Jeff Van Gully wrote:this thread can survive the merge if it stays about the culture concept.
i think every leadership group has to identify and implement its own culture. the multi-billion dollar question: is it truly possible to separate him from the "culture?"
sounds like merry pills is definitely trying to keep a barrier, as did phil. but pills also have a tangible and obvious commitment to human resources that i have never really seen before. looks more like the standards you would see in place at successful companies in general.
I'd agree with this take.
Also, a question. Did the McKinsey consultation predate Phil? Actually, I'll look it up and answerMcKinseyhttps://nypost.com/2013/11/30/can-the-mba-crowd-save-the-knicks-rangers/Phil Hirehttps://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/10607795/phil-jackson-deal-new-york-knicks-finalized
So, it appears that the McKinsey hire predates Phil.
Phil's tenure is the transitional culture period, between Dolan Hands On Starph*cking and Dolan Hands Off Let the Pros Run Things
Who convinces Dolan to hire McKinsey though? THAT person is one of the unsung heros.
I'm pretty sure McKinsey laid out the blueprint of how successful franchises run their teams, and Dolan, for both the Rangers (though he was alway more hands off there) and the Knicks, listened.
He still starph*cked when his Eagles managing buddy got Phil into the mix, but for the most part, other than maybe the power struggle inherent in having Mills in the mix as GM to Phil calling the shots as POBO, Dolan stayed away.
Obviously the mistake here is mistaking Phil's coaching chops for GM chops and MAYBE (since it's conjecture) Mills kind of working against Phil to some degree.
Once Phil gets pushed aside due to a combination of hubris, managerial incompetence and ?Mills machinations?, Mills gets the promotion he wants and MILLS is also comfortable letting a basketball lifer like Perry run things. Also, Mills and Perry more simpatico in personality etc, so it's just a better fit, so far.
Here's an aside from CapnO, circa 2014, which came up in my google search:
"Dolan hired those business consultants [McKinsey & Company] last summer," said the source with knowledge of the Raptors' plans. "They had sold him on this whole thing about, 'You've been exploited by giving away first-round picks.' Could the deal have gotten done? Absolutely."
I had wondered if the change in outlook had come from McKinsey. So, the Knicks value draft picks now? I doubt they go in the tank anytime soon, but now they'll have a bit of a safety hatch if things go awry and avenues for maintaining cheap talent on the roster.
Passing on Lowry was an interesting symbolic move as Lowry's a bit better than some of the targets the Knicks have ponied up for in the past. Still, a very nice exercise in patience. If the Knicks have a decent season this year with some of the young players finding their roles, they'll be an attractive offseason destination for something bigger than Lowry.
Phil is the transition as it's the first instance of Dolan "Hands Off"
McKinsey's suggestion of keeping picks has held since then.
Phil gets the boot but Mills seeks out a basketball professional with strong contacts and relationships around the league(opposite of Phil), which is either a McKinsey suggestion again or kudos to Mills. No reason why Mills may not have made that call.
Pills continue the McKinsey/Sound Franchise Advice of valueing picks and culture, where culture, in this instance, is knowing what you want to accomplish as an organization and enabling the things and people that accomplish that. And I think it's been shown via clips etc that they knew MSG had a bad rep as a place to work and the org known as dysfunctional, and they've set out to alleviate that, top to bottom. So they value talented workers, but cooperative ones - not yes men, but people of character. It seems to be what they look for in players - a certain pedigree to go with, obviously, talent.
I'd assume that's to ensure there is a culture where the players like each other, which is generally cited as what MOST (not all) successful teams have. I also think character is important to them in the young players because the league is about drafting mostly 19 year olds now and will soon be 18 year olds. So you have to have really good scouts but also have to know how to pick character, as those are the guys most likely to maximize their talent.
The Knicks have also emphasized player development more in the past, which again, is what good teams do and also a function of most players being drafted so young. Hell, even when 22 year olds got drafted, it took at LEAST 1.5 years before they really rounded into form. 3 years older than most players now. It's not an accident that Trier looked the most ready as a rookie.
To the larger question of what is "basketball culture".
Lets compare it to the term "morale" in the military. A lot of people, including young guys in the military, assume "good morale" is people are happy. They are wrong. "Morale" is the state of things getting done. "Good morale" means things are getting done. "Bad morale" is a less than adequate amount of stuff is getting done. Period. Are happy feelings possibly included? Sure, but not necessary. It's possible for a unit to be full of guys constantly complaining, but proud of what they do and well trained and getting stuff done to a high degree. In fact, my experience was that was more common.
Basketball "culture" and a "winning culture" is similar, in that everyone doesn't have to be "happy" or even a "nice person" but they have to "buy in" to what's going on, basically akin to the military in that "do they have discipline - executing the plan and orders and acting right" leading to a state of "winning culture" or, lets say "positive morale"
Where leadership matters, is the org setting the tone of expectations, but that's a little distant - it's like Battalion level - but the players are aware it exists. It's up to the GM (probably like a company captain/1st sgt) setting a more obvious tone and having daily impact, but the real day to day impact is more directly felt at the platoon level - and the coach is probably most like a good platoon sgt - really sets the standard of discipline and standards of execution.
So what is the star player?
He's that kick ass squad leader that everyone knows, even in other squads, that is the best, most experienced soldier in the platoon, and who further sets the example, by DOING\LEADING, that everyone emulates.
And that squad leader/star player can be an acerbic prick - that doesn't always help - but if that person demands defense, willingly shares the ball and cares about executing the offense, then it will tend to flow down hill from there. And yes, that guy will care about getting guys OFF the team who aren't with the program.
Can a team win some games and be a playoff team where the best player isn't quite as interested in that stuff and sort of has to be lead there by the coach and lesser players? Sure. Will they have really good success? I say no.
Ok, end of ebook.