The Knicks are no longer a triangle team (you can hear Knicks fans screaming “Hallelujah”). They are no longer Carmelo Anthony‘s team. They are no longer Phil Jackson’s team.
But what kind of team are they? New York will be Kristaps Porzingis‘ team, but what else?
New GM Scott Perry wants them to be a team that plays hard and defends, and if they do that the rest of the identity will fill itself in, he told Marc Berman of the New York Post (and other NYC reporters).
“Fans in general respect teams who compete and fight hard every night,’’ Perry said in a pregame meeting with the traveling beat writers before the Knicks faced the Wizards in their second preseason game. “I think fans will respect that. We’ll see where that takes us. Nobody has a crystal ball, what that’s going to mean for results this year. Let that play out.
“The big thing is this team competing, playing hard, playing together, trying to defend every night. If we can do that, they can live with the results. The fans will at least see the proper direction we’re headed. That’s going to be key — establishing direction where we’re headed as an organization….
“We want to build the right way,” Perry said. “It’s like building a home. You want to build a solid foundation. It takes time to establish that foundation. We’ll be opportunistic as we move along the way but keep focusing on development.”
Perry is right that everything needs to start with work ethic, but everyone needs to be patient. Brett Brown and the Sixers could be the example here — that team has lost a lot, but they play hard and defend well. A foundation has been built in Philly over the years (whether they can stay healthy and build on it are the questions this year).
The Knicks need that foundation. They may have a cornerstone piece in Porzingis — he has to prove it this year — but what the Knicks need to go with him is to build a culture that can plug in more players. Perry is going to be more active that way than Jackson ever was, both going around the league with the team and scouting players in college. Perry is a guy with a lot of good relationships around the league, that’s his strength, and one the Knicks can build on.
Perry is a guy who deserves the chance to build something in New York. Hopefully, ownership doesn’t get in his way.