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Hate him or Love him... Isola is on target with this post I copied below!!!
If this team has the hunger and takes their **** seriously.... if after a loss they come back with the thirst for payback from any team that gets in their way.. they could beat the **** out of teams like Philly and Charlotte and compete for a playoff spot.
Nate needs to stop the **** and the more veteran guys need to set the tone.
VAN GUNDY RETURNS TO GARDEN...
By Frank Isola
This is the start of LeBron James Week in New York: the Cavs are in town for a nationally televised game on Friday.
In fact, former Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy and almost Knicks coach Mark Jackson will call the game on ESPN with MSG Knicks broadcaster Mike Breen. Yes, it's all very confusing. The telecast will mark the first time Van Gundy has been at the Garden in a non-coaching role in three years.
As coach of the Rockets, Van Gundy made a couple of memorable visits to Garden. In his first game back since resigning as Knicks coach, Van Gundy's debut was overshadowed by Stephon Marbury's home debut as a Knick. The Garden rocked that night but only until the Rockets outscored the Knicks something like 24-2 to start the game. We should have known at that moment that the Marbury era was doomed.
The following season, Van Gundy's club beat the Knicks on a last second shot. Garden Chairman James Dolan was so upset over the loss that he had Isiah Thomas fire Lenny Wilkens right on the spot. The Knicks claimed that Wilkens had resigned which everyone knew was nonsense. Well, almost everyone but that's another story.
Jackson was the leading the candidate to replace Isiah as coach until Mike D'Antoni had a falling out with Phoenix and suddenly was flirting with the Knicks. How close was Jackson to getting the job? He had already contacted Bernie Bickerstaff and Del Harris about joining his staff and had reached out to former Knicks trainer Mike Saunders about returning to his old job.
It could be old news by Friday, but I'm wondering if Van Gundy and Jackson will address the comments Chris Duhon made following Friday's overtime loss in Charlotte. Duhon accused his teammates of being unprofessional in their preparation, saying that players were joking around on the lay-up line.
D'Antoni said the next day that he doesn't believe it is a "widespread thing" but it is nonetheless alarming. The Knicks were coming off an embarrassing opening night loss to Miami and now minutes before game No. 2 players are goofing around?
I wrote a story last season about how D'Antoni gives his playing too much leeway. The Knicks are not mature enough and most of them haven't accomplished enough to be treated the way D'Antoni treated his players in Phoenix. D'Antoni had a true leader with the Suns in Steve Nash. All the players took their cue from the two-time MVP.
The Knicks are devoid of such a leader. And considering that seven of the players on the current roster have expiring contracts, the Knicks have a team of players with no emotional investment in the organization's future.
Donnie Walsh said he had "no problem" with what Duhon said. Good for him. And hooray for Duhon for caring enough to say something.
We all know that Nate Robinson is one of the culprits. Lil' Him was dancing and singing during warm-ups on Saturday. But Lil' Him isn't the only one and Robinson shouldn't take all of the blame.
The Knicks marketing department builds its entire campaign around Robinson, a sensational athlete who is immature and has never won anything other than two slam dunk contests.
Over the past two seasons, images of Robinson singing and dancing are always shown on the giant video scoreboard. In essence, he is being rewarded for goofing around. Unfortunately, no one takes him seriously and no one takes the Knicks seriously.
We all know that the Knicks have to sell tickets and that Robinson is one of their star attractions, for better or worse. But what are the Knicks trying to sell here, basketball or entertainment? I still say that having a winning team will attract fans. That's how the Knicks did it when Jackson was playing and Van Gundy was coach. Now that was entertaining.