Basketball Zen master Phil Jackson has more championship rings than fingers. He’s known as a mental maestro when it comes to both x’s and o’s and fragile athlete psyches. It’s safe to assume Jackson always knows what he’s doing. Sometimes you have to sacrifice certain things to make a point, and this week Jackson seemed perfectly willing to sacrifice the confidence and pride of his latest acquisitions to point out why the Knicks couldn’t do better.
At the Las Vegas Summer League, Jackson told reporters the Knicks have to change who and what they are before they can begin to attract top-tier free agents. “We need to win, be a competitive team,” Jackson said (via ESPN). Recent moves, Jackson said, show the team is serious and the result will be “we’ll have people who want to come here.” But not yet. What’s unsaid there, but implied, is that the new players the Knicks have attracted aren’t top-tier LaMarcus Aldridge-type talents. Jackson basically said that new Knicks Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo, Derrick Williams and Kyle O’Quinn are just the best the Knicks could get, given that the team hasn’t been competitive. Will that inspire the troops?