New president Phil Jackson dispensed with the pleasantries and didn't mince words after witnessing the Knicks' 127-96 blowout road loss to the Lakers on Tuesday.
“It was awful, huh,” Jackson said as he left the Staples Center, according to the The New York Times.
The Knicks were flat embarrassed by the lottery-bound Lakers. The 31-point margin of defeat was their worst loss since a 41-point drubbing at the hands of the Celtics on Dec. 8, but it was their third-quarter performance that really set some records. New York conceded an astonishing 51 points in the third quarter, allowing L.A. to shoot 19-for-26 (73.1 percent) from the field.
“All hell broke loose... that’s just unacceptable,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said, according to the New York Daily News.
The 51 points set a Knicks franchise record for most points conceded in a quarter and also set a Lakers franchise record for most points scored in a quarter. New York trailed 50-42 at halftime; 12 minutes later, they were losing 101-73.
"Fifty-one points," Jackson said, according to the Times, after watching the game from a suite. "When it’s 35 points you start to get worried. When it’s a 51-point quarter, that’s really awful."
That the Knicks' poor showing came in a nationally-televised game against the team he coached to five titles surely couldn't have helped his mood.
New York fell to 29-42 on the season and now sits three games back of Atlanta for the East's No. 8 seed with 11 games to play. Their next four games will come on the road, beginning with a Wednesday night game against the Kings in Sacramento. Tuesday's loss also guaranteed that the Knicks will have their first losing season since 2009-10.
Jackson was introduced as the Knicks' new president at a press conference last week. Fans at Madison Square Garden greeted him with a standing ovation and the Knicks won their first two games after his hiring was announced. They have since dropped their last two contests.
"I started my career as a Knick, and know what it feels like to win in this great city," Jackson said in a prepared statement last week. "I take the task of helping to deliver a winning team to our fans seriously."
The Zenmaster, who won two titles as a player and 11 titles as a coach, promised to reform the Knicks' culture. "We want to build a team," Jackson said at his introductory press conference. "A team doesn’t have an ‘I’ in it. … This is a franchise that developed a team back in the 1960s that was consistently playing team basketball for six or seven years. … The idea of developing a ‘culture’ is an overwrought word in the NBA right now, but that’s the cachet that brought me here.”