Knicks Morning News (2017.05.22)

  • [NY Newsday] Josh Longstaff, assistant close to Kristaps Porzingis, let go by Knicks, official says
    (Sunday, May 21, 2017 10:45:31 PM)

    The Knicks coach with whom Kristaps Porzingis was closest will not be back next season.

  • [NYPost] Knicks fire Porzingis-friendly assistant to make way for Prigioni
    (Sunday, May 21, 2017 5:47:56 PM)

    Knicks assistant coach Josh Longstaff won’t be heading to Latvia this summer. Longstaff, whose contract had expired, has been let go, according to a team source. Coincidently or not, Longstaff was dispatched to Latvia last summer to work with Kristaps Porzingis, who recently has been at odds with team brass. Janis Porzingis, at his brother’s…

  • [NYTimes] Celtics 111, Cavaliers 108 | Cleveland Leads Series, 2-1: Celtics Rally to Send Cavaliers to First Loss of the Postseason
    (Monday, May 22, 2017 4:04:14 AM)

    Boston trailed by 21 in the third quarter and won on Avery Bradley’s 3-pointer with less than a second to go. The Celtics held LeBron James to 11 points.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: Democracy, It Turns Out, Suits the Warriors Just Fine
    (Sunday, May 21, 2017 1:52:05 PM)

    All the new pieces have fit nicely, and now Golden State is on the verge of sweeping the Spurs and roaring into the N.B.A. finals.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks part ways with assistant coach Longstaff
    (Sunday, May 21, 2017 8:05:00 PM)

    The New York Knicks parted ways with assistant coach Josh Longstaff, who was reportedly considered Kristaps Porzingis’ favorite assistant coach.

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis’ brother meets with Phil Jackson
    (Sunday, May 21, 2017 11:06:04 AM)

    A recent meeting between Kristaps Porzingis’ brother, Janis, and Knicks president Phil Jackson did not end very well, according to the New York Daily News.

  • [NYDN] Knicks make matters with Porzingis worse by firing assistant
    (Sunday, May 21, 2017 9:32:42 PM)

    Phil Jackson sent Kristaps Porzingis the basketball equivalent of a Sicilian message.

  • [NYDN] Knicks cut ties with assistant Josh Longstaff
    (Sunday, May 21, 2017 9:30:51 PM)

    As their relationship with Kristaps Porzingis sits on rocky terrain, the Knicks made a curious decision.

  • [ESPN] Knicks will not renew contract of Josh Longstaff, Kristaps Porzingis’ favorite assistant coach
    (Sunday, May 21, 2017 8:50:56 PM)

    Knicks will not renew contract of Josh Longstaff, Kristaps Porzingis’ favorite assistant coach

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    Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

    84 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2017.05.22)”

    1. I don’t understand. Why dump a coach who has been largely credited with the development of the youngins as well as having great rapport with the youth on the roster? I’m all for Prigs coming on as an assistant coach, but I feel like Eisley, Gaines, or Rambis are more expendable than Longstaff. If Phil is gonna force guys onto the staff, I am far more comfortable having Prigs forced on Hornaceck than Rambis. Hornacek has absolutely no voice. As much hope as I have for him, the team’s better off letting Hornacek go in favor of a coach not named Rambis who is more in tune with Phil’s philosophy. I prefer Phil to give Hornacek the autonomy he deserves as HC, but if Phil’s gonna do what he’s doing- Hornacek’s gotta go. For his own sake. If it wasn’t for the off court scandal, I’d much rather still have Fisher as HC

    2. I won’t pass personal judgment on the Longstaff thing until the details come out, but it sure does feel like an awkward / ill-conceived power play by Phil.

      I wonder why we can’t just be a normal franchise and just value relationships with players.

      It’s really just so disheartening. It almost feels like Phil’s not just trying to break KP, he’s trying to break all Knicks fans.

    3. I try not to second guess personnel decisions, even though it’s very tempting, because it’s very hard to know all the details. There are all sorts of possibilities. For example, maybe the Knicks didn’t think Porzingis made the progress he should have last year. Or Longstaff wants to be free to go somewhere else. Or Longstaff has been doing badly in some way as a coach, KP knows that and is trying to protect him. Who knows. I do agree that Rambis should go, but that’s a separate issue to this.

      You can come up with all the rationalizations you want, but at the end of the day this is yet another example of the kind of thing you don’t hear about from functional teams. An assistant coach’s job is essentially to be liked and trusted by the players. Not only was that true of Longstaff, but it seems like he was the only coach it was true of on the entire staff.

      Honestly, if KP does in fact make the leap we’re all hoping for I really wouldn’t be surprised if he takes the qualifying offer (if he doesn’t make the leap he’ll milk us for every penny on an undeserved max contract, as he should). It’s rare and I’d still bet against it, but he seems truly miserable and Jackson is doing nothing to alleviate that. In fact, Jackson appears to be openly antagonizing him for what I can only guess are triangular reasons us normies could never comprehend.

    4. KP’s decision of whether to take the qualifying offer happens to coincide with whoever takes the reins of the team after Phil’s 5 years (feels like 50!) are up. If I was KP, I’d probably wait for my power play until then, unless he actually thinks he has a chance of getting Phil fired.

      I truly hope that KP is not trying to get traded. That would be so disappointing on so many levels.

    5. Bliss is still on the staff and he’s the other coach credited with player development. The Knicks were rumored to be interested in adding Pablo to the staff last week, meaning they’d need to make space, so Longstaff’s non-renewal may just be a result of that.

      I’d also bet that Longstaff not being renewed was a decision they knew and was communicated around the end of the season. The timing of this isn’t great, but I think it’s likely this was one of the original sticking points for KP’s camp’s issues with the FO rather than something that just came up now

    6. I’d also bet that Longstaff not being renewed was a decision they knew and was communicated around the end of the season. The timing of this isn’t great, but I think it’s likely this was one of the original sticking points for KP’s camp’s issues with the FO rather than something that just came up now

      might be the case, but why would they send him to Latvia then? I think I read something about how Longstaff was going to go to Latvia this offseason to help monitor/train KP.

      So Isaiah Thomas is the latest in the long line of players with hip labral tears, which has been connected in the past to PEDs… hmmm.

    7. Phil is a bumbling idiot… but this KP on a pedestal drama is ridiculous… I dunno what kind of hand this kid thinks he has… he’s putting himself in a strange position… I was never ready to give up on him but he did have an abundance of mediocre performances this year… I, like many of you, started tempering the expectations… Things are slowly spiraling right now… and we still don’t know have a clue what kind of player KP is really going to be… and to reiterate, Phil is a bumbling idiot…

    8. might be the case, but why would they send him to Latvia then? I think I read something about how Longstaff was going to go to Latvia this offseason to help monitor/train KP.

      KP’s camp requested Longstaff be dispatched. That wasn’t an organizational decision they made.

    9. Without all the details, it’s hard to tell what’s going on. But it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense from the outside. The only thing I can think is that Phil thinks Prigioni will do a better job in the same role (assuming Prigioni actually comes to NY).

    10. Phil is a bumbling idiot… but this KP on a pedestal drama is ridiculous… I dunno what kind of hand this kid thinks he has… he’s putting himself in a strange position… I was never ready to give up on him but he did have an abundance of mediocre performances this year… I, like many of you, started tempering the expectations…

      I still have high hopes, but they are “hopes”. This kid has a very exaggerated view of his game and accomplishments at this point. He may turn into an elite scorer and match up nightmare, but he might also turn into a slightly better version of Bargnani who can’t rebound well and is constantly breaking down.

    11. It’s odd because he has this down-to-earth feel because his “handlers” are his family… but then there’s the fact that he even has “handlers” and at this point the team can only communicate through them… wtf

    12. He doesn’t have an exaggerated view of shit. He’s a worker with more leverage than the average worker, and he’s using it to try to influence the organization’s direction, which is well within his rights, especially given the absolute dumpster fire that this franchise is. KP understands far better than we do that the NYK are a *business* and one that very much values his services. So why not throw ones weight around, like, idk, every individual and union entity in every other industry does with their employer? Standards of behavior are different in other industries, but the principle is the same. Also, it’s pretty naive to think that player and management interests comfortably align–they don’t, because that’s not the way wage labor works.

      I don’t know how anyone sides with management at all on this score–phil jacksons been bad in terms of w-l and is incredibly unprofessional as the supposed leader of this basketball organization. He should’ve been fired months ago, and the only reason I’m happy he hasn’t is because Zeke or Houston is probably waiting in the wings. I’m not even kidding, id rather have KPs brothers running this team than Phil.

    13. I guess i just don’t know what it is that KP wants right now – that’s what makes having an opinion about this so difficult. These are the things I can sort of imagine him being mad about:

      1) Is he mad about the way Melo is being treated, and that trading Melo means basically rebuilding (again)?
      – if this is it, then ultimately he just needs to get over it. Yes it’s been really ugly, but if Phil really thinks that Melo moving on is best for the medium-long term (and we would all agree with that!), then it’s at least defensible that Phil does whatever he needs to do to make that happen.

      2) Is he mad about the Triangle emphasis?
      – that would be weird since he was quoted saying he liked the triangle, and that he was tired of all the “mixed messages”. there are no mixed messages now. We’re playing the triangle.

      3) Is he mad about Phil’s mind games?
      – hard to know. we’re not privy to any mind games being played.

      4) Is he mad about the way he’s being used ie. discouraging him from shooting 3’s and handling the ball, and asking him to emphasize post play?
      – this would be a little weird since he did, as lavor mentioned a couple days ago, shoot a fair amount of 3’s last year, and he undoubtedly needs to work on the “Triangle” aspects of his game like moving without the ball, post play, and passing.

      5) Is he mad about the coaching staff moves (or lack thereof)?
      – I assume he hates Rambis because everyone hates Rambis. And maybe this Longstaff thing is the point of contention? It’s a little weird it took this long for that to come out then, since this beef with Phil has been for a month now.

      6) Or does he just not trust Phil/Mills to do what’s best?
      – that makes the most sense logically, and so he’s trying to keep this conflict going to make Dolan fire Phil. Trouble is, if Dolan was going to do that, he would’ve just declined the option. we can always hope, but that’s not going to happen.

    14. If anything, it’s refreshing to see that Porzingis gives enough of a shit about the organization that he’s willing to go out of his way to try and change its ultra-toxic nature. He could easily nod along in the exit meetings, focus on his own play, and collect his max contract when the time comes. He’s the first person to pass through the organization in a long time that actually seems to want it to make the necessary, overdue fixes.

      Or maybe he just wants to be traded, in which case, well, still can’t blame him.

    15. What Porzingis is doing is refreshing? It’s annoying and beneath him. It’s disturbing and counterproductive. It’s also ridiculous for a kid that is hurt so much and needs to improve as much as he does. It’s sickening, not refreshing.

    16. Do we really know what is KP’s opinion about Knick’s management?

      As far as we know, he loves Melo and think he’s still an elite player.

      I don’t want to trade KP, but he is sounding like a spoiled millennial kid that think he knows better than everybody else, IMO.

    17. My guess based on the limited info we have is that KP is unhappy with the coaching situation (you basically have 3 coaches from different coaching trees on the staff in hornacek, Rambis, and Longstaff), Phil’s conduct and communication (or lack thereof) with the team generally, the way he’s treating Melo, and, most importantly, that they’re losing in a very ugly and public kind of way.

      I think KP is mad about the way Melo is treated not just because he’s a friend but because this is the way our organization treats players instead of actually sitting down or negotiating with them like adults. KP knows that he could be next who’s Marburyd or Melo’d if things go south. He’s trying to nip that in the bud now when he’s young and has the entire league’s good will behind him.

      And again, losing: KP came from a super dysfunctional program in Sevilla, expressly told the 76ers not to draft him bc of The Process, and said he’d take the QO if he got traded to another team. It’s beyond clear that KP is very competitive and values winning quite a bit, so when you’re losing even worse *after* making a win now move in trading for Rose/signing C Lee and Noah that’s got to infuriating. And even more so when you see Phil sniping from the wings and from Twitter rather than actually engaging you in anything more deep than a triangle workshop once every few months when the season starts going south. It’s pretty clear what he’s most mad about, imo.

    18. As much as I loved KP – he seemed like such a breath of fresh air – hard working, A good, potentially great player, grounded … not going to the exit meeting was childish. He was not given good advice. I would have told my kid to just go, listen, work hard, and if the crap with the team continued, just leave when he’s a free agent. The way he and his family handled this scares me and makes me want to trade him to Sacto for the 5th and 10th, take Fox, Collins and Frank, and move forward.

    19. Let’s put it another way for the people not getting it: think about how livid Phil Jackson and Kurt Rambis make you (if they don’t, you’ve got a bad opinion) just from their limited tv and media presence. Now imagine having to work with them.

      If I played for the Knicks, I’d do anything and everything in my power to get them removed

    20. I think KP is mad about the way Melo is treated not just because he’s a friend but because this is the way our organization treats players instead of actually sitting down or negotiating with them like adults.

      So his solution to this problem is miss a team meeting and not aswer his coach’s text messages like an adult?

      I’m sorry, but KP is very immature. I think he genuinely wants the Knicks to be good, but he doesn’t have a clue from where it should start.

    21. I think KP is mad about the way Melo is treated not just because he’s a friend but because this is the way our organization treats players instead of actually sitting down or negotiating with them like adults. KP knows that he could be next who’s Marburyd or Melo’d if things go south. He’s trying to nip that in the bud now when he’s young and has the entire league’s good will behind him.

      Just to focus on Melo, not Marbury: What exactly has Phil done to Melo besides tell the truth? He said that Melo would have a better shot at a ring somewhere else. Aside from a few teams like Sacto and Brooklyn, that’s 100% true.

      And I’d like to reiterate that Melo just completely sucks. It’s not the Triangle, New York or LaLa: he’s just not good at basketball.

      Should Phil have understood that before signing him? Yes! But he signed him, and Melo’s doing a crappy job, especially considering his pay scale, so honestly I think Phil is being pretty nice considering.

      And I’m not a Jackson apologist. I think he’s been a pretty terrible GM outside of his decent drafting.

    22. I’m sorry, but KP is very immature. I think he genuinely wants the Knicks to be good, but he doesn’t have a clue from where it should start.

      This is true. He’s only 21. Management just has to do its job (correctly) and keep working and communicating with him. Once Melo is gone and if the system is fully incorporated, KP will hopefully see the improvement he wants…

      But these ARE the Knicks we’re talking about.

    23. If we’re looking for a devil other than Dolan my choice is Mr. Anthony. How hard is it to imagine he’d be inside KP’s head and against Phil?

    24. Who does KP think he is? Being 7’3″, still only 21, with good handles for your size, a soft shooting touch, and athleticism DOES NOT MAKE YOU SPECIAL. And it’s not like management isn’t doing their job.

      Oh wait.

    25. Just to focus on Melo, not Marbury: What exactly has Phil done to Melo besides tell the truth? He said that Melo would have a better shot at a ring somewhere else. Aside from a few teams like Sacto and Brooklyn, that’s 100% true.

      My issue with Phil is not so much him telling Melo that he’s a ball-stopper and that he doesn’t have a chance to win in NY — it’s that he has literally zero self-awareness –> this from a guy who preaches mindfulness. He’s a total fraud. He’s done a terrible job, and when called on it, talks about “do you have 11 rings?”, as if that really has anything to do with being a good GM/president. He tells the press “we’re really quite good at what we do”, which is a ridiculous thing to say when you are 80-166 in the 3 years since you got to NY, and the talent base is worse than when you got here. It’d be one thing if he were truly building a culture, or even really trying to tank, but he’s not even doing that. The talent is worse, and if possible, the culture has actually gone downhill from the “let’s give an NBA roster spot to Chris Smith because Dolan likes to play golf with JR”. And then to attack the player that he gave a no-trade clause to?

      That’s the issue. Not that Phil’s lying when it comes to Melo’s weaknesses. It’s that he blames everyone else but himself and alienates everyone not named Kurt Rambis.

    26. He doesn’t have an exaggerated view of shit. He’s a worker with more leverage than the average worker, and he’s using it to try to influence the organization’s direction, which is well within his rights, especially given the absolute dumpster fire that this franchise is.

      Workers, unions etc… do try to exercise power over organizations, but they are usually don’t try it unless they are in a position to hurt the organization badly if management doesn’t come to the table. This kid is arguably an average player based on his production when he actually plays, but he can’t even play 75 games because he breaks down.

      If KP threatened the Knicks, I would start laughing hysterically. The Knicks could easily move him and get back draft picks and pieces that many here would argue would improve our position.
      He’s allowed to express an opinion, but he’s acting like he’s some untouchable superstar that could and should be handled like one.

      Now if Towns did that to Minny, I’d call him into the office and start appeasing. We already know he’s a superstar in the making and it’s hard to imagine a deal I’d like better than having him.

    27. Sure, he’s been average, productivity wise. But it’s clear the all the front offices in the league and the media view him as a franchise centerpiece, rightfully or wrongly. It’s not his actual productivity that gives him power and leverage–it’s his perceived productivity coupled with the rather large amount of business he brings with him in the form of tickets and jerseys. He’s not getting traded for anything but a godfather offer and he knows it. And it seems like he knows that no one likes Phil, so he’s willing to put himself out there because it won’t tarnish his image too badly in the face of what is in fact the most dysfunctional franchise in all of professional sports

      I could also see Dolan vetoing KP trades, tbqh.

    28. “The way he and his family handled this scares me and makes me want to trade him to Sacto for the 5th and 10th, take Fox, Collins and Frank, and move forward.”

      I think they might throw in WCS in that trade too.

    29. Getting back to the draft, I think this is really a 4 guard draft with Fultz, Ball, Fox and to a slightly lesser extent Smith. If those guys are gone, I think we have to go big, either with Isaac or Collins. So nightmare scenario is:

      Fultz
      Ball
      Jackson
      Fox
      Isaac
      Smith

      All off the board and then we miss out on Collins. Then we’re picking between combo guards Monk and Ntilinika or soft forwards Tatum and Markkanen. I’m really hoping that either or both of Tatum/Monk are drafted before us, though, meaning Collins, Smith or Isaac will drop to us.

    30. @ 30 – but if every team in the league would trade for him doesn’t that lower his leverage? I mean, sure the Knicks would take a huge hit publicly if they traded him but they all ready get based in the media. If Phil wants to clean house and KP has been poisoned by Melo, then why not trade him if it gets a lot of picks back? Its not like he has a NTC and there are plenty of crappy teams with oodles of picks that would do a trade for him. He says he wouldn’t resign anywhere now but that’s what, 3 years away or 2?

    31. Sure, he’s been average, productivity wise. But it’s clear the all the front offices in the league and the media view him as a franchise centerpiece, rightfully or wrongly. It’s not his actual productivity that gives him power and leverage–it’s his perceived productivity coupled with the rather large amount of business he brings with him in the form of tickets and jerseys. He’s not getting traded for anything but a godfather offer and he knows it.

      Yes, he has POTENTIAL. That’s why if we got on the phone to Boston this afternoon we could have a deal in place to get the #1 pick this year and another good pick next year by 5:00 PM. If we negotiated with other teams we’d be able to get an even better package of picks and players than that. Exactly what kind of leverage does he have when we might be able to get back more for him right now than he is actually worth.

      No one wants or expects that to happen, but this kid is WAY MORE hype right now than actual production. He believes his own press clippings.

      He should not have blown off the exit meeting. He should have used it as an opportunity to express his frustrations to management. After making that initial error due to immaturity, when Horacek texted him he should have responded and then moved forward. Now that he blew that one also, well, that’s why people are starting to vent about his immaturity.

    32. If the Knicks don’t start acquiring and retaining above average get NBA players it won’t matter much who the assistant coaches are. Let’s face it, it’s a poorly run organization and it starts at the top and flows down from there. I’m willing to see if Phil can change the direction but the confidence level is pretty low. It appears the team will suck for the foreseeable future unless they begin making some uncharacteristicly smart moves pronto. We the fans don’t know the details of the KP rift, but it is a bad look all the way around.

    33. You know what? If I was KP, and perceived as the future franchise player, and my organization was shit from head to toe, I’d do everything I could to change that, including publicly blowing off what would probably be a bullshit meeting with the asshole that made my life hell and is probably ruining all my chances of success. Fuck him. And honestly, there’s nothing primadonna about it.

      The truth is, if all of this turns on the heat and attention on Phil and his dick moves, I’m all for it.

    34. @ 37 – that’s ridiculous. So they lost some games this year. You know who else lost games this year? Half of the league that didn’t make the playoffs. How exactly did Phil make KP’s life a “living hell” this year? Did he punish him with 2 hours of wind sprints after every loss? Did he bash his family or force him to do anything? The knicks lost games. Big fucking deal. There are plenty of young up and coming players in this league who are on teams that suck. Does that give them a right to not show up to an end of the season meeting with their boss OR blow off responding to their head coach?

      Do you think you could get away with this at your job just because your company had a bad quarter or two? Don’t you think a meeting with your boss in that situation to evaluate the team and what can be done to improve things MIGHT be useful to all sides.

    35. Also, KP is completely bluffing when he says he would not resign with a team he was traded to. So if the Celtics traded for him and he goes to the ECF 2 years in a row on a 50 plus win team and the fans love him and they can give him the most money, he’s gonna leave?

      Teams will take the risk because they would have 2 full seasons to try and convince him to stay and could turn around and trade him again if needs be. KP has ZERO leverage and is getting AWFUL advice. Put your head down, do the work, get better…then when it comes contract extension time, NOW he would have leverage. He’s being so stupid with this behavior and if he’s hitching his future on to Melo that is REALLY dumb.

    36. Phil might have a shitty W/L record but you have to admire the fine work he has done in repairing the dysfunctional culture of the Knicks. Everybody seems really psyched to be here and players know they can really trust him.

      Thanks, Phil!

    37. Just to focus on Melo, not Marbury: What exactly has Phil done to Melo besides tell the truth?

      Hmm….. lets see.

      Bad Mouth his own player in the press
      Cosign others bad mouthing his player in the Press (Ding Article)
      Have his surrogate bad mouth his player in the press (Rosen)
      Bad mouth player in the press (compare him to CBA Flameout Graham)
      Praise Derek Fucking Rose in the same interview where he says melo needs to get rid of NTC
      Bad Mouth his own player in the Press……….

    38. If KP won’t lick Phil’s nuts aka misses his exit meeting and won’t respond to his coach then I say Phil’s nuts must be protected in the best interests of the team.

    39. Just to focus on Melo, not Marbury: What exactly has Phil done to Melo besides tell the truth?

      He’s telling the truth, a truth we’ve known for a long time. But it is required to do it in front of the media? Same with LeBron’s “posse.” He may be right about the “baggage” that LeBron’s team carries (racist overtones notwithstanding), but is it prudent to do it publicly, especially during an era of acute (and justified) racial sensitivity?

      A boss has a responsibility to be honest with employees, but that certainly doesn’t mean blunt or aggressive honesty, especially when you’re dealing with high-talent employees who have employment alternatives. And I hate this word, but the optics of throwing your “star” under the bus is and has been terrible.

      The smart thing to do? Be tactfully dishonest and talk publicly about how efficient, productive, etc. Carmelo has been, privately convince him to waive the NTC, and then sing his praises when you make a “bad” trade for a couple of draft picks and a young player on a team-friendly, forward-thinking contract. He has pretty much done the opposite of that so far.

    40. Just remember: everything is everybody else’s fault except the guy running the team and making all the decisions.

    41. that’s ridiculous. So they lost some games this year. You know who else lost games this year? Half of the league that didn’t make the playoffs. How exactly did Phil make KP’s life a “living hell” this year?

      This is so, so much more than just losing

    42. Yeah all this is window dressing. If we get some good players it all goes away. Phil Jackson is a petulant dick who has fought with all his players. We don’t even know why Porzingis is mad-the triangle shit, the defensive problems, Melo, wanting to trade Melo, maybe he hates Horny-idk. Trading Porzingis because someone gives us an absurd offer-that’s fine. Trading Porzingis because he’s being (maybe) unjustly pouty? That’s dumb. Kristaps is not a normal big man-he’s going to get a lot of his value from his shooting and, that generally takes longer to develop. It would seem exceedingly stupid to dump him after 2 years because he’s not a star at 21. If you’re not willing to develop young players, why are you trading a young player for more younger players?

    43. +1
      The Knicks’ ability to stay both bad AND old must be unparalleled in the history of sports.

    44. If KP had average production AND was 32? We’d be kissing his ass and giving him a max contract yesterday!

    45. If KP had average production AND was 32? We’d be kissing his ass and giving him a max contract yesterday!

      Pretty much! Although what’s also ass-backwards is that the big names we’ve signed/traded for over the past 10-15 years (Noah, Rose, Steve Francis, Curry, Quentin Richardson, Randolph, Jerome James), which should have been known commodities, are also guys we were HOPING would take a big step forward from their previous season either because they had been injured, declined, were selfish, or had untapped potential. If you’re going to be hopeful, might as well be hopeful about young players!

    46. The smart thing to do? Be tactfully dishonest and talk publicly about how efficient, productive, etc. Carmelo has been, privately convince him to waive the NTC, and then sing his praises when you make a “bad” trade for a couple of draft picks and a young player on a team-friendly, forward-thinking contract. He has pretty much done the opposite of that so far.

      When I was young, truth was valued highly. We didn’t obsess over sensitivity. That’s probably why Jackson is the way he is. He considers being up front and honest to be a positive attribute. He probably considers the press and players to be a bunch of know nothing whiny babies.

      However, we were also taught “if you don’t have something nice to say, say nothing at all”.

      That’s the way he should have handled it. The NTC should have been discussed privately, but there’s no need to go out there and BS everyone about how wonderful a player Melo has been when he has clearly been a disappointment to Jackson and is nothing more than good scorer that’s around average at everything else.

    47. When I was young, truth was valued highly. We didn’t obsess over sensitivity. That’s probably why Jackson is the way he is. He considers being up front and honest to be a positive attribute. He probably considers the press and players to be a bunch of know nothing whiny babies.

      He doesn’t need any “research” or “books” to tell him that he’s wrong. He’s seen it with his own eyes, and that’s enough.

    48. too funny…sure you could explain away the longstaff firing in a lot of ways – kind of exactly how phil claimed he never made any “negative” statements during the year about melo…

      but, c’mon now – the longstaff situation sure does look like a personal fuck you to kp…my guess though it would be more from dolan (whom supposedly has zero influence on basketball matters, yeah right) than phil…

      knicks management = mean girls…

    49. When I was young, truth was valued highly. We didn’t obsess over sensitivity. That’s probably why Jackson is the way he is. He considers being up front and honest to be a positive attribute. He probably considers the press and players to be a bunch of know nothing whiny babies.

      While I have no way of knowing for sure, I don’t think there was any era in which continuously insulting someone (in this case, Carmelo Anthony) who you have no choice but to work with if you want to accomplish your goals (in this case, trading Carmelo Anthony) was considered a good or even normal idea. Save the brutal honestly for the guys who don’t have no trade clauses. Better yet, just don’t say anything bad about anyone you might want to trade, ever. There is nothing to be gained. Not blurting out all the bad things you think about someone you need to work with isn’t some new millenial snowflake concept.

      This isn’t about sympathy for Carmelo. The bullshitting about taking less money and subsequent mediocre play after taking every penny definitely rubbed me the wrong way. The fact of the matter is constantly crticizing someone is always going to make them less likely to cooperate with you, even if your criticism is accurate.

    50. edit:

      fuck it, I don’t think the baby boomer snowflake can handle honest criticism

    51. What are you guys so angry about today? An obscure assistant got canned? Phil was too honest? The petulant unicorn misses daddyMelo before he’s even gone? Just stop it. Find another team if you have to.

    52. When I was young, truth was valued highly. We didn’t obsess over sensitivity. That’s probably why Jackson is the way he is. He considers being up front and honest to be a positive attribute. He probably considers the press and players to be a bunch of know nothing whiny babies.

      Yeah, I am not sure Jackson is big on honesty. He has twisted the narrative on occasions if you believe Roland Lazenby book Mind Games: Phil Jackson’s Long Strange Journey.

      Krause alleged later that Jackson deceived him into believing that Bach was the anonymous source for most of the inside detail. Krause learned in 1998 that it was Jackson himself, not Bach, who was the source for much of Smith’s book. How did Krause discover this? He learned it from Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, who was told of the situation in confidence by none other than Sam Smith himself. Smith had revealed his sources to Reinsdorf with the caveat that he not tell anyone. Reinsdorf was not supposed to give that information to Krause, but he did.

      Smith independently confirmed those events and Jackson’s role in his book.

      “Phil and the players had much more of a role than Johnny Bach,” Smith said in acknowledging that he had told Reinsdorf of Jackson’s part in “The Jordan Rules.”

    53. too funny reub – hope you haven’t signed up for the “jimmy and phil leadership school of grace and class”…

      were all D-O-O-M-E-D as knick fans…DOOMED!!!…resistance is futile reub :-)

    54. “The Knicks’ ability to stay both bad AND old must be unparalleled in the history of sports.”
      Perfect – you should copyright this now

    55. edit:

      fuck it, I don’t think the baby boomer snowflake can handle honest criticism

      Do it for us Jowles.

    56. On a more positive note, I believe that Ntilikina scored one whole point in his game today.

    57. I have searched far and wide in both Ntilikina’s statistical profile and his game tape to find reasons to like him and have come up dry to be quite honest. That wasn’t the case with Porzingis, who actually fared well via Kevin Pelton’s Euroleague statistical model.

      I guess my question for anyone who supports drafting Ntilikina is what’s a reasonable expectation for his NBA stat line after his first few seasons? What will he be good at?

    58. Avery Bradley with more length, is my guess. I’m fine with him if we’re not going to take Isaac or trade down and pick up any high PAWS40 players.

    59. Count this as the one time I agree with Reub. 99% of people hadn’t even heard of sub-assistant Jonny Longtooth until a few days ago. I guess it sucks for KP, but whatever.

      And yes, Jax sucks at his job. He’s trying to use his coaching tactics as a GM, and it’s a train wreck.

      My prediction? Rambis becomes head coach around game 20 next season and things actually start to get REALLY bad.

    60. Ntilikina seems like he can shoot, maybe? Looking at his stat line in Europe nothing really jumps out.

    61. @66 For all we know, canning Mr. Longstaff might be the way that Phil is paving the way for Pablo Prigioni to join the team. Maybe just maybe Mr, Longstaff is a likeable guy who is just incompetent or is actually causing dissension. I can’t believe the faux outrage over this no name that Derek Fisher brought in with him.

    62. @67 I’m liking O.G. or Collins with our pick more every day.

    63. Becoming more and more convinced that Reub is a Russian plant/not a real Knicks fan and really is just here to shill for Phil jackson in the name of Putin

      I see Ntilikina as a secondary ball handler who can defend multiple positions (I bet you could slot him at forward if he grew an inch or two and bulked a bit) and spread the floor. A versatile, do it all kind of player. Ceiling being maybe something like an Evan turner who could throw the ball into the ocean?

    64. @70 Putin always compares Frank to Justin Holiday when he talks to me. It comes up quite often.

    65. I watch Frank and I am surprised people talk about him like a 1 or even 1.5. He doesn’t really seem to have the kind of handle or body control you need to be a lead guard in the NBA, though I get he is like 12 years old so who knows. The are a lot of guys like Tony Snell or KCP who look like they can dribble against so-so defense but really can’t be an effective lead guard. I wonder if his upside is more like a Eddie Jones type, which is hardly a bad thing. Even if you take a guy like KCP and make him a little longer and add 400 bps of 3 pt percentage and suddenly you a really good player.

    66. @72 it just seems easier to try and turn a 2nd rounder into Eddie Jones lite (or find one overseas) rather than swing for the fences trying to find a future top 20 league player. That’s why I’d rather gamble on Isaac, Collins or even Smith Jr, but hey, I’m not sure I’m good at this the way Phil is.

    67. I think the Longstaff stuff has been blown out of proportion a lot, especially seeing as this would have otherwise gone unnoticed if the KP stuff wasn’t going down. Not absolving anyone, but how often do assistants change and no one hears anything? For what it is worth, Bliss is staying and by all accounts he is a pretty popular development coach too.

      As for the draft, judging by the mocks I have read, I don’t think I have seen a single consistent theme outside of Fultz and Ball going 1 & 2. Seems like it is at this stage it’s down to Frank and Smith Jnr. On the upside, it looks like a lot of teams from pick 3 on are probably going to have similar selection headaches, increasing the chances of someone ahead of us messing up.

    68. I will laugh endlessly if the Lakers pass on Ball because of his dad. I have no problem with people trying to build brands, but his shtick makes me vomit.

    69. He doesn’t need any “research” or “books” to tell him that he’s wrong. He’s seen it with his own eyes, and that’s enough.

      How old are you?

      25? 30?

      Attitudes about sensitivity vs. truth have changed so much in the last 10-20 years you would have had to have been in diapers not long ago to not have noticed.

    70. While I have no way of knowing for sure, I don’t think there was any era in which continuously insulting someone (in this case, Carmelo Anthony) who you have no choice but to work with if you want to accomplish your goals (in this case, trading Carmelo Anthony) was considered a good or even normal idea.

      I can see your point.

      Being the 4th or 5th coach, 100th basketball analyst, and 10 millionth fan to suggest that Melo stops the ball must have been traumatic for him.

      Seriously, suggesting that he’d better off moving on is so obviously the best advice he’s gotten since he’s been in NY, rather than being upset, he ought to be thanking Jackson for taking the heat about him leaving so it doesn’t look like he’s abandoning the Knicks while they are down and rebuilding. Jackson did him a favor with his brand among people crazy enough to think it matters.

      I’m at the point where I think most of the basketball journalists are not only full of crap and looking to create controversies where none exist, they are dimwitted too. Just put them on ignore. There’s no way Melo is upset about either being told he stops the ball or that he should leave. He and Jackson probably already had a long conversation and agreement about the latter subject & there’s nothing insulting about it.

    71. I will laugh endlessly if the Lakers pass on Ball because of his dad. I have no problem with people trying to build brands, but his shtick makes me vomit.

      LaVar rivals some of the best Dad’s on the tennis circuit back in the 90’s with his meddling. It doesn’t seems too many teams are turned off, but it would be hilarious if he fell to a small market team.

    72. Actually, I’m totally OK with Longshanks, er, Longstaff, being let go IF that’s what Hornacek wants. BTW was he “fired” or just had his contract not renewed? You know, maybe HE wanted to leave?

      Of course, I also think that Rambis should be gone if Hornacek wishes. He should get to fill out his own staff.

      So, KP to Sacto for the #5 (where they take Isaacs) and #1o picks, WCS, and a 2nd round swap up to #34. Hmmm.
      :-)

    73. If you think Isaacs is that good, why not try to trade something that’s not KP to move up to get him?

    74. Actually, I’m totally OK with Longshanks, er, Longstaff, being let go IF that’s what Hornacek wants. BTW was he “fired” or just had his contract not renewed? You know, maybe HE wanted to leave?

      The narrative that is being pushed is that he was fired, but if you actually read between the lines, it’s pretty clear his contract wasn’t renewed, mostly because it looks like Priggy Smalls is potentially coming on board. Therefore, Hornacek is unlikely to let his own guys go and Rambis appears to be part of the furniture now, so the logical person to be left out is the guy whose contract has expired.

      It seems odd that Hornacek didn’t bring on board a full host of coaches in the first place (outside of Rambis’ spot), which is fairly normal with a new HC coming in; so probably not a bad thing he can fill out his own staff.

    75. All this trade stuff really misses the point. The Knicks front office should have a pretty good idea of how KP projects moving forward. They should also have an idea of the chances if he does get much better whether he will turn down an extension. Then the have to weigh that against the possible trades and make a rational decision. Business is really quite simple if you keep emotion out of it.

      As to the Longfellow nonsense…. if he is such a guru at working with young players , how come KP regressed this past season and Ron Baker in 800 minutes played to a negative WS/48?

    76. Golden state will be champs right?
      I lose in betting last year but this year they will win right? Just an outright bet on caves vs warriors. Warriors right? Good for my money?

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