Knicks Talk: Meet Your New Assistant Coaches

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By Charles R. Trimble III

Short of ending the 41- year championship drought, these have been extremely exciting times for the New York Knickerbockers and their fan base, as an entirely new regime has come in and sparked an unbelievable amount of optimism.


That optimism starts and begins with team president Phil Jackson whose first major move was the hiring of Derek Fisher. From here on out Derek has the daunting task of rewarding Jackson’s faith in him as a coach and student.

In order to do this, coach Fisher has put together a completely revamped coaching staff with a vast array of experience. Below we take a look at the newly formed staff:

Kurt Rambis

The most known and accomplished coach on the staff, Kurt Rambis is somewhat of a legend. As the energy guy for the legendary Laker teams of the 80’s, Rambis is no stranger to championship basketball.  According to Jackson, he will serve as number one assistant and drill sergeant who will assist in running practices for the novice head coach. Rambis, who previously had a similar role under Jackson in L.A., is by far the most experienced coach on the staff already having been head coach of both the Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves. He will be heavily leaned on to teach the complexities of the “triangle offense”, the preferred system of team president Phil Jackson and head coach Derek Fisher.

Rasheed Hazzard

The son of legendary basketball coach, Walt Hazzard, Rasheed, formerly of the L.A. Lakers, will be assisting Derek Fisher in N.Y. as an assistant coach on the revamped staff. Previously, Hazzard worked as a scout and assistant under Phil Jackson, so his familiarity with both Fisher & Phil should be extremely beneficial. Prior to joining the Lakers organization, Hazzard, who played under Mike Jarvis at George Washington, served as an assistant coach at the University of Portland where his duties included developing the team’s defensive strategies, strength & conditioning as well as player development. Hazzard also spent time as both assistant and head coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Developmental League. He comes to New York a basketball lifer and a coach soon to be on the rise.

Joshua Longstaff

Longstaff, who spent the past four seasons as Video Analyst for the OKC Thunder, where he and Derek Fisher first established a rapport, was promoted to assistant coach of the Knicks. The former Portland, Maine High School basketball standout, who began his coaching career as coach at Portland & Gorham High, will be entering the most high profile job of his career. The presumably close working relationship with Fisher was a determining factor in Longstaff‘s promotion to Knicks’ assistant.

Brain Keefe

The most recent addition to the coaching staff, Keefe, spent the past seven seasons with OKC, serving as player development coach before moving to assistant the past five seasons under Scott Brooks. Prior to his role in OKC, he also served as video coordinator for the San Antonio Spurs during the 2005-07 seasons. Before joining the league, Keefe who played at UC Irvin, served as an assistant coach at NCAA Division II Bryant University.

Recently Coach Fisher has expressed the desire to add a fifth assistant with longtime Phil Jackson assistant, Jim Cleamons emerging as a possibility along with Bill Cartwright, but regardless, this is the most significant change to the Knicks’ coaching staff since Pat Riley arrived and overhauled everything back in 1991. With change comes possibilities and Knick fans are wishing for the biggest possibility, Phil’s 14th ring!

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Knicks, Carmelo Anthony Both Winners With New Contract

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Written by Kenneth Teape

Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony



It took longer than some people had hoped, but the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony finally were able to come to an agreement on a contract, as he will play out the remainder of his prime years in orange and blue. The exact numbers of the contract are not known, but what is known is that it will be for five years and between $122-123 million. It is not for the maximum that the Knicks were allowed under the CBA to offer Anthony, which makes both the player and organizations winners in this pact.

Heading into free agency, the biggest advantage the Knicks had over any other team courting Anthony was money. They could offer an extra year and anywhere between $30 and almost $50 million dollars depending on who the contract was coming from. While the extra money would be hard to pass up for Anthony, President Phil Jackson and the Knicks still needed to make sure the flexibility would still be there. $6-7 million does not sound like much of a discount, but given the circumstances the Knicks are in and cap situation, that is a big help.

Under the current CBA, Anthony is eligible for 7.5 percent increases in salary every season of the deal starting at $22.5 million. If reports are right and Anthony takes a flat salary in Year 2, the numbers will go as follows:

2014-15: $22.5 million

2015-16: $22.5 million
2016-2017: $24.2 million
2017-2018: $25.9 million
2018-2019: 27.6 million

Where the Knicks save in this deal is the second year of the contract, where they needed it most. The summer of 2015 is where the Knicks will have immense cap space, the first real chance Jackson and new head coach Derek Fisher have to really shape this roster. With Anthony firmly in place, they have the cornerstone, now it is time to augment the roster and add to the centerpiece they have in place. It does not seem like a lot on the outside, but that $2 million dollars could be the difference between the regular midlevel exception and the mini.

The idea behind this is that Anthony gets his money, but later on so that the Knicks can take advantage of the massive cap space they are projected to have earlier on in the Anthony pact. Teams will more often than not try getting players to take less at the end of their contracts, but with this one the Knicks are agreeing to make sure Anthony gets his money over time as long as he gives them the flexibility earlier on to help get talent around him.

Jackson was very happy with how things progressed as well, saying, “He [Carmelo] did exactly what we kind of asked him to do. Give us a break in the early part of his contract so that when we have some wiggle room next year, which is hopefully big enough wiggle room, we can exploit it.” Jackson continued that saying, “I want to be fiscally responsible. We’ve been a taxpayer team for a little bit and we want to limit that.”

The Knicks have the taxpayer’s mini midlevel exception available to them, but they may not put that to use this season. The Knicks, admitted by Jackson, have some holes on the roster, but said, “We’re not just going to foolishly throw money away because it’s available to us.”

The hard part now is done for the Knicks, as they finally have their guy in Anthony locked up and on board. The next step for the Knicks will be evening out the roster. As currently situated, the Knicks are over-loaded in the backcourt with a log jam at the shooting guard position and a plethora of guards. On the flipside, they are thin up front and could use some help up front in the center and big man departments. How they go about filling those holes will be interesting to watch, as the goal is to keep the salary cap in 2015 and beyond as open as possible.

During his time on the television broadcast Jackson mentioned some holdovers from last season that he expected to see improvements from this season. That may be the strategy the Knicks take, hoping players such as Iman Shumpert and Andrea Bargnani fit more into the new scheme than the old one. Whatever the decision must be, it is now up to Jackson and Fisher to continue shaping this organization into the contender the fans and city are desperate to have.

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Knicks Talk: In Phil We Trust

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By Charles R. Trimble III

Many Knick fans were collectively holding their breath while Carmelo Anthony flirted with some of the most successful franchises in the league before deciding to return to New York for Max money. But, while many will argue the money was the only determining factor I will tell you I believe Phil Jackson, not the max contract, was the main reason for Carmelo’s return.pdd0fjfieou104feas4efg5lq

Since Phil has come on as Prez, the perception of the Knicks as a clueless dysfunctional franchise has slowly dissipated; as a new level of professionalism and “swag” has seem to encompass the entire organization. Not since the days of Dave Checketts has the franchise been viewed so highly, and that’s strictly because the 13-time NBA champion coach/player is now the face of the franchise.

Many questioned if Jackson could succeed in the front office as he once did on the sidelines, but as we see already those concerns have started to dissipate. Especially after showing a willingness to shake things up and think outside the box, like his hiring of Derek Fisher as head coach without any coaching experience, or by trading away last season’s malcontent, Tyson Chandler.

Not only was Phil able to trade Chandler and underwhelming PG Raymond Felton, he brought back quality players, including two 2nd Rd draft picks in a determined effort to put his imprints on the team. Obviously the plan Phil has hatched has been well thought out and so far executed to a tee. In just a short period of time, Jackson has re-signed Carmelo Anthony, traded for a professional and arguably the best shooting PG in the league in Jose Calderon, added a rim protector in Dalembert, plus an influx of youth in PG Shane Larkin and SF Cleanthony Early.

After many wrongly assumed Phil would wait until the contracts of Amare’ Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani came off the books to make major moves, he has already dispelled that notion by actively shopping both with latest rumors targeting the Sixers as a possible landing spot for either. If Phil was to pull that off it would provide an abundance of financial flexibility for a run at dare I say Kevin Love?

But the point here is Jackson has already shown he is a wheeler and dealer and will have a proactive style and plan for returning New York back to the top.

Carmelo Anthony has already told associates “he believes in Phil”, why wouldn’t he believe in the man with 13 rings? If anybody can get it done here in NYC, it’s Phil Jackson! I’m sure many around the league are beginning to share that same sentiment as well!

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Melo Back in the Fold for the Knicks…Now What’s Next?

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From my perspective I can tell you that I was nervous. This past week had me thinking a roller coaster of thoughts: he’s gone, he’s back, he does not want to be here, and he only wants the money. Some of these thoughts could be true, but who am I to judge another human for wanting money and power.135338-330-0

Did Melo choose the Knicks only for the money? Did he really want Chicago and only did not go there because of their lack of funds to acquire him? Maybe so, but in the end the Knicks got their man, and in the end Melo got what he wanted, whatever that was.

We move forward. With Melo back in the fold the Knicks can now move on to adding more pieces to their open roster. NY has a 3.6 million dollar trade exemption from the Dallas trade that they can use on a free agent, as well as a mini mid level that starts at 3+ million. These two slots could add a very valuable asset and player into the Knicks roster.

Who could that be? Trevor Booker has been talked about, but there are other “bigs” out there that can be had. Time will tell as the top free agents begin to sign, and down the road the 3+millon dollar range players will get their time in the sun.

Summer League so far has shown us one thing. Cleanthony Early can play, and should be a part of the Knicks rotation this year.

Another player that intrigues me is Thanasis Ante…. Well you know what I mean. Thansasis is a bundle of energy that at times seems way to hyped, however this is an intangible that the New York Knicks desperately need on their roster.

It’s still early in free agency, so I am not worried just yet. We got Melo back and now we need to add some pieces to balance the roster out. I will be patient. You should be as well.

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Knicks Need To Remain Cool, Calm and Collected In Stoudemire, Bargnani Trade Negotiations

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Written by Kenneth Teape

Knicks Amare Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani Trade Rumors

Tom Szczerbowski – USA TODAY Sports


With Carmelo Anthony’s free agency still looming over the head of the New York Knicks, Phil Jackson has been busy at work attempting to clear more cap space for this summer. The quickest way to do so is moving big contracts, which he has done once with Tyson Chandler being shipped out to the Dallas Mavericks. Even more cap space could be had if he finds a taker for Amar’e Stoudemire and or Andrea Bargnani. But Jackson needs to continue being savvy in negotiations with both, just as he was with the Chandler trade with the Mavericks.

Like Chandler, Stoudemire and Bargnani both come off the books next season, so it is not of the utmost importance for either player to be moved this offseason. Both will be unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2015, giving the Knicks a ton of cap space to woo free agents next summer.

If Jackson does indeed intend of moving one, if not both of the power forwards, he needs to tread lightly. Like mentioned earlier, both are free agents next season so mortgaging future assets just to get them off the books this season would not be a smart decision.

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Knicks @ Nite Podcast

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Listen to internet radio with The Knicks at Nite Show on BlogTalkRadio
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Alan Hahn’s Knicks Fix

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Knicks Talk: Phil Talks Change


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Knicks Talk: Meet Thanasis

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Knicks Talk: The “Big Three” A Big Failure in New York

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By Charles R. Trimble III

So the reconstruction of the NY Knickerbockers has officially begun with the trade of Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton, which brings an end to the “Big 3” era.

What a frustrating era it was with the combination of Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler combining to miss a total of 210 games, while accumulating an overall record of just 45-48 on the rare occasions they were all healthy. After trading for or signing the trio for a combined 218M you know Knicks owner Jim Dolan along with a rabid fan base expected much more.jose_calderon_spanish_teacher

But outside of the 2012-13 season, which resulted in the first Division title in about 20 years, the New York version of the Big 3 mainly underachieved. Now, some may chalk it up to injury (games missed by each) and that did play a huge role, but from the beginning the parts seemed to never fit.

Amare really struggled to adjust to playing with Carmelo after a sensational start to his Knick career before his knees began to betray him, while Tyson just never seemed to be there when the team needed him the most! Has there ever been a Knick who had the flu as much as this guy? Chandler’s battle with illness during multiple playoffs runs had huge and immediate impact on the Knicks failures to end their 41-year championship drought.

Obviously team President Phil Jackson saw more than enough evidence during his brief tenure that the pieces on the table had to change. By bringing in a professional PG like Jose Calderon, who shot 45% from 3-pt range, Samuel Dalembert, Wayne Ellington, Shane Larkin, and obtaining two 2nd round20 picks in the 2014 Draft, Jackson has put the league on notice that he will not shy away from making bold moves. Many speculated that the Knicks would make minimal moves until 2015 when big contracts expired, but Phil and Coach Fisher already stated they both believe this team can win now.

The move which gives the Knicks some payroll flexibility sends a clear signal that the days of teamsraping the Knicks during trade negotiations are a thing of the past; with many media outlets calling New York the winners in this trade which is something new. For once it wasn’t the Knicks giving up draft picks along with the entire farm to acquire talent with no plan. It’s becoming clearer by the day that Jackson does indeed have a plan and it doesn’t include waiting around twiddling his thumbs. It’s a plan only the Zen Master could formulate, and it will be very exciting what the next move will be. One thing for certain, the league will surely be watching and taking notes.

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Knicks 2014 NBA Draft Recap

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Written by Kenneth Teape

For a team that was shut out altogether from the 2014 NBA Draft just 48 hours ago, the New York Knicks made quite a splash. President Phil Jackson was said to be coveting picks in this draft, and wanted in. He was able to do that after swinging a trade with the Dallas Mavericks that saw Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler shipped to Dallas for Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin, and Wayne Ellington and two second-round draft picks. Jackson and the Knicks made the most of those draft picks, selecting Cleanthony Early 34th and Thanasis

Knicks 2014 Draft Recap

Shannon Stapleton Reuters

Antetokounmpo 51st. Jackson did not stop there, as he also purchased the 57th pick from the Indiana Pacers and selected French center Louis Labeyrie.

The catch of this draft is obviously Early. Early, the four-year collegiate player who played his last two seasons with the Wichita State Shockers, slid in the draft to the Knicks benefit. He was pegged by many analysts to be a shoe-in for the first round, going anywhere from late in the lottery or the early 20’s.

Early is a versatile scorer, who can fill it up from the interior and perimeter. He has an improving three-point shot, which will expand his offensive game even more if he is a threat from long range. He is also a strong rebounder, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Early showed good athleticism at the NBA Combine, registering a 40 inch-vertical leap during drills. That was one inch higher than Aaron Gordon, who is said to have all-world athleticism. Early also made a statement when it mattered most, playing for a Shockers team that lost only once this past season. He had a monster game against the Kentucky Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament, pouring in a season-high 31 as he 12-17 from the field.

Early does have some things to work on, namely his ball handling. He could struggle at first getting to the rim with his shaky handles, which is one of the reasons he fell in the draft. Even with that, he is a player that could help the Knicks right away, with or without Carmelo Anthony. He will add much needed depth behind Anthony if he decides to re-sign, but if he leaves Early will have a great opportunity to grow with plenty of

Knicks 2014 Draft Recap

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

minutes and shots being available. He will have a chip on his shoulder and will look to prove all of the teams that passed him over wrong.

With their second pick of the night, the Knicks selected the brother of Milwaukee Bucks’ 2013 first round pick Giannis Antetokounmpo, aka The Greek Freak. While Thanasis does not have the same ceiling as his brother, he is a strong wing player that is NBA ready defensively. Standing 6-

feet-6 inches tall, Thanasis is super athletic, using that to his advantage defensively.

He showcased that athleticism on multiple occasions in the NBA D-League last season for the Philadelphia 87ers. He has a massive wing span of seven-feet, which enables him to finish well at the rim when couple with the athleticism he possesses.

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Knicks Trade Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton To Dallas Mavericks For 4-Players, 2 Picks


Written by Kenneth Teape

Since taking over as President of the New York Knicks, Phil Jackson has been biding his time for the right move. That move came Wednesday afternoon, as Jackson executed his first big move as lead man for the Knicks, executing a trade with the Dallas Mavericks. The trade, just waiting NBA approval, will send Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to the Mavericks for Samuel Dalembert, Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin Wayne Ellington, and the 34th and 51st picks in the draft Thursday night.

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks

Photo Via ESPN

It is quite a haul for Jackson and the Knicks, as Felton was looked at as a player that would be tough to move after struggling mightily last season with injuries and off-court issues. But the Mavericks coveted Chandler after losing this season in the first round to eventual NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs, and were willing to take on what is becoming an albatross contract in Felton. Chandler will be reunited with the team that he helped to defeat the Miami Heat in 2011 NBA Finals in the first season of the ‘Big 3” era.

For the Knicks this is something new to see. Usually they are on the end of a trade with the less attractive pieces coming aboard, but for once it can be argued they won this trade and handedly.

Seeing the Knicks receiving draft picks is one of the rarest sights in recent NBA memory. Prior to Jackson coming aboard, the Knicks treated draft picks like candy on Halloween, just handing them out to whoever asked. But Jackson seems to be changing that philosophy, and seemed hell-bent on getting into this draft.

The Mavericks gave the Knicks that opportunity, sending the 34th and 51st picks. They are only second rounders, but a pick that high in the second round could net the Knicks a valuable player. One person being mentioned is Florida big man Patric Young, whom the Knicks had in for a workout. He would bring plenty of toughness to a Knicks frontcourt that is lacking in that department to put it nicely with the likes of Andrea Bargnani (When he isn’t facing off against Kevin Garnett and the Brooklyn Nets).

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Raymond Felton Avoids Jail Time, What’s His Future With Knicks?


Written by Kenneth Teape

New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton received some good news Monday morning, as he will avoid jail time after reaching a plea agreement on two felony gun charges he had been facing since late February.

Raymond Felton Avoids Jail Time

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Per the agreement made, Felton has to plead guilty to one of the two charges, which were third degree criminal possession of a weapon or criminal possession of a firearm. In addition, he has to complete 500 hours of community service, pay a $5,000 fine, register as a gun offender and he cannot appeal the case, waiving that right.

Felton did not talk at the hearing Monday morning, and did not take questions from reporters either once out of the courtroom. He did issue a statement for all to hear once outside.

“I just want to say that I want to thank the DA for being fair to me in this whole situation. I want to thank all my friends, my family especially, my fans, everybody just for supporting me and understanding the person I am.”

It has been a tumultuous time for Felton, who has had these charges hanging over his head since February 25th when he turned himself in. His wife, Ariane Raymundo-Felton, alleged that he threatened her with a firearm. She also filed for divorce from Felton just a week prior to this incident.

Felton is fortunate to receive the decision that he did, because it could have been much worse. New York sports fans remember Plaxico Burress having to deal with gun charges in 2008, derailing the New York Giants season when they looked poised to challenge for another Super Bowl. Burress received a two year jail sentence; Felton’s charges carried a maximum of seven years in prison. He should consider himself lucky to receive the sentence that he did.

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3 Knicks Make Decisions On Options For Next Season

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Written by Kenneth Teape

The New York Knicks had a busy Sunday, but had little control over what was going on. Three of their highest paid players, Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire had to make decisions about their player options. All three made the decisions many people expected them to make months ago.

Knicks Players Make Option Decisions

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Bargnani will opt in to his 2014-2015 contract with the Knicks, accepting the $11.5 million player option he had for the season. Stoudemire will do the same, accepting the $23.4 million player option he was owed. It is no surprise Bargnani and Stoudemire will be opting in, as they wouldn’t receive anywhere near that type of money on the open market.

As for Anthony, he did the opposite an opted out of his 2014-2015 player option with the Knicks, forgoing the $23.3 million he would have earned for the season. He will become an unrestricted free agent and is free to sign wherever he pleases.

Knicks President Phil Jackson had hoped he could convince Anthony to opt into the final year of his contract, but this is something Anthony seems to have planned to do for a while. Anthony can sign a max-contract of $129 million over five seasons with the Knicks. The only way he can get that with a new team is if said team and the Knicks execute a sign-and-trade. Otherwise, the most Anthony can get on the open market is $96 million over four years.

The next couple of weeks will be very important for the Knicks, as the near future of the franchise hangs in the balance with if they are able to convince Anthony to come back, and at what price.

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Why Melo Will Stay in New York


By Leon Jacobsen

Well right about now the majority of the Knicks fan base is going crazy not knowing what Carmelo Anthony is going to do. I for one believes he’s staying in NY, and the reasons he’s opting out is purely to secure his contract and to see what free agency is really all about.

Let’s look at Melo’s options if he did decide to leave the Knicks.9e1e501059b0a0c7e4227b3e8e70623c_crop_north

Houston Rockets – They are in a very tough Western Conference and while Melo would be joining forces with Harden & Howard there are no guarantees the Rockets would still get out of the West. The Spurs just destroyed the Heat with team basketball, and to be honest, I don’t see the Spurs just disappearing next season, or even in the next few seasons if the keep their core intact. The Rockets have Harden, Howard and Parsons, but they need the ball in their hands often, so if they add Melo to this group I see many problems occurring down the stretch with huge egos clashing. This will make it even harder to get out of the West for sure.

Dallas Mavericks – Again, like the Rockets, the Mavs in the Western Conference. The Mavericks have cap space but I think would be further away than the Rockets if Melo joined Houston. Dirk and Melo could be fun to watch, but I do not see this being an option at all for Melo.

Chicago Bulls – This team is well coached and Melo knows it, but the Bulls have an injured former MVP that has played around 10 games in the last 2 seasons. Melo joined the Knicks to join forces with Stoudemire, but Melo has seen 1st hand what injuries can do. Would Melo risk a similar move again? The Bulls run through walls for their coach Tom Thibodeau, but in saying that, Thibodeau is also known for playing shorter rotations and playing certain players a lot of minutes consistently. Does Melo want to play these extended minutes like he did last season with the Knicks? Continue reading

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Knicks Talk: Let Carmelo Anthony Walk If He Wants To Phil

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By Charles R. Trimble III

This whole Carmelo Anthony to the Heat, or whoever else, is a slap in the face of every Knick fan who has supported Anthony on the basis he wanted New York as much as we wanted him.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

First of all, it was Anthony himself who made it abundantly clear he wanted the New York stage, going so far as to openly discuss those desires while still a member of the Denver Nuggets. Now history seems to be repeating itself with Carmelo on the verge of opting out of the deal he signed upon becoming a Knick to possibly find a better suitor.

It seems almost comical that a perceived “alpha male” would look for the less arduous road to a championship, especially after waxing poetic on how much it meant to be a Knick and to follow in Bernard King’s shoes but apparently that’s the case as we see it.

Although it has become common place for today’s athlete to opt out of current deals, with the intention of re-signing for more money and guaranteed years, Anthony’s upcoming opt out seems more like a genuine threat that he could leave than about earning more dollars.

He already blundered by openly discussing the possibility of becoming a Free Agent when the focus should have been on the team, which in my opinion sabotaged the entire 2013-14 season before it even started due to the constant speculation. The team had absolutely no shot with its best player focused on his exit strategy rather than on how to topple the Heat and Pacers. You’d like to think that a focused Carmelo would have had a positive effect on his teammates, but he set a tone of selfishness unlike Lebron James, who refused to openly discuss anything not related to winning games.

So after enduring a season of speculation Knick fans now endure an off-season of the same with Bulls, Lakers, Rockets, and now Heat emerging as rumored options.

In the end if Carmelo can’t SEE Phil Jackson’s vision it makes absolutely no sense to pursue a guy who seems willing enough to leave as much as 30M dollars on the table.

New York is great place to be loved but it’s also the worst place to be despised and if the perception continues to grow that Carmelo would rather be elsewhere, the ardent thing for Phil to do is oblige those wishes and target talent that will buy into his vision.

New York City isn’t for everybody, so if Anthony now dreams of being a part of the “LeBron Train” I say let him leave because who wants to keep somebody that doesn’t want to be here. Last time I checked Phil had the championship pedigree, not Carmelo Anthony.

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Knicks Make Right Decision Tabbing Derek Fisher As New Head Coach

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Written by Kenneth Teape

Knicks Name Derek Fisher Head Coach

CBS Sports New York


The New York Knicks and Phil Jackson have finally gotten their guy, as Derek Fisher officially became head coach of the team Tuesday. Fisher, who played nine seasons with Jackson, winning five NBA titles in the process, will be the 26th head coach in the history of the franchise.

The Knicks did not wait long to land Fisher, who had not yet even officially announced his retirement before the Knicks began ramping up their pursuit of the 18-year veteran. The deal that Fisher and the Knicks agreed to is a five-year, $25 million pact. It is worth noting that Fisher, who earned over $63 million over his playing career, earned $5 million in a season only four out of the 18 years he played.

While many people will cite Fisher’s inexperience as a coach as a reason for this being a poor hire, Fisher, in reality, is the perfect fit for the direction this team is heading in. Jackson was adamant about finding a head coaching replacement that shared his philosophies and fit a very specific criterion, but he found it in Fisher.

People will poke holes in this kind of thinking, saying a person with experience can only succeed in New York and Jackson pigeonholed the search too much. But, this should be viewed as a positive thing. The fact Jackson is attempting to build some continuity and cohesion from the top down in the organization is a refreshing thing to see. Too often the Knicks have been a media circus, with the views of the people at the top of the organization not meshing the ones on the court. It caused fissures throughout the organization, leading to the out of control circus that has turned a once storied franchise into the butt of plenty of jokes and for the most part a laughing stock.

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Knicks Talk: Phil Jackson Taps Derek Fisher as His Man

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By Charles R. Trimble III

Derek Fisher was introduced today as the 27th head coach of the New York Knicks but unlike any previous coaches, Fisher will arrive less than two weeks after playing in his last NBA contest with absolutely no coaching experience.Derek Fisher-2

However, hiring coaches without experience seems to be the new trend in the league with Golden State twice tapping inexperienced coaches like Mark Jackson, and now Steve Kerr.  Although the strategy could be debated, it has had surprisingly good returns when you look at the successes of Doc Rivers in Orlando, Jason Kidd in Brooklyn and Mark Jackson with the Golden State Warriors.

But despite Fisher’s inexperience there was no other candidate who filled as many requirements as he did with his expansive knowledge of the triangle offense and long history with Jackson that included winning five NBA titles together in Los Angeles for the Lakers.

Fisher, not only has a blueprint for success but more importantly will have a unique arrangement where he can be guided and molded by arguably the greatest coach of all-time, Phil Jackson, who most definitely will have his fingerprints all over this team. At this point, Phil’s involvement will take loads of pressure off Fisher as he finds his coaching legs.

Although it took a contract worth 25M over 5yrs, it was imperative the Knicks got their man this time after losing out on Kerr who spurned the club to take the Golden State job. However, many believe the Kerr debacle was a blessing in disguise, because they believe his temperament and demeanor would not have worked in New York while Fisher’s tough hard nose style is more representative of what it takes to survive and thrive in New York City.

It also helps Fisher that his perceived friendly relationship with owner, Jim Dolan, who Fisher made a point to genuinely embrace once after a Knicks-Lakers game at MSG, seemed to support this hiring much more than the Kerr move.

So with a coach in place the real work will begin for Jackson. Can he convince Carmelo to opt in or at least take a pay cut? Can he build a proper coaching staff for his novice head coach? Can he eventually attract the best players to New York? So many questions, but at least the question of who would be next head coach has been answered.

Only time will tell if Coach Fisher can be the type of winner as a head coach as he was as a player. He sure looked like one during his introductory press conference.

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Knicks Talk: Going Back to London

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By Charles R. Trimble III

Obviously the uncertainty of Carmelo Anthony’s free agency status was no hindrance in tapping New York to represent the league after it was announced that the Knicks will be returning to the London O2 Arena, this time to face the Milwaukee Bucks on January 15th.

It was just two short seasons ago that the Knicks defeated the Detroit Pistons 102-87 in the O2 Arena, a game that was significant because it was an actual regular season contest and also marked the return of SG, Iman Shumpert from his ACL tear injury.

In that contest, Carmelo Anthony, who had captured a Gold medal playing in that same O2 Arena during the 2012 Olympics Games, electrified the crowd with a 26pt performance after ending a two-week fast.

Although New York was a non-playoff team this past season, they still remain extremely popular abroad evident by the number of times they have represented the league internationally. Below we take a quick look at their history:

10/11/90, Knicks 119 Scavolini Pesaro 115 (OT), Barcelona, Spain

A three-pointer with 30 seconds left by Gerald Wilkins forced overtime where the Knicks led by Patrick Ewing’s 34pts, 17rebs and 8 blocks led to victory.

10/13/90, Knicks 117 Pop 84 Split 101, Barcelona, Spain

In front of the largest crowd to ever attend a basketball game in Spain, the Knicks led by McDonald’s MVP Patrick Ewing, defeated the European champions who featured a young phenom named Toni Kukoc.

10/24/93, Knicks 103 Houston Rockets 93, Mexico City, Mexico

Ironically this matchup was a precursor to that season’s NBA Finals but unlike the Finals the Knicks prevailed in this battle.

10/3/10, Knicks 125 Armani Jeans Milano 113, Milan, Italy

With Italian native Danilo Gallinari playing host, the new-look Knicks led by Amare’ Stoudemire in his Knicks’ debut dazzles the raucous Italian crowd with 32pts.

10/6/10, Minnesota Timberwolves 106 Knicks 100, Paris, France

New York suffers their first international loss as the Timberwolves “playoff” like intensity overwhelms Stoudemire and his Knicks teammates.

1/17/13, Knicks 102 Detroit 87, London, England 

Even on another continent the struggling Pistons were no match for this playoff bound Knick team.

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Iman Shumpert Releases New Rap Video

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While the New York Knicks have been out of action for over a month now, one player has made headlines recently. Iman Shumpert has gotten his name back in the news not for something he has done on the court, but for his passion that he has off of it; rapping.

The Knicks shooting guard released a new song titled, “Chiraq Freestyle” in which Shumpert works on perfecting his craft off the court over the beat from Lil’ Durk’s “Chiraq” beat.

Warning: This video is NSFW. It contains language and adult content. Viewer discretion advised.

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Tim Hardaway Jr. Named to NBA All-Rookie First Team

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By Kenneth Teape

On Thursday, the NBA released their All-Rookie teams. For the third time in four seasons, the New York Knicks had a player named to them. This time it was Tim Hardaway Jr., who follows Landry Fields in 2011 and Iman Shumpert in 2012. He was one of the sole bright spots in a poor season for the Knicks.

Hardaway Jr. had a solid rookie campaign for the Knicks, averaging 10.2 points per game as he provided surprising production off the bench. He scored in double-figures 40 times, even though he started only one of the 81 games he appeared in all season. He also shot the ball surprisingly well from the perimeter, knocking down three-pointers at a 36.3 percent clip. Coming out of Michigan, Hardaway Jr. was seen as sort of a streaky shooter, but he provided the Knicks with consistent contributions once he was given consistent playing time. He also shot 42.8 percent overall from the field, and 82.8 from the foul line. He was fourth amongst rookies in scoring and three-point percentage, and finished second in foul shot percentage.

Tim Hardaway Jr. Named to All-NBA Rookie Team

Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Hardaway Jr. was a steal for the Knicks in the 2013 draft. He was selected with the 24th pick, after players such as Lucas Nogueira, Solomon Hill, Shabazz Muhammad and Sergey Karasev.

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Knicks Will Look to Trade Raymond Felton This Offseason

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By Kenneth Teape

With the Knicks continuing their coaching search after Steve Kerr spurned them for the Golden State Warriors, news broke that President Phil Jackson already has plans to shape his roster, without a coach yet being in place.

Earlier this week it was said that the Knicks would try and trade Raymond Felton this offseason. That is not surprising with Felton’s play falling off last season and them being close to trading him this past season at the trade deadline. What is surprising, is that Jackson essentially told him his chances were slim at best that he would be a Knick next season.

Knicks Looking to Trade Raymond Felton

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Moving Felton will not be the easiest task for Jackson and the Knicks, as he has two seasons remaining on his four-year, $15 million contract he signed prior to the 2012 campaign. The final year of the contract is a player option, and it is hard to imagine him passing that up.

Last season Felton struggled mightily, never getting into a groove as he battled injuries throughout the season. When he was on the court, he provided uneven play and falling well short of what he gave the Knicks in the 2012-2013 season.

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Knicks Talk: Will Brian Shaw Be the Next Knicks Coach?

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By Charles R. Trimble III

Earlier this afternoon, Stephen A. Smith broke the news that current Denver Nuggets coach Brian Shaw, was in negotiations to terminate his contract with the speculation being he would then sign a deal with his mentor, Phil Jackson, to coach the New York Knicks. True or not?04251_brian-shaw_600

Shaw, who had a tough first season as head coach of the Nuggets for a number of reasons, has been a favorite of Jackson for quite some time now. It was Jackson who originally recommended that Shaw replace him as Lakers coach when he retired, who was strongly backed by Kobe Bryant, definitely fits the mold as a “Phil Guy”, and more importantly a “Triangle Guy”. Something fan favorites Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy cannot claim to be, but seems to be a determining factor in who Phil hires.

But Shaw who was never really considered before because of his contract with Denver now emerges as the new top choice and probably a better overall candidate than Kerr, due to his natural leadership ability as a player and assistant coach in addition to his head coaching experience.

Obviously both sides will remain mum on the current situation until agreements can be reached, but it all makes too much sense to be ignored.

Although Derek Fisher’s name is now being mentioned as the possible Knick coach, he has repeatedly informed those close to him that his goal is to run a NBA franchise not coach one. So the speculation about him as Knicks’ coach is misguided but the possibility of Brain Shaw as next Knick coach has become very real.


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Knicks @ Nite Passionate Show on the Kerr Drama 5/15/14

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Listen to internet radio with The Knicks at Nite Show on BlogTalkRadio
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Knicks Talk: Zen Master Spurned!!!

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By Charles R. Trimble III

In a surprising move Steve Kerr decided that Golden State was a more desirable destination than the New York Knicks, spurning his mentor and former coach, Phil Jackson, who had tapped Kerr as his top choice.1671481-slide-slide-2-the-amazing-ny-knicks-logo-that-should-have-been_1

Now losing out on Kerr to some Knick fans doesn’t seem like a huge deal. Many clamor for Jeff Van Gundy or Mark Jackson to be the next Knicks’ coach anyway, but what people are failing to realize is that the allure of Jackson with, his “Zen” like aura, that many foolishly believed would hold some sort of power of persuasion over others. What does it say about Jackson or his perceived Zen Master abilities when his 1st major target spurned his offer?

It says unlike Pat Riley, Phil will need to do more than just throw his championship rings on the table to attract talent to New York. It’s also an indication that folks around the league might truly believe MSG is a toxic environment festered with paranoia, mistrust, and a meddling owner.

Basically Kerr’s rejection of the Knicks should be extremely worrisome to Knick fans moving forward because it’s clear that Phil’s arrival hasn’t changed the perception of the organization at all. Until Phil can show he’s more than a figurehead and actually make moves that won’t break the bank, or find a gem among the coaching field and player pool, he might be viewed as just another high paid Dolan employee happy to cash his big fat check.

As I step off the ledge back to the rest of the world, I realize this all could be as simple as Kerr having a stronger preference to remain on the west coast, and have absolutely nothing to do with the Knicks’ organization. But regardless Phil’s aura most definitely took a hit with his failure to reel in his guy.

So where does Phil turn to now? With his ego sure to be bruised it’s extremely important he get his next targeted guy regardless of whether that guy is Tyrone Lue, Derek Fisher, Bill Cartwright, Ron Harper, Kurt Rambis, or dear I say Phil Jackson himself?

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Knicks Talk: Could Kerr Spurn Phil?

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By Charles R. Trimble III

When it was first rumored that TNT broadcaster Steve Kerr was Phil Jackson’s first and only choice to be the next Knicks head coach who would have thought that the Warriors and Lakers had similar intentions?url

But that’s exactly where we sit after the resignation of Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, and the surprising although expected dismissal of Warriors coach Mark Jackson. Steve Kerr, with no previous head coaching experience, according to sources has somehow become the candidate of choice for all three high profile jobs.

Kerr, who seemed to be on the verge of finalizing a deal with the Knicks after meeting with Jackson, now has sent out messages that he might have interest in the Golden State job; a job that could allow him to stay on his preferred Left coast, inherit a playoff ready roster, and more importantly, avoid the stress and scrutiny of New York City.

This is where the stature of Phil Jackson has to come in. More than anything Jackson was brought to New York to attract big names with his mere presence and basketball acumen, but if his first target, a perceived protégé in Steve Kerr spurns him, then that becomes a major setback and a dent in the pristine armor of the great Phil, something he fiercely wants to protect.

Never before has an inexperienced candidate have his pick of the litter quite like Kerr currently does. Will he go for the “comfort” of working under Phil Jackson or the opportunity to grow without the specter of a hall-of-fame giant over his shoulder? Only Kerr can answer these questions in which will grow with each passing day as speculation builds.

At this point Knicks fans have already lost out on the playoffs, so losing out on the President of Basketball Operation’s top choice will only add insult to injury. It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out especially if Kerr declines. Will Jackson turn to Derek Fisher? Ron Harper? Bill Cartwright? Only time will tell.

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ESPN Insiders Thoughts on Who Should Coach the Knicks

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Which available coach would be the best fit for the Knicks?

Adande: Since Phil Jackson has established that he wants someone who shares his outlook on basketball, Steve Kerr makes sense. So would Jim Cleamons, Jackson’s former assistant with the Bulls and Lakers who’s currently on Larry Drew’s staff in Milwaukee. Jackson wanted Brian Shaw to succeed him in Los Angeles, but it would be too messy to try to pull him out of Denver after his first season with the Nuggets.

Elhassan: Steve Kerr. Phil Jackson reiterated Wednesday that the triangle would be coming to the Big Apple, so that eliminates a lot of hopeful candidates with no experience. Kerr has intimate knowledge of the triangle from his time in Chicago, but more importantly, he shares Jackson’s ability to communicate and connect with people — and motivate them — from diverse backgrounds.

Shelburne: The Knicks are locked in on Steve Kerr, and I can see why. Don’t let Phil Jackson’s talk of not being able to coach anymore fool you; he’s going to be very hands on. From what I hear, Jackson is planning to be at training camp, “supervising,” from the jump. He needs a young coach who understands him and his ways. If Kerr passes, I’d love to see Luke Walton in that role. He has the perfect temperament to handle such a bold move, and he’s basically Jackson’s basketball son.

Stein: I don’t subscribe to the “Duh, it’s Phil” theory because I don’t think his heart is in coaching anymore. So the Knicks wouldn’t be getting that Phil. I like the Steve Kerr concept. I think he’s secure enough in himself to handle the Gotham media cauldron and he has the close relationship with Jackson that’s going to be a must here. Can’t see Jackson hiring someone he doesn’t know well. Plus I’d love to see if Mentor Phil and Student Steve can come anywhere close to replicating the Pat Riley/Erik Spoelstra dynamic. Different circumstances, but a fun experiment to cover.

Windhorst: I’ve talked to Kerr about his basketball philosophies. He believes in playing through the big men with a more traditional inside-out offensive system like the triangle. Remember, he did trade for Shaq as the GM in Phoenix. I do believe he would be a good match to work with Jackson because of their history together and the way they see the game. Also, because Jackson has little executive experience but lots of coaching experience and Kerr has little coaching experience and lots of executive experience, this would be a nice fit. Kerr is also smart enough to rebuff the Knicks for a while; everyone in the league knows the more you say no to them the more zeros get added to the offer.

Knickswag Notes:

I believe Kerr is the right fit if and only if the Knicks decide to run the triangle. Kerr is smart that is understood, but most importantly if the triangle is run right those 15 losses the Knicks had by 5 points or less this year would be a different outcome. I say that because the rotation and the in-game management would be a complete different story under Kerr and the triangle. Players must commit to the triangle unlike their lack of commitment this year under Woodson’s flawed system. Having 5 players on the court that are willing to pass and understand ball movement is the key to a successful team in the 14/15 season.

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How Phil Jackson Can Make the Knicks Playoff Contenders

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By Sean Aquino

Phil Jackson understands like many fair minded Knick fans that the organization is not far away from being legitimate contenders as soon as 2015. Phil’s first job is convincing Carmelo Anthony to take less than the max to bring in another superstar in the summer of 2015.  Yesterday’s quotes prove just that.  Jackson said the Knicks will be fine with or without Anthony, and he’s only looking towards the future.  Phil wants Melo to keep his word about taking less to build a contender. Brilliant chess move.  Jackson knows Melo insisting on a max deal would cripple the Knicks chances of adding another superstar caliber player to the Knicks roster.  Tommy Beer writes ( a max deal would be 5 years, 129 million dollars with Anthony making 25.825 million dollars for 2015-16. Continue reading

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Knicks Season Recap with Andrew Sutton

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By Andrew Sutton

What a season it has been for the New York Knicks. From the Larry O’Brien trophy aspirations to guarantees of protests at The Garden, which were silenced by the reemergence of the ‘Zen Master’ himself. The New York Knicks made more headlines with a pitiful losing imagesrecord than playoff contending teams, headlines of which weren’t always so pretty, but, they say there is no such thing as bad publicity. If bad publicity attracts attention, and attention turns to profit, James Dolan is in your corner. The ringmaster of the Midtown Circus called the Knicks has finally turned the reigns over to someone who knows the actual sport. This certain someone has more championship rings than fingers, something Dolan perceivably envies as he practices his GM skills on the latest edition of NBA 2K.

The dark days nearly made a reappearance as the team plummeted in the standings, although being reassured by Coach Mike Woodson that ‘everything’s going to be ok.’ This Woodson character is the exact person who was praised after posting a 54 win season, of which I am guilty of as well. What are us Knicks fans supposed to do? Teasing a loyal follower of the team with a two-seed playoff spot a season before the term ‘Knicks’ would become a hushed word in public, as you would be embarrassed to admit to such loyalty. After bragging so much the previous season, this is pure cruelty. What is worse is that while the ship was sinking, Captain Woodson kept telling his passengers that sunny days were ahead and the turbulent waters were behind.

While this ship was near the bottom of the power rankings, superstar Carmelo Anthony was having a career year, only to be surrounded by turmoil. The offseason brought Andrea Bargnani for a couple of bench warmers and…you guessed it…a first round pick. Wishful thinking hopes this will be the last first rounder tossed out like candy. Candy that Dolan has been throwing as if he were the main star at a parade. “A first round pick for you! A first round pick for you!” Bargnani ended the season on what couldn’t have been a better note with sarcasm: a dunk attempt that came a few feet short, tearing a ligament in his elbow.

The offseason also brought pieces such as Beno Udrih and Metta World Peace, both who if used correctly, can propel a team dramatically forward. Were they used correctly? Of course not. After competing at such a high level playing small-ball with two point guards, Coach Woodson played half the season with Anthony, Bargnani and Tyson Chandler in the starting lineup. This huge lineup caused spacing problems, which was one reason the hole was dug so deep in the standings.

The ninth seed in the playoffs was clinched for New York, disgraceful after last season’s second place finish. At one point the team plays as a whole, toppling championship contending teams, and the next they lose to those on the bottom half in the standings. Inconsistency is a word that fits the Knicks entirely.

What’s the final blow to the gut for fans? The fact that this inconsistency never translated into lower ticket prices. Fans can either pay an arm and a leg to watch the ever-so-bad Knicks play an atrocious team, or watch the game in the comforts of their home on the MSG Network for free.

Speaking for everyone, I expected there to be more than 37 wins. ESPN nailed their projection on the head, calling the win tally before the season had even started. With salary cap problems for yet another year and Anthony’s lingering free agency, Jackson has some major obstacles ahead of him. Do I buy into his role? Yes. What else can one do, as the franchise was negatively controlled by the same demonic monster for years? The moves that Jackson has in store will be interesting to watch, as Phil attempts to lead his former team into the promise land to one day hold up the Larry O’Brien championship.

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Knicks Fire Mike Woodson and His Assistants

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By Kenneth Teape 

On Monday, the New York Knicks announced that they have fired head coach Mike Woodson, ending his 26-month run leading the team. President Phil Jackson did not stop there, as the entire coaching staff was relieved of their duties, as Jackson looks intent on cleaning house and overhauling the whole thing.

Knicks Fire Mike Woodson

Howard Simmons – New York Daily News

The firing of the whole staff is something that could be looked at as a positive. It is a sign that James Dolan is not meddling in the decision making yet, as Herb Williams is even being relieved of his duties this time around. Williams was the longest tenured coach on staff, and had the longest tenure of any assistant on the bench in Knicks history. He was able to stick around through the tenures of six different coaches, a clear sign that he was a Dolan guy, as assistant coaches change in the NBA pretty regularly. It may not be looked at as a big deal by some, but it is definitely a move that will raise the eyebrows of some and should be looked at as a positive, as Jackson, for now, looks to have the full autonomy Dolan promised.

Now onto Woodson…

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