The New York Knicks were in chaos. The team couldn't win following a strong 22-22 start to the season, and management came out of nowhere to fire head coach Derek Fisher. Replacing him was basketball Twitter laughingstock Kurt Rambis, who charged out of the gate spouting lame rallying cries like, "We have no other goal than making the playoffs." Meanwhile, fans were left to sift through Phil Jackson's bizarre Twitter ramblings.
Here it comes, we all thought, The Unraveling. The front office appeared erratic, desperate ... and history has shown us that a desperate Knicks front office come trade deadline can only mean disaster.
Well, the trade deadline has come and gone, my friends. And nothing happened. Not one single move. Disappointing? Hell, I say it's a damn miracle. Order has been restored at MSG ... or, more accurately, order had never left in the first place.
Sources: Knicks turned down a Rockets offer of Patrick Beverley. Asking price of a first-round pick and two rotation players was too high.— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) February 18, 2016
There's exists in Logic something called the "Knicks Circular Fallacy." It goes a little something like this:
Phil has drawn criticism several times for presenting unrealistic expectations -- Lord knows, people will never let him forget 2014's "I expect us to contend for a playoff spot" speech -- but here's the thing: You shouldn't listen to anything that comes out of his mouth. It's all bullshit. It was bullshit in Chicago, it was bullshit in L.A. and it's bullshit now. Instead, pay attention to what the man does, the moves he's made as team president. Nearly every move he's made has been made with the future in mind. He drove the tank hard in 2014-15 once it was clear the team stunk. He drafted the ultimate Euro "project." And he has yet to trade away a single first-rounder.
The Knicks probably aren't going to make the playoffs this season, no matter how much Phil or Kurt Rambis say otherwise. The Zen Master has built half a roster, essentially from scratch. That's some pretty decent work. More importantly, Phil didn't take a wrecking ball to his project for the sake of an unreachable short-term goal.
What does that say for the Derek Fisher firing? Perhaps it had been in the works long before the New York's losing streak. Maybe he felt Fisher wasn't the right guy, and he decided to make a clean break -- unlike what's happening right now in Sacramento.
The biggest lesson Knicks fans can take from these past two seasons is that Phil Jackson does not act rashly. He may not have a filter for that mouth of his, and he may be in love with his own philosophies, but he is methodical about building this team. And that makes him a tremendous choice to run the New York Knicks.