Culver City Observer -

Lowly Knicks Add To Lakers' Troubles

 

March 19, 2015



By Mitch Chortkoff

Sports Editor

The Lakers and New York Knicks are the richest franchises in the NBA, but this season they’re two of the worst teams.

The Knicks arrived at Staples Center last Thursday with the least wins, only 12. The Lakers were the fourth worst with 17.

The game was originally scheduled to be shown on national television but, as expected, was taken off the list.

What happened was the Knicks won, 101-94 and Lakers coach Byron Scott called his team selfish. He also said the Lakers got what they deserved for taking an inferior opponent lightly.

Let’s understand where the Lakers are. The payroll was reduced this season in hopes of having enough salary cap for this summer’s free agent crop. That’s the way the Lakers hope to return to prominence.

The strategy may work and it may not. Free agents, and there will be a pretty impressive group of them, will decide if they want to play for a contending team or a rebuilding one like the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant will play next season and season ticket holders will have to decide if the Lakers will be vastly improved or not. Many will renew because they don’t want to lose their locations.

Among the ones fed up with the losses is Jack Nicholson, the Lakes’ marquee fan who has said he’ll be selling his courtside seats for their face value. He isn’t looking to make a profit, he just wants out.

But on Thursday night there was a festive atmosphere in Staples Center.

Former Laker coach Phil Jackson, guard Derek Fisher, forward and eventually head coach Kurt Rambis and assistant coach Rasheed Hazzard, who now belong to the Knicks, had a homecoming.

Fisher and Laker coach Scott greeted each other warmly.

Asked about Fisher’s coaching potential, a fair question since Fisher’s first year as a coach has been without much success, Scott replied: “I think he’s going to be an outstanding coach. He’s a tough guy. He’s learning, and I had to learn a lot when I got my first NBA coaching job.”

In the first half Jackson sat a couple of rows behind the Knicks’ bench. A fan kept yelling “Phil, we need you back.”

 

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