Knicks president Phil Jackson communicates to the outside world in three ways. The first is through press conferences, where he more-or-less toes the company line and cannot hide his boredom and contempt for the entire process. We've already seen a couple of those this summer.
On Thursday and Friday, we were exposed to second and third types of Zen communication. Type 2 is his annual chat with Charley Rosen -- The Phil Jackson Chronicles -- where he tends to expound upon his ideas and opinions of his own players.
Part 1 was a little light on hot gossip, but he did at least compare Carmelo Anthony to three titans of NBA history: Willis Reed, Michael Jordan and ... Lou Amundson:
"Carmelo isn't going to yell or throw chairs. His style is much more subtle. For example, during the summer he took a bunch of his teammates to Puerto Rico so they could get to know each other in a relaxed, non-stressful and non-competitive situation. Carmelo also leads by example — practicing hard, preparing for games and then playing hard. Lou Amundson has the same quality. Willis Reed and Michael Jordan were also very effective leaders-by-example."
When you get to it, that praise of Melo's leadership style is dead-on accurate. And yet somehow it still reminds me of this scene from Talladega Nights. Don Shula, that Asian guy who held the world record for eating all them hot dogs, Rue McClanahan from "The Golden Girls": all great champions, a loved.
(I love you, Amy Adams)
Oh, and Phil has some ideas about rule changes:
"Why not have a four-point line about 35 feet out? It wouldn't be long before players will get reasonably comfortable shooting from out there. And having a four-point line would certainly serve to enable teams to catch up in what are now blowout games."
In addition, Jackson supports adding six seconds to the shot clock: "This would give offenses more time to get low-post players involved, make defenses work harder, and encourage more passing and player movement."
He's just spit-balling, of course, but this isn't the first time I've heard Phil mention the 30-second shot clock. Please, my man, just toss the one in the garbage bin.
Not merely content to speak through Rosen, Phil took to Twitter -- the third and most potent form of Zen communication, pure, uncut Phil injected straight into your eyeballs.
Here's what: We have brought change to the Knicks team. The real dimension of change is how much the players what to unite in this change— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) July 15, 2016
It's not about bonding and being friends, it's about joining in the effort of playing HARD on every effort. #respect— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) July 15, 2016
The change has begun, but true change cannot happen until the players change to embrace the change. That, my friends, is real change. As for the effort, it's not about the effort itself, but playing hard within the effort. I mean, that makes sense, right? I would have worded it differently, but it generally makes sense.
Please be good next season, Knicks.