It’s like a throwback to the Phil Jackson era.
For the sixth season in a row, things are not going well for the Knicks. This is not a surprise. No one expected this team, with star Kristaps Porzingis out injured, to win many games. But while it’s true that the Knicks are not winning much—fewer games than everyone except the Cavs, in fact—that’s not the way in which things are going badly. Instead, the last 24 hours in New York have seen the return of the familiar vibe of general malaise and dysfunction that Knicks fans have come to know and expect. It’s like a throwback to the Phil Jackson era.
It started Wednesday night during one of the best games the Knicks played all year, taking the Rockets down to the wire. Head coach David Fizdale was ejected in the final minute for picking up a second technical foul and responded by yelling “f--- that!” so loudly that it was picked up clear as day on a courtside microphone.
While Fizdale’s frustration appeared to have boiled over, the Knicks managed to remain afloat without their coach. Undrafted rookie Allonzo Trier, one of the bright spots of this season, hit a go-ahead layup with 20 seconds left to give the Knicks a 110–109 lead. On the ensuing Houston possession, though, Trier left Eric Gordon wide open for what proved to be the game-winning three.
Don’t blame Trier for the defensive lapse, though. After the game, he sent a fan a direct message on Twitter saying he thought he and Tim Hardaway Jr. were supposed to switch.
“It was supposed to be a switch dumb ass you think i just let n---a walk up and shoot a 3 smh y’all ‘fans’ don’t think,” Trier wrote. (Trier apologized Thursday for sending the message.)
Trier’s defensive gameplan news to Hardaway, who had this to say after practice on Thursday.
Add to the Knicks magical day, Tim Hardaway Jr. when told about the Trier DM, which he hadn't heard about - "Oh, so he's blaming other people, basically?"— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) January 24, 2019
So two teammates have a little bit of a disagreement. Surely it doesn’t get any worse than that...
Enes Kanter says he was told this morning by the Knicks he would start tonight vs the Rockets. He got a DNP instead.— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) January 24, 2019
"What they're doing to me is pretty messed up. I deserve better."
Kanter pretty much asks to be traded.
"You either play me or let me play." pic.twitter.com/EufOCAkidF
These are the Knicks we’ve grown accustomed to. Not only are they among the worst teams in the NBA, they have multiple internal squabbles providing fodder for the New York tabloids. Fizdale, it seems, can’t help but get darkly comical about the whole thing.
Asked if he’s worried Enes Kanter will become a distraction, David Fizdale cracked, “What are we going to do, lose more games?”— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) January 24, 2019
Yes, please. Lose more games. Only a top-three draft pick can fix this mess.