A few people saw the New York Knicks’ disappointing 2013-14 NBA season coming. Kevin Pelton’s SCHOENE projection, for example, had the Knicks finishing 37-45, seventh in the Eastern Conference. (And even that’s looking generous at this point.) Pelton’s sub-.500 projection for the Knicks drew some ire, but he explained his reasoning by (accurately) pointing to the team’s losses of Steve Novak, Chris Copeland and Jason Kidd, and to the fact that Tyson Chandler may be entering his decline.
Another person that saw the Knicks falling off their 54-win 2012-13 campaign? One of the team’s former head coaches, Larry Brown. Monday on SiriusXM NBA Radio’s Starting Lineup, Brown explained why he saw the Knicks’ struggles coming prior to the season.
I’m not surprised, Frank [Isola, SiriusXM NBA Radio host]. When you lose Jason Kidd, and Rasheed Wallace, and Kurt Thomas … it’s not so much what you lose on the court, it’s what you lose in the locker room, and how they relate to players, and how they make young players grow up. They don’t have that leadership that they had; they’ve had unbelievable injuries; the expectations are really high. I know Jerry [Stackhouse] is on the show with you. You know, Jerry was a big reason Dallas won, just because he became more mature and older, and he was able to relate to the young kids when Dallas made their run. They had great veteran leadership. You don’t win championships and win games without guys in the locker room who teach the young kids to play the right way. I think that’s been the big problem, along with the injuries, in New York.