New York Knicks: Phil Jackson criticizes LeBron James


New York Knicks’ President Phil Jackson isn’t afraid of speaking his mind, as clearly shown in a recent interview with Howard Beck of Bleacher Report.

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The NBA is an ever changing game like all sports, and Jackson doesn’t seem to be too fond of the product on the court.

“The game actually has some beauty to it, and we’ve kind of taken some of that out of it to make it individualized,” Jackson said to Beck. “It’s a lot of who we are as a country, individualized stuff.”

Most teams in the NBA don’t run an offense like the San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, or Atlanta Hawks. With these teams, ball movement is key to success and it can look like a thing of beauty when it’s executed right.

“When I watch some of these playoff games, and I look at what’s being run out there, as what people call an offense, it’s really quite remarkable to see how far our game has fallen from a team game,” Jackson told Beck. “Four guys stand around watching one guy dribble a basketball.

Jackson used the game’s greatest player as an example of what is wrong with the NBA offenses now.

“I watch LeBron James, for example. He might [travel] every other time he catches the basketball if he’s off the ball. He catches the ball, moves both his feet. You see it happen all the time. There’s no structure, there’s no discipline, there’s no ‘How do we play this game’ type of attitude. And it goes all the way through the game. To the point where now guys don’t screen — they push guys off with their hands.”

Jackson is trying to rebuild the Knicks into their once glory days of the 1970s, when they had a fluid offense with talented players.

As of now, the Knicks are rather thin when it comes to talent. Carmelo Anthony is their star player, and Jose Calderon also seems to have his spot for next season as the Knicks’ lead guard in the triangle offense.

Jackson is in the process of working on the toughest thing in his NBA career, as he tries to turn the Knicks into a winner again.

The first big step in Jackson’s rebuilding plan will be on Thursday night in the NBA Draft, as the Knicks hold the fourth overall pick. There has been a lot of speculation surrounding what the Knicks will do with that pick. The Philadelphia 76ers are a wild card in front of the Knicks, and whatever the 76ers decide to do will have a great impact on the Knicks’ plan.

Jackson will also have a lot of money to spend in free agency. If Jackson holds firm with his plan, the Knicks won’t be adding a star, but will instead be looking to add multiple quality players.

The offseason plan for the Knicks will try to duplicate teams like the Spurs, Hawks, and Warriors. The success of those teams with their team-orientated offenses are exactly what Jackson is trying to create in New York.

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