Denials Aside, Internal Strife Effecting New York Knicks


When a team starts off the season 4-20, the natural progression is finger pointing, bickering and mutinies against the head coach, especially one that is a rookie. With their losing streak now at 10 (and 11 on the road), the New York Knicks are a powder keg and explosion in waiting. And their superstar player Carmelo Anthony is directly in the line of fire.

ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard reported that during last week’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Anthony exchanged words on the court, with the second-year player apparently questioning the perennial All-Star’s intensity and lack of attempt getting rebounds.

The report also stated that Hardaway is not the only Knick unhappy with Anthony and that other teammates feel that he is shooting the ball too much, doesn’t look to pass it and only plays defense when he feels like it.

Both Hardaway and Anthony denied that there is an issue between the two but the team had a player’s only meeting last Saturday and it is more than obvious that all is not well here. The Knicks have struggled to learn the triangle offense and that has been a point of contention all season long.

In his progress report to the media, Knicks team president Phil Jackson acknowledged that the slow start was not something they anticipated nor happy with and the players’ attitude also was questioned.

"Obviously, we’re disappointed. We knew it was going to be a process, we talked about that before but the process has been set in place and I think the guys understand what we are trying to do. Hopefully they are getting to be more compliant; there’s some resistance to discipline, order and culture change."

When the head honcho utters that last part, it is a subtle way of saying that the nonsense needs to stop. Losing games while a team learns the playbook and continuity is one thing, but when there is selfishness and infighting that is cancerous in a locker room.

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Embattled head coach Derek Fisher received a vote of confidence from Jackson, but the same can’t be said about Anthony. One doesn’t even have to read between the lines in Jackson’s statement to understand the message he was conveying.

"I would like to see him flesh out the rest of his game. He’s been getting some assists, he’s been getting some rebounds, but I think every opportunity to offensive rebound, which is one of his strengths, I would like to see him continue to do that. I would like to see him continue to be aggressive defensively and a leader on that end of the floor, too."

Sounds eerily familiar to what Broussard’s report said concerning Anthony and how he is rubbing his teammates the wrong way with his style of play and intensity level. When the face of your franchise is not even liked in his own locker room, the Knicks’ woes can continue for a long time to come.