The Knicks were so finished with Brandon Jennings, they outright waived him. No buyout, just a straight willingness to pay him to go away.
Now with the Wizards, it doesn’t sound as if Jennings misses New York.
Jennings, via Keely Diven of CSN Mid-Atlantic:
“I’m in the same position I was in New York, but just in a better system for me personally and with a team that actually plays together,” he said.
Jeff Hornacek’s system was fine for Jennings until the Knicks re-emphasized the triangle, but that was after Jennings left, anyway.
I’m more interested in Jennings insinuating the Knicks didn’t play together. That definitely appeared to be the case from the outside, but it’s another level when a former insider raises the issue.
New York’s lack of cohesiveness is a shared failure between Carmelo Anthony, Phil Jackson and Jeff Hornacek.
Anthony hasn’t been the type of leader who instills an atmosphere of cooperation. His isolationist offensive style lends itself to separation, and he hasn’t shown an ability to rally his teammates in a way that counteracts that.
Jackson exacerbated those problems by acquiring Derrick Rose and Jennings, two score-first point guards with only limited efficiency. Rose especially has struggled to fit into a cohesive team dynamic as he looks to find his own way post-injury.
And then there’s Kristaps Porzingis, New York’s budding star who’s too talented to fade into the background. He’ll find touches, no matter how much disarray around him.
The Knicks’ divisions are particularly felt on defense, where all five players rarely execute together. It’s seemingly only a matter of time until the unit breaks down. That falls to Hornacek, who has failed to implement a sound defensive system. And, no, assigning defensive duties to Kurt Rambis doesn’t excuse Hornacek. Ultimately, this falls on the head coach.
Jennings hasn’t been shy about criticizing the Knicks — even while playing for them, as Diven tracks. But they’re also 26-39. Criticism is warranted, and Jennings’ appears fair.