Knicks fans, Phil Jackson will not be your savior

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There is some logic here — the Knicks current roster is better set up for Phil Jackson’s triangle than Mike D’Antoni’s seven seconds or less.

And Jackson admits there is a lure to New York City.

But Knicks fans, Phil Jackson is not going to walk through that door into Madison Square Garden. He is not going to come out of retirement to coach your team to a title.

Jackson wants back in basketball, and it is his nature never to slam shut doors, but read the first sentence of this quote to Mark Heisler writing for the New York Times and not the next couple.

“I have no desire to coach,” he said. “You never say never, right? I mean, there’s always something that might change my mind — but I just don’t see it.

“Without a doubt, New York is special,” he continued in a vein a little more encouraging for Knicks fans. “Why wouldn’t it be? When I was there, it was one of the greatest times to be in New York. I mean, the Mets, Jets and Knicks won championships all in one year.”

Phil Jackson has a real fondness for New York. But if you watched him the last year he was with the Lakers — something he admitted he did as a favor to Jerry Buss and he should have gotten out — you could see that the grind of coaching has taken its toll. It’s not the practices or the games, it’s the travel when you’ve had both hips replaced, the sleeping in beds that are too short, the dealing with the media every day. If you were around the Lakers regularly, it just seemed obvious. Phil Jackson does not want to be a head coach right now. Again, read the first sentence of that quote.

Jackson wants to help a team in more of a front office role, advising not sitting down with players and getting them to meditate before games. He is happy in retirement, playing with grandkids, hanging with his girlfriend and writing another book. He’s living the sweet life blocks from the beach in Los Angeles, you think he wants to give that up to figure out how to make Toney Douglas fit in his offensive system?

Knicks fans, there are some realities you need to accept. One is that nobody is trading for Amar’e Stoudemire’s massive uninsured contract. Another is that Phil Jackson will not be standing… er, sitting in a high chair, whistling at players on your sidelines. Sorry, while the lure of NYC and the Knicks is strong it will not be enough. It was not the last two times your franchise asked, it will not be again. He’ll flirt with you because that is a fun rush, but don’t expect a commitment. He says he doesn’t miss coaching and that seemed evident last season.

Phil Jackson is not going to come walking through that door into Madison Square Garden.

Memphis Grizzlies sign former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks

Associated Press
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies have signed former Oregon forward Dillon Brooks, a second-round pick in last month’s NBA draft.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Brooks was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 45th overall pick. The Grizzlies acquired him in exchange for a future second-round pick.

Brooks, 21, averaged 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists as a junior at Oregon last season. He was named the Pac-12 player of the year and helped Oregon earn its first Final Four berth since 1939.

 

Looks like Kevin Love is subtweeting Kyrie Irving

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Peculiar is not a word that comes up often in NBA talk. Not sure it comes up much of anywhere unless a Four Non-Blondes song is on the ’90s station, but especially in NBA talk it doesn’t come up. Until this week. First, there was this cryptic comment from Kyrie Irving earlier in the week about the state of the Cavaliers.

“Like I said, we’re in a peculiar place. The best thing we can do is handle things with class and professionalism.”

Friday it leaked that Kyrie Irving has asked to be traded from the Cavs. Which led to Kevin Love using the word “peculiar” in a tweet.

If you’re unfamiliar, “kick some rocks” is an impolite way of telling someone to leave, or take a walk (kicking rocks on the dirt road).

Fun times in Cleveland. Kobe Altman must be having a fun week in his new job.

Report: Knicks interested in Kyrie Irving trade, but Kristaps Porzingis is off the table

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Kyrie Irving wants out of LeBron James‘ shadow and has asked for a trade in what seems a preemptive “if he’s going to leave then I’m going to leave first” kind of move.

Irving also gave the Cavaliers a list of preferred destinations. Which is nice. Irving doesn’t have a no-trade clause, he has no real power in these negotiations because he has two years on his deal — it is basically a child’s Christmas list to Santa starting with “a Dragon-themed Luxury Playhouse.”

The Knicks are on Irving’s preferred list, and they are interested but know the team’s best player is off the table, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.

The Knicks, obviously, have strong interest in Kyrie Irving (just like 29 other teams) but I’m told people in the Knicks front office would not be willing at this point to include Kristaps Porzingis in a trade. Some with the organization would be willing to include future first-round picks and Carmelo Anthony in a deal for Irving, per league sources.

A few thoughts here. At the top of the list, this is the absolutely right and only call for the Knicks, no way KP is available. And on social media, Porzingis liked a fan’s tweet of Irving in a Knicks’ uniform, so we know what he is thinking.

We know Carmelo would want to go to Cleveland, the question is would the Cavaliers want him with Irving gone? If they feel LeBron is leaving next summer, would this help change that dynamic and help get the Cavaliers back to the Finals?

If I were in the Knicks front office, I’d pitch the Anthony idea (heck, I’d pitch a Joakim Noah trade too, just to lighten up the room with a laugh). Then we could talk about doing a trade without Anthony or Porzingis, which would mean picks, Courtney Lee, Willy Hernangomez, Frank Ntilikina, and another player to make the numbers work.

The Cavaliers can afford to be patient, and they aren’t beholden to Irving’s list. See if teams with young assets — Phoenix, Dallas, Denver, etc. — come up with better offers. Wait the market out, don’t rush. If no deal blows you away, move into the season with Irving.

The Knicks are as realistic an option as anything right now. The doors are wide open.

Report: Cavaliers to officially make Koby Altman GM

photo via YouTube
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“Congratulations, Koby. Here’s your new corner office with a view, meet your new executive assistant, and finally here are the keys to the Cavaliers franchise… oh, and by the way, Kyrie Irving wants to be traded. And LeBron James is a free agent next year. Good luck with all that, we’ll leave you to it.”

Since Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert inexplicably let go of David Griffin as the team’s general manager, assistant GM Kobe Altman has stepped into the lead role for the franchise. Now Gilbert is going to remove the interim tag from Altman’s title, according to multiple reports. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN was first.

Now that he has the job, all he has to do is find a new home for Irving, who has demanded a trade… or he doesn’t have to. Irving may be traded this summer, but he has two years left on his deal so Altman could just bring him back with LeBron and Kevin Love and make another run at it. Or he could sit back and listen to trade offers from a lot of teams, and if he sees one he likes pounce — Irving (unlike Carmelo Anthony) doesn’t have a no-trade clause, so he can go anywhere. Altman has leverage.

Altman respected around the league, but he took over a team up against the cap and tax, a team that needed to find a way to get more athletic to compete with the Warriors. Instead, the Cavs re-signed Kyle Korver (age 35), signed Jose Calderon (age 36), and re-signed Richard Jefferson (age 37). The Cavs have essentially treaded water this offseason, while Warriors, Celtics, and Rockets all got better. That’s not all on Altman, he was thrown into the job and with the team well into the tax his options were limited. He was handed a near impossible task.

Now Altman gets to own that task. Enjoy.