Forget about the triangle offense — these Knicks, with or without Carmelo Anthony, will be all about scrappy team defense and developing young players.
As new GM Scott Perry was introduced Monday afternoon, he used a word that was probably refreshing for some Knicks fans after the three-year reign of Phil Jackson, who could come across as aloof and arrogant: humbled.
But Perry also mentioned another key word that was uttered throughout the press conference: young.
“I’m excited about the young core players,” he said, adding that he wants “a young team that’s going to play energetic, that’s going to compete on a nightly basis.”
Coach Jeff Hornacek’s desire is for everyone to play hard, even if they’re still rebuilding. He said he knows it will be harder to outscore teams.
“We want to try to establish an identity and the identity has to become defense first,” said Hornacek, who added that he wants a team that’s scrappy, jumping on balls and taking charges.
“They also have to try to develop a mentality for that desire to get a stop,” he said.
Anthony may or may not be traded before the start of the season, but his staying or going isn’t changing the Knicks’ plan.
“If Carmelo is with us, we will continue to develop our young players,” president Steve Mills said.
Jackson, who was fired last month, didn’t speak much to the media, but Perry says he plans to be “straightforward” as GM, calling himself a “bridge builder, not a bridge destroyer.”
The struggling Knicks held an 80-166 record under Jackson and haven’t been to the playoffs the last four seasons.