The Stupidly Obvious Reason Why The Knicks Want To Abandon The Triangle Offense
A writer for a publication released a report yesterday on the New York Knicks. Much in the same way that people who look for an easy meal shoot fish in a barrel, this writer took aim at arguably the second-worst team in the league (the worst if we're going by preseason expectations) and revealed some unfortunate nuggets, like the fact that Carmelo Anthony shoots too much and that the players are frustrated. Nice work, dude.
If you didn't think this Knicks team would be bad this year, please follow me to the local insane asluym because you are clearly delusional or perhaps in need of sleep. If you don't think that players who play for a bad team -- particularly players who have been a part of winning teams in the past -- won't get mad and take their anger out on each other, you were probably home-schooled. This is how humanity works.
The only thing worth mentioning from the report is the idea that the Knicks are tired of the triangle offense and the franchise's insistence on running it. That's a little surprising. This is the system that championship-winning teams like the '90s Bulls and '00s Lakers ran. The theory that those teams would have won without running that system is stupid because: a) We'll never know that for sure, so shut up and b) I don't recall Michael Jordan wanting out of the system, so Carmelo Anthony can walk off the Brooklyn Bridge if he feels differently.
There's also this, via the triangle offense Wikipedia page:
Coach Tim Cone brought this strategy to the Alaska Aces of the Philippine Basketball Association from 1989 until the 2011-12 season. In that time, the franchise won 13 titles, including runs of three consecutive and four consecutive championships, as well as a Grand Slam in the 1996 PBA season by winning all three conferences tournaments in one season. Cone also coached the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers by the triangle offense, winning five titles including a Grand Slam on the 2013-14 PBA season.
Correlation doesn't prove causation, but there's plenty of evidence to show that this system works.
So why don't the Knicks want to run it? Here's what the report says:
One thing Anthony and his teammates do agree on is their disdain for the triangle offense, sources said. For weeks, if not longer, the players have been ready to ditch the triangle and move on to another system. They feel like other teams know what they are going to run and where they are going to go on the court, which makes it easier to stop them.
That's ridiculous. It's not like 29 teams have figured out how to stop a notoriously complex offensive scheme. The real reason is stupidly obvious: This is a team-first concept, and it's being run by me-first players.
The fact that no one on the Knicks roster is safe, or guaranteed a spot on the team past the length of their contract, is an open secret. Only Carmelo Anthony, who is owed a ton of money over five years and is theoretically a superstar, will be here long-term. Seven guys come off the books after this year -- including Amar'e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert and Shane Larkin -- and they're all playing for their next contract.
Seth Rosenthal puts it best:
Players do not tank, and this sucks for them. OF COURSE they hate the Triangle! It's hard! They're losing! They're losing so they can learn, but-- on an individual level-- for what? They are being made to look amateur for the sake of progress toward something in which most of them, on expiring contracts, have no stake, and they wish they could just play the way that's most comfortable. This regime demands patience and sacrifice from guys who will mostly not be around for the intended payoff. That'll get you bickering.
The triangle is a system that is meant for a team. This is not a team. It is a collection of basketball players who wear the same uniform. In many ways, they have been set up to fail, since this team would never be able to compete with contracts like Stoudemire's and Andrea Bargnani's on the roster.
The truth is, it's not a tough system if everyone buys in and knows that it's safe to fail. A crazy person who used to play for the Bulls said that he learned the system in about 15 minutes. Then again, that guy is a Hall fo Famer. Who is Tim Hardaway Jr., besides the son of a guy who used to make the Knicks miserable?
Anthony ended up refuting the report, saying he doesn't hate Hardaway and that he's down with the triangle. Is he just toeing the company line? Doesn't matter. He knows, just like the rest of us, that soon he won't need to pretend to like any of these dudes. They'll be out the door. The question is, who's going to want to come take their place?
Photo via Getty