Not much is going to change with the New York Knicks on paper when Phil Jackson is introduced as the new President of Basketball Operations (or something along those terms) tomorrow morning/afternoon.
Carmelo Anthony will still be the team’s focal point, Mike Woodson will still be the lame duck head coach and J.R. Smith will still remain as the team’s knucklehead.
Not much different.
However, Jackson will be there. With those guys. Kind of.
As Jackson embarks a new era of Knicks basketball, he will have to do so with no change to the roster. James Dolan will still be over Jackson’s shoulder, and Smith will still be tweeting stupid crap that shouldn’t be relevant, but is because of this generation we live in.
The Knicks will still be on their current six-game winning streak, and they’ll still be roughly 5.5 games out of the playoffs. Yet, Jackson will be there. Kind of.
Their No. 1 offseason agenda will still be targeting LeBron James, followed shortly by keeping Carmelo Anthony. Their main selling point will still be the 2015 free agency class, and they’ll continue to point to themselves as Basketball’s Mecca. They’ll still be wrong.
Still, Jackson will be there.
He’ll still have no first round draft pick come June and he’ll still have no cap space, assuming they re-sign Anthony come July.
Apart from having a new face, essentially, nothing will have changed in New York, but it also changes completely in a way — if that makes sense.
Sure, the Knicks will have the same players, be under the same circumstances and still have the same hurdles in front of them prior to the Jackson signing. Nothing has change.
Jackson has come on board and has taken all that burden. He’s a false teacher that will be trying to spread false hope to a fan base that hasn’t seen an NBA Championship since, ironically, the last time Jackson was in a New York Knicks jersey. Yes, it’s been that long.
So it begs the question: can you hide a person’s flaws by masking them? Does a person change if you simply dress them in nice clothes?
That’s what the Knicks are trying to do for the time being. Sure, it’s nice to hold a big introduction press conference for a big name, which they’ll be doing tomorrow morning. However, until Jackson proves that he can change the culture, and, more importantly, change the circumstances, that’s all the Knicks will be doing — putting a mask over their flawed faces.
Regardless, the Knicks will welcome Jackson into the front office tomorrow. It’ll be something new that he’s never endured before. You can argue that in every situation in which Jackson was successful in the past, he had it all served on a shiny silver platter. It won’t be this time.
The question is, if it doesn’t get better sooner rather than later, how long will he stick around?
Nevertheless, he’s here now. That’s all that matters.