Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rant #696: Out With the Old, In With the Old

As I am sure you already know, the New York Knicks have a new coach, because the old coach went ahead and quit because he lost the team during its recent trials and tribulations.

Mike D'Antoni, who was brought in three years ago as head coach when the team was in complete and total disarray with bad contracts and bad deals it had to answer for, felt that it was for the betterment of team for him to step down.

Fans have been after his head for nearly the entire season, and a small dose of "Linsanity" didn't last too long.

Actually, the refusal of his top player, Carmelo Anthony, to conform to his program doomed his status, and rather than coach out the season in losing fashion, D'Antoni decided to take the proverbial hike, and take two of his assistants--one his brother--with him to never never land, a place where doomed coaches retreat to, only to come back leading another team in the near future.

The team has given over its leadership to Mike Woodson, one of D'Antoni's assistant coaches, who was basically in never never land himself, having once coached the Atlanta Hawks before being fired.

This situation really went down the tubes because when you lose your star player, you basically lose the team.

The NBA is the only professional sports league that I know of where the players basically have more power than even the coach to help make decisions that are supposedly for the betterment of the organization. Teams rely on players to keep coaches in the right perspective, or the perspective that the players deem is right, and in this case, since Carmelo wasn't jelling with D'Antoni's vision, the coach had to go.

Can you imagine if Derek Jeter told the Yankees that he didn't like what Joe Girardi was doing to him by dropping him down in the batting order or not playing him on certain days of the week, and that, perhaps, the manager should be removed?

That will certainly never happen.

But in the NBA, even though Carmelo Anthony denies it, he has the ear of owner James Dolan, the Cablevision mogul, and even though D'Antoni supposedly resigned on his own, I somehow doubt that he wasn't going to be fired soon anyway.

It's called saving face.

And the Knicks went out and did what they should have done. They were so perplexed by what happened that they whooped the Portland Trailblazers by 42 points, stopping their losing streak.

Rooting for the Knicks, I'm afraid, is like rooting for the Mets. The Knicks haven't won a championship since 1973. They are in a perpetual state of losing and rebuilding. But they never seem to get it right.

This year, they were supposed to compete with the big boys like the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, but all they've done is compete with the Mets as being New York's laughingstock team.

They are the true gang that couldn't shoot straight (sorry, Jimmy Breslin), and they seem to continue to shoot blanks while other organizations prosper.

Thank goodness the Yankees' season opens in less than three weeks.

And I am taking the day off tomorrow, so you will have to wait until Monday for my next pearls of wisdom.

Speak to you then.

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