Lenny Wilkens is the new head coach for the Knicks

Lenny Wilkens is the new head coach for the Knicks

Postby JSM on Wed Jan 14, 2004 3:35 pm

Sorry about the earlier report guys, but things took a quick change our course. First, Fratello was rumored to be hired that night, then they announce Chaney has been canned and Lenny Wilkens is in.

I think he is a much better choice than Fratello. Wilkens has won more games than any other coach, the only reason why he was also the losingest coach, is because he coached the Hawks. He will be a good addition to the Knick organization. I think his coaching style will help Marbury even more. This was also a smart move if they ever plan on making the playoffs, because I am not so sure that would have been possible with Chaney as head coach

Sportsline: Don Chaney and his two top assistant coaches were fired by the New York Knicks, and Lenny Wilkens was hired as the team's new head coach Wednesday, according to ousted assistant Brendan Malone.

"They fired Don, myself and Lon Kruger," Malone said as he left Madison Square Garden two hours before the Knicks' game against the Orlando Magic. Malone said Wilkens would be the new coach.

The team called a news conference for team president Isiah Thomas to make an announcement.

The changes came on a bizarre day, even by the Knicks' standards. Chaney put the team through its morning shootaround after reading in a newspaper that he would be replaced by former NBA coach and current TV analyst Mike Fratello.

Fratello later released a statement saying he had no agreement "in place," and then came the news of Wilkens' hiring.
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Postby NBN on Wed Jan 14, 2004 3:45 pm

oh.. sweet
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Postby FabFourLakers on Wed Jan 14, 2004 4:19 pm

what took Thomas so damn long..he shoulda fired chaney as soon as he traded for marbury
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Postby JSM on Wed Jan 14, 2004 4:25 pm

I think this is a great move, and will help bring some excitement back in the Garden.
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Postby shaqpak34 on Wed Jan 14, 2004 6:28 pm

yup, now they got a big time playa, and a big time coach....they will take some time, and will add some more playas, but in a while, the knicks will be a serious contender in the east
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Postby TheZen on Wed Jan 14, 2004 6:37 pm

Zeke has been making some great moves in the past couple of weeks. Do you think he is making these moves in order to prepare for next season or do you believe he still thinks that knicks have a legitimate shot at the title?
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Postby JSM on Wed Jan 14, 2004 6:44 pm

Well, on Dave Letterman last night, Thomas said that that he hoped that they would make the playoffs and that would be great, but he's not really expecting too much. But he said if they got into the playoffs, he thinks they could go far, because some of those guys they have now has the type of grit that you want your players to have in the playoffs.

I think they can easily make the playoffs, unless the go on some terrible losing skid. They are in the 10th slot, only 2 spots out of making the playoffs (if they started today), I guess it's time to see what Lenny can do with them now. At least the fans will be happy, or find someone else to chant "fire..." at
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Postby TheZen on Wed Jan 14, 2004 6:56 pm

first layden, and now they have lenny wilkins. man the knick fans must be have a field day with all of this
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Postby Kobe834 on Wed Jan 14, 2004 7:02 pm

What the hell?! Damn, man, this is stupid. What was that all about when thhey said they'll give him another chance. Plus, they shoulda hired frank Johnson. A great coach, also fired for no apparent reason. :mad1: but yea, Lenny deserved a head coaching job.
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Postby JSM on Thu Jan 15, 2004 2:21 pm

Today, the Knicks had a press conference to introduce Lenny as the new head coach. Here what he said, and some comments from other members of the Knick organization
Yahoo Sports: Lenny Wilkens was wrapping up his introductory news conference Thursday when a grinning Stephon Marbury strode over to the dais.

"Here comes another Brooklyn guy,'' the New York Knicks' new coach said before receiving a big hug from the team's point guard.

Marbury delivered the warmest embrace to Wilkens as the Knicks welcomed aboard another of the best playmakers ever to come out of New York. First, new team president Isiah Thomas traded for an All-Star (Marbury), then he hired a Hall of Famer (Wilkens).

Wilkens ran a brief practice in the afternoon, preparing the revamped Knicks to play the Seattle SuperSonics on Friday night.

"The opportunity to come back to New York is just tremendous. It's not anything that I thought could happen,'' said Wilkens, who had been out of work since being fired by the Toronto Raptors at the end of last season.

New York is 2 1/2 games behind Philadelphia for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

"We've got our work cut out for us, but I'm an optimist,'' Wilkens said. "It's still early enough. We can make the playoffs.''

He plans to prod the Knicks to refocus on defense and hopes to tweak their offense -- all while growing accustomed to a roster that, until Thursday, he had only seen a handful of times on television.

Wilkens said he welcomes input from Thomas.

"I feel like it's my team right now -- or I should say Stephon's team,'' Wilkens said.

Wilkens, owner of the most coaching victories and losses in NBA history, will have to make adjustments on the fly.

Several Toronto players criticized Wilkens' coaching methods after he was fired in April. Vince Carter said Wilkens doesn't understand today's game.

Wilkens said he was surprised by Carter's comments and defended his tenure in Toronto, citing the team's numerous injuries during his three seasons there.

"I don't pay it any mind because many players will say things to distract from themselves,'' Wilkens said.

After being fired, Wilkens spent time at home in Seattle playing golf and tennis.

"I never gave much thought to whether my coaching days were over or not. When I left I said I still had a lot of coaching left in me,'' Wilkens said. "When the season started, I started missing it. And I started to watch a lot of games. And when this opportunity came, I jumped at it.''

"I think he's the perfect person to lead us in this environment of change,'' said James Dolan, chairman of Cablevision, the Knicks' corporate owner.

Wilkens said the Knicks first contacted him Wednesday, meaning his deal was cut in a matter of hours.

The new coach put the Knicks through a brief workout with no scrimmaging, addressing the players and telling them they will have to earn his respect -- and he will have to earn theirs.

"I think he's going to be a guy who's pretty similar to Don in personality,'' shooting guard Allan Houston said. "He's going to be demanding, and I think he's going to allow us to be who we are and get better at that.''
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Postby JSM on Thu Jan 15, 2004 2:44 pm

reports are Mike Fratello was the Knicks first choice, but he was demanding too much. He wanted 5 million+ per season, control over player personnel decisions, and in salary.

I bet at the end of this season, they will be glad they wnet with Lenny
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Postby FabFourLakers on Thu Jan 15, 2004 4:40 pm

what the hell fratello wanted ALL of that? geez what is wrong with tha wolrd today....5 million a year?
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Postby JSM on Fri Jan 16, 2004 6:45 pm

unless something going terribly wrong, then it looks like Lenny will win his first game as the head coach of the Knicks

Knicks 86
Sonics 66

10:14 left
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Postby JSM on Fri Jan 16, 2004 7:13 pm

So far, so good. Lenny's first game is a success

Knicks-108
Sonics-88


Van Horn scored 30
Marbury was very passive. He only scored 8 points, but had 17 assists (ties his season high in assists)
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Postby FabFourLakers on Fri Jan 16, 2004 11:20 pm

damn 17 assists from marbury...hes been avg alot more assists since movin to new york...which surprises me...

tha knicks are suddenly very good on OFFENSE...i hope they dont make any more trades tho....i think they have all tha right pieces for now to make a playoff run...
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Postby JSM on Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:20 pm

something else good about having Lenny-is they will get the best possible results from Deke. Lenny knows how to use him and they have a good relationship, since Lenny coached Deke in ATL, where they both spent some of the better part of his career
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Postby FabFourLakers on Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:34 pm

jsm0331 wrote:something else good about having Lenny-is they will get the best possible results from Deke. Lenny knows how to use him and they have a good relationship, since Lenny coached Deke in ATL, where they both spent some of the better part of his career


oooooo i forgot about his tenure in ATL...damn that was a good team...i believe they went 4th in the east once? they made tha playoffs a couple of times that season...they had mutumbo steve smith alan henderson(when he was gooD) mookie and a cuple other good players on that team...

Lenny has a better group of players to work with...i mean their starting lineup is lethal if keith van horn continues to play tha way he does...and i would stand pat and see how van horn and houston play with marbury...so far so good...i expect lenny to turn tha knicks around and grab either of tha last 3 spots in tha east...oh yea and stephon is becomin more like jason kidd now...less points...but more assists=a Win for tha knicks
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Postby JSM on Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:39 pm

FabFourLakers wrote:oh yea and stephon is becomin more like jason kidd now...less points...but more assists=a Win for tha knicks


I agree, he is a lot more passive now, and isn't looking to shoot every time he goes down the floor. There is one difference though about him and Kidd...Marbury can score when he wants with a lot more ease than Kidd can.
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Postby JSM on Sun Jan 18, 2004 11:29 am

Knicks are now 2-0 with Lenny, last night they won against the Bulls. Houston was their leading scorer with 26
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Postby FabFourLakers on Sun Jan 18, 2004 11:42 am

they score alot more under lenny and stephon...how weird is that? we were used to seein knicks put up 69 points night in and night out a couple yrs back...now they are puttin up 100+ every night

stephon had 18 and 11...man he is really becomin a leader fast for tha knicks...
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Postby FabFourLakers on Mon Jan 19, 2004 5:41 pm

LENNY is now 3-0 with tha knicks...with a 90-79 victory over tha carter-less raptors...

Marbury had a MONSTER game with 28 pts 14 assists and 4 rebs on 11-20 shooting...

Man the knicks are inching closer to that #8 spot in tha east...with philly losing AGAIN at home today to tha damn sonics...tha sixers are now 18-23 and tha knicks are 19-24...so right now tha knicks and sixers are tied for tha 8th spot in tha east...and tha knicks have won 4 straight including 3 under Lenny
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Postby JSM on Mon Jan 19, 2004 6:01 pm

getting Lenny is one of the best moves Thomas could have made, that will be right up there with getting Marbury. I think the GM's of the year are--Mitch and Thomas.
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Postby rydjorker121 on Mon Jan 19, 2004 6:12 pm

jsm0331 wrote:getting Lenny is one of the best moves Thomas could have made, that will be right up there with getting Marbury. I think the GM's of the year are--Mitch and Thomas.


Mitch may not be that certain...but that happens with the bad-luck case of injuries...<sigh>...well, lets just say that he was GM OF THE YEAR when he made the free agent acquisitions of Gary Payton and Karl Malone, and then later Ho Grant, Bryon Russell and Jamal Sampson, and then later Udoka, and the draft picks of Cook and Walton, which undoubtedly, are all nice signings and acquisitions. But with the injury bug sustaining our team it's hard to overlook our record amongst the other top and if anything it'll take the panelists a lot to consider upon Kupchak. But honestly, the man deserves it...with a little help from Magic Johnson, but he definitely needs to get some recognition..

As for GM of the year Thomas...lets see, personally I wouldn't pick Thomas though (yeah, I know, he's doing well but totally reconstructing his whole team). His team's record still sucks and if anything I look for Thomas to try to take those honors next year....this year was just a flurry of breeze for NYK...too many things occurred even if the fans are happy, but I think all those flurry of moves sorts of defuncts the consideration...I mean, as GM you don't make moves quick, you have to take time and try to get a feel for your team: Thomas certainly wants to prepare the Knicks now but he's gotten rid of a junkload of baggage...sometimes I get the feeling that thomas doesn't know what he's doing...thats the problem and that would stir controversy.
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