Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Rant #1,367: Phil D. Basket



If you grew up in New York City in the 1960s, "Phil D. Basket" was one of the most clever public service commercials of the time.

It spoke about cleaning up after yourself, throwing away garbage and being clean about it.

Do not litter, as the commercials said. Phil D. Basket .... get it?

I looked on YouTube for this commercial, but no, YouTube does not have everything, and I could not find this anywhere, not even an image.

Well, there is a current Phil D. Basket, but it has very little to do with litter, unless you consider to be garbage the performance of the professional basketball team he is going to lead.

Many do.

The New York Knicks, who have had an absolutely horrid season, have signed Phil Jackson as its president.

I know that to the outside world, this means absolutely nothing, but in the world of the NBA, and in my world, this means quite a bit.

The Knicks have probably been the worst run franchise in professional sports history, and this has gone on for decades since their heyday in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

They spend money like it is water on players who aren't worth it, and they have what you can term a losing culture there.

They fill up Madison Square Garden night in and night out corporate types who wouldn't know a basketball from a volleyball.

It is a losing culture, and has been, except for brief spurts, since the Knicks started with the dawn of the NBA in 1948.

Bringing Jackson in hopes to turn that whole thing around.

Jackson began his playing career with the Knicks, and was a member of their lone two championship teams.

Using whatever talent he had, and his smarts, he lasted a number of years as a player in the league, and then moved into coaching.

He paid his dues. He coached in the old CBA, leading the Albany Patroons to two championships in that league.

Then he became an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls, gravitated to the coaching position, and led them to one championship after another.

He moved onto the Los Angeles Lakers, and the same thing happened.

He has more championship rings than many women have earrings.

The Hall of Famer has been out of the league for a few years, but a guy like this can't sit still very long, and the Knicks snatched him when they need him most.

This was supposed to be a big year for the Knicks. They were supposed to compete for the championship this season.

But, starting with star player Carmelo Anthony opening his mouth and telling the world that he would opt for free agency after the season, this season has gone sour from just about the beginning.

The Knicks have a losing record, they probably will not make the playoffs, and the press here, and the fans, have questioned the integrity of the team through a rash of injuries and bad coaching.

Coach Mike Woodson is probably in his final days in that capacity, and even his own players have questioned him and what he has done.

One player, Raymond Felton, has worse things to worry about, as gun possession charges against him are pending.

The Knicks are bad, but they have currently won six games in a row as they at least make the last few weeks of the season interesting, for what might have been.

Now they have Jackson in tow, looking to the future, to what might be.

As a fan, I am perturbed at the season, but unlike some, I don't look at Jackson as a miracle worker.

It will take a lot of time to fix this organization, and he is signed for five years, and it might take that amount of time, and then some, to bring a positive, winning attitude to a team that always seems to be more of a sideshow than anything else.

I wish him well, but he is being paid well to make this moribund franchise vital again.

Can he do it?

Never having been a "suit" before, it is hard to tell, but I guess this puts the Knicks in the right direction.

There are so many things wrong with this franchise that he has a lot on his plate, but I guess they signed the right guy to fix it.

Personally, in the situation the team is in, they have a real long way to go, but I guess that Jackson is the right guy for the job.

A modern day Phil D. Basket for sure.

(And for the skeptical, including myself, watch and listen to the enclosed clip that I have provided. Keith Olbermann really goes at this whole thing, and it is pretty funny--and true. We Knicks fans have a reason to look at this as just another ho hum Knicks moment, and personally, I hope we are wrong.)

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