New York Knicks general manager Scott Perry wrote a blog on the official MSG website. In it, he revealed the details of the culture he’s attempting to build.
The New York Knicks have won two NBA championships and reached the NBA Finals on eight separate occasions. Unfortunately, since reaching the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals, New York has made just five postseason appearances and finished just four seasons above .500.
Although fans are hungry for what’s become elusive team success, the front offie is asking for patience with its vision of a long-term rebuild.
New York has embraced a youth movement that’s centered around rising star Kristaps Porzingis. General manager Scott Perry also identified Ron Baker, Tim Hardaway Jr., Willy Hernangomez, and Frank Ntilikina as the other four members of the group whom the organization is building around.
In that same post to The Official MSG Blog, Perry explained that his vision for the future of the Knicks is built on the principles of teamwork and hustle.
The Knicks team I envision is filled with players who lift one another’s game — a goal that animated the discussions I had with Knicks president Steve Mills both before and after I came aboard.
Talent is crucial, but talent without will won’t get you far. If my team’s makeup is to attack all loose balls and win that battle more than our opponent, only then will I be satisfied. That’s the kind of club I want to construct, the sort of team I’d pay to watch.
I want us to set a standard. I want us to put our stakes in the ground and say, “this is our culture.”
That’s a culture that fans who are familiar with the glorious pre-2000s history of the Knicks will easily identify with.
Between 1987-88 and 2000-01, those principles were ingrained in the minds of the players on the roster. The result was New York reaching two NBA Finals, four Conference Finals, and the playoffs in 14 consecutive seasons.
Those very principles—hustle and teamwork—were also in place when the Knicks won two championships and made three NBA Finals appearances in the 1970s.
They were also in place when the Knicks won 54 games in 2012-13, but it’s fair to believe that they’ve been lost in the four years that have followed.
The Knicks have a chance to drill that code of basketball ethics into the minds of a young and impressionable core. That’s far more likely to occur with the younger players than it is with veterans who may already believe they know the path to victory.
Thus, while it’s entirely possible that the young core will experience early success, Perry is prepared to take a few on the chin before his team starts striking back.
The question is: Will this change in approach be what the New York Knicks need in order to return to the ranks of the NBA’s elite?