IT’s OVER!!!! Good God, it’s finally over. Phil Jackson and his Zen Master bullshit are finally gone. The same guy who almost traded Porzingis, handed the glorified traffic cone that is Joakim Noah $72 million, and hired Derek Fisher as head coach is finally gone. It’s actually crazy how many bad moves he had to make before getting fired.
Now that he’s finally gone, what’s the next move for the Knicks? First of all, stop with this Carmelo buyout talk. I’m fed up with Melo too, and I legitimately don’t think the Knicks can be successful whatsoever with him. However, he’s still a really talented player, and the best asset the Knicks have besides Porzingis. While his trade value isn’t nearly as high as it was a few years ago, the Knicks might as well get SOMETHING for him. Plus, misery loves company. Why would us Knicks fans let him chase a ring in Cleveland and get nothing in return when Melo can stay here and continue being miserable with us?
Next, whoever takes Phil’s place needs to let Porzingis know this is his team. The guy has a real chance to be a Top-10 talent in the league for the next decade, and him making New York his permanent home would be huge for the Knicks. Superstars like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have publicly said they like Porzingis’ game, and the Knicks should do everything they can to make sure he’s luring players of that caliber to New York rather than leaving to join them in, say, Los Angeles.
Finally, whoever takes over for Phil needs to do some damage control. Bringing in washed-up injury-prone veterans like Noah and Derrick Rose isn’t the answer. The Knicks need to get younger, stockpile draft picks, add athletic guys who can defend the perimeter and shoot. Porzingis is a star, and hopefully Frank Ntilikina pans out (we passed up Malik Monk for him so he’d better.) If they can add enough enticing pieces, and get rid of the reputation of a “toxic” environment Phil created, New York could be a landing spot for some big-name free agents in a year or two. Who knows, maybe the Jimmy Butler trade doesn’t work out and Karl-Anthony Towns wants to come home and play at The Garden?
Bottom line, we’re free, Knicks fans. And it feels good to be just normal Knicks fan miserable again.