatched in history. As a scout with the Baltimore Bullets, he has the drafting of Earl Monroe and Jerry Sloan on his rèsumè. Krause has never even made the ballot for the Hall of Fame. There should never be another executive who goes into the Hall of Fame before him. Ever.
Krause plucked Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant out of the 1987 draft to go with Jordan, traded Charles Oakley for Bill Cartwright, and carefully surrounded Jordan with the proper pieces to complement him and the triangle offense.
As soon as Krause was hired as general manager in 1985, he hired Winter as an assistant coach. He wanted him to work with his big men, because he knew that Jordan would make it impossible for them to ever draft high enough to get the good ones. Someday, too, Krause thought the triangle could be transcendent in the NBA. He hired Jackson out of the Continental Basketball Association as an assistant to Doug Collins, when Jackson feared he could be driving team vans back and forth to Maine forever.
“No one wanted to hire him,” Krause said. “He would’ve gone home and been a lawyer in North Dakota.”
Jackson and Winter became fast friends, inseparable, and Krause knew that if he made Jackson, a student of defense, his head coach, he would implement the triangle and be the man to sell Jordan on its benefits.
“I’ve always said, “Phil was a great coach on very good teams,” Krause said. “When I hired him, I told him, ‘I’ve hired you to win in the next couple years, and if you don’t, you’re gone.’ The team was ready to win. It wasn’t a very popular move to let Collins go, and I told Phil, ‘I’m putting my rear end out there for you.’ Everyone with a typewriter and a microphone in Chicago criticized the hell out of me. ‘That idiot fired Collins, after winning  games and getting to the Eastern Finals?’ I got crucified in Chicago for it.”
It takes a ‘Big Man’ to keep a steady course in the face of such adversity.
MJ and PJ, the proverbial ball is now in your hands.
Time to MAKE IT HAPPEN for ‘the man’ most responsible for your respective successes together.
The Chicago Bulls of the Michael Jordan era were, unquestionably, some of the best NBA teams of all-time.
Although the man who assembled those teams has endured more than his fare share of criticism, over the years - mostly for being far less-than “personable” … i.e. Jerry Krause Bio… so, too, should he receive well-deserved kudos for sticking by his word and refusing to set foot inside the Basketball Hall Of Fame until legendary coach Tex Winter was actually seen fit to be inducted.
If Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, Jerry Krause, et al., do eventually join Tex Winter for his induction ceremony, in Springfield, Massachusetts, later on this summer, it will truly be an historic occasion worthy of a celebration for the NBA.
If Jim and Jerry Buss want my advice – and I’m pretty sure they don’t – they can save themselves a lot of grief and messy embarrassment if they’ll just sit back and chill, and let Phil and Jeanie take over. – Roland Lazenby
For Bryant, there was never time to consider Brown’s candidacy as Lakers coach because sources close to him say that he was never asked about the candidates to replace Phil Jackson. The Buss family promised they would proceed this way, without the consultation of the most important person in the franchise.
These are partnerships in the NBA, and Bryant, with five championships, should’ve been part of the process. Bryant didn’t deserve the chance to choose the next coach, nor did he have the inclination. In the end, such an arrangement makes for an impossible dynamic between an indebted coach and a star player.
Still, Bryant happens to be one of the sharpest basketball minds in the NBA, an ability to see the game in its most overt and subtle ways. So why wouldn’t you want Bryant’s input? Why wouldn’t you want to lay out to him the plan and vision of returning Bryant and these Lakers to championship basketball?
Mostly, Lakers vice president Jim Buss had a habit of exacerbating Jackson, and he’ll regret it should that be the basis of his relationship with Bryant now.
The San Antonio Spurs wouldn’t hire a coach without discussing names with Tim Duncan. Steve Nash gets immense input – probably too much – with the Phoenix Suns. Those two aren’t twentysomething’s at the apex, but they should still be afforded the chance to have names pushed past them. Bryant? The Lakers can still win titles with him. He’s no ceremonial franchise player. All they had to do was say, “Hey, what’s our feeling on Rick Adelman? Mike Brown? We’re balancing these strengths and weaknesses. What do you think?”
Jim Buss is running the Lakers now, and this is a frightening proposition for everyone.
Prior to the start of the NBA’s Conference Semi-finals, this is how this corner would have rated the respective head coaches who were still alive in the current post-season:
1 Chicago/Tom Thibodeau [Has a chance to become special]
5 Atlanta/Larry Drew [Average]
2 Miami/Erik Spoelstra [Has a chance to become special]
3 Boston/Doc Rivers [Top Notch]
2 LA Lakers/Phil Jackson [All-Time Great]
3 Dallas/Rick Carlisle [Top Notch]
8 Memphis/Lionel Hollins [Above average and getting better each season]
4 Oklahoma City/Scott Brooks [Average]
The one series which has already been decided was effected significantly by the fact that Rick Carlisle is an elite level head coach, who just happened to “out-coach” a living legend … when it came to using his available personnel properly [i.e. the best way possible].
Although Phil Jackson is many wonderful things, as a head coach, one of them is NOT being categorized properly as an extremely flexible in-game tactician.
Like many coaches the world over, Phil Jackson is someone who is very good at what he happens to be very good at doing … which is developing a team that is very talented and getting them well-prepared to play a highly specific way without much deviation from the pre-established game-plan.
When a coach of this ilk has the best team, in a specific match-up, from a personnel standpoint, s/he usually does a terrific job getting them to perform at their highest level of effectiveness which, in turn, is usually good enough to result in a series victory.
However, when a coach of this ilk just happens to find her/himself facing an opponent that is relatively equal, in terms of overall personnel or, perhaps, even slightly superior, at least, at certain key positions, then, this type of highly structured coach is also vulnerable to getting beat by an adversary with a higher degree of versatility, when it comes to developing, implementing and executing an unorthodox game-plan.
Which set of primary rotational personnel is superior, if you line-up the players on the Mavericks’ roster and compare to the group on the Lakers’?
Dallas v Los Angeles
Fisher v Kidd Bryant v Stevenson
Artest v Marion
Gasol v Nowitzki
Bynum [Def & Reb] v Chandler [Def & Reb]
Blake v Barea
Brown v Terry
Barnes [Def & Reb] v Stojakovic [Off]
Odom [Off] v Haywood [Def & Reb]
Los Angeles 1. Dallas 5.
Which set is in fact superior, if the Individual Match-ups are adjusted to look like this:
Dallas v Los Angeles
Brown v Kidd Bryant v Stevenson
Artest v Marion
Odom [Off, Def & Reb] v Nowitzki [Off, Def & Reb] Gasol v Chandler
Fisher [Def & Reb] v Barea [Off]
Barnes [Def & Reb] v Terry [Off]
Walton [Def & Reb] v Stojakovic [Off]
Bynum [Def & Reb] v Haywood [Def & Reb]
Los Angeles 2. Dallas 1.
The Lakers were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs on Sunday, primarily, because their GM, Mitch Kupchak, made a series of ill-advised personnel decisions that significiantly weakened the overall strength of their roster, from the end of the 2009-2010 season.
However, Los Angles should still have been good enough to overcome this group of Dallas Mavericks, if Phil Jackson would have been willing to deviate from his highly structured rotation and used Shannon Brown [as a Starter], Lamar Odom [as a Starter], Derek Fisher [as a Key Sub], Andrew Bynum [as a Key Sub], Matt Barnes [as a Key Sub], Luke Walton [as a Key Sub] and Steve Blake [not at all] in the right way, given the personnel available to both teams AND the way that Rick Carlisle set the Mavericks’ rotation.
Kudos to the Mavericks’ head coach, who has been one of the best practicioners in the NBA for several seasons.
After virtually sleep-walking through the first 40+ minutes of last night’s home game against the Timberwolves, the Lakers kicked into “Playoff-mode” at precisely 6:16 of the 4th quarter … courtesy of Andrew Bynum.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson and Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis both said the foul wasn’t malicious, but rather the product of a physical game.
“He just stopped penetration, but Andrew looks bad, and (Beasley) fell hard,” Jackson said. “He was going to go block the shot, but he was too late, so he just bumped him, just gave up on the ball.”
the ensuing results were not very pretty for their opponent … as the Lakers converted on 10 of their next 13 possessions [i.e. scoring 18 points with a PCR/Possession Conversion Rate = 76.9%], and the T-wolves converted on only 5 of their last 15 possessions [i.e. scoring just 9 points with a PCR = 33.0%].
For many Bulls fans, it’s impossible to think about Michael Jordan without also thinking of Scottie Pippen. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf shares that sentiment and he takes the thought one step further.
“Six championships that wouldn’t have been won without Scottie,” Reinsdorf said when asked what comes to mind when he recalls Pippen’s career. “Michael couldn’t have done it by himself. The rest of the players and Michael would not have been enough. It took Scottie to put us over the top those six times.”
It’s often been said that Pippen never won a title without Jordan, but Jordan never won it all without Pippen, either. At the end of the day, the two players were the perfect complement to each other. That’s why when Pippen enters basketball’s Hall of Fame on Aug. 13, it’s only fitting that he’ll join Jordan among the game’s greats in Springfield, Mass. just one year after his enshrinement.
“A lot of people liked to talk about Scottie as being Batman’s Robin or the Lone Ranger’s Tonto,” said Reinsdorf during a recent interview at the Berto Center. “I never thought that was the case and I liked to think of them as 1 and 1A. They were very, very close.”
The paring of the duo which brought Chicago six world championships in eight years was born on June 22, 1987 in New York City, the night of the 1987 NBA Draft. The Bulls owed two first round selections, eighth and tenth overall.
Then General Manager Jerry Krause had set his sights on Pippen, who had not long before been an unknown prospect out of Central Arkansas, a NAIA school at the time. Given that the Bulls were one of the very few teams who had ventured down to Conaway, Ark. to watch Pippen play collegiately, Reinsdorf recalled being confident they would be able to get him with the eighth pick. But the rest of the basketball world was about to learn of Pippen’s talents and abilities.
“We were sure we were going to be able to get Scottie where we were in the draft,” said Reinsdorf. “Then Scottie went to the pre-draft camps, lit it up and got everybody’s attention. We went into panic mode because we realized he wouldn’t be there when we were going to draft. We somehow had to move up and we were able to pull it off. But it was touch and go for awhile.”
Pippen was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics fifth overall and his draft rights were traded to Chicago for Olden Polynice and future considerations. The Bulls also selected power forward Horace Grant with the tenth pick, setting the stage for the first three-peat.
A series of highly intelligent personnel decisions … involving:
i. The right organizational paradigm;
ii. The right GM;
iii. The right Head Coach;
iv. The right core group of marquee players … with the right skill-sets and personal attributes;
v. The right set of complementary players … with the right skill-sets and personal attributes;
vi. Vision … to see with acuity what your competition is failing to see;
vii. Planning … to develop and implement a set of comprehensive objectives;
viii. Patience … to give it time and nourishment to grow organically;
ix. Good Judgment … to know when the time is right ‘to strike’
x. Wisdom … to understand well ‘The Value of Commitment’, in the first place.
When a basketball Team succeeds, in a major way, it is never ever due to having just 1 outstanding player.