Kobe Bryant premiered a film at Tribeca on Sunday and Knicks President Phil Jackson attended. As thanks for showing up, Kobe told the New York Post that there is hope for Phil and Carmelo Anthony in New York. Based on what? Why the success of two of the greatest players of all-time, obviously.Via the New York Post:
“Not from what I’ve been through with Phil,’’ Bryant told The Post on Wednesday in an interview to promote the short being shown at the festival through Saturday. “Michael had his rough times with him as well. The history is you get through rough times after you win a good amount of championships. We certainly had our rocky times, but we still stuck to it, we figured out our way through it and came out better because of it. I think the most important thing is sticking to it, being patient. Sometimes things work out. Sometimes they don’t.”
That’s some deep musecage shit right there. Sometimes things work out. Sometimes they don’t. Like with Phil Jackson and the Knicks. More from Kobe.
“From my experience, from what I had with Phil — again it’s a different situation, he was coaching the team — but you can get through rocky times,’’ Bryant said. “They certainly were there in Chicago and when he was in L.A. But the championships can overshadow that.’’
Let’s take a moment to analyze this.
In Chicago, Phil took over a 47-35 team that had been to the Eastern Conference Championship and lost to the eventual NBA Champion Detroit Pistons. Michael Jordan was 26 and teamed with a 24-year old Scottie Pippen. The Bulls went back to the ECF in 1990 with Phil and then won the next three titles and six overall.
In Los Angeles, Phil took over a 31-19 team (4-seed) that had been to the second round of the playoffs and lost to the eventual champion Spurs in a lockout shortened season. Kobe was 21 and just getting to know 27-year old Shaquille O’Neal. The Lakers won titles each of the first three seasons Jackson was coaching in Los Angeles and five overall.
When Phil took over the Knicks in March 2014, the Knicks were finishing up a 37-45 season and about to hire Derek Fisher. Carmelo Anthony was 29. The Knicks have gone a combined 80-166 during Phil’s first three full seasons in New York. Zero playoff appearances overall.
The time for championships solving problems is over. To even compare where Kobe and Michael and Carmelo were in their careers when they began dealing with Phil Jackson is dumb at best. Kobe and Michael hadn’t even reached their peaks and Phil was immediately associated with their doing the only thing they ever cared about – winning.
That’s not happening in New York. Not anytime soon and not under the current regime. The good news is Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson are only under contract for two more years. Then maybe some enterprising coach can step in, ride a 23-year old Kristaps Porzingis to postseason success and coast on that forever.