The Knicks are off to a nice little 2-1 start, with quality wins over the Cavaliers and Hornets. This is a team that has a rough first seven games but so far, so good.
What’s different from last season, one Knicks fans would like to erase from their memories?
Primarily attitude and energy of the staff and organization, so basically everything, if you ask Carmelo Anthony, as he told the New York Post. He would know as he was there last year then chose to stay as a free agent (and cash some very big checks) rather than chase wins elsewhere.
“I knew it was different the first day we stepped into training camp,” said Anthony after the Knicks prepared in Tarrytown for Tuesday’s Garden game with the Wizards. “Just the culture and the atmosphere that’s here. The mindsets of people — not just the players, but the coaches and the staff. How positive everybody was.
“There’s no bad energy flowing through our team, the organization right now. That’s always a big key when you have that kind of atmosphere around.”
The old “bad Juju” excuse.
Anthony was quick to say this was not about players have moved on — Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton, among others — and saying it was just the vibe as a whole. I think part of that is the change in coaching styles between Derek Fisher and Mike Woodson.
But really, this goes back to Phil Jackson and a new top-down direction and approach. He is keeping James Dolan at arm’s length (for now). He is setting a new tone, one bathed on a positive glow.
It’s a start, and the Knicks are off to a good one.