Knicks execs show true colors of clown-show organization, fail to face media after David Fizdale firing | Remember, Steve Mills and Scott Perry aren't exactly against calling press conferences


                        Knicks execs show true colors of clown-show organization, fail to face media after David Fizdale firing

Knicks execs show true colors of clown-show organization, fail to face media after David Fizdale firing

Knicks execs show true colors of clown-show organization, fail to face media after David Fizdale firing

Knicks execs show true colors of clown-show organization, fail to face media after David Fizdale firing

Knicks execs show true colors of clown-show organization, fail to face media after David Fizdale firing

Knicks execs show true colors of clown-show organization, fail to face media after David Fizdale firing
Knicks execs show true colors of clown-show organization, fail to face media after David Fizdale firing
  • By: cbssports.com
  • Views 4,553
2
Shared

At this point, what is there to even say about the way the New York Knicks go about their business. It's a complete disaster, from the top down, and has been for what feels like a lifetime. And just when you think it can't get any worse, it does. 

In their first game since the firing of professional scapegoat David Fizdale, the Knicks put up a good fight on Saturday, losing to the Pacers, a good team, 104-103. Julius Randle missed the would-be tying free throw with .01 seconds left. 

So the game ends and the players leave the court, go to the locker room, shower, talk to the media, all normal postgame business. But you know who wasn't around to answer any questions one day after a franchise-altering move? Knicks president Steve Mills and/or general manager Scott Perry. They didn't show their faces before the game, either. 

This is everything you need to know about how the Knicks operate and why they continue to be a laughingstock. This isn't even about basketball. This is about integrity. Professionalism. It's about the face that you're putting on your franchise either being a stand-up one or a hide-in-the-corner one. If you're going to fire a coach for "underachieving" with the dumpy roster you built for him, at least have the nerve to address the situation in a timely and halfway accountable manner. 

If you're going to make the argument that executives often don't address the media, particularly in postgame settings, or that they are under no obligation to do so, you would be right. But have at least a shred of self-awareness, man. Understand the optics. The context. Understand how this looks for a couple of executives who had no problem calling an impromptu press conference -- yes, after a game -- to throw Fizdale under the bus 10 games into the season. 

That's not exactly standard procedure for executives, either. 

In other words, when Mills and Perry need to take the stink off themselves (or at least try), they're all for standing up in front of the media and talking their heads off about needing to see "progress." But show me one example of Mills and/or Perry being better at what they do now than they were two years ago. Or three years ago. Or four years ago. Where, exactly, is their progress?

Mills and Perry calling that press conference out of the blue back on Nov. 10 was such a slimy move. If you don't want the guy, then fire him. Or don't hire him in the first place. But do it with some integrity. That press conference served no purpose other than to get their side of the story out in the open. A press conference on Saturday, either before the game or after, would have had a purpose, however. You make the decision, you answer the questions. That's what big boys do. 

Instead, players are getting asked to answer for their bosses. 

And then you have this:

Poor R.J. Barrett, man. The guy is 19 years old and he's being asked about situations his bosses refuse to take off his and all the other players' plate. This is how he thinks the NBA is supposed to operate. 

The fact that Mills or Perry don't think they need to stand up and be the face of this thing, well, again tells you everything you need to know about the Knicks. This is how they do business. It all comes back to James Dolan, of course. He's the owner. The way this guy does his business, nobody would be surprised if he directed Mills and Perry to hide their faces. 

Either way, Dolan is the one who directly empowers this type of management, which has shown basically no ability to perform the fundamental duty of their job in putting together a good basketball team, even when they have huge money and the supposedly huge draw of New York to fall back on. How coaches keep getting fired while these two keep their jobs is baffling. Even for the Knicks. 

Again, they had enough money to sign two max players this summer. When they didn't get those max players, they could have gone after even more really good players, maybe three or four of them, even if they had to overpay a bit to compensate for the fact that very few players who have other options would actually choose the Knicks these days. 

Fact is, the Knicks had more than enough money to sign both Malcolm Brogdon and Bojan Bogdanovic, just as an example. I'm not saying that would've been the best move, or even that they could've gotten those guys to begin with, but if you want to be a good team you have to try to get, you know, good players. 

You can't sign Elfrid Payton, Taj Gibson and Julius Randle without any sort of structure around them and think you're going to win. That's insane. But that's the Knicks. They said they wanted to save their money for future summers, because you just know they think they have an actual shot at someone like Giannis Antetokounmpo. And that's fine. It's not necessarily a bad long-term strategy. But then you have to have your short-term expectations in line. 

This is all basic logic, which the Knicks continue to lack. And now we can add "basic business decency and accountability" to the Knicks' running list of missing virtues. Personally, I don't know if Fizdale was the right guy for the job. That's not my job to know. What I do know is that Perry and Mills sure as heck believed he was the right coach when they gave him a four-year contract less than two years ago. They have the right to change their mind on that. 

But they should also at least have the professionalism to get up in front of the cameras and explain themselves when they no longer have any PR game to win. And it's too late now. The window of respect has closed. They might call a press conference Sunday or Monday or Tuesday or whenever. That's not going to cut it. The questions are already being asked, and in the absence of leadership, people will come to their own conclusions. 

Really, can you blame them?


                        76ers coach Brett Brown wants Ben Simmons taking at least one 3-pointer a game moving forward

76ers coach Brett Brown wants Ben Simmons taking at least one 3-pointer a game moving forward

Ben Simmons tied his career high with 34 points in the Sixers' 141-94 blowout over the Cavs on Saturday, and in the process he knocked down the second 3-pointer of his career. Obviously, this was, and is, a big deal. Simmons' lack of shooting is arguably the only thing in the way of his becoming a top-five player in the league and the Sixers becoming a championship favorite. 

The Sixers want Simmons shooting these shots. They know he has to shoot them -- not necessarily make a ton of them, but shoot them at least -- for them to get where they believe they have the talent to go. Simmons looks and says he feels comfortable with his shot. Indeed, this looks pretty good:

For those who haven't had the privilege of standing in a scrum of reporters listening to Sixers coach Brett Brown talk, it's a treat. You are not going to get the canned answers you get from a lot of coaches. And he's not going to cut you short. You ask a basic question, you are very likely going to get anything but a basic response. He'll be colorful. He'll be specific and detailed. Naturally, Brown was asked about Simmons' shooting on Saturday, same as he's been being asked about it for the past two years. 

Per ESPN's Tim Bontempts, Brown made it clear he wants Simmons to shoot one 3-pointer per game, at a minimum, moving forward. From ESPN:

"This is what I want," Brown said, "and you can pass it along to his agent, his family and friends. I want a 3-point shot a game, minimum. The pull-up 2s ... I'm fine with whatever is open. But I'm interested in the 3-point shot. The mentality that he has where he's turning corners and taking that long step, that gather step, and bringing his shoulders to the rim and trying to dunk or finish tight, will equal higher efficiency, or getting fouled. That's the world that interests me the most. Those two things."

This is nothing new, that Brown wants Simmons playing the modern game -- which aims for threes, layups/dunks and free throws. But putting a number on it, saying one 3-pointer per game, at a minimum, makes it real. It's not a standard "Ben will shoot more threes when he's ready" escape comment. It's tangible. Brown also said he wants Simmons shooting eight free throws a game, which should come from those corner turning, square-shouldered drives Brown referenced. 

Again, per ESPN:

"The drama of it is overblown," Brown said. "The reality [is] that he can shoot and it's ultimately going to need to come into his game in a pronounced way from an attempt standpoint, that's not overblown. I think the drama surrounding it is completely overblown. When I put on my coaching hat and I'm looking at a 23-year-old young man trying to grow his game, it's completely, first, in his wheelhouse. And, secondly, he will be liberated. His world will open up.

"And I think, in many ways, so will ours."

The decision-makers of the New York Knicks are ghosting their team

The decision-makers of the New York Knicks are ghosting their team

NEW YORK -- Before the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers faced off at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, Mike Miller -- the man tapped to replace David Fizdale as New York's interim coach -- walked into the news conference room in Madison Square Garden, placed both hands on the wooden podium and addressed reporters.

The men who fired Fizdale -- team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry -- did not.

Miller opened with diplomatic pleasantries saying, "I would like to thank coach Fiz for the opportunity to be a part of his staff." He was asked why the decision to fire Fizdale was made Friday. He was asked what the players thought about it. He declined to answer those questions.

In truth, Miller wasn't the man to answer those questions. Those who were -- Mills and Perry -- decided not to.

The normal thing to do when a front office fires a coach is to explain why the decision was made, and what will happen next.

This, though, is The Garden -- where abnormal things happen.

So Mills and Perry decided they need not address the media Saturday evening -- despite the fact the two of them made the surprising decision to hold a press conference after a blowout loss at home to the Cleveland Cavaliers last month. That press conference, one source within the organization said, all but marked the end of Fizdale's tenure.

All that was left to be determined was when he would be fired. That turned out to be Friday -- but only after Fizdale oversaw a practice, spoke to the media and said hello to Mills and Perry in front of the cameras.

It was all just another reminder of how the Knicks have spent the past two decades lurching from one self-inflicted mess to another under James Dolan's ownership -- all while turning the league's most valuable franchise into one of its biggest laughingstocks.

After Miller was done, the locker room opened, and it was the players' turn to explain Fizdale's firing from their vantage point. Taj Gibson and RJ Barrett said the front office called them to notify them of the coaching change. Gibson said that Fizdale teared up when the two hugged goodbye.

The morning before Fizdale was fired, Marcus Morris Sr. gathered the team for a players only meeting. The meeting, Morris said, was about "the direction we're trying to go as a team."

The players said they also discussed ways that they could alleviate some of the pressure on Fizdale. 22-year-old Dennis Smith Jr. -- who was acquired in the front office's deal to send out Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks in February -- said that the team felt they could've done more to help their former coach hang onto his job longer.

"We didn't want it to all fall on him," Smith Jr. said. "We talked about that actually, we gotta start taking responsibility. It's not 100 percent all him. It's tough."

Morris Sr. added: "Fiz is the type of guy that stands in front of everything. That's why I looked up to him a lot."

Fizdale was fired hours after the players' discussion concluded. Julius Randle represents this team's marquee offseason acquisition; he had to speak on an early season coaching change as well.

"Fiz was a great person, great human being, great coach. It is tough, but we have a long season ahead. We have to keep moving along," Randle said.

Once the game began on Saturday, Dolan took his customary seat on the baseline next to the New York bench and folded his arms across his chest.

The Knicks had a chance to win the game despite trailing Indiana by 11 points in the fourth quarter. New York's defense didn't allow the Pacers to score in the final 5 minutes and 17 seconds. Randle, who was fouled with 0.1 seconds remaining in regulation, had a chance to force the game into overtime. He made his first free throw, and the Knicks players that had been sitting on the bench rose to their feet and put their arms around each other in silent prayer.

In the end, as Dolan has so many times over the past two decades, he proceeded to watch Randle's second free throw bounce off the back iron to seal a New York loss.

"It is pretty difficult. We played hard. We gave them everything we had. Came up short," Randle said after the Knicks missed 14 of their last 16 shots in the 104-103 loss.

Now, after a day and night when the Knicks did nothing to address their future, the wait begins for them to do so.

76ers coach wants Simmons taking one 3 a game

76ers coach wants Simmons taking one 3 a game

PHILADELPHIA -- What would Brett Brown like for Christmas? One 3-point shot per game from his All-Star point guard.

After his Philadelphia 76ers routed the hapless Cleveland Cavaliers 141-94 at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night, Brown was asked about Ben Simmons taking -- and making -- his second 3-pointer of both the season and his career.

And, in response, Brown said he'd like to see Simmons take at least one of them a game -- every game -- moving forward.

"This is what I want," Brown said, ''and you can pass it along to his agent, his family and friends. I want a 3-point shot a game, minimum. The pull-up 2s ... I'm fine with whatever is open. But I'm interested in the 3-point shot. The mentality that he has where he's turning corners and taking that long step, that gather step, and bringing his shoulders to the rim and trying to dunk or finish tight, will equal higher efficiency, or getting fouled. That's the world that interests me the most. Those two things."

When Simmons made his second career 3-pointer in the second quarter, the game was already well out of reach, with the Sixers going up by 40 points in the first half and over 50 at times in the second while spending the final 24 minutes on cruise control. Philadelphia's win, along with Dallas' 46-point rout of New Orleans earlier Saturday, marked the first time in NBA history two teams won by at least 45 points on the same day, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

But on a night that was spent almost exclusively waiting for the final buzzer to sound, the sight of Simmons cleanly and calmly catching in the corner in front of Cleveland's bench, rising up and burying a triple was the one meaningful moment to come out of it.

"I'm getting more comfortable," Simmons said after scoring a career-high 34 points to lead the Sixers, who are now 11-0 at home heading into Sunday's game here against their Atlantic Division rivals, the Toronto Raptors. "Obviously, throughout time I'm getting more comfortable with the game, and just learning my spots. And just adjusting."

What hasn't adjusted is the reaction to Simmons making a 3-pointer from the hometown fans. Like when he made one in the preseason, as well as the one he made against the Knicks, the crowd erupted after he hit it, and fans yelled at him to shoot more 3s during the game.

That Simmons has succeeded as much as he has without a 3-point shot thus far -- he won Rookie of the Year in 2018, made an All-Star team last season and signed a max contract extension with Philadelphia this summer -- is an indication of his natural talent level.

And while the fan reaction to him making a simple catch-and-shoot corner 3 is over the top, there is no arguing the importance of that shot to a Sixers team that is desperate for any kind of shooting it can get.

"The drama of it is overblown," Brown said. "The reality [is] that he can shoot and it's ultimately going to need to come into his game in a pronounced way from an attempt standpoint, that's not overblown. I think the drama surrounding it is completely overblown. When I put on my coaching hat and I'm looking at a 23-year-old young man trying to grow his game, it's completely, first, in his wheelhouse. And, secondly, he will be liberated. His world will open up.

"And I think, in many ways, so will ours."

ADVERTISING
ADVERTISING

Easy Branches Global Network allows You to share Your post within our Network in any Continent or Country on the Global

Your Post
boatshowchina expolifestyle.com