The New York Knicks have been nothing short of a circus all season. They’ve constantly been in headlines for all the wrong reasons and that has not helped them have success on the hardwood. In fact, as we all know by now, the Knicks have had a significantly underwhelming 2016-17 campaign. With a current record of 26-41 and a hold on the lowly 12th seed in the Eastern Conference, nothing has gone New York’s way and the unfortunate season should lead way into a busy offseason filled with important decisions.
At the top of the list is figuring out how to sort out the damaged relationship between star forward Carmelo Anthony and President Phil Jackson, and how to kick off their rebuild around franchise centerpiece Kristaps Porzingis. Shortly after that lies the issue of leadership- who will be running the show for the Knicks as point guard Derrick Rose is scheduled to hit free agency and more importantly, the Knicks will have to determine whether head coach Jeff Hornacek is fit for the job moving forward.
With this much turmoil surrounding a franchise, it’s not easy to get players to play for you and Hornacek has not had an easy time keeping all his players on the same page this season. Now, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, the respect for Hornacek only worsens and players have ‘tuned out’ their head coach:
A source close to the situation also said players have tuned out Hornacek. And following Sunday’s loss, Porzingis described the game-planning as inconsistent and confusing.
“It’s always difficult when you lose,” Hornacek said. “I think all of the teams when you’re losing go through the same thing. The finger pointing starts – is it coaches, is it players, is it management? Whatever it is. So when you’re winning everything’s fine. There’s probably things that happen when you’re winning that guys aren’t happy about but they don’t say anything. But when you lose, they go, ‘OK I can say something. So that’s just the way it is.’”
It’s evident Jeff Hornacek is having a tough time keeping his players in a good state of mind amidst all the adversity. These issues between management and players only really surface if a team isn’t enjoying success and the Knicks are far from a good team right now. Anthony, in particular, has had a long season as he’s had to withstand a rough relationship with Phil Jackson and ignore the plentiful amounts of speculation regarding his future with the team.
More concerning for the Knicks is that after a recent loss to the Brooklyn Nets, Porzingis pointed out that the Knicks seemed to be in a state of confusion. For New York the last thing you want to see happen is having Porzingis, who’s supposed to be the foundation of this team in the future, become frustrated with the franchise. With only 15 games remaining, the Knicks are just looking to get through this season without causing any more internal damage than what’s already been done and should brace themselves for a potential major overhaul this coming summer.
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