The top brass of the New York Knicks—team president Steve Mills, GM Scott Perry and head coach Jeff Hornacek—assembled Friday morning for the annual pre-Media Day press conference. Haven taken a few minutes to digest the proceedings, I’m happy to report that the presser was fairly dull—a welcome respite from the geek show that marked the end of the Phil Jackson Era, when he’d take the microphone, blast his players for 15-20 minutes, and then bite the head off a chicken.
Friday morning’s conference, however, went pretty much how you’d expect, with all three men dodging a barrage of questions about the fate of Carmelo Anthony. Long story short, they expect Melo to show up next week, and expect him to carry himself professionally.
Mills said expects Melo Monday and Tuesday. Perry adds he will be "professional" and good effect on young guys.— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) September 22, 2017
Jeff Hornacek says Carmelo Anthony will start and his role will be unchanged as long as he's on the roster.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) September 22, 2017
'I know that Melo is a very prideful guy and I expect him to play some very good basketball when he returns' - Scott Perry— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) September 22, 2017
Cool beans. Does this mean Melo won’t be traded this weekend? Of course not—he could be traded by the time you finish reading this. It just means that the front office isn’t going to go the painfully honest Zen Master route. They’re going to spout the same tired cliches as most NBA executives. Thank God.
In more revealing news, Hornacek didn’t expressly say the triangle offense is dead, but did admit that the players don’t like it. In other words...it’s probably dead.
Hornacek on Triangle. "The style that guys are liking to play is a little bit different." Seems like offense will change significantly— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) September 22, 2017
As for rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina, Hornacek said he was encouraged by what he has seen in summer pickups games between defense, and that Frankie Smokes has a shot to compete for the starting job at the start of the season.
Kristaps Porzingis and his now-infamous exit interview blow-off were mentioned, but only in that Hornacek and management plan on moving forward. The trio was encouraged by what they witnessed at EuroBasket.
Regarding the most important player on the roster, Michael Beasley, Perry laughed and said the forward “doesn’t lack confidence” after he said the Knicks could win the fifth or sixth seed. He also said that Beasley, “...definitely has an NBA skill, and that’s putting the ball in the bucket.” Hell yes, he does.
I will say this for Perry: He has the smooth baritone of a ‘70s R&B DJ introducing the latest Barry White single.
I did find it a bit weird that nobody discussed Tim Hardaway—he of the new $71 million contract—but otherwise the press conference was pretty standard stuff. The media is never going to stop asking about Melo trades, but at least we can hope for some closure to the Kristaps exit interview stuff when the Unicorn makes his appearance on Media Day. Let’s get that over with, and play some baskethoops sport!