The hits just keep coming for the struggling New York Knicks.
Former Chicago Bulls forward Dennis Rodman weighed in on the team's poor play Tuesday, questioning whether Carmelo Anthony was the right fit for the Knicks and wondering if first-year coach Derek Fisher is the right candidate for the job.
"If I know Phil [Jackson, Knicks team president], he just feels like [crap] right now," Rodman told reporters at a promotional event in Manhattan. "I think he just feels like, 'Wow, I thought I came here to do a great job and revitalize the city of New York.' He didn't expect this.
"He didn't expect this. I saw him a couple of times on TV when I was in L.A., and I'm like, I know what you feel like, Phil. You came to be the savior and all of a sudden it's like, ugh. Then you went and got Derek Fisher. Really, is he coaching? Is Derek Fisher coaching? I don't get it. I don't know what's up with that team, man. You've got Carmelo and after that who else do you got?
"They're not running the triangle. Derek Fisher's not really coaching. I know Phil is trying to throw his input in the background, but who expected this from Phil? They expected him, we're going to give you $15 million a year for the next six years and this team is -- wow -- they might not even make the playoffs."
The Knicks, who lost Tuesday night to the New Orleans Pelicans, were 4-18 entering the game. That was the worst record through 22 games in the franchise's 69-year history. Players and coaches have said it will take some time for the team to learn the new triangle offense.
But Rodman, who won three titles while playing for Jackson in Chicago, said the offense was easy to master.
"I learned that in probably 15 minutes when I was in Chicago," Rodman said. "It's not that difficult. It's a triangle.
"Everybody has an opportunity to touch the ball and shoot it. It seems like it goes back to Carmelo Anthony and then everything stops. What are you going to do?"
Rodman also wondered whether other free agents will want to join Anthony in New York. The Knicks are expected to have significant cap space this summer and hope to be able to woo top free agents.
"They're not running the triangle. Derek Fisher's not really coaching. I know Phil is trying to throw his input in the background, but who expected this from Phil? They expected him, we're going to give you $15 million a year for the next six years and this team is -- wow -- they might not even make the playoffs." Dennis Rodman,
on struggling Knicks
"How are you going to play with a superstar like Carmelo Anthony when he wants to shoot the ball all the time and everybody else has to play their role?" Rodman said. "How are you going to do that? Phil Jackson did that with Michael Jordan at the beginning and guess what happened. He put a team around Michael Jordan and everybody fit right in.
"Everyone knew who the boss was -- that was him, Michael Jordan. Everybody knew who Kobe [Bryant] was. Kobe and Shaq [Shaquille O'Neal], they played their roles. Who is the man here in New York besides Carmelo? Nobody wants to play together with Carmelo, it seems like."
Jackson acknowledged Monday that he is worried that all of the Knicks' losses will impact how free agents view New York as a possible destination.
"I'm not happy about that," he said. "We have players that are part of our long term that must consistently perform at a level in this system of offense to demonstrate that they're progressing and what the advantages are to what we're doing."
Jackson added that the team has a "loser's mentality." Seven of the Knicks' last eight losses have been by seven points or fewer.
"I like the competitive nature," Jackson said. "[But] I think right now we have a loser's mentality because we're not finishing games, so we have to break through that zone and get to that point."