At the time the intent seemed pretty clear.
As rumors flew around the league of Phil Jackson’s efforts to trade Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report wrote an article about how Phil was never able to turn Anthony’s ability to score into the kind of leader Jackson had with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. The reported reason was Anthony’s lack of desire to do whatever it took to win. Jackson then took to Twitter and essentially defended himself but said of Anthony “I learned you don’t change the spot on a leopard with Michael Graham in my CBA daze.”
Apparently, we did not understand what he meant.
That really says nothing. About Anthony, about the Knicks, about anything.
It fits the pattern — when has Jackson spoken out during this downward spiral of a season in New York? Derrick Rose goes AWOL and he throws his coach Jeff Hornacek out there to answer questions. Jackson hasn’t addressed the Anthony situation other than on Twitter. Heck, he’s barely spoken to Anthony. He tried to calm down Charles Oakley to no avail (not that anyone was going to), but he’s staying out of the middle of that feud.
Jackson appears to want to be a guru, gently steering the Knicks’ ship and making profound pronouncements on high. That’s not what the Knicks need, they need someone to go Sully Sullenberger and take command of the situation. That said, he’s getting $12 million a year from the Knicks and if you think he’s just going to walk away from that cash to go back to Montana full time, you haven’t followed Jackson’s career.
NBA players are going to always have each other’s back when it comes to feuds with management.
Make it a player some of the NBA’s older generation grew up admiring for how hard he played — Charles Oakley — and an organization where plenty of players around the league have issues with management, and you will get players coming down hard on one side of the scales.
Oakley scuffled with a security guard, was thrown out of Madison Square Garden and arrested during the Knicks home loss to the Clippers Wednesday. Oakley said he paid for a seat and didn’t say anything to provoke this, it was just James Dolan being petty. The Knicks say that’s total crap, having doubled down on making a beloved former player the villain.
Taking to social media, players past and present sided exclusively with Oakley.
Even one Knicks’ superfan who was never a player sided with Oakley.
At this point, the league just has to be embarrassed with how the Knicks have handled this.
A few weeks back the Memphis Grizzlies were in Portland for a game, when Chandler Parsons airballed a three. The people manning the official Portland Trail Blazers Twitter account decided to have a little fun with that.
After the game, Parsons took it personally and fired back.
Then C.J. McCollum got involved, and it went back and forth.
There have been other such exchanges. Twitter seems the perfect medium for snark, and official team accounts often poke fun at each other, but sometimes the jokes cross a line. The NBA league office wants that to end and sent a memo detailing such to every team, reports Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
The NBA sent a memo to all 30 franchises this week regarding rules prohibiting the “mocking and/or ridiculing” of opponents or game officials by teams on social media. The memo from NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum stated that some recent social media postings on official team accounts had “crossed the line between appropriate and inappropriate” and cited concern that “such conduct can result in ‘Twitter wars’ between players that can cause further reputational damage and subject players to discipline by the League.
The memo cited three specific examples of material that would be inappropriate for posts on official team accounts:
· Disparage, belittle or embarrass an individual opponent or game official;
· Mimic or impersonate an opponent or game official in a negative manner; or
· Criticize officiating or the NBA officiating program.
Official team social media accounts will fall in line behind this rule. Because they have no choice. The question becomes where the league draws the exact line — team Twitter accounts poking a little good-natured fun at each other on gameday is entertaining, and one of the things that works well on Twitter. Team accounts already always spin the team in a positive light, but you don’t want it to become sanitized. It shouldn’t be all puppies and rainbows, a little edge is good. Just not too much. It will be interesting to watch the league try to draw that line.
There still will be plenty of bitter, crossing-the-line snark from fans to make up for it.
NBA 2K is one of the most popular video game franchises on the market. eSports leagues are packing arenas nationwide with fans.
The NBA sees the opportunity, so the league is partnering with Take-Two Interactive Software — makers of the NBA 2K video game series — to launch an eSports league based on the NBA 2K series. It is set to begin in 2018.
This would be the first official eSports league operated by a professional sports league in the United States. The goal is to have 30 NBA 2K teams, each owned and paired with an NBA franchise. Those five-man teams will play head-to-head through a five-month season, then head to the playoffs and eventually a championship series.
“We believe we have a unique opportunity to develop something truly special for our fans and the young and growing eSports community,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “We look forward to combining our best-in-class NBA sports team operators with Take-Two’s competitive gaming expertise to create a brand new league experience.”
The one key difference between the league teams and the NBA 2K you play at home is actual NBA players will not be represented in these 2K games, rather the avatars will come from the players themselves, based on their preferences and styles.
However the league will sell tickets — eSports tournaments for other games fill NBA arenas across the nation — and have merchandise for the teams. There are a handful of NBA owners — and a couple of players — who have investments in eLeague sports teams, this is just a smart progression of that process.
Carmelo Anthony has been booed recently in Madison Square Garden. There is a segment of Knicks fans ready to move on from his era and make Kristaps Porzingis the center of the New York universe, and they see Anthony’s level of play and refusal to be traded as an impediment to that inevitable change.
However, there is also a segment of Knicks’ fandom that has Anthony’s back and understandably sees management as the issue — Phil Jackson has been the problem, not Anthony.
Count courtside regular and Knicks superfan Spike Lee among the latter group, via ESPN.
“I’ll pack Phil’s bags for him,” Lee told Tencent-ESPN’s Steve Zeng….
“I think I still believe in Carmelo, but Phil Jackson is making it very difficult for him,” Lee told Tencent-ESPN on Wednesday.
Carmelo Anthony has taken a lot of criticism over the years — and most recently from Phil Jackson — about his ability to lead the Knicks anywhere near title contention. He didn’t evolve into the kind of leader that Jackson had with Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. That may be true, but Anthony also has never had anywhere near the quality of teams around him MJ or Kobe did when they were winning rings — and that is on management. Not just Jackson, but the GMs going back a couple of decades, which kind of all swings back to owner James Dolan. We can debate if Anthony’s style of game — too much isolation on offense, not a lot of focus on defense — could have lifted a team to a title, but we’d be speculating because the Knicks never gave him a roster that could begin to answer that question.
Spike Lee has a point. Anthony wanted to be a Knick and played hard for this team. Fans should appreciate that.
That said, Anthony’s career arc and Porzingis’ career arc are not going to intersect anywhere near a title, either. The idea that it is time to find a new home for Anthony and retool the roster to fit Porzingis’ skill set is a logical one. Jackson has just handled going about it in the most soap opera way possible.