Knicks ‘experiment’ has ‘fallen flat on its face’: Jackson

By on February 4, 2015

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“Of course it’s a concern of mine, the perception that it’s too difficult to learn or too difficult for today’s players to embrace,” Jackson said. “But I think anyone that believes he’s a total basketball player is going to want to do it… I’m not daunted by the number of people who have commented that this way of playing is arcane.”

Expected to be armed with more than $ 30 million in cap space this summer when the contracts of Amar’e Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani and others come off the books, Jackson also indicated that the Knicks might consider divvying up that money to several players to fill in pieces around Anthony rather than sign a max player such as Marc Gasol or LaMarcus Aldridge.

“You do need great players to win the championship, but having to always chase the best talent in free agency eventually becomes a mindset of, well, the best talent wins as opposed to who plays the best team basketball, which is what San Antonio showed last season,” Jackson said. “Their play was special, a team that really values passing, a system where they’re not just standing around, spacing out shooters. That’s also what Atlanta and a couple of other teams are showing this year.”

The Knicks’ play has improved since Jackson salary-dumped J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert in a three-way deal and waived Samuel Dalembert last month, with former D-Leaguer Langston Galloway and 10-day signees Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas earning playing time and contracts for the remainder of the season.

“As far as blame, it’s a team, it’s an organization. So no one person can really take the blame,” Fisher said. “We all have to take responsibility for where we are. But I think leaders aren’t afraid to step out in front of anything and that’s what he is. He’s just stepping out in front and saying it stops with him. But I’ll tell you guys the same thing – it stops with me.

“And hopefully we’ll have more and more guys in our locker room that will tell you it stops with them. Until eventually we’re all owning what it is that’s going on until it changes and it gets to a place we want it to be.”

Jackson also revealed that he dined with Anthony last month in London and told the eight-time All-Star again that he can be more successful from a team perspective in the latter half of his career even if he isn’t as productive offensively.

“I told him I wanted him to be the guy who was blending his game in the style of basketball we were going to play: a mentor, a teacher,” Jackson said. “I’ve been around this game long enough to know that time waits for no one, but we see a lot of players playing at a very high level who are considerably older. I felt some of Michael (Jordan’s) most productive years came in the late 1990s. He wasn’t dunking as often, but his gamesmanship, his knowledge, were at their peak. So I see Carmelo as a heady enough ballplayer to be proficient as he ages.”

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