Team president Phil Jackson is accepting blame for the disaster that has befallen the Knicks, reports Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. After Saturday’s lopsided loss to the Hornets, Jackson made a public statement to New York fans in which he acknowledged his mistakes. “Obviously I didn’t do the right thing in picking the group of guys that were here,” Jackson said. “A lot of it was etched in stone, we had guys with guaranteed contracts. But in anticipating that we were going to be better, that we were giving hope to our fans that maybe there’s a possible playoff opportunity here, you know, that goes on me.” The Knicks are 5-35 and hold the top spot in Hoops Rumors’ Reverse Standings.
There’s much more from the Big Apple:
- Jackson remains optimistic that New York will be a popular destination for free agents this summer, Begley tweets. Jackson said several agents contact the team regularly to pass along their clients’ interest.
- Before midseason officially arrived, the Knicks started playing for next year, writes Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. The team cleared some cap room with this week’s trade that sent J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to Cleveland. Much more will open up this summer when Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani come off the books. “It’s not easy to build a team,” coach Derek Fisher said. “Going forward there’s always been a balance you’re trying to find between talent, character, mental toughness, physical toughness, experience, coachability, all of the different factors. There’s no guarantee that it all works out even after you do all that assessment.”
- Spending money has rarely brought success for the Knicks, writes David Berri in Time Magazine. Berri, an economics professor at Southern Utah University, analyzed the Knicks’ performance in seasons where they ranked among the NBA’s biggest spenders. He found that since 1987/88, when New York’s payroll was among the league’s three highest, the team had a losing record in 12 of those 17 seasons.