THE PHIL EFFECT
By: Luis Vazquez
The recent re-signing of Carmelo Anthony by the New York Knicks was the latest act of a period of activity that has already changed the look of the franchise . It all started with the hiring of Phil Jackson as GM. From that point a team that looked like it would be in cap prison and maybe without its star, Anthony, this season, has seen a complete turnaround, thanks to one man.
Jackson's impact has already benefited the franchise. As a proven winner on the court and off, Phil seems to relish the challenge of getting the Knicks back to the title they have not enjoyed since Phil himself , along with him teammates flashed that group number one finger in unison in 1973. He has already made elbow room although it was said the Knicks had no moves. He convinced his star player to re-sign and for less than the max, and with his own personnel coming in place, Jackson is already building to the bottom line.
What has happened to change the perception? Well lets start with a quiet acquisition of Lamar Odom. If fit he will bring many intangibles to New York. Phil has installed Derek Fisher after Steve Kerr said no. Fisher is a newbie coach but smart and knows the triangle. This offense should bring structure to the offense while opening more opportunities for Carmelo.
Phil made an impressive trade when he off loaded ineffective Raymond Felton and center Tyson Chandler to Dallas for Spanish point Jose Calderón and center Samuel Dalembert, a player they were interested in the past. They also received guards Shane Larkin and Wayne Ellington and two draft picks, one of which they used to get a possible addition in second round pick Cleaanthony Early, a scorer from Wichita State. In essence, Phil got more than he sent.
Jackson has been aggressive in pursuing players starting with convincing Carmelo to sign for five million less than the max giving the Knicks a chance to get an impact player. Jackson tried to get Pau Gasol but rumors that he is open to using Shumpert and/or JR and Larkin as trade value to secure a Rondo, a Love, or an equal player of quality is welcome news. The Knicks like Tim Hardaway Jr. And his upside keeps him in as a young talent to balance the veterans that are expected to be added. Carmelo has bought in and by showing what he can accomplish with one hand tied behind his back makes one salivate as to what Jackson can do next year. It's a win win or New York as Stoudemire and Bargnoni should bring their best feet forward as they will be playing for contracts.
The Phil effect is the one thing Dolan has done right. Now he has to support it and watch as Phil will bring a championship in this five year span provided all on board buys into it. It appears initially most are. And this is what happens when you give the reigns to a man who knows what he is doing. The coming days still promise much as the Knicks are on the move ...to something promising.