The argument for the Knicks

While Phil Jackson may have been a great NBA head coach, his track record as the Knicks GM is less than inspiring. For example, bringing in the triangle offense to a team with Carmelo Anthony is sketchy at best. With Carmelo, you may run a triangle offense, but it’s not going to an equilateral triangle. When the ball goes into Melo it’s like a roach going into a roach motel. It’s going in, but it’s not coming out.

Phil’s choice of coaches have also been interesting. Jeff Hornacek may work out, but, choosing Derek Fisher to coach was not an inspired choice.

It’s true that Derek was familiar with the triangle, on and off the court, but ultimately Derek was a failed choice. The Knicks choice of players to play with Carmelo Anthony has also been iffy.

Trading for Derrick Rose and signing Joakim Noah is not going to help the Knicks. Apparently Chicago is so remote from New York that scouting reports on Rose and Noah could not be obtained by the Knicks. While Rose is better physically than he has been, a cursory look at his sometimes casual demeanor on the court should have scared the Knicks off. If that didn’t, they could have listened to Derrick give an interview. He told reporters what his primary goal is. Clue: it had little to do with the team he was currently playing for.

As for Noah, there are a lot of things to like about him. Unfortunately, his injury history is not one of them. Joakim gives everything he has, but sadly for him and the Knicks, injuries have diminished his effectiveness. Of course, if you’re going to trade for Derrick Rose, you better get Joakim Noah. Noah seems to be the Rose whisperer.

Of course, while Phil Jackson may be the GM, James Dolan is the Knicks owner. The fact that Dolan hired Isiah Thomas to coach the WNBA’s New York Liberty after he had been sued for sexual harassment is mind boggling. It’s like having some milk go bad, and then coming back the next week and taking a sip to see if it’s still bad.

The argument for the Bulls

The Bulls make some unusual personnel choices. For example, the Bulls traded Rose to the Knicks and let Noah leave via free agency, theoretically, because they wanted to get younger and more athletic. At last, a plan. Then, they signed those athletic youngsters, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo. What was that plan again?

For the past few years the Bulls have had some talented players, but the parts didn’t fit together. They were the duck-billed platypus of the NBA. When Pau Gasol was with the Bulls it was like they needed to go to a platoon system. Some guys could play offense and some guys could play defense, but Jimmy Butler was the only one who could do both.

When it comes to hiring head coaches, the Bulls have settled on Iowa State as the epicenter of NBA coaches.

Some years ago, you might recall, they hired Tim Floyd from Iowa State. Years later, after jettisoning a coach who was highly successful in Tom Thibodeau, the Bulls again conducted an exhaustive search to replace him. They traversed the whole Iowa State campus and decided Fred Hoiberg was the best man to lead the Bulls. We’ll see.

While Gar Foreman may be the Bulls GM, John Paxon has been the big boss in the Bulls operation for a long time. Most front office personnel would have been shown the door by now if they had the track record of Gar/Pax. That’s where Bulls ownership comes into play. Owner Jerry Reinsdorf is renowned for his loyalty. A given in a Reinsdorf operation is that incompetence in management is tolerated for an unbelievably long time.

Getting a management job in a Reinsdorf sports operation is like being Pope. You have the job until you die.

The verdict:

New York is the bigger mess. When looking at these messes, start at the top. While I’m not a Reinsdorf fan, I believe James Dolan is worse as an owner. Plus, the fact that the Bulls were able to trade Derrick Rose to the Knicks for anything shows that the Knicks are in a deeper hole, franchise wise.