The New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers are both charter NBA franchises, operate in the top two media markets, compete with crosstown rivals with lesser histories but better current teams. They are also both about to miss the playoffs in the same season for only the fourth time in NBA history.
Last week, they linked themselves yet again when the Knicks brought on Phil Jackson as president of basketball operations. It is the second significant recent swing and miss by the Lakers, who lost Dwight Howard last offseason.
And even as Jackson's arrival is hailed by some as a coup for the Knicks, the revolving door of leadership in New York (Donnie Walsh, Glen Grunwald, Steve Mills, now Jackson) certainly does not convey an image of stability. While the current parallels are clear, as we look forward, which team has an easier road to relevance?
Here's an asset inventory and analysis of both franchises along with an examination of which is better equipped to retool.