The Knicks have gotten off to their worst start in franchise history, and things aren’t expected to improve anytime soon.
Phil Jackson recently said there’s been “some resistance to discipline, order and culture change,” but the problems evidently go much deeper than that.
A new head coach trying to install a complicated new offense around players who don’t fit the system has contributed plenty to the disastrous 4-19 start — one which now reportedly has players in-fighting with the team’s biggest star behind closed doors.
Anthony, according to sources, then used another expletive in telling Hardaway he was going to beat him up when they got into the locker room after the game. …
“Nobody’s taken a swing at anybody, but there’s a lot of arguing and cursing each other out after games,” one source said. …
Several Knicks, in addition to Hardaway, are at odds with Anthony and believe he’s not playing team basketball. Sources said players voiced their displeasure with Anthony this past weekend, telling him he shoots too much, doesn’t move or pass the ball, and only plays defense when he feels like it. …
“Guys are definitely frustrated,” one source said. “But some of it’s just basketball stuff that the players don’t like doing. When somebody’s demanding that you make a hard cut, you don’t like it because you have to work harder. When someone says it’s not okay to throw a bull—- pass, guys don’t like it.”
Despite the unnamed sources, all of this is believable, at least to a certain extent. And there’s even more in there, with reports that players want to completely ditch the Triangle Offense.
Even if it’s all true, though, and a percentage of the team’s players aren’t happy playing alongside Anthony, the reality is that he’s the only one who’s guaranteed to be there beyond this season. Anthony is unquestionably the franchise cornerstone, after the team inked him to a five-year contract extension worth $124 million last summer.
It’s not surprising that there’s a fair amount of dissension on a team that’s experiencing so much losing. The part about guys specifically targeting Anthony as a reason for the struggles, however, should raise some eyebrows.