Joakim Noah has been sent home by the Knicks. I have been a Knick fan my entire life and last year was a disappointing year for me. The disappoint did not come from the number of loses the team had, it came from the activities of the organizations. I am referring to the treatment of Carmelo Anthony and Charles Oakley, I thought with the exit of Phil Jackson and the hiring of Scott Perry these childish actions would no longer exist. Then comes the Joakim Noah situation which may have proved me wrong.

Joakim Noah and the coach Jeff Hornacek got into a verbal altercation, because of this event Noah was sent home indefinitely. Joakim is a 2 times All-Star, 4 times All-Defensive, and 1st team All-NBA; I understand with the recent injuries he may not be the player he uses to be, but the Knicks are not giving him a chance to prove himself. I believe the Knicks need to do a better job with communicating with their players, it is simple to sit Noah down and let him know the directions of the team and what his role is if any. If the role is unacceptable by his standards, then the team and Noah should come to some agreement that both parties can live with. I see via social media Knick fans complaining about Noah, he makes too much, and he washed up. To those fans, I say contracts are negotiated and he has played so do you what abilities he has left. He is being paid $17 million a year, should at least try to get some money worth from him.

One of my fears that I had with the way they were treating Carmelo Anthony was how does this play with other players? Will this affect the top free-agents decision about joining the Knicks? I honestly if you are a top ten player in the league would you sign with the Knicks after witnessing how they treat their players?

 

Do great players win a championship or do great teams win championships? I ask this question because most of the comments I have read and conversion I have had people seem to blame the players for the team’s failures. Before we use to hear the debate which teams were better 1989-90 Detroit Pistons, 1995-96 Chicago Bulls or 1984-1985 Los Angeles Lakers. Now the debate surrounds the players, who are the best point guard, who has the better jump shot or who is the better score? The way the game is viewed has changed but players are being blamed because the team does not live up to the expectations of the fans.

There are two players in particular that in my opinion receive too much criticism for their team’s failures, there are Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony.  Chris Paul’s Clippers lost in the first round of the playoffs and Carmelo Anthony’s Knicks did not make the playoffs. Many people are blaming these players for the dismal performance of the teams. I have seen people write that Paul is overrated and Carmelo is overpaid, which I strongly disagree. Basketball is a team sport, no matter how great or good the player is he or she cannot win a championship without being on a good team. Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest player to ever play the game of basketball but he would not have won a championship without being on a great team. Jordan did not win a championship every year, when his team was not great they lost. I think LeBron James has the fans spoiled because he can go from team to team and that team becomes a contender for the championship. What people do not realize is how he and David Griffin, the Cavaliers general manager, are constantly looking at ways to improve the team. LeBron and David do this because they know it takes a great team to win a championship. Kevin Durant knows no matter how great of a player he is he will never win the championship if he is not on a great team and that is why he signed with Golden State.

Back to Paul and Carmelo, both players give their all on the basketball court, people are delusional if they think these players will not do anything to win. Put them in the right situation with the right team and they will win. Are they best players at their position, no but are they among the best and the answer is yes.

The game of basketball is a team sport and always will be a team sport. One individual can impact a team’s future but one player cannot win the championship. Instead of criticizing a player for the team’s failure how about cheering him for his or her efforts. When listening to past champions talk about winning one of the first things they say is that everyone has to perform at their peak, from the front office to the ball boy.  If you believe one player solely determines a championship then you need to be watching tennis.  Now, do you believe great players win a championship or great teams?

My Beloved Knicks

I am a New Yorker at heart, I love all New York teams, Yankees, Giants, Mets, Nets, Jets, Rangers, Islanders but especially the New York Knicks. These past few seasons have been disappointing, but as a  New York Knick fan every summer you believe that the next season will be better.

This season in my opinion has been the worst season in New York Knick history, not terms of wins and loses but the culture of the Knicks is disappointing.

First the debacle with Charles Oakley, Oakley personified the Knicks of the 90’s his play and his attitude screamed New York. Tough, hardworking town with a chip on our shoulder. Then to be watching a game and see one of our legends and Knicks hero being surrounded by security and arrested. Some say that it was Oakley fault, he was yelling at Dolan and Dolan does like the criticism, but this is a man who loves the franchise more than most. So his criticism comes from the heart, he wants to see the Knicks back on the top of the NBA, who better to express this to than the person who is ultimately responsible for the rise or failures of the franchise. Oakley should be a welcomed person in the Garden and his advice should at least be heard. He has no financial gain attached to the success of the Knicks just a love for the team.

Then there is the Carmelo Anthony situation, I find it blatantly disrespectful how Melo is being treated by the franchise. For Phil Jackson to blame the losing season solely on Melo is cowardly at best, when does he take the blame. The only good thing that Phil has done since working for the New York Knicks is drafting Porzingis and I believe that was more of a Steve Mills decision than Phil.

People on social media are blaming it on Melo, talking about trade Melo, he is a ball stopper, he does not play defense, and he does not pass. If you really watch the New York Knicks Melo has made improvements in all these areas, but when they start losing it seems as though he loses faith. Everyone forgets the 52 win season, no one complained about Melo’s game then, but if you closely examine that season you will see what made a difference. Donnie Walsh great leadership in the front office, Mike Woodson good coaching, Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace veteran leadership in the locker room and on the court. Chauncey Billups said it best, Melo is at his best when playing with other good players. What happen after that 52 win season, Dolan happened, instead of trading for LA Marcus Aldridge like Walsh wanted to, Dolan wants the trade for Andrea Bargnani. And then let Walsh leave. Everyone knows what Melo does and that is get buckets, he shows up every night and gets buckets. People are talking because the Knicks won these last few games without Melo, the ball is moving, these are meaningless games, these games did not change the landscape of the playoff, and the opponents did not give the Knicks their best.

Now let’s discuss Phil Jackson, I know he has all the rings as a coach but he is not coaching the Knicks. When he won those championships he had 3 of the top 10 players of all time on his teams, he did not develop them into superstar players, and they were already great players when he started coaching them. He is trying to force the triangle, I get it the triangle was successful in the past but this is now a point guard dominated league. Point guards do not like playing in the triangle because it diminishes their effectiveness on the court. Name 1 all-star level point guard on a Phil Jackson championship team. The way he handled the situation with Melo is at best amateurish. His prize acquisition, Porzingis, does not like the way Phil has been handling Melo.

You have to ask yourself if you are a top tier free agent would you sign with Knicks after witnessing how their current and past stars are treated. I love the New York Knicks but if the Knicks decide to trade Melo then there needs to be complete house cleaning, meaning Phil has to go too.