It has been a frustrating year for the New York Knicks and their fans. On Wednesday night, a group of those angry fans rallied together to voice their frustrations with the team’s ownership before their squad took on the Eastern Conference’s number one team, the Indiana Pacers.
Approximately 70 fans were huddled up outside of Madison Square Garden on a rainy New York City day. This rally came at a strange time, as the Knicks just held a press conference Tuesday announcing that their former player and 13-time NBA Champion Phil Jackson will be the team’s new president. The rally, however, was scheduled a couple of weeks ago before we knew anything about the Jackson hiring. These fans decided to go on with it anyway. Brian Platero, a 21-year fan at the rally, hopes that it will result in a positive response from the Knicks organization.
“I hope it will be positive,” he said while holding a sign that read “Don’t Trust Dolan”. “I’m here to make a statement. Dolan needs to just back off.”
The Dolan he is referring to is Knicks owner James Dolan, the mastermind behind the hire of Jackson and the man many fans blame for the team’s struggles over the years. The KF4L (Knick Fans For Life) Rally page on Facebook stated that the focus of their presence would be supportive towards the hiring of Jackson and to preach that Dolan should stay out of his way and let him do his job. Kevin Rodriguez, a long time Knick fan and a member of the rally, said he is looking forward to having Jackson back with the Knicks and enjoyed Tuesday’s press conference.
“I thought it was impressive,” he said. “He looked excited to be here. I hope that it all works out.”
At the press conference, Dolan said he will “willingly and gratefully” give up some of his power over basketball decisions to a guy like Jackson. Rodriguez heard what he said, but stated that it is difficult to trust him after all of these years.
“Right now it’s hard because he has done this plenty of times before, I will need to see it to believe it.”
Dolan, who spoke not only at the press conference but also on ESPN Radio Tuesday, also added something that caught the attention of many Knick fans. He said he isn’t a basketball expert and didn’t like the fact that he had to make a lot of basketball decisions for this team. Platero doesn’t buy that statement.
“I think he’s full of it. He says ‘I’m not a basketball expert’ then why are you getting involved with the Knicks? Why are you not just signing the checks like most owners do? Let those who are more of the experts take care of it.”
Heading into Wednesday night’s game, the Knicks, despite being on a six-game winning streak, are 27-40 and 4.5 games behind the Atlanta Hawks for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. This is a shock to many, but the organization seems to finally be making some moves and is willing to change. Carmelo Anthony said hiring Jackson was a “power move”, but it seems as though there are still a lot of moves that need to be made to bring this team back to glory.
The move to bring in Jackson seems like a step in the right direction, but Platero wants them to take their time and isn’t necessarily looking for a quick fix because that is how he thinks they have made some mistakes in the past.
“I would rather them take their time because we have a bad history of quick fixes and it screws us in the long run. We are always about quick fixes, its never thinking about what our future is going to be like.”