Chasing Down The Latest NBA News
So I realize that after my last piece on Loyalty, another negative piece has me running the risk of turning into “Grumpy Old NBA Guy”, but bear with me kids. Sometimes, you reach a point where what’s going on just doesn’t sit right with you.
And right now, what’s going on with the Knicks just doesn’t sit right with me. As you have read here at Chase Down Block (not to mention the rest of the world-wide interwebs) the Knicks parted with Coach Mike D’antoni recently. Yes, I know he resigned, but if you think that was anything other than the Knicks front office allowing him to save face, then you aren’t paying very much attention. D’antoni’s resignation came down as a result of him seeming losing the reins on his team, with the Knicks entering a tailspin after Carmelo Anthony returned to the lineup.
Now, if D’Antoni simply lacked the coaching ability to make a roster comprised of overlapping parts function, then I’m fine with that. I promise I am. But the part that bugs me is that since his resignation on the 14th of this month, a funny thing has started happening.
Players on the Knicks, including star and supposed leader Carmelo Anthony, are looking like they are actually giving a damn. It doesn’t look like some drastic scheme change out there, suddenly unlocking the potential that truthfully does lie in the flawed construction of the Knick’s roster. It just looks like when New York takes the floor, they simply just care more.
Hit the jump for the rest of Jordan’s piece…
Now, you can’t tell me that Mike Woodson is some kind of master coach that just knew the magic words to make the team rally behind him. Surely no one is buying that. He is a fine coach to be sure, but he is no Phil Jackson, not by a long shot.
So if not the coaching change, what could possibly be causing this revival in the Big Apple? Could it possibly be that grown men, who get paid millions of dollars to play a game that many play for free, weren’t playing as hard as they could because they just didn’t like their coach? That can’t possibly be right?
They have to know that the reason that they are able to be paid millions of dollars to play a children’s game is only because there are a lot of people that when they get their paychecks, decide to use their hard earned money to purchase tickets, jerseys, NBA TV packages and League Pass subscriptions. They surely would never betray the trust and adoration of their millions of loving fans over something so pithy as the guy calling the plays.
Sadly, I’m beginning to believe that that may be the case children.
Now, I can understand being burnt out. I can even understand disliking your superiors. I’ve quit a number of jobs because my boss was a complete tool. But those were jobs flipping burgers, or answering phones, or selling god knows what door to door. They weren’t jobs where I was being paid to do what I love, which is supposedly what these people are being paid to do. If you are reading this blog, there is a good chance that if James Dolan walked up to you right now and offered you your current salary to play basketball in Madison Square Garden, you would sign the contract before whatever mind altering substance Dolan was on wore off. And you would probably try your hardest because you would realize what an opportunity you had been granted.
Carmelo Anthony probably gets paid approximately what you get paid times kajillion. Apparently he and others on this Knick team felt the need to throw some games and get someone they liked better. Not like anyone will notice.
Now in fairness, I realize that teams and players have off nights. Even the best players in the world are not always “on.” But it doesn’t take a hot hand to play defense with effort, or rebound, or any number of other things that the team has suddenly decided to start doing. And the Knicks are not the first people to not give their all on the basketball court. God knows Vince Carter has stolen a lot of people’s money over the years.
And the strange thing is it’s not like I’m anti-Knick. I loved Linsanity as much as the next guy. They rescued JR Smith from China, for which I will forever be eternally grateful. And this is probably an overreaction to a bit of a schedule lull. They even lost to the Raptors tonight already, so maybe things will regress towards the mean.
But there is a school of thought that says athletes are entertainers. And another school of thought that says individual effort should be determined by the individual, not who is in charge. Apparently the Knicks are not subscribing to either.
So if I were one of the wonderful and dedicated fans going to see the Knicks play at the Garden tomorrow night, I honestly can’t say for sure if I would feel comfortable cheering the team as they took the court. No, with this group it may be far better to reserve your cheers until you are absolutely sure which team was taking the court.
Jordan Akin promises to get a Zoloft prescription and return to writing nice happy fun-time articles soon. You can tell him to chill out on Twitter @jakin1013, or via e-mail at email@example.com.