In an interview with Marc Berman of the New York Post, former Knick coach Jeff Van Gundy discussed the current state of the New York Knicks, even going so far as to say that he believes the Knicks would have won over 50 games this year, had there been a full season.
“I really do believe the Knicks have made great strides,’’ the team’s former coach said. “They have building blocks in place that every Knick fan can feel proud of and they still need some parts added to be championship caliber. They’re headed in the right direction after going through a tough period to shed salary to get under the cap. (Former team president) Donnie Walsh did a miraculous job and (coach) Mike D’Antoni had to deal with a talent shortage because of the trades. It’s a period for the Knicks to shine again.’’
Depending on how you look at it, this is either a refreshing reminder that the Knicks are no longer perceived as the league’s punching bag, or an extremely depressing reminder that we have been deprived of seeing Carmelo and Amar’e team up for a full season.
JVG is more than qualified to speak on the matter, being the head coach of the team from 1996-2001 after being an assistant coach for six years before that. Van Gundy has coached quite a few good Knicks teams, including the 1999 Knicks team, which he lead to the NBA Finals the last time the league endured a lockout.
If this one gets settled, maybe James Dolan should give his old friend Jeff Van Gundy a call. If he thinks the team is this good, maybe Van Gundy will pick up the phone.