Storyline: New York Knicks Turmoil?

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“I think what just happened was they were just going in a different direction. I wanted to play fast. I didn’t really understand the triangle,” Jennings said. “I think that was my biggest thing. I really didn’t understand it. I’m not saying it doesn’t work. I just felt like the way the game is being played today, I just felt like you got to score. You got to score. You got to get up shots. When I came to New York, I wanted to put on a show every night. I wanted to put up shots with nice passes and things like that. So I guess it just wasn’t the right timing.”

In what could’ve been a dig at the Knicks’ Big 3 of Carmelo Anthony, Porzingis and Derrick Rose, Hornacek feels the team’s downfall partly stemmed from not being unselfish enough on the offensive end, settling for “good shots’’ but not “great shots’’ as elite squads do. “You see teams — open guys always end up with the ball,’’ Hornacek said at Monday’s morning shootaround before the Knicks faced the Clippers at Staples Center. “Here we do it in spurts. Then we have spurts where it sticks. One guy will take a shot that maybe he can move it on for a better shot. That’s probably the biggest key is we get the good shots. We don’t get the great shots. If we make one extra, we’ll get a great shot. You see the good teams out there, they pass it up for better ones.’’

Kristaps Porzingis was the first to see something and say something when he expressed that despite the Knicks early season success that something was missing. The second-year big man proved to have great foresight. “I think it was pretty easy to tell from the inside that we’re not that good of a team,” Porzingis said following Sunday’s practice. “We can win games based off of our talent but that’s not going to last long and that’s exactly what happened.”

Jeff Hornacek said he didn’t feel undermined by team president Phil Jackson conducting a triangle tutorial last week, and doesn’t seem concerned about someone being the fall guy if and when the season ends with the Knicks missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year. “No, we’re all going through this,” Hornacek said after practice Wednesday. “Every single guy, every single coach, every part of management — everybody’s to blame. We’re all in it together. I don’t think there’s been any other talk of anything [like that].”

Derrick Rose understood Kristaps Porzingis saying mass confusion exists within the Knicks because of their recent refocusing on the triangle offense. “I just think that it’s hard when there’s 50 games in,” Rose said. “It would be hard for anyone or for any team to be 50 games in and the coach changes a few things in the offense. I think for any team that would be kind of hard. But it’s our job as professionals to go out here and do the things he wants us to do.”

Hornacek believes the Knicks didn’t show effort Sunday because of the dead playoff run. “The realization, going out the last game and playing like it doesn’t matter, that’s not what we’re going to do,’’ Hornacek said. “Whether we’re in the playoffs or not in the playoffs, we’re going to play hard the whole time. The playoffs may not be in reach, but this especially could be for other young guys to get some time to show what they really can do.

Ian Begley: Carmelo Anthony says it will be challenging to keep frustration out of the locker room in the final few weeks of the season. “I think it’s just the accumulation of losing games and the way we’re losing games. It’s challenging to kind of keep it tight, to keep everybody positive knowing that the frustration (could seep) in the locker room. That’s the challenging part, trying to keep it all together in the locker room this next month.”

In case his frustration still wasn’t crystal clear, there was this, speaking specifically about the Knicks’ offense, which should come with an NC-17 rating: “It’s pretty random. We have some plays that Jeff draws up, but most of the time it’s after free throws or so, we’re running triangle. But we never really got it all together and were able to execute the way we should have. It’s been a lot of confusion.” And then, the kicker: “First of all, we don’t know the triangle that well.”

What Anthony and Porzingis said about the state of the Knicks on back-to-back days over the weekend was telling. Both players have questions about the coach, the offense, Jackson, and the direction of the franchise. One player said that Anthony was so distraught following Wednesday’s loss in Milwaukee that he headed directly for the shower after the game and was cooling down as Hornacek addressed the team in the postgame locker room. By Sunday, Porzingis described the Knicks as being a bundle of confusion.

4 weeks ago via ESPN

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony said he doesn’t understand management’s vision for the future after the club’s inactivity at Thursday’s trade deadline. “No, not now. No, to be honest with you,” Anthony said late Thursday night. “I think they were kind of planning on the trade deadline, whether they were trying to make moves. I think that was one plan. Now they’ve got to get back to the drawing board and come up with another plan about the future of this team.”
4 weeks ago via ESPN

Anthony said he had “no reaction” to the team’s lack of moves but acknowledged that it is frustrating to be unsure of the approach that management, namely team president Phil Jackson, will take with the team at this point. “Yeah, I mean, nobody likes to be in limbo,” Anthony said. “We all want to know kind of what’s going on, especially when it’s involving you. But that’s not the way it is in sports. I don’t think I’m the only one that’s going through that or feeling that way. I think there’s other players who feel the same way, that they want to be involved — not involved, but at least up to date with what’s going on. I feel like I’m kind of up to date as far as when it comes to me what’s going on.”

Tracy McGrady: “I think it affects (the Knicks) in free agency. Not only in that situation but all the things that have accumulated over this season. Phil Jackson going at Melo publicly. Like, what are you doing? You’re supposed to be on the same team. Like you’re supposed to be encouraging your brother and giving him some of you expertise and helping him become a better player. And it’s just an unfortunate situation. I feel bad for Melo. But he’s handled it so well. Me in that situation? It probably would be a different story.”

To make matters worse, the handling of Charles Oakley and the way Jackson has treated Anthony has stained the franchise’s reputation amongst players. Anthony said he hasn’t tried to recruit free agents this year and acknowledged that the off-court issues could deter players from considering the Knicks. “That could be a case in some situations. I think the way the deals are structured now, even if you don’t want to come there’s an opportunity for you to make more money,” Anthony said. “A lot of times players look at that, that kind of overshadows other situations.”

On an episode of his “Dray Day” podcast with Uninterrupted, Green sounded off about Dolan’s treatment of Oakley. The outspoken Warriors forward said Dolan had a “slave master mentality” with the situation. Green had an issue with how Dolan was fine with Oakley’s confrontational personality when it helped the Knicks, but not when he spoke out against the organization. “You doing it for me, it’s all good,” Draymond Green said. “You doing it against me…you speaking out against my organization, it’s not good anymore? That’s a slave mentality. A slave master mentality. That’s ridiculous. It was all fine and dandy when he was laying people out, taking fines and all this stuff for your organization. But now all of a sudden when he says something that he feels, it’s a problem.”

The NBA may be ready to step in to help resolve the ugly feud between James Dolan and Charles Oakley. According to a source, the league office is considering having NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Michael Jordan step in to mediate a reconciliation. It is unclear when that meeting, likely via a conference call, would take place but there was a chance it would be either Monday or Tuesday. Jordan, the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, is Oakley’s former teammate in Chicago and Washington, and the two are close friends. Dolan announced on Friday that Oakley is banned indefinitely from the Garden following an altercation with MSG security last Wednesday.

Spike Lee was in the Garden hallway where Charles Oakley was arrested last week, and said there were tears in his eyes watching his friend get taken to jail. Four days later, Lee showed up in a #34 Oakley jersey, courtesy of a skilled stitch artist. “I went home (after Oakley was ejected), I got every jersey, game-worn, but I couldn’t find an Oakley jersey,” Lee said. “But I had three Landry Fields jerseys. So I took it to my guy, and he hooked it up. So officially, this is a Landry Fields jersey.”

Frank Isola: Love this line from Dolan: “It had gotten easier to do that, to have my hands off.” Oh, so you now finally admit you were once “hands on.” Funny, but for years if anyone ever insinuated that Dolan was heavily involved in the Knicks -which he was – it was “off with his head.” Like the time Dolan refused to listen to Donnie Walsh and be patient in the Melo trade talks. Instead, he gave them everything they wanted. Like the time Dolan traded a first round pick to Toronto for Bargnani and then killed a trade with Toronto for Kyle Lowry. That’s 0 for 2.
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March 25, 2017 | 3:19 pm EDT Update
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