Phil, Knicks ready for the next chapter

By Sekou Smith,

VIDEO: Carmelo Anthony’s top 10 plays … are they his last in a Knicks uniform?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Mike Woodson will be fine. The New York Knicks firing him and his entire staff Monday morning wasn’t even about those proud men who tried, in vain, to cajole the Knicks into the playoffs.

It’s about Phil Jackson, Woodson’s boss, for about a month and the man charged with playing the Knicks’ savior. It’s about clearing the way for something new, something bigger and better and more appropriate for a man swimming in championship rings.

It’s about the Knicks’ next chapter.

It’s about Carmelo Anthony and his future.

It’s about Steve Kerr, Kurt Rambis, Derek Fisher or whoever the poor soul is Phil taps to lead this team from the bench going forward. (The man who gets this job is not going to have 11 rings to show off when the haters crank up the rhetoric at the first sign of adversity.)

It’s about the fortification of the franchise for years to come and not just now, when the public appetite for a head roll was at a fever pitch and had to be satisfied.

Jackson had no choice but to part ways with the Woodson and his crew. He can’t change the culture without making significant changes. He cannot put his stamp on things with a coach that was not of his choosing. Jackson could have made this decision at any time since he took over, but he wanted to see if Woodson could guide the Knicks to the playoffs (something that never came to fruition).

Clearly, the Knicks need more than just a new coach. If this wasn’t a playoff team, it’s certainly not a championship-caliber team. And it doesn’t matter who coaches them (sorry Amar’e Stoudemire and owner James Dolan). They need a roster shakeup as well. That is a much tougher task than selecting a new coach, given all of the salary-cap and luxury-tax hurdles the Knicks must overcome.

The supporting cast needs to be upgraded and tweaked to fit the style that Jackson can live with, because wherever the Knicks go in the immediate future, it’s on him. This is, unequivocally, his and only his team. Sure, the coach and biggest star will share some of the spotlight but not necessarily the burden that Phil must.

That’s the beauty and curse of the job he has. If things go well, he can sit back and take credit for the good times. But if things go awry, he’s on the hook now. It’s his coach, his star and, ultimately, his team.

While some folks are clamoring for him to return to the sideline and do the job he’s always done best, I agree with those who know him well. That crowd that insists Jackson will never coach again and that he’s in full Zen/team-builder mode. It’s the wisest approach to this job for a man whose accomplished as much as he has during his Hall of Fame career.

Jackson needs a coach he can mold and mentor, someone who shares his philosophies about the game and isn’t afraid to have the game’s all-time greatest coach hovering over the entire operation. He’s already made it clear that he won’t be catering to his stars and their wishes (‘Melo voiced public support for Woodson, leaving the needed wiggle room to flip or flop if necessary).

And Woodson doesn’t need anyone’s pity. He knows the game. He knew what was coming the moment Phil took over. He’s a good coach. He’s shown as much everywhere he’s been and he’ll be gainfully employed again, soon. But as mentioned before, this is not about him. This is about Phil and the decisions that come after his clipping of Woodson.

Whatever moves are made, Knicks fans should feel good about the fact that Phil knows exactly what needs to be done, how it gets done. The only lingering question is how long it takes for him to author this next chapter … because the one thing Phil doesn’t have is time.


  1. lakers says:


  2. triggerhappy says:

    @pepejeans: Lakers Get Melo, get Dragic then fire D’Anthony?
    Geez… So Where Will Melo Go Anyway? Lakers Get Him and Fire Him Again?

    Oh Maybe you’re Referring to D’Antoni. Lol!

  3. Tony says:

    Melo Back to New York, let’s go!!!

  4. Spiro says:

    Did anyone notice how some of these western teams dont have a superstar, they just have a really good team? Also did anyone notice how Beno Udrih played great on memphis and sees serious minutes during the playoffs yet didnt see 1 minute as a knick? Food for thought. Proof that you can win with mediocre players as long as you have a great coaching staff and organization around.

  5. Javon says:

    Knicks need keep melo and tell melo to get on the phone and call Kevin Love and ask him to come and play along with him. Get ride of Tyson Chandler, keep Tim Hardaway Jr and the rest of the roster.

    • Tony says:

      Get rid of Chandler? NO! keep him, you need a big, get Rondo, everyone goes, Get Melo, Love, Rondo, Hardaway, Odom, Pau, Chandler, and some fill ins. No more weak players, just Playmakers. Get Kerr

  6. HotChik says:

    The topic is about rebuilding New York with the Zen on-board, I don’t know why there are stupid people commenting about the Lakers…LOL

  7. pepejeans says:

    Lakers: get Melo, get Dragic.. fire D´anthony…

  8. spurs fan says:

    Would it be that bad to see Melo go? He’s an amzing player, best scorer in the league except for KD maybe. It’s inevitable that the Knicks won’t be that great next year but the Knicks seem to play pretty well without him. Just get through next year and ramp up for the 2015 season once all the crazy contracts are gone.

  9. Alex says:

    what does the glam have to do with anthony earning a ring ?

  10. Mart says:

    Also include Patrick Ewing to the staff.

  11. The big apple says:

    Knicks offseason plan
    1) sign and trade carmello Anthony to the bulls for 2 first round pick unprotected along with jimmy butler and taj Gibson.
    2) sign free agent rudy gay to mid max level 5 year 60 million.
    3) 2015 free agency sign Kevin love, kyre Irving
    4) knicks will draft a top prospect at draft with multiple picks

    Knicks win championship in 2016 !!

  12. james says:

    Jackson should hire Coach K

  13. Patty says:


  14. Patty says:

    Derek Fisher is the man for the JOB.

  15. Patty says:

    Phil Jackson should not hire Steve Kerr.

  16. okc2014 says:

    Why would Carmello Anthony stick around for all this foolishness of who the new coach will be, wait 3 years for a championship. LaLa can get used to Chicago, there’s glam their too.

  17. MrBiggs333 says:

    Bring Back Jeff Van Gundy. He will be a perfect fit. and now that he does not have to deal with Jim Dolan that should be all the inspiration these Knicks need. Sure you need a few changes to their roster but who better to meld a team together than Van Gundy?

  18. mello says:

    Bring back coach George Karl !!!

  19. LeBrick Shames says:

    When will be Pringles fired too in Los Angeles?!?

  20. LA's Hawks Fan says:

    IF the knicks get fisher as the coach he might try and run the triangle offense, which could be very interesting especially with Phil there overlooking making sure everything is going in the right direction.

  21. PoetryDre says:

    Prediction: Phil will take to the bench for one season and train his successor in the ways of phil and then go back to being president again just as Riley did. It doesn’t make sense for him to approach this any other way. The entire world is watching him and any way he slips, there will be alot of noise!! Its the only way he save’s the legacy he’s created!

  22. DString says:

    Steve Kerr has not been a head coach, but doesn’t mean he can’t coach, its just he needs to get acclimated to that position. Derek Fisher, I think not. Rambis probably won’t get along well with the players. Jackson needs someone to run his Triangle offense. Fisher and Rambis know it, but may have a problem getting it across to the players. Kerr knows it too, but it will take time to coach it, and build confidence i his players in how to execute properly. This will not be an easy task for anyone, including the Zen Master himself.

  23. Mike says:

    It doesn’t matter who is coaching…Anthony is a ball stopper who only plays one end of the floor.
    Every elite team needs their stars to be 2 way players. Then add in a meathead like Smith and you’ve already got 2 in a 7 deep roster who make bad decisions. Do I think Carmelo is one of the best one on one players? Absolutely.
    Do I think J.R. is a yearly candidate for 6th man..of course I do.
    The true franchises who win championships are the ones that clearly define roles that each player MUST fit into or they are shipped elsewhere. Spurs…OKC…Miami…just to name a few.
    As long as a rotation of 5-7 players are more concerned about “getting theirs”…it’s a recipe for destruction.

    Plus signing Amare to an insane contract….Thanks Chuck for being so honest…was crazy.
    Glad to see he put in 1/2 a season of good stats.
    I hate the guaranteed contracts….no matter what they get paid…well what if you don’t perform? Can’t you make deductions??
    Seems a little one sided to me.

    • Tony says:

      You’re uneducated in Sports. Like Jordan and Kobe before Phil they all have a knack to score at will. They had weak players around. You all said the same about them, yet they are both Champs. Relax with the Right team and scheme he will be the best. KNOW YOUR ROLE!!!!!!!! JABRONI!!!!!!!

  24. KNICKS says:

    Steve kerr is going to probly get the job, but Carmelo wont be happy, they need to find a way to build around him or else there going nowhere, I would see Carmelo at Houston doing crazy damage… with harden Dwight parson etc…

  25. Nast says:

    Kerr? Rambis? Fisher?
    Do you guys really think one of this names will bring serenity in Melo’s mind?
    If they really want him back, they’ll need a BIG name like Karl, Hollins, Van Gundy or coach K..

  26. Laker Fan says:

    Kerr will probably get the job, if not then I see Rambis getting the job.

  27. NBAFAN says:

    I dont know if Kerr is the man for the job

  28. [knicks] says:

    It’s sad to see Woodson go. I been a knicks fan for 2 decades. Knicks went through a lot of ups and downs over the years. It’s not just Woodson’s and/or his stuffs ruin the knicks. Not one knicks roaster play up to their standard compare to last season. I’m referring to the stats. They don’t have the same mentality, chemistry, sync. Jackson need to restructure and tune the knicks. It’s a tall order but I have faith in him. I hope he find the perfect combo. I really missed the big 3 back in the days – Ewing, Oakley, Starks. If they can put together a similar trio, they’ll not only make the playoffs but most very likely to win the championship. Go knicks go! Once a knick, always a knick


    your move kupchak