August 29, 2016, 11:38 am
“Reach for the stars so if you fall you land on a cloud.”
A wise man once said that- maybe not wise, but the point remains. Phil Jackson’s approach towards goal-setting is apparently far more selective.
Back in 2014-15, Jackson predicted the Knicks would make the playoffs. They didn’t. This offseason he’s got those heights in mind once more, thanks to what some (literally dozens, maybe) are calling a superteam.
But in between, Jackson’s goal for the Knicks was 35 wins. That little nugget came from Charley Rosen’s chronicles of Jackson over at Today’s Fastbreak.
If you’re not rebuilding, it sure looks like a kick in the groin for management to think that a 35-47 record is right in the wheelhouse. For an organization that likes to talk about changing the culture of the recently futile franchise, setting a goal like that is hardly encouraging. Getting better takes time, certainly, but it’s not good to know that you’re hoping to settle in towards the middle of the draft lottery.
The Zen Master deserves a little credit for being realistic, but that sort of thinking probably doesn’t sit well with players who didn’t sign up to run the treadmill of mediocrity. Any prideful professional this side of Sam Hinkie would hate to hear that the team’s decision makers are merely hoping to eye the playoff race from a safe distance.
It’s especially painful for a team that has longed to be good; one that relied slightly too long on big money deals to fill the marquee without considering the on-court product’s actually efficacy. A team that finally has a promising young piece to get excited about and a coach who might maximize everyone’s abilities instead of jamming square pegs into round holes.
Things appear to be turning around, and win totals in the 30’s are a part of the road back to relevancy. It just doesn’t sit right that that’s the end goal.
As for the 2015-16 Knicks? They finished at 32-50. The bar was just a touch too high.