Shaquille O'Neal praised Knicks team president Phil Jackson and credited his triangle offense as a main reason for the Lakers winning three championships while the two were together in Los Angeles, writes the NY Post.
Shaq played under Jackson from 1999-2004 with the Lakers and is a strong proponent of the offensive system. He blamed the players for failing to commit to the system in New York as the reason why it has not worked during Jackson's tenure with the Knicks.
"If you look at how the second team runs the triangle, guys who don't have a lot of experience in the game and a lot of habits, they ran a lot of it late in the fourth quarter and got a couple of backdoor plays,'' O'Neal said. "It definitely does work. Look at the guys, when Phil put this team together, I was liking it: Porzingis, Carmelo, Rose, [Joakim] Noah. I said, 'OK, it's going to work if they embrace the triangle. I like it.' But again, the ball can never stop.''
Carmelo Anthony has received the brunt of the criticism for not keeping the ball moving. Shaq recalled facing some of those same issues in his early days of playing in the triangle.
"Guys are stubborn - it took us awhile to break it, too,'' O'Neal said. "When we first started, we were doing terrible. I had to look at the mirror and say, 'OK, I was probably one of the main problems.' Because I like to get the ball and tell everyone to move out of the way and get to work, so I had to look at the mirror and say, 'Let me try it.' It became easier. I get it. [Guys] cutting, and it opened up for me and made it easier for me.''
The Knicks have fluctuated in and out of the triangle offense this season and are currently 27-43.