Andrea Bargnani “was and still is” a big tease who seemed like a “malingerer,” Knicks team president Phil Jackson told friend Charley Rosen, whose latest interview with the Zen Master appears today on ESPN.com. Jackson didn’t like the way he refused to engage in non-contact activities while he was recovering from an injury, nor his on-court intensity. Still, Jackson believed his offensive game was “perfectly suited” to the triangle offense. Bargnani left the Knicks for the Nets this summer on a two-year deal for the minimum salary. Jackson evaluated each member of New York’s season-ending roster, coach Derek Fisher, and even himself as part of his conversation with Rosen, which is certainly worth a read. We’ll pass along a couple of other highlights from the piece here amid the latest on the Knicks:
- Carmelo Anthony is “very into the triangle,” Jackson told Rosen for the same piece. The Knicks president also said that Lou Amundson was the worst shooter he’d ever seen when the journeyman power forward came into the league. Jackson nonetheless made it clear to Rosen that he wanted Amundson back because of his courage and professionalism, and the Knicks re-signed him for slightly more than the minimum.
- The Kyle O’Quinn sign-and-trade acquisition was the top move the Knicks made in free agency this summer, opines Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders, who gives New York an A-minus for the transaction. Beer’s lowest grade was a C-minus for the Derrick Williams signing.
- The addition of Robin Lopez helps, and Carmelo Anthony is elite when healthy, but the numbers show that the Knicks simply aren’t built to win in the playoffs, as Bradford Doolittle shows in an ESPN Insider-only piece. New York’s roster is the 12th most capable of playoff success among the 15 Eastern Conference teams, according to Doolittle’s metrics.