Wednesday, March 12, 2014

We Want Phil

Bring Phil Jackson back.

Bring him back to the Mecca, where he was once was a long and pencil-thin super sub who developed a lust for the team concept.

A lifetime basketball philosopher and brand name like Jackson would tune up the basketball focus.

The yawn-inducing sideshow that Dolan and his cadre of personal public relations rats tend to bring would likely vanish.

Knicks fans have endured enough ineptitude, enough oversized and wasted contracts during the Isaiah Thomas era and enough overpriced and psychotic, sister-kissing head cases (ahem, Marbury, ahem).

They've also endured two disastrous 23-win seasons (2006 and 2008) and a nightmarish 2013-2014 campaign.

 They've also endured the most astonishing case of an underachieving head coach somehow keeping his job amid turmoil.

Following a sizzling regular season in 2012-2013, the Knicks' lofty post-season expectations were devoured quicker than the super-sized bacon cheeseburgers on Marc Berman's plate.

Roy Hibbert was rendered the next Bill Russell. He applied a pack of refined, newly-veiled post moves on one side of the floor. He swatted and manipulated shots on the other.

There was a search warrant out for JR Smith's consistency.

The Knicks' best long-range shooters were buried in DNP-Coach's Decisions, relegated to the role of spectator.

 The rim-protecting Tyson Chandler of the regular season suddenly went Houdini.

 The organization and the city deserved a far better ending. They deserve better than what they've witnessed this season.

There's been a spate of injuries, there's been a superstar in need of more supplementary pieces.

 That superstar is frequently pigeonholed by the Knicks media (many of whom never even made the JV team) as a me-first individualist who will supposedly "never win a championship."

There's been the misuse and mishandling of players, most recently Metta World Peace and de facto Mike Woodson-scapegoat Beno Udrih.

 Playoff berth or not, this Knicks season is strikingly similar to the lost years of Marbury and Zeke.

Jackson' veteran savvy is needed to resuscitate the left-for-dead Knicks.

 He's a calming influence of a man, known for deflating larger-than-life egos and nourishing the team's soul.

He's always preached surrendering individual desires for the betterment of the team, empowering all 12 men on the roster to form a whole that is more powerful than a few high-volume scorers.

Sure, he's had a fleet of Hall of Famers and the Haves of the NBA every step of the way. Yet if there is one intangible that Jackson has mastered, it has been stability.

He's stabilized wild and circus-like basketball environments, burying non-sense and creating a collective thirst for winning.

If Jackson can quell the beyond-anyone's-control beef between Kobe and Shaq, there are no ceilings on his capability.

If Jackson smoothened out the rocky relationship between Michael Jordan and Horace Grant as well as Jordan and Steve Kerr as well as Jordan and Bill Cartwright as well as Jordan and (everyone besides Pippen and Oakley) fixing this dysfunctional Knicks environment could be light work for the battle-tested Zen Master.

Jackson possesses unique powers of persuasion.

 His powers of persuasion can potentially snatch a new coach.

His powers of persuasion can make the Knicks job an appealing one, with less emphasis on the isolation game and even the replenished tenets of the Triangle Offense.

Jackson's potency is deadly enough to get Carmelo to share the ball, to get J.R. Smith to share hits from a locker room water bong with Jim Dolan and team spin doctor Jonathon Supranowitz.

The tightly-wound Dolan and Supranowitz could likely use the high, numbing the pain and pressure of a putrid season and the intrusive New York media.

Whether Jackson incorporates pre-game meditation or implements summer reading, the legend's ring-decorated pedigree is a necessity in New York's hothouse hoops environment.

 James Dolan can take his guitar, his affinity for the Eagles, his groupie and concert-obsessed friends, and get out of the way.

The money that Dolan mooched off of poppa's purse will be safe with Jackson smearing his fingerprints all over the Knicks' control buttons.

A few true Knicks fans will even offer to help Dolan, tight-lipped curmudgeon that he's always been, with his luggage out of town.

Isaiah Thomas' former lover must give Jackson a green light bigger than Jay Gatsby's, granting him full control of every department Dolan nearly ruined during his tumultuous reign in New York.

No Sports Brains James' personality is invisible, his character attacked often by the vindictive media he has constantly frozen out.

Rectifying this issue is simple: Make Jackson the face of the franchise. Close the deal.
Take the all the media attention away from the disloyal dud who is Dolan.

Put the ball in Phil's hands and let the Zen Master serve as a calming influence.

With the season for openings emerging, Jackson appears excited to dip his toes into the cold waters of this floundering franchise.

 He's already thwarted the coaching rumors, making it quite clear his days roaming the sidelines are long gone.

If you fear Jackson will tarnish his storied legacy in Manhattan because of the disinterested, guitar-strumming anti-jock hippie who is Dolan, do the research.

As inept and maddening and indecisive as Dolan can be, Jackson has been through this fight before.

He dealt with the antics of oft-hated Jerry Krause, "Crumbs" as Jordan liked to call him, in Chicago.

Heck, Jackson was even able to fend off the rebellious acts that wore out Dennis Rodman's welcome in San Antonio.

It was Jackson who got Rodman to ditch the dramatics, to quit dancing at late-night Tranny Bars and channel the ref-berating energy to defense and relentless effort crashing the boards.

If he Jackson can handle that, Dolan and New York  should be a duck walk.

 Bring Phil back today.