Hope built on a sound strategy is the essence of the message Phil Jackson delivered to Knicks season ticket holders Monday. Utilizing traditional communication and modern technology, Jackson, the team’s president, assured the franchise’s big spending supporters via a letter and video message that, under his leadership, the Knicks will dramatically rise from the ashes.
“While I know this has been a challenging season for our team on the court, I can also tell you that everyone in the organization is working tirelessly to get our Knicks back to a place where we are once again competing at the highest level,” said Jackson.
His conspicuous reference of “our Knicks” was a shrewd, subliminal implication. Jackson was assigning ownership to the fans and, by extension, asking them to continue their large investment through season ticket subscriptions.
But for those not as privileged to receive a direct missive from Jackson, he offered a tangible overview of the team’s designs. Jackson listed a combination of the roughly $25 million in salary cap space, a high draft pick and Carmelo Anthony as the keys to building “a consistent winner.” Jackson noted that “talent and character” are prerequisites for players he will seek to acquire.
The Knicks were 14-60 heading into last night’s (Wednesday) game at the Garden against the Brooklyn Nets. They have eight games remaining, including tomorrow’s date in Washington versus the Wizards. “We have a clear plan and expect our efforts to really take shape as we enter the 2015 draft and free agency in the months ahead,” Jackson added.
But there are no certainties. The Knicks can’t miss on their pick in June. Karl Anthony Towns and Emmanuel Mudiay will evolve into the best pros from this writer’s perspective. But it’s a deep draft. And what free agents can Jackson lure? He’s now on the clock.