The Hypocrisy is Real

The issue or problem with fans worldwide is that they don’t see what is beneath the surface. They see the team, the roster and the win-loss record which is only the top layer. With the lack of knowledge and understanding many statements by fans contradict what they said ten seconds ago, therefore it is hypocrisy or they are classified as a hypocrite.

Basketball History 101

Ball is Life
Ball is Life

As soon as the Knicks ship began to sink this season there were people calling for Derek Fisher’s head. It’s no secret that this inaugural season in the Phil Jackson era was a complete and utter flop. Once Jackson realised that there was no hope of turning the season around he started building for the future. He got rid of J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, Samuel Dalembert and Amar’e Stoudemire. He shed salary, gained draft picks and found a few diamonds in the rough. As we all know Carmelo Anthony closed up shop for the remainder of the season after the All-Star game. This left Derek Fisher with a team that many thought was that of a D-League standard, can you really place a majority of the blame on him?

This question of why he was fit to be the head coach quickly arose. Many said why was Fisher coaching when we could have gotten so and so. This quickly led to a truck load of hypocrisy. The whole ‘decent (bad) players can’t be could coaches’ statement was tossed around daily and anyone who knew anything about basketball would have face-palmed. Phil Jackson, the Knicks president of basketball operations, averaged just over 6 points and 4 rebounds per game for his playing career. It’s possible that you might remember the Bulls and Lakers, teams which Jackson led to 11 total championship rings. Fisher might not have been the best player, but he was an excellent teammate and leader.

People say that average players don’t make good coaches and that’s why Fisher is bad. But the same person will parade around and praise Phil Jackson likes he’s a God.

“Phil has come to save the Knicks. No Phil! What are you Doing?”

Since the arrival of New York’s so called ‘saviour’ in Phil Jackson, a common phrase among fans has been ‘Let Phil do his thing’. Phil’s ‘thing’ is being president of basketball operations which means he gets to chop and change the roster – trading, waiving and signing players. Despite Jackson’s grand plan for this season falling flat on its face people still keep repeating that small, hopeful phrase.

I’ll be honest, I was one of those people, but since looking at the team on a broader scale I given up on saying those words. As is with every team in every sport fans are happy, sad or they really don’t care (just getting over it) when a move is made. When Phil Jackson traded J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to Cleveland and there was almost an uprising against him. Fans were split on this decision, it made sense to some but it left others scratching their heads.

It’s the same group of fans that still say ‘Let Phil do his thing’ that got really upset and miserable when both the struggling Smith and struggling Shumpert were dealt to the Cavaliers. Pick a side! Either be down and digging what Jackson is doing or be a little annoyed and disappointed – which is definitely acceptable – with what he’s done. In simple terms, if you’re happy for Jackson to do his thing, but then get outraged when a move is made Jackson is called being a hypocrite.

Love or money, which means more?

The New York Post
The New York Post

18 months ago you wouldn’t have been able to say that the Knicks had a bright future or that there was light at the end of the tunnel. Once the season ends the Knicks, thanks to Jackson, seem to have an incredibly bright future and it all starts in a months time at the draft lottery. The ‘Zen master’ has changed the roster dramatically. This has resulted in there only being four players under contract next season, around $30 million to distribute to free agents, and the acquisition of players who could help the Knicks going forward on a low budget. The Knicks are guaranteed a top-five pick this year – well, that wasn’t a part of the plan initially, but oh well.

Ever since it was raised over a year ago that the Knicks would have have the opportunity to improve immensely in the 2015 offseason, Phil Jackson has since done all he possibly could to shed as much salary as possible. The excitement in the fan base has grown as a result. Since the Knicks season was down the drain early on, Jackson has done as much as he possibly could to put the Knicks in a could position to excel in the coming months. But this hasn’t come about without some hardship from the fans. The talk amongst fans for the past 12 months has been about cap space, non-stop. The only way to gain cap space is to shed salary in the is where the hypocrisy is found.

The Knicks dealt the $6 million salary of J.R. Smith to the Cavaliers along with Iman Shumpert for a few second rounders, which is terrific going forward. In large part, every second conversation amongst the fans is about how to shed more salary and who to pick up in free agency. You can’t have the best of both worlds, you have to chose one or the other. Jackson created another $7 million in this trade and it was the same group of fans wanted money, money and some more money but didn’t want to part ways with the highly inconsistent duo of Shumpert and Smith. Jackson was looking at bigger picture – the future – but the fans were thinking of the here and now. It seems that people go on and on about who should be traded, but when it actually happens they think it’s a bad move.

You can’t have the money and the player. In this case you can’t get the best of both worlds. Being hypocritical here means that you can not be all for having as much cap room as possible then being upset and directing your anger toward Jackson because he moved your favourite player.

“We should keep losing.” two and a half hours later… “Yeah, totally, I wanted them to win all along.”

The Knicks Blog
The Knicks Blog

On a lighter, and a more numerous note to end here, there has been a rise in hypocrisy since Carmelo Anthony opted for surgery. Many fans amongst us prefer that the Knicks tank, and lose every game possible to gain a 25% chance to win the draft lottery. This point isn’t serious at all and the hypocrisy is well and truly understood.

Despite being an absolute horror, the Knicks have had some huge wins in the second half of the year. They’ve fought back from 18 down against the Pistons to win in double overtime and then the Knicks came out and beat the Raptors the next night. New York have also defeated powerhouses in San Antonio and most recently, Atlanta. We all keep banging on about how the Knicks should purposely lose but it’s hard to hide your elation when the Knicks get a huge win.

You’ll regularly see the fan that goes “Yes! Keep losing” but at the end of the night they acted like they wanted the Knicks to win all along – I think we’ve all acted like that at some point this season.

In today’s world you don’t have to travel far at all to find a hypocrite. If you look at the mirror you’ll see one. At some point in our lives we’ve all been hypocrites. I’m also not targeting people, or generalizing about a fan base. I know I’m guilty about what has been said above. When I took a step back and looking at the big picture it all made sense.


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