This might be the New York Knicks most alarming issue

Tom Thibodeau New York Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Tom Thibodeau New York Knicks. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
New York Knicks
Kemba Walker, Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

This New York Knicks season has reached a level of rock bottom that has officially become unnerving and dire.

You can keep telling yourself (as I have) that it’s still a long season, that they’re just a few games back of the playoffs, that they’ll get it together soon and just need more time to mesh.

Yet, it’s gotten to the point where this feels as though it’s about a lot more than player chemistry and giving it time. Not only that, it feels like there are some issues that go beyond this season and what happens on the court.

The New York Knicks are lacking an identity

The blame has been passed around quite a lot, and rightfully so. The New York Knicks have had multiple key players go on horrendous stretches of play throughout the season. Perhaps none has been more in the spotlight than Julius Randle’s play, which has boiled over into visible frustration and questionable leadership.

I wrote about Julius Randle’s pivotal role in the New York Knicks shortcomings just yesterday, but there is something that has been on my mind for a while now that is much bigger than just the individual play of certain players.

It’s a rift between Tom Thibodeau and the Knicks front office.

First, I want to make two things clear.

Number one is that this isn’t a report with any kind of insider information. This is simply something that I’ve picked up on in the last few months and have started to piece together some clues as to why the Knicks, with largely the same roster, are not just losing games, they cannot find a shred of consistency or semblance of the energy they had last year.

Number two is that when I say a “rift” it doesn’t mean any kind of personal beef — I’m talking about clashing basketball philosophies between two very influential parts of the organization.

Many of us expected the Knicks to finish lower than the 4th seed this season, but I’m not sure anyone saw the team spiraling and losing their identity, culture, and brand of basketball from last year.

First, let’s look at some of the clues as to why there might be a disconnect between Thibs and upper management.