While everyone is still slandering Lebron’s weird hairline and prophesizing if the Spurs can repeat, the Knickerbockers of Manhattan are quietly building a culture that makes it great to be a Knicks fan…again!
Today, the perennial media day was held in Tarrytown, NY. The event featured Melo and co. talking about the new system being implemented. Melo, in particular, also commented candidly on why he chose to stay in NY long-term:
I kind of forced my way to New York [in 2011], and I have some unfinished business to take care of. I wouldn’t have felt right from a personal standpoint, just getting up and leaving.
After missing the playoffs last season, Melo was vocal about his frustration with the team as it was then-constructed. With James Dolan’s hands off, the Zen God went out and acquired younger talent in Shane Larkin and Jose Calderon via a trade with Dallas, used a 2nd round selection on CleAnthony Early, and handpicked signed some front-court players to minimum deals, adding depth. (Cole Aldrich, Jason Smith, Samuel Dalembert, and Orlando Sanchez)
In a press conference with upper management, first year coach Derek Fisher said that the biggest skill the Knicks would focus on in training camp is defense. Learning the triangle offense will be key in turning this roster into a group of players who can facilitate, make the extra pass, and stop settling for ill-advised jumpers. Even #IsoMelo is embracing and buying into the new system:
“The information that I’ve gotten from them guys [Kobe, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Coach Fisher], I’m just taking that in, sealing that into a bottle and applying that to my everyday game.”
The overall feeling at media day among all of the guys, new and old, is that there’s a renewed excitement about NY basketball. When I first heard about the hiring of Derek Fisher as head coach, I had a slight irritation. I don’t want to see my Knicks become the Lakers of the East. Having sat with it for a few months though, is that such a bad thing?
We went from being one of the oldest teams to being one that’ll be able to keep up with the other fresh-legged teams in the Eastern Conference. If all goes well and the guys properly execute the triangle offense sooner than later, this is a Knicks squad that could be back to the Conference Semi-Finals.