In a rebuilding, losing environment with some new faces, some old faces, and some faces who aren't gonna be around in a few months, there is guaranteed to be strife. The Knicks were never just gonna fart out a lottery-ready record in peace. So, here we go, via noted sayer of things Chris Broussard:
Carmelo Anthony told Tim Hardaway Jr. he was going to beat his ass right on the court, which is spectacular:
The New York Knicks were en route to their fifth straight loss last week against Brooklyn when a frustrated Tim Hardaway Jr. screamed angrily, "Get the rebound!''
Certain his second-year teammate was speaking to him, Carmelo Anthony approached Hardaway on the way down the court and used an expletive to ask Hardaway who in the world he thought he was talking to.
Anthony, according to sources, then used another expletive in telling Hardaway he was going to beat him up when they got into the locker room after the game.
Everyone hates each other and the Triangle:
"Nobody's taken a swing at anybody, but there's a lot of arguing and cursing each other out after games,'' one source said.
In addition to the Knicks' lack of chemistry, sources say the players believe coach Derek Fisher's insistence on running the triangle offense is another key reason for New York's struggles.
The Knicks miss not trying under Mike Woodson:
Last year, under Woodson, the Knicks switched on defense. This year, under Fisher, they don't switch, which has some players grumbling.
Also, the day after losses, Woodson would typically hold voluntarily workouts that were light and non-demanding. Fisher, however, holds full-fledged practices and works the players hard.
"Guys are definitely frustrated,'' one source said. "But some of it's just basketball stuff that the players don't like doing. When somebody's demanding that you make a hard cut, you don't like it because you have to work harder. When someone says it's not okay to throw a bull---- pass, guys don't like it.''
1. If true (and I assume someone in the locker room told Broussard this...I'm very curious who snitched), this is, again, totally unsurprising and right in line with things I've heard about the team. If anything, I'm more amazed at how long the Knicks managed to prop up the "we're losing but everyone's trying so hard and we've gotta keep our heads up!" facade than I am surprised at any of the above.
2. Hardaway and Melo ostensibly bickering over who shoots more bad shots and plays less defense is pretty much the central conflict of a Will Ferrell movie.
3. Players do not tank, and this sucks for them. OF COURSE they hate the Triangle! It's hard! They're losing! They're losing so they can learn, but-- on an individual level-- for what? They are being made to look amateur for the sake of progress toward something in which most of them, on expiring contracts, have no stake, and they wish they could just play the way that's most comfortable. This regime demands patience and sacrifice from guys who will mostly not be around for the intended payoff. That'll get you bickering.
4. Remember Phil Jackson's "non-learners" comment? Those players pining for a time when they were only mostly terrible instead of fully terrible and Mike Woodson let them do whatever the hell they wanted and they didn't have to practice or defend or cut? There you go!
5. For real, it heartens me to see players at odds with the system. There are losing situations in which management and staff allow the team to settle into disarray. At least for now, the players continue to be tested. And if they fail, that's fine, because most of them can leave this summer.
6. The only part I really don't like is anything about Melo's "disdain" for the Triangle. He's the one who's not supposed to leave. But yeah, again, losing sucks and it's a lot to ask of a player-- particularly the star-- to grind through the molting process such as this one with a smile on his face. SO SIT, MELO! Why not rest the knee, study the system (please?), and wait for most everyone else to leave? Melo chose this, by the way! He knew there would be a season of moderate to heavy suck. He had to.
Losing feels horrible. People will fight when they feel horrible. This was to be expected, and it will probably get worse before it gets better.