Knicks’ Latest Coaching Staff Decision Yet Another Red Flag for Team’s Future

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NEW YORK — Offseason, we say? Not in Knicksland, where play never takes time off.

The latest example? The New York Knicks‘ preference not to replenish a agreement of partner manager Joshua Longstaff, that was initial reported by a Daily News over a weekend and has given been arguable by Bleacher Report.

Longstaff, who was tasked with using a team’s actor growth program, had been with a Knicks for 3 seasons. He had formerly worked for a Oklahoma City Thunder, where he met Derek Fisher, who brought Longstaff with him to New York when he was hired as Knicks conduct manager in 2014.

The preference was met with standard Knicks-gonna-Knick cynicism.

“[Longstaff] was a good coach; a Knicks aren’t into that arrange of thing,” quipped a SB Nation Knicks fan blog Posting and Toasting.

Who knew so many people caring so deeply about a NBA‘s unknown center managers?

Of course, there’s some-more behind a angst, and reason for fans to be concerned.

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The element grounds: Longstaff and Kristaps Porzingis grew tighten over a past dual seasons. Porzingis even invited Longstaff to assistance him sight in his local Latvia final offseason. Porzingis wanted a Knicks to move Longstaff back. The Knicks didn’t listen to their immature superstar, evidently a male tasked with heading a group into a future.

No commodity in today’s NBA is some-more valuable, or harder to obtain, than a star player. If a ubiquitous manger happens to event into possession of one, it’s substantially a good thought for them to do all in their energy to keep that male happy. Ending ties with a manager dear by a star isn’t accurately a plan you’d find in a Management for Dummies beam (or, for that matter, a white “Preparation” binder).

Neither would be vouchsafing go of an partner manager who’s been during a helm of your team’s sole splendid mark over a past few seasons: a actor growth program. Longstaff’s active, hands-on approach helped renovate one-time benchwarmers like Langston Galloway and Lance Thomas into revolution players and no-names like Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Ron Baker into arguable end-of-the-bench options.

But there’s some-more to it. There’s a reason Longstaff was so renouned among Knicks players, and it wasn’t only given he helped many of them rise skills that got them paid.

Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

All of which, per usual, leads us behind to a male in charge: Phil Jackson. By now, we’re all informed with a issues that have tormented Jackson given he took a reins. Jackson has done it transparent he has no seductiveness in conference views that competence plea his long-held beliefs.

On a court, such views take a form of some-more pick-and-rolls and jumpers from behind a three-point line. Off a court, they take a form of bargain that a days of government articulate down to players and using a uncover but submit from stars are prolonged gone.

At a commencement of final season, it seemed Jackson competence finally be prepared to evolve. He hired Jeff Hornacek, a conduct manager who hexed small laxity with Jackson’s dear triangle. The dual spoke mostly about building a new, some-more complicated offense around “triangle aspects.” It’s here where Longstaff played a vital role. Had we shown adult to Madison Square Garden 3 hours before a Knicks diversion this season, you’d have seen him on a floor, operative with a team’s immature players on all a sorts of skills and not only triangle-type actions: pick-and-rolls, spacing, drive-and-kicks—the basis that a complicated NBA diversion is built around.

Then a All-Star mangle came. Jackson started removing some-more involved, and unexpected a “aspects” partial of “triangle aspects” was dropped. Jackson has given pronounced he skeleton on being some-more concerned subsequent season, that he expects to be an even some-more visit participation during practice.

All of that is to stay that Longstaff’s banishment serve crystallized a beliefs Jackson skeleton on rebuilding around—and how misled they are. Longstaff was one of a few voices around a group perplexing to poke New York into a 21st century.

More importantly, his depart creates it even reduction expected a Knicks underneath Jackson ever get there.


Yaron Weitzman covers a Knicks, and other things, for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @YaronWeitzman and listen to his Knicks-themed podcast here.

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