Who Faces Tougher Offseason, LA Lakers or NY Knicks?

It has been the worst of times and the slightly less worst of times for two storied basketball franchises—the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks. Two teams with giant fanbases have once again underperformed in their respective races back to respectability.

Knicks columnist Sara Peters and I have been debating the finer points of who is getting better faster, all season long. Topics of conversation have included an early glimpse of promise for New York, recalibration for the Lakers during Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour and the youth brigades on both coasts.

But as the final embers of two unsuccessful campaigns die out, our attention inevitably turns to the offseason, and perchance dreaming of how each organization can retool and prepare for better days ahead.

L.A. has lots of cash to spend and a probable lottery pick, while the Knicks have no draft pick, less cap space and a star who still commands attention in Carmelo Anthony.

There is also the question of head coaches, which seems like a good place to start. Byron Scott’s two seasons have resulted in historically bad records for the Lakers, while Derek Fisher was fired midway through his second year in New York, only to be replaced by longtime Phil Jackson operative Kurt Rambis.

It’s abundantly clear Scott needs to go. But the path forward for Rambis and the Zen Master seems infinitely more obtuse.


Break down the Knicks' thorny head coaching situation for us... 

Peters: Comments Rambis made Friday, per the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy, confirm what we suspected: Derek Fisher lost his job because he moved away from Phil Jackson's precious triangle offense. According to Bondy's sources, Fisher said overemphasis on the system was a "sabotaging factor" last season.

Rambis disagreed with Fisher, saying "it isn't difficult," but that Jackson and triangle originator Te...

About the Author