James Dolan

Reaction To Phil Jackson’s Press Conference

Feedback continues to pour in from Phil Jackson’s press conference on Friday, and almost all of it is negative. The Knicks president covered numerous topics in his first meeting with reporters since training camp, including the future of coach Jeff Hornacek, Derrick Rose‘s desire to stay with the team and whether Kristaps Porzingis is ready to be a franchise player. But the headlines revolved around the ongoing Carmelo Anthony dispute, with Jackson saying Anthony would be happier elsewhere.

Here’s a sampling of reaction from the media:

  • Jackson is undermining Hornacek by announcing plans to do more “mentoring” next season, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Jackson suggested that he would rather still be coaching than handling front office duties and blames a vacation he took for the team falling apart. He also defended his triangle offense and insisted that any failures were caused by resistance from players “at the top,” which sounds like another swipe at Anthony.
  • Jackson is blaming everyone but himself for the Knicks’ failures, charges Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. Jackson “emerged from his ivory tower,” Bontemps writes, and insulted Anthony, undercut Hornacek and alienated Porzingis, who skipped his exit interview on Friday. Bontemps also blasts Knicks owner James Dolan, who had a chance to cut ties with Jackson this week, but instead picked up his option for two more years.
  • Jackson’s remarks toward Hornacek means the coach will be on a “short leash” starting next season, claims Marc Berman of The New York Post. Hornacek will be on the second year of a three-year contract and will be sharing control of the team with Jackson and assistant coach Kurt Rambis, another triangle advocate who served as interim coach before Hornacek was hired. Jackson cited “some disconnect at times with this team” at the press conference, and Berman states that discontent grew in the locker room as the season soured.
  • The Knicks’ offseason may turn out to be worse than the regular season, suggests Al Iannazzone of Newsday. In 49 minutes, he writes, Jackson managed to lower Anthony’s trade value and scare off any prominent free agents who may have been considering New York. Iannazzone sums up Jackson’s strategy as making sure the triangle is emphasized and turning over the roster one more time.

Adam Silver Discusses Rest Issue, 2019 ASG, Dolan

NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke today at the league’s Board of Governors meetings about a few items of interest, including the subject of teams resting healthy stars, which he called the most important issue facing the league at the moment (Twitter link via Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today).

According to Silver, the NBA hopes to avoid having teams play four games in five nights next season and will also aim to further reduce back-to-backs in general (Twitter links via Frank Isola of The New York Daily News and Zillgitt).

Noting that the issue is a “complex” one, Silver added that owners agreed teams should avoid resting multiple players during nationally televised games, and the league’s preference is to rest players for home games rather than road contests (Twitter link via Howard Beck of Bleacher Report).

Adjusting the 82-game schedule is one potential idea that has been thrown out as a potential solution to the issue of teams resting players. While Silver acknowledged that it’s possible the league, at some point, could come together and agree to reduce the number of regular season games, that’s not on the table for now and wasn’t discussed this week (Twitter link via Isola). The commissioner pointed out that there’s also no hard data indicating that slashing a few games from the schedule would help improve players’ health or eliminate the rest issue (Twitter link via Beck).

The rest issue wasn’t the only one addressed by Silver, who also said that Charlotte is back in the running to potentially host the 2019 NBA All-Star Game. Per the commissioner, North Carolina’s adjustments to the so-called “bathroom bill” don’t entirely resolve the league’s concerns, but Charlotte will still receive strong ASG consideration (Twitter link via Chris Mannix of The Vertical). The Hornets issued a statement this afternoon expressing enthusiasm about the possibility of hosting the 2019 contest.

Finally, Silver also discussed Knicks owner James Dolan, who recently had a verbal altercation with a fan who told him he should sell the franchise. As Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com details, the commissioner didn’t seem particularly concerned and didn’t suggest the league would get involved. Dolan “is as frustrated as any Knicks fan” with the state of the team, Silver said (Twitter link via Isola).

New York Notes: Porzingis, Dolan, Nets, Bogdanovic

With just three games left in the season and his team long eliminated from playoff contention, head coach Jeff Hornacek said late on Thursday night that the Knicks will be “careful” with Kristaps Porzingis down the stretch this season. As Ian Begley of ESPN.com tweets, Porzingis – who has missed the club’s last two games with back spams – may ultimately sit out those final three games as well and focus on getting healthy for the summer.

As we wait to see how the Knicks proceed with Porzingis, let’s round up a few more notes on the league’s two New York teams…

  • In the wake of a report that Knicks owner James Dolan confronted and yelled at a fan who told him to sell the franchise, Frank Isola of The New York Daily News and Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post take Dolan to task. Isola suggests that the Knicks owner ought to focus more on ways to improve his struggling team rather than protecting his own image, while Bontemps argues that Dolan hasn’t learned a thing since he assumed ownership of the team in 1999.
  • A year after aggressively pursuing – and striking out on – multiple restricted free agents, the Nets are expected to be in the RFA market again. With that in mind, could Brooklyn target Bojan Bogdanovic just a few months after sending him to Washington? Brian Lewis of The New York Post explores that subject and gets some quotes from a noncommittal Bogdanovic, who says he remains focused on basketball for now.
  • Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders makes the case that, if they want to move forward as a franchise, the Knicks need to ditch the triangle and adopt a more modern offensive system.
  • Earlier today, we passed along Brandon Jennings‘ comments on how this year’s Carmelo Anthony trade rumors took a toll on the Knicks.

Knicks Notes: Rose, Hornacek, Ewing

As we learned earlier today, Derrick Rose underwent an “uncomplicated” left knee arthroscopy to handle his meniscus tear. He’s expected to resume basketball activities in roughly three to six weeks. Here’s more on the 2010/11 MVP as well as notes on his current team:

  • The Knicks have left the door open on Rose returning to the team, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.“Derrick did a lot of good things for us this year, with the way he can break down the defense,” coach Jeff Hornacek. “We’ll take a look at it and see if we can bring him back.’’
  • Mike Vorkunov of The New York Times isn’t optimistic about Rose’s future with the Knicks. The scribe believes the franchise should be able to replace Rose with a prospect through the draft.
  • Patrick Ewing recently agreed to become Georgetown’s head coach, but that may be the first stop on his way to becoming the coach of the Knicks, Berman writes in a separate piece. A source tells Berman that Ewing’s relationship with Knicks owner James Dolan is “fully repaired.”
  • Berman notes (same piece) that Ewing had a chance to interview with the school 13 years ago. The Hall of Famer previously said that he didn’t “want to go back to college.”
  • Rose’s injury is likely to limit his options in free agency, George Willis of the New York Post argues. If Rose hadn’t suffered his latest ailment, Willis believes he would have had several multiyear offers from teams around the league. As it stands, the former MVP may have to settle for a one-year deal.

And-Ones: NBA Owners Ranked, Tomjanovich, NCAA Tournament

ESPN concluded their management series with ownership rankings, citing the Spurs (Julianna Hawn Holt), Warriors (Joe Lacob, Peter Guber), and Celtics (Wyc Grousbeck) as teams with the best ownership in the league (article link). ESPN’s panel ranked owners in terms of “performance in guiding the franchise to overall on-court success, both in the short and long term.” To that end, it perhaps isn’t surprising to see the Kings (Vivek Ranadive) and Knicks (James Dolan) round out the list; two owners who have made unfortunate headlines for on-and-off the court stories this season.

More from around the game…

  • Rudy Tomjanovich, a five-time NBA All-Star and decorated head coach, wasn’t inducted into the 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame class. Several figures around the league were critical of Tomjanovich receiving the shaft, including former Rocket Calvin Murphy and Jeff Van Gundy. (Twitter links) In an op-ed piece for the Houston Chronicle, Jonathan Feigen chastised Hall of Fame voters who “inexplicably” snubbed Tomjanovich. “Tomjanovich, especially, deflected attention, not just in the way he downplayed his coaching contributions, but even in his coaching style that stripped away excess to get the ball simply and quickly to his best player, turning the Rockets from winners to champions,” Feigen writes. “The exclusion of Tomjanovich and others said nothing about their achievements, and everything about the secret panel’s failure.”
  • Tim Duncan‘s ex-adviser, Charles Banks, plans to admit financial misconduct from his business relationship with Duncan (Associated Press link). According to court paperwork, Banks will confess to misleading Duncan into obtaining $6MM in loans.
  • Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress provided an NBA prospect guide to the Final Four, naming South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell as the NCAA Tournament’s MVP thus far.
  • Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett will put his name in the NBA Draft but won’t hire an agent, Jeff Goodman of ESPN reports (link). Per Patrick Brennan of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Bluiett is “certain to again seek out evaluations from industry experts on his likely draft stock.”

Atlantic Notes: Embiid, Raptors, Oakley, Lin

Sixers center Joel Embiid claims he’s “more surprised than everybody else” how well this season has gone after he was sidelined two seasons by foot injuries. During the interview with ESPN Radio, Embiid admits he entertained thoughts of retiring during those lost seasons. “I was such in a dark place, I wanted to quit basketball,” Embiid said.  “I just wanted to go back home and just leave everything behind.” Embiid pines for the Rookie of the Year award, saying it would be validation for the sacrifices he made to get back on the court. He’s hopeful of returning soon after the All-Star break after missing the last 11 games with what he describes as a left knee bone bruise, though he reportedly has a partial meniscus tear.

In other news around the Atlantic Division:

  • The  Raptors do not want to part with young assets now that they’ve made a big move by acquiring power forward Serge Ibaka, according to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. Toronto would prefer to hold onto Delon Wright, Jakob Poeltl, Lucas Nogueira, Pascal Siakam, Norm Powell and Fred VanVleet, Smith continues. They could still package Jared Sullinger‘s expiring contract, a 2017 first-rounder and one of their backup point guards to make another move, Smith adds.
  • Charles Oakley doubts his issues with Knicks owner James Dolan will ever be resolved, Newsday’s Jim Baumbach relays via a Sports Illustrated interview. Despite a meeting with commissioner Adam Silver and Dolan earlier this week, Oakley is still fuming over his forcible removal from Madison Square Garden and arrest on February 8th.  “My life is going to change a lot because it’s just like getting a DUI sometime or going to jail for murder,” he told SI. “It’s something on my record. If you Google my name, it’s going to come up. And that hurts.”
  • Nets point guard Jeremy Lin is expected to return to action immediately after the All-Star break, Brian Lewis of the New York Post tweets. Lin practiced on Tuesday without any setbacks, according to NetsDaily.com. Lin’s season has been wrecked by hamstring woes. Signed to a three-year, $36MM contract last summer to be the team’s No. 1 point guard, Lin has appeared in just 12 games.

Knicks Notes: Oakley, Roster, Carmelo

It’s been an eventful week for Charles Oakley, who was arrested at a Knicks game last Wednesday, and was subsequently banned from attending future games at Madison Square Garden. According to an ESPN report, the Knicks have since lifted Oakley’s ban, but the former All-Star is in no rush to attend another game as James Dolan‘s guest. Instead, he’d like an apology from the organization.

“It’s not about being at the Garden,” Oakley said. “It’s about the fans. … I love the fans in New York. They’ve been supportive. One of the things I told the commissioner, I want to have a press conference and I want him to apologize to me and the fans.”

Per ESPN’s report, along with Oakley’s comments to Dan Le Batard and Jeff Goodman, Dolan has apologized privately, and Oakley’s camp and the Knicks have discussed the possibility of having a “Charles Oakley Day” at MSG. However, that seems unlikely to happen anytime soon, since Oakley isn’t quite ready to forgive and forget, as he told Le Batard: “Some things hurt. Some things just don’t walk away. A dog who broke his leg isn’t just going to walk away.”

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • While the Knicks have been at the center of several trade rumors this season, head coach Jeff Hornacek is heading into the All-Star break expecting to start the second half without any real roster changes, per Mike Vorkunov of The New York Times. “I think this is going to be our team,” Hornacek said. “We have had good stretches, bad stretches; we are trying to build something here before we go into the break, so I anticipate we have the same team.”
  • Asked again today about his no-trade clause, Carmelo Anthony said he hasn’t thought about it lately, since management hasn’t talked to him about any potential deals (Twitter link via Ian Begley of ESPN.com).
  • The Knicks are stuck in the NBA’s version of no-man’s land, and aren’t working toward a clear destination, writes Tommy Beer of Basketball Insiders. According to Beer, New York doesn’t necessarily have to make major changes this month, but will have to decide this summer whether to remain in win-now mode or to take a step backward and commit to a rebuild.
  • Earlier today, we passed along a Forbes report which indicated that the Knicks remain the NBA’s most valuable franchise. Forbes placed a valuation of $3.3 billion on the team.

Knicks Notes: Anthony, Hernangomez, Noah, Oakley, Dolan

Bobby Marks of The Vertical covered the Knicks in his trade deadline preview series. The Knicks, Marks writes, are a big market team dealing with adversity (to put it lightly). Marks explains the ways in which the Knicks have limited assets on paper; both Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings are on expiring contracts, and Courtney Lee will gain trade value over the summer, due to a weak shooting guard free agent class. Joakim Noah‘s expensive, long-term deal won’t attract suitors, and the team’s younger assets- Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez– aren’t thought to be available.

Trading Carmelo Anthony will be a “serious challenge” for the Knicks front office, who need to decide whether Anthony’s value would grow over the offseason. Marks put together a hypothetical trade that would work financially for all parties, in which Anthony would be dealt to the Clippers in exchange for Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers, and Wesley Johnson. Of course, any deal involving Anthony would require the nine-time All-Star waiving his no-trade clause.

More from The Mecca…

  • Magic Johnson revealed on CBS This Morning that he’s had opportunities to “run the Knicks,” according to Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times. Johnson specified that he’s had four offers to run or own teams, including the Knicks, before he joined the Lakers as a basketball and business adviser.
  • Knicks president Phil Jackson views Hernangomez and Porzingis as the team’s “starting frontcourt tandem of the future,” according to a report from Marc Berman of the New York Post. While coach Jeff Hornacek has still discussed starting Noah when he returns from injury, the team’s frontcourt plans could change if Hernangomez maintains his stellar performance.
  • Anthony has no qualms with being snubbed from the 2016/17 All-Star roster, citing the need to “just get away from everything.” “I could utilize this break,” Anthony said. “If they call me, I’d consider it, but I would love to utilize this break.” Anthony, who wouldn’t entertain trade talks with Fred Kerber of the New York Post, discussed the honor of passing Charles Barkley on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (23,775).
  • NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement today, calling the Charles Oakley/James Dolan situation “beyond disheartening.” According to Frank Isola of the Daily News, Silver and Michael Jordan conducted a conference call with Oakley and Dolan in an attempt to resolve their feud. “Both Mr. Oakley and Mr. Dolan were apologetic about the incident and subsequent comments, and their negative impact on the Knicks organization and the NBA,” Silver said. “I appreciate the efforts of Mr. Dolan, Mr. Oakley, and Mr. Jordan to work towards a resolution of this matter.”

And-Ones: Christmas, Calderon, Fultz, Parker, Dolan

A right Achilles tendon rupture has brought an end to Dionte Christmas‘ season, Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com reports. It’s an unfortunate development for the 30-year-old, as Christmas had averaged 14.9 points with 3.2 assists in 31 games with the Delaware 87ers. Delaware’s GM, Brandon Williams, lauded Christmas’ efforts in a team statement:

“[Christmas] has been a consummate professional, positive influence on the development of our young roster, and vital to our energy and drive. We will certainly miss his leadership on the court, but are inspired by his confidence as he attacks the next steps on the road to recovery.”

Other stories from around the league-

  • Bobby Marks of The Vertical profiled the Lakers, Nets, and Heat in his trade deadline series; three teams “in the rebuilding process that have limited assets.” Marks cites Jose Calderon as a buyout candidate for GM Mitch Kupchak; Calderon has previously been reported as a target for the Cavs. Trevor Booker and Brook Lopez, who are each under contract for the 2017/18 season, would provide “good value” for contending teams. While Miami’s front office have made deals in three straight trade deadlines, the Heat may be quiet come February 23. Miami has “depleted draft assets,” and appear unlikely to trade Goran Dragic or Hassan Whiteside.
  • The Vertical’s writing staff released their 2017 NBA Mock Draft, with Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Jackson going to the Celtics, Suns, and Lakers, respectively. The Vertical has Malik Monk of Kentucky falling to the Knicks at #10, calling him a good fit “under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.”
  • Zach LaVine and Jabari Parker‘s ACL injuries will create “tricky” rookie extension negotiations, Kevin Pelton of ESPN writes. While Parker’s value has been better established than LaVine’s entering contract discussions, Milwaukee GM John Hammond could limit risk by adding “guarantees based on games played” in Parker’s next contract.
  • James Dolan and Knicks management were subject to a scathing write-up from Michael Powell of the New York Times, who criticized Dolan’s lack of accountability in their confrontation. Phil Jackson, too, was targeted by Powell: “He [Jackson] fires off obscure Twitter posts poking Anthony in one rib or another, suggesting his skills are eroding and his hoop IQ low.”

Knicks Ban Charles Oakley, Won’t Opt Out Of Phil Jackson’s Contract

In the wake of the incident at Madison Square Garden earlier this week, the Knicks have banned Charles Oakley from attending games at the arena, team owner James Dolan said today. Michael Kay first reported word of the ban (Twitter link), with Dolan confirming it in an appearance on Kay’s show this afternoon.

According to Dolan, it won’t necessarily be a “lifetime ban” for Oakley (Twitter link via Marc Berman of The New York Post). However, while the Knicks owner is concerned about fan backlash, he says his priority is maintaining a safe environment, adding that Oakley was abusive and vulgar and came to the Garden on Wednesday with an agenda (Twitter links via Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News).

Since Wednesday’s incident, the Knicks have issued multiple statements explaining why Oakley was ejected from the stadium and arrested. The team also shot down Oakley’s account, in which the former NBA big man insisted that he wasn’t the instigator in the situation. The Knicks continued the PR assault on Oakley today, publicly releasing more than a dozen first-hand statements from MSG staff on the incident (Twitter links via Ryan Field of WABC).

At Hoops Rumors, we typically focus on stories that relate to trades, free agency, and other forms of roster moves and player movement. So what does this story have to do with that? Well, as Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweets, the Knicks are becoming a “toxic” destination for free agents based on this incident and Phil Jackson‘s behavior toward Carmelo Anthony. According to Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post (Twitter link), the Knicks have “enraged” people around the league in the last 48 hours with their handling of the Oakley situation.

Dolan may have intended to explain his side of the story with today’s radio appearance, but he only made matters worse when he told Kay that Oakley has anger problems and that he “may have a problem with alcohol, we don’t know” (Twitter link via Bontemps). With Dolan making unfounded claims about a former Knicks star and Jackson repeatedly criticizing a current Knicks star, it’s hard to imagine many players around the NBA viewing the team as an appealing franchise to join.

The Knicks owner also said today that he won’t meddle in basketball decisions and that he doesn’t intend to exercise the club’s 2017 opt-out on Jackson’s contract (Twitter link via Bontemps). So barring a surprise, the duo doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

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