Phil Jackson couldn’t resist the opportunity to become the president of the New York Knicks back in March. The legendary head coach was itching to get back to work in some capacity in the NBA and returned to where it all began in order to do so.
As expected, Jackson brought in some familiar faces in New York hiring Derek Fisher as his new head coach while also adding Jim Cleamons and Kurt Rambis to the coaching staff.
With Fisher, Cleamons and Rambis in place in New York, the Knicks will attempt to run the triangle offense this season. Jackson implemented this offense in Chicago and Los Angeles with great success, but one of his former players believes that it can’t be run properly without a pair of superstars.
Former Laker Shaquille O’Neal said the following about the Knicks trying to run the triangle, via Mitch Lawrence of NBC New York:
“For the triangle to work, you need to have two superstars,’ O’Neal said. “It’s been proven over time. Look at what Phil needed to win his championships in Chicago. Then look what he had in L.A., with me and Kobe. You have to have two superstars playing in the triangle to win championships.”
Currently, the Knicks have Carmelo Anthony as the go-to guy in New York without much help around him. Anthony is among the best players in the league, but doesn’t have that superstar running mate that Shaq had in Los Angeles playing alongside Kobe Bryant.
Even Michael Jordan had superstar-caliber counterpart in Scottie Pippen in Chicago. Although Pippen didn’t go on to win more championships after leaving Chicago like Shaq did in Miami or Kobe did in Los Angeles without Shaq, it could be argued Pippen was the second-best player in the NBA behind his teammate while with the Bulls.
Only time will tell if the Knicks can be successful using the triangle offense with Anthony running the show. Shaq does bring up an interesting point that could ultimately prove to be correct, but it remains to be seen if Jackson and company can make it work in New York.
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