Memo to LeBron James: This is how you endorse a coach.
With Cavaliers coach David Blatt coming under fire, LeBron was mostly supportive but also said: “What other coach do we have?” That left the door open for people to question LeBron’s allegiance to Blatt.
Carmelo Anthony left no such doubts about Derek Fisher.
Melo, via Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
“I think if it was anybody else in his position, I think this probably would’ve crumbled already,” Anthony said after scoring 19 points in 29 minutes. “I think he’s doing a great job of keeping everybody focused on the task at hand and believing in what we’re trying to do.”
The Knicks are 5-29 and have lost nine straight and 19 of 20. I’d hate to see what crumbling looks like.
But if Melo says they’re still cohesive, that means a lot. Players take their cues from the franchise player.
This gives Fisher a chance to keep the team together and make progress during a season headed toward the lottery. The current Knicks can still progress, still learn the triangle offense. This season doesn’t have to be a total loss for them.
Fisher has made his share of mistakes as a rookie coach, but Melo’s support gives him a chance to work through them. Will Blatt get the same opportunity from LeBron in Cleveland?