Dolan Sucks = Security Guards

From a friend who had this encounter at the Garden the other day. I’ve edited it slightly to protect the names and for formatting purposes.

Looks like I now share something in common with Spike Lee, Charles Oakley & a few other exhausted Knick fans…

So with a little over a minute to go, the Knicks down more than 10 again and the crowd chanting “SELL THE TEAM!” with gusto (the loudest the tourists had been all night). I shout “DOLAN SUCKS!”…once. I’m immediately confronted by an MSG gestapo member who instructs me (and my son) to exit. I reply, “Seriously?” He nods.

My son & I step out. We are now surrounded by 4 members of the MSG security force. I say, “what is this all about?” The MSG rep sternly says “those 2 words”. I said, “Dolan sucks?” He nods. I said, “I didn’t notice ‘no free speech’ on the ticket?” We stand surrounded by 4 MSG guards awaiting — what, I don’t know? I look to a less enthusiastic guard and say “I’m going to take a leak, ok?” He says go ahead. I go in the bathroom & basically wait it out. 10 minutes later…all clear! My son & I duck out down the stairs & out of the building.

So…this is what it’s like when you’re a silver spooned son of a billionaire who inherits a storied franchise with no knowledge or ability in how to run it and your ego is so brittle you need to have goons intimidate the folks that have supported the team before you poisoned the entire building. We can only hope he moves on to another toy his father gifts him. It’s been a long, exhausting and expensive walk in the desert…but Knick fans are always hopeful optimists…and I am one. For now the Garden is a quiet and sad resting place where great teams once roamed.

For now, the team echoes it’s owner…directionless, purposeless with no particular drive or merit.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

83 thoughts to “Dolan Sucks = Security Guards”

  1. Unless a security guard happened to be standing right there, it’s a little freaky that they seem to be trained to listen for and ID anti-Dolan shouters.

  2. IMO, there is an effort underway to try to push Dolan to sell the team. I suspect there are eventually going to be more serious accusations in the media as part of it. If he was smart, he’d shut his mouth, leave the fans alone, not say anything about players, and just sign the checks and go about his business. There’s no reason to give his opposition more ammo to ultimately get the league involved over mistreated fans or yet to be revealed tactics.

  3. Sometimes I have difficulty understanding people. The tickets to MSG are expensive. Why on God’s green earth would anyone pay money to be accosted by large humans with bad intent?

    If you want change…. hit him where it hurts…. in the wallet. Vote with your feet. Get on the train and watch the Nyets if you want to see actual NBA basketball and are Jonesing for it.. You haven’t seen it in Manhattan for a very long time……

    Don’t complain about being treated badly by known bad people after you pay serious money for the privilege. There is real a S&M quality to it. Isn’t there some common definition of insanity?????

  4. For those who didn’t get the chance, listen to the Lowe post with Morey at Sloane:

    https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cDovL2VzcG4uZ28uY29tL2VzcG5yYWRpby9mZWVkcy9yc3MvcG9kY2FzdC54bWw_aWQ9MTA1Mjg1NTM&episode=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5lc3BuLmNvbS9lc3BucmFkaW8vcG9kY2FzdD9pZD0yODg2OTg0Mw&hl=en&ved=2ahUKEwjQ-YnZl43oAhXEmuAKHUg6Cr8QjrkEegQIBhAI&ep=6

    It won’t take you long to understand this guy is playing three dimensional chess while the Knicks will forever be playing checkers.

    Morey explains how simple BB really is…..

  5. And just for the record… How right was Morey about the CCP and Xi’s thugs? These dark artists have put millions of people at substantial risk as a direct result of their subversion of basic freedoms.

    Lebron won’t have to worry about a 10% drop from Chinese revenue when he is playing to empty stadia in a few weeks…..

  6. I don’t buy everything Morey is saying.

    It’s cliche to say playoff basketball is different than regular season basketball, but imo it is, What works best over the course of the regular season playing a variety of both good and bad teams and different matchups, will not necessarily work when rotations are shortened, almost all the teams are solid defensively, the game is allowed to be more physical, no one takes possessions or games off because there are no back to backs, coaches have a chance to make adjustments game to game, and the pressure is much higher.

    Give the ball to Shaq in the post and no amount of pressure is going to matter to his dunk.

    Give the ball to Harden and ask him to take a step back 3 when the Rockets need a basket, he’s being covered tightly, and not getting same calls on his drives and the math changes.

    IMO, you want to play a style that gets easier baskets in the playoffs and not one that is fractionally more efficient in the regular season over 82 games with different conditions. The Rockets are going to beat lot of teams on sheer talent and on hot nights from 3, but they aren’t going to beat teams that beat them up physically if they come inside and force them into tough 3s and that can also overpower them inside on the other side.

  7. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    “I do think the Stepien rule is smart.”

    “You think they should have the Stepien rule for people who–”

    “I do. I think if you’re a very well-run, rational team, I’d prefer the rule not to be there. I like less rules. Less rules [is] good for us. But I think from a macro perspective, the league has to think about making sure teams are salable, and stuff like that. I think it’s a rational thing, but to the extent the league limits it, I think it makes sense to go to the max when you have a chance, because honestly, generally when teams drop out of contention, the average time they get back to contention is 8 years. We’ve looked at this. And that’s when you get back. There are some teams still in the wilderness […] I think the 8-year average is going to go up. When you’re out, you’re out. When you’re in, you should go for it.”

    Subtext: the Knicks have no idea what they’re doing.

  8. “because honestly, generally when teams drop out of contention, the average time they get back to contention is 8 years. ”

    That 8 years probably looks worse when you all out tank and start from zero. Sure, there are exceptions, but the studies I have seen were not pretty.

  9. That 8 years probably looks worse when you all out tank and start from zero.

    Huh? Having cap space, rookie contracts and an abundance of drafts picks is categorically not “starting from zero.”

    If you want to see “starting from zero,” try the 2005-2009 New York Knicks, who were decidedly not tanking when they traded two unprotected firsts for Eddy Curry.

    You continue to fail to understand that the process of tanking is not inherently bad; its efficacy is confounded because typically, the worst-run teams are those who end up with high lottery picks and (cough cough, Vlade) characteristically fail to recognize talent, which is why they’re in the high lottery in the first place.

    Any team that accidentally tanks for multiple years — due to poor performance, not injury a la 2019-20 GSW or 1996-97 SAS — and then allows the same front office members to make personnel decisions deserves the purgatory they’ve created for themselves.

    Again, you fail to recognize the difference between shrewd tanking and just flat-out losing. Tanking isn’t a bad strategy on its own; Vlade Divac, for one, is simply a bad basketball mind.

    the studies I have seen

    Provided that they’re not scribbled on the back of a cocktail lounge napkin, care to link?

  10. Total goons. I got tossed at a Tom Petty show after cursing out this drunk/coked up wall st bro who was runing show for the entire section. Mid punch i got swarmed and tossed, four guards surrounding me, right to the elevator.

    Sometimes when the tickets don’t scan they get orney too. I really hate them, almost as much as cops.

  11. In modern Greece you have to throw a glass bottle, a rock or a flare and hit the team’s owner in the head before you’re asked to leave the stadium!

  12. I’ve heard stories of overseas fans throwing batteries at players on the court, but in Soviet Madisonsquaregardenistan you can apparently get yoinked for saying Dolan sucks? That’s just ridiculous. How fragile does someone have to be to mandate that your security goons clamp down on even the tiniest threat to your ego?

  13. Which Succession child do you suspect James Dolan is most similar to? I’d guess Roman, since he insists on being involved despite his total lack of ability.

  14. I know that it seems ridiculous to be thrown out of a sports game because of cursing (the owner or a player or whoever else) but there’s also the other edge where you can see a game played while there are flares flying, flare pistols banging and coloured smoke all over the court!
    Many games, even important Finals have been played under these highly violent, dangerous and scary circumstances to a point where it becomes surreal.
    That’s one of the reasons families, women and kids are not so eager to go to a sports event.
    Hostile environment ain’t cool.
    It’s just sports.

  15. “You continue to fail to understand that the process of tanking is not inherently bad”

    Who says it is? Teams tanked for decades to only minor grumbles. Heck, baseball teams have been doing it for over a century.

    The argument today is over Hinkie-style hyper-tanking where a team spent multiple seasons aggressively trying to be as bad as humanly possible. For the Knicks, that bleeds over into the argument that you just HAD to practically give away the best prospect the team has seen in 20 years because paying him market value might possible at some undefined point in the future interfere with some hypothetical move the Knicks might want to make.

    Note: that is separate from arguing you need to get what you can from a guy who doesn’t want to be here or that a guy is overvalued so see if you can fleece somebody in a deal.

    Mike

  16. Mike Honcho:
    I’ve heard stories of overseas fans throwing batteries at players on the court, but in Soviet Madisonsquaregardenistan you can apparently get yoinked for saying Dolan sucks? That’s just ridiculous. How fragile does someone have to be to mandate that your security goons clamp down on even the tiniest threat to your ego?

    Batteries are the least.
    There were games where you could see flying chairs, stones and even hydraulic pipes or toilet seats and even porselain wash basin thrown in the court from the toilets. Especially on soccer matches.
    Hooligans ain’t so picky….

  17. If you wanna check Dolan’s fragility of ego next time you go to MSG yell:
    ” Randle sucks ” or ” DSJ sucks ”
    If they ask you to leave again then it’s not about Dolan.

    If not then just rephrase Dolan’s name to something similar like idk….Dylan or Dolly and go on yelling !

  18. Sometimes I have difficulty understanding people. The tickets to MSG are expensive. Why on God’s green earth would anyone pay money to be accosted by large humans with bad intent?

    If you want change…. hit him where it hurts…. in the wallet. Vote with your feet. Get on the train and watch the Nyets if you want to see actual NBA basketball and are Jonesing for it.. You haven’t seen it in Manhattan for a very long time……

    Don’t complain about being treated badly by known bad people after you pay serious money for the privilege. There is real a S&M quality to it. Isn’t there some common definition of insanity?????

    He was born rich, he does not care about money. Not paying for tickets ain’t gonna hurt him. But his ego… that’s another matter. Not sure if he can take many nights listening “sell the team” chants .

  19. Subtext: the Knicks have no idea what they’re doing.

    Meanwhile, the “terrible” rookies sit so that the “slightly less terrible” vets can beat teams like the Pistons and let them leapfrog us in the lottery.

    It means less this year since the “top” of this draft looks pretty bust-y, and the next level (Hayes, Haliburton, Toppin) looks like legit contributors, but the fact remains: The Knicks haven’t learned a damn thing in 20-plus years of futility.

  20. ‘Memo to MSG security guards’

    Only chants allowed in MSG:
    MVP!
    Defense! Defense!
    Ball don’t Lie!

  21. FWIW I went to a game last year back when the crowd would regularly chant “we want Kanter” where I tried to counter with “No he sucks” and security came over immediately and told me to stop.

  22. The best way to win in the playoffs is to have one of the 3-4 best teams in the regular season. Just by SRS:

    2019- Raptors (4)
    2018- GS(2)
    2017-GS(1)
    2016-Cavs (4)
    2015-GS (1)
    2014-Spurs (1)
    2013-Heat (2)
    2012-Heat (4)
    2011-Mavs (8)
    2010-Lakers (3)
    2009-Lakers (3)

    2 of the (4) teams had the best player in the NBA, 1 beat a team that lost 2 of the 4 best players and then you have the Mavs, who seem like an all time outlier. The aughts were pretty much the same, with the only exception being the Heat beating the Mavs when they were sixth in SRS. So maybe coaching/tactical flexibilty do matter more in the playoffs, but basically only within a very small subset of teams. If you’re not one of the 4 bets teams in the regular season the odds are pretty low that you’re winning a title

  23. >You continue to fail to understand that the process of tanking is not inherently bad;<

    You continue to not acknowledge the studies that have already been done on it and the probabilities and time frames associated with that all out approach.

    You also fail to admit we were the 2nd worst team in basketball when we drafted KP and are still among the worst now even though we drafted in the top 5 twice, top 10 twice, and will probably get another top 5 pick this year and still suck next year.

    Mistakes or not, it's not like drafting high in the lottery is doing much for moving us along. By definition, 19 year olds take 4-5 or more years to be ready and you have to accumulate several years worth to make a team.

  24. The cool thing about this argument is that KP is only playing relevant basketball because of a 21 year old who is already a top 10 player in the league and we could have had picked him guaranteed if we just fucking tanked properly for that one year.

  25. You also fail to admit we were the 2nd worst team in basketball when we drafted KP and are still among the worst now even though we drafted in the top 5 twice, top 10 twice, and will probably get another top 5 pick this year and still suck next year.

    No, you’re still missing the point. There is nothing inherently wrong with having the #4, #8, #9 and #3 picks over the course of five seasons.

    A team formerly known as the Supersonics drafted #2, #4 and #3 in successive drafts, and ended up with three sure-fire HOFers who have earned a combined 3 MVPs, 12 All-NBA First Teams, 5 Second Teams, 2 Third Teams, and 2 FMVP awards. Brody has 52 career VORP, Beard with 63.6, and Durant with 69 career VORP, in one of the nicest careers you could ever hope for.

    You know why tanking worked for them? They drafted good players with their picks. So good that their picks have produced the most wins against replacement in their respective draft classes. If the Thunder ownership hadn’t been so cheap, they could have three of the best offensive players of the last decade, even now. Or they could have traded one of Westbrook or Harden away for far more than they got for Harden and ended up with a perennial 65-win team.

    What did the Knicks do with their picks?

    2015: Euro player who has yet to crack league-average shooting efficiency
    2017: Euro player who is one of the worst offensive players in the league
    2018: One-and-done workout stud who put up bad stats in his one year at Kentucky and who is one of the worst players in the league through year 2
    2019: “High ceiling” player who cannot shoot, currently sitting at 6th-worst BPM of all rookies (33) who have played >500

    Again, I tell you: tanking works if you pick the right players. And although there is no crystal ball, we know for a fact that the Knicks chose relative unknowns OR players with bad NCAA stats to carry them to contention.

  26. To DRed’s point, SRS is a good tool if you’re trying to suss out which teams are actual contenders for a title run. Looking at the 2011 Mavs, you can tell that the SRS took a hit during an extended injury from Dirk — between December 28 and January 14, they went 2-7 without him. When he returned on January 15, he played poorly and in limited minutes in a big loss to the Grizzlies. He bounced back the following game against the Pistons, but they still lost handily. And surprise: Tyson Chandler was injured for both of those losses!

    Prior to that stretch, the Mavs were 24-5. Without that stretch, could they have had the 8+ SRS that you’d expect from a contender? Probably not, but it certainly would have made them look less like outliers. And of course, they balled out in the playoffs, smashing the Lakers in 4 and the Thunder in 5 en route to the Heatles’ first appearance.

  27. All of the studies regarding “tanking” suck for the reason Jowles outlined—they look at the fortunes of teams who have repeatedly picked in the lottery and draw conclusions about “tanking” that are nonsensical.

    The overwhelming majority of those teams don’t go about things the way people here commonly advocate. Namely, they don’t avoid marginal wins, take on as many salary dumps as possible, buy up second rounders, fill out the roster with UDFA/G-League flyers, etc.

    They are simply bad, dumb teams who find themselves with bad records all the time for that reason. They get to the lottery and do things like pick DeAndre Ayton and Marvin Bagley over Luka Doncic (or Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox over Zach Collins and Mikal Bridges if you prefer that example).

    Also, the studies never compare the strategy they think they’re debunking to any alternative. What’s the success rate on constantly signing negative BPM scrubs to big, even if short-term, contracts? How often does making Carmelo Anthony the highest paid player in the NBA with a full no trade clause work?

    This is why even the most adamant anti-tanking folks here are never able to outline their preferred courses of action.

  28. Of course if you draft great players with your picks you will do well. But it’s not always possible to do that because drafts vary in quality, there’s luck in the lottery and there’s luck in the draft. OKC got extremely lucky with shi was available to them when they drafted. Most teams do not get that lucky and it’s not their management’s fault that they didn’t.

  29. Most teams do not get that lucky and it’s not their management’s fault that they didn’t.

    Via Kevin Pelton’s model, Ntilikina was the 23rd ranked prospect in his draft (with Pelton saying it was only that high because of his youth and regression to the mean) and Knox was ranked 47th in his.

    If you pick these guys 8th and 9th in consecutive drafts, you’re not suffering from bad luck.

  30. “Is tanking effective” is an extremely hard thing to study (which presumably is why Strat isn’t producing any of these studies he keeps mentioning). A cursory look will tell you that there is a tendency for bad teams tend to remain bad and good teams tend to remain good but there are so many factors being conflated there that it’s nigh impossible to draw conclusions from that.

    One big problem is that it’s not even easy to define what tanking is. Are the Knicks currently “tanking”? They’re very bad and have been bad for a long time but they’ve almost never been intentionally bad during that period. Even this year, we all knew they would be bad, but of course they opted to sign veterans with an eye towards “competing” as opposed to taking on bad salary or taking fliers on young players. Strat would say the Knicks have been tanking for years, many others would take issue with that. It’s hard to even begin to study a phenomenon that we can’t even define.

  31. I don’t think Knox was just bad luck. I agree the Knicks picked wrong there. I’m not sure about Frank. I recall a lot of pundits put him about where we drafted him, even if Pelton didn’t. And as we discussed previously at length recently, it’s not uncommon to get a player with Frank’s output where we drafted him. When we discuss the value of tanking as a strategy, we should assume the tanking team isn’t anything special at drafting. Otherwise, the question is moot because If you are really bad at drafting no amount of tanking will work and if you are great at drafting, maybe you don’t need to tank to get good players.

  32. Surely the incompetent heir with a substance abuse problem and a fragile ego would be Kendall Roy rather than Roman.

    A more interesting exercise would be matching kb posters with succession characters. Unfortunately, it would be difficult to do this without resorting to vulgar impulses (season 1 old man Logan whizzing on the carpet springs to mind)

  33. “He was born rich, he does not care about money. Not paying for tickets ain’t gonna hurt him. But his ego… that’s another matter. Not sure if he can take many nights listening “sell the team” chants .”

    They are publicly traded so I assume they have a Board that has some say in such matter. It’s not a problem to be a dick if you are enhancing asset value but when revenue starts to tank as a function of the chairman’s dickishness……..

    Glad to see they are down to 221 from 316 a week ago…….

  34. Just dropping by to let you know that the entire Italian country has been pretty much quarantined.

    And you wondered why I was a Knick fan…

  35. ” I recall a lot of pundits put him about where we drafted him, even if Pelton didn’t”.

    A lot of the same pundits put Ayton over Doncic as the first overall pick and they were all wrong. Why is that? There’s two answers that are both true in my view: a lot of mock drafts are draft projections, not big boards. If I had done a mock draft for 2018 I would have put Ayton over Doncic, simply because it was obvious the Suns were drafting him no matter what even though it was ridiculously obvious at the time that it was the wrong choice. The second one is that good teams should not be picking the guy tankathon thinks is the best prospect, but they do their own work and figure it out by themselves.

  36. No spoilers for Season 2, please! We’re slow watcher and working our way through.

    OKC got extremely lucky with shi was available to them when they drafted. Most teams do not get that lucky and it’s not their management’s fault that they didn’t.

    They may have actually gotten luckier by who was not available when they drafted. Greg Oden was a superstar in the making before injuries took his career away. Michael Beasley put up an amazing season at K-State and wouldn’t have made waves had he gone #1 to CHI in 2008. And Hasheem Thabeet was a consensus top-3 pick before the draft. Maybe the Thunder are in position to pick Thabeet if the Wolves don’t flip O.J. Mayo for Kevin Love to get out from under the Antoine Walker and Marko Jaric contracts.

    But that’s all hypothetical — the fact is that their tanking yielded major assets because they correctly identified, and were in position to pick, the three best players in their respective drafts. This is an actual example of how tanking can work if you are good at identifying talent. The Knicks are demonstrably not. That’s why tanking hasn’t worked.

  37. But it’s not always possible to do that because drafts vary in quality, there’s luck in the lottery and there’s luck in the draft.

    And another point: when in doubt, trade the fuck down. BRANDON CLARKE WAS AVAILABLE INTO THE 20s.

    Who would protest if he went in the top 5 if this class were re-drafted?

  38. >>>By definition, 19 year olds take 4-5 or more years to be ready and you have to accumulate several years worth to make a team.<<<

    What?

  39. How was OKC lucky with Westbrook? He wasn’t even close to a consensus pick, a lot of people expected Seattle to draft Brook Lopez instead of him. Just quickly searching for old mocks shows some of them having Westbrook falling all the way to 10th, 6th, all over the place, some people predicted Bayless was the pick, etc. That draft only had two consensus picks, Rose and Beasley, and most people expected Mayo to be 3rd, but that was it.

  40. Just dropping by to let you know that the entire Italian country has been pretty much quarantined.

    hi farfa…hope you and the missus and your folks are all still doing well…

    things are progressing here in the states as well…

    are you able to still go to work, or, is it just a sit at home and wait type situation?

    do they have some kind of mandatory testing thing established?

  41. Farfa, you have my sympathies. Good luck with your help. It could happen here too, but it’s not here yet

  42. it’s sounds like over the next few weeks we’ll be doing a bunch of testing here in the states…that data is gonna freak some folks out…

    it’s interesting, as the world becomes more “connected”, these pandemics, which will most likely increase in virulence and frequency, are going to force social isolation…

    of the 150k or so deaths in the world each day – this particular virus will only be responsible for a tiny fraction of those deaths; however, the impact of the threat will cause much more significant effects…

    welcome to the 21st century, bad air, rising tides and global health concerns…

  43. Friday the 13th is pretty much in line with a coronavirus spike. do they make n95 hockey masks?

  44. just getting a chance to sit down and watch the pistons’ game…pretty sure I’ve watched all 20 victories this year…

    wow, that really was a spectacular look for clyde…that whole ensemble would make a helluva couch…

    maybe when his time is done rebecca can take cylde’s spot…hard not to crush on the young lady…

  45. oh shit, the pistons actually are starting john henson…

    why play at all, that should just count as an automatic forfeit…

  46. “ are you able to still go to work, or, is it just a sit at home and wait type situation?”

    I can go to my work but I’m pretty lucky as I can do 95% of my job from home.

    I can’t stress enough, though, the need to employ a few prevention measures from now (I hope you guys are already doing that):

    – wash your hands at least 30 seconds with soap and very frequently
    – don’t touch your face with your hands
    – don’t shake hands with people, don’t kiss them, don’t hug them
    – keep 4 feet of distance between you and other people
    – cough and sneeze into your elbow or in a tissue (and throw it in the junk right after)
    – don’t go into crowds

    (It looks like this disease has been engineered by an introvert with a severe case of Hollywood OCD)

    It’s only a matter of time, the disease isn’t that deadly (especially among young and adult people), but its R0 is 2.5, which is pretty high. The deadliness of the disease though isn’t the issue: it’s the fact that it increases heavily the need for intensive therapy, and usually IT beds are scarce everywhere (and needed for a myriad of different diseases which may not be treated in the mean time).

    Until a vaccine is developed, I strongly suggest you start following those easy measures.

    Keep safe!

  47. All the fans at the Garden should chant “HELL NO! WE WON’T GO!”, and see if the gulag has them all removed from the arena

  48. Man, stay safe Farfa. It must be crazy living through something like this.

    We’ve moved to remote classes indefinitely and my guess is it stays that way for the remainder of the semester. Not my cup of tea, but also nothing compared to what you’re dealing with…yet.

    Also I hate to be this guy but we should probably start losing some games soon because we’re getting into “one draft pick later than the guy who turns out to be really good” territory, as per tradition.

  49. Just dropping by to let you know that the entire Italian country has been pretty much quarantined.

    My cousin, wife, and 3 children moved from the US to Italy a few years back. I spoke with him yesterday. So far his family is fine and he doesn’t seem too upset. His wife’s family lives in Italy. So they all have some support. But that’s a pretty tough situation. Stay well Farfa.

  50. I really need to work on myself as far discussing the same things over and over, but some things come up over and over.

    I never said tanking or the draft won’t work. It will eventually work and should 100% be part of any rebuilding plan. The issue is how long it takes if you really bottom out and the probability it will work over some tolerable time frame if you do. The overall data is not impressive even though there are isolated cases of fairly quick success.

    My point has been that it has always been a long process, but it’s even longer and more speculative now when teams are drafting 19 year old players that are 4-5 years away from being ready to play “serious” playoff basketball. Since you need several players like that, that automatically puts you at 6-8 years if you are both good and lucky,

    The alternative of drafting players that are 21-22 will net you some good players that are physically more ready, but the reason they are still in college at 21-22 is that they weren’t good enough to come out at 19.

    So the probability of getting the 2-3 stars stars you need via draft is lower in that group. A team that already has a couple of young stars is in a better position to look for great value among the older players. That’s where they might find the elite role players they will eventually also need.

    It’s always easier to select the right player after the fact or to say “so and so” was available after we selected.

    When we personally make a great pick, it makes a big impression in our minds. We forget all the times we were wrong too.

    It’s easy to point to the 1-2 teams that were successful fairly quickly. We dismiss all the teams that are 10 years into it and still struggling to make the playoffs despite years in the lottery.

  51. Thanks for working on that, Strat. Keep it up.

    This is going to be an egregious eye-take (keep moving, nothing to read here!) but I lazily read through a host of team draft picks over about the last 10 years. In fact, if you consider who the Knicks picked over that same stretch, we really look fairly middle-of-the-pack. We had a few decent picks (I despise KP but he was a decent pick, Mich was huge, Dotson a grounder up the middle, don’t much like Timmy’s game but he’s been a starter for multiple teams…), some whiffs (Knox, I love Frank but he’s still sitting in whiff-land). There are some teams with great pick stretches, but most of them seem to sit about where we do — a couple of hits, a bunch of misses.

    What’s been pointed out by others so I’ll just reiterate — we SUCK at development. Remember eat what you kill last year? How’d that work? And on and on. We could certainly do better at picks (the Rockets, for example, seem to have done quite well finding decent starters or good bench players over the last decade with mediocre pick spots, even if none of the players are with the team), but it’s almost like what’s the point for us.

  52. I brought this up last summer and nobody responded, so naturally, I’ll throw it out here again. For those familiar with the Monty Hall problem, wouldn’t it always make sense to trade down for more picks? Unless you’re picking with confidence — Luka, Zion, Lebron type — wouldn’t you almost always want two chances to hit rather than one?

  53. I think The Knicks are actually in a perfect position this draft to trade down.

    There isn’t really a consenus top pick this year. The draft seems full of guards. And we have RJ and Mitch, who we should absolutely be building around. Some upperclassmen who are more NBA ready and can fill specific roles (shooters/defenders please!) could be just the trick. Of course, we still need a better option at PG but I’d be cool with keeping Payton for next year.

    I also want to inject a little optimism into The Knicks. I hope they are noticing the work Miller is doing. The team plays well for him and is trending in the right direction. People can be frustrated about meaningless wins but the last stretch of games especially the young players are playing great. Mitch in particular is really playing well recently. RJ is going to be up and down shooting wise but I like what he is doing recently too. Plus even Knox and Frank seem to be playing better. Knox in particular has been much better on defense.

    This bodes well for us. I think its fair to say RJ and Mitch are definite building blocks. I’d like more minutes for Dot, obviously, but overall I’ve been pleased with the young players recently and in the general attitude of the team under Miller. He should definitely be considered for next year and I hope they don’t overthink it. Its been nice to have no drama with our coaching staff (if not our security staff).

  54. My point has been that it has always been a long process, but it’s even longer and more speculative now when teams are drafting 19 year old players that are 4-5 years away from being ready to play “serious” playoff basketball. Since you need several players like that, that automatically puts you at 6-8 years if you are both good and lucky,

    The problem people have is you constantly throw this out there with no evidence besides “Frank Ntilikina hasn’t become good.” There are so, so, so many examples of extremely young players in recent drafts being productive as rookies and/or sophomores.

    In fact, I know this hurts you to hear because of the implications it has for Frank, but if you haven’t shown jack shit by year 3 it’s actually very reasonable to infer that you shouldn’t be relied on going forward.

    It’s likely true that if you take the entire 60 player sample in a draft the younger players tend to be worse early on. That makes sense. It’s also why you 1) avoid marginal wins as to not needlessly destroy your draft position, in order to get the guys for whom this is not the case and 2) get as many picks as you can to mitigate this issue.

  55. I brought this up last summer and nobody responded, so naturally, I’ll throw it out here again. For those familiar with the Monty Hall problem, wouldn’t it always make sense to trade down for more picks? Unless you’re picking with confidence — Luka, Zion, Lebron type — wouldn’t you almost always want two chances to hit rather than one?

    It often makes sense, yes.

  56. If we had Jowles and Dred as POBO and GM, then sure, trade down should always be an option. I do know that I’d pick Clarke over RJ right now to play on my pick-up team at the gym. Two years from now, though?

  57. For those familiar with the Monty Hall problem, wouldn’t it always make sense to trade down for more picks?

    Drafting is not random, so it’s more like if the Monty Hall scenario had translucent doors instead of opaque ones. The problem is that some front offices need their collective eyes checked: “You thought that goat looked like the outline of a car? Okay then…”

    he reason they are still in college at 21-22 is that they weren’t good enough to come out at 19

    A lot of guys who come out at 19 shouldn’t have come out either, though. Knox didn’t light the world on fire at Kentucky, but he had some scouts drooling over his height and measurables and pedigree and “modern” look (6’9″ stretch SF/PF). Marvin Williams was a damn 6th man and went 2nd overall in 2005, putting up 12.2 VORP over 15 NBA seasons and $120M in salary.

    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Anthony Bennett, Jabari Parker, Dante Exum, Aaron Gordon, Andrew Wiggins, D’Angelo Russell, Jah Okafor, Stanley Johnson, Dragan Bender, Josh Jackson, Ntilikina, Marvin Bagley… there are a lot of guys who declared for the draft because they were projected high, not because they were “ready” for the NBA.

    Everyone’s sifting for glimmers in the mud, and very few teams are actually good at it. This is precisely why there is an alternative:

    1) acquire surplus draft picks — trade down, rent cap space, buy picks outright

    2) draft players with a demonstrated ability to win; ignore players who cannot shoot, cannot defend, etc.; do not take on “projects” except with late picks that have a reasonable contract value

    3) keep cap space open; sign or use remaining surplus picks to trade for legitimate max players when they are available

    There’s this idea that you need to swing for the fences with every pick and I don’t get it at all.

  58. Two years from now, though?

    Clarke is already shooting .670 TS% on 18.9 USG% as a rookie. He shoots 78% at the rim; RJB is at 56%.

    Do we really think Barrett will ever get to that level? I mean, not many players ever reach .670 TS% in the first place — just 22 individual player seasons in the modern era with >1000 MP, >.670 TS% and >15 USG%. Brandon Clarke is the 2nd youngest on the list, just after Thomas Bryant.

  59. the monty hall lesson is not ‘two random chances are better than one.’ we don’t need a cute problem for that. it’s ‘beware of apparently random choices that are actually curated.’

  60. Dennis Smith was a much a better prospect by statistical models than Frank and he’s arguably been worse as a pro. So was Markelle Fultz. Drafting to me is like poker-you have some information and you try to use that to make the best bets you can, but you’re still going to lose on a lot of them. If you’re picking 9th the odds are against you getting a really good player, even if you’re making good decisions (obviously this is less true for particular drafts). The Knicks just don’t seem to understand the process.

  61. I will say that while I agree there’s generally a lot of value in trading down because just about every team is overly confident in their ability to identify talent, the counterpoint to that is that the NBA is a star’s league. Ultimately the talent distribution gets very stratified at the top end and you need one (or more) of those super elite players to really win at a high level. And those guys generally (although not always of course) get drafted very high. Trading down looks great until you’re the team that trades down from the spot where Luka Doncic is ultimately selected (they mitigated it somewhat because Trae is also really good). There’s almost no amount of draft capital that can be worth missing out on a superstar on his rookie contract. And, well, if the principle is “look to trade down unless there’s an elite talent available” then that brings you back to the question of having to evaluate talent successfully which is obviously the hard part.

  62. There’s almost no amount of draft capital that can be worth missing out on a superstar on his rookie contract.

    Of course. The Mavs turned one draft pick into what looks to be 10 years of dominance at the most valuable position in the league (a PG in a wing’s body) and I don’t think that Kings fans should ever get over it. Likewise, the sky appears the limit on the Pelicans’ future. They’re 10-9 with a 19-year-old rookie, 18-27 without him. That’s just wild.

    But Doncic or Zion are exceptional cases — a teenage Euroleague MVP and the most easily-identifiable superstar talent that we’ve seen since Anthony Davis.

  63. Yeah, the Doncic case was just a case of collective hysteria by 3 teams who somehow got scared about picking the most obvious superstar prospect in decades for different reasons. There was talk of him not wanting to play in smaller markets, or wanting to force a trade if some teams picked him, so I can’t blame the Hawks too much, they got a pick and Trae Young is very very good. But the Kings and the Suns have no excuses and are just poorly managed franchises that if they ever find success, will probably be despite their management, and not because of it.

    I agree there’s no amount of draft picks that would make me choose Bagley over Doncic, or anyone over Zion, but in more uncertain draft positions I like the idea of trading down a lot more. As usual in the NBA, when a real superstar shows up, you secure him and everything else comes later, but there’s only 10 to 15 guys in the entire league that are worthy of that treatment. The problem usually comes when teams misjudge that situation and treat guys outside of this top 15 as if they were more important than they are.

  64. Doc Rivers had that interview where he said LeBron beats people with his brain, and watching this video it seems hard to argue against it. I mean it helps that he has everything else in the game too plus the brain, but he’s orchestrating the game beautifully.

    We all know Giannis is going to be MVP and rightfully so, but there’s never a game where LeBron isn’t the best player on the court at all times.

  65. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    But Doncic or Zion are exceptional cases — a teenage Euroleague MVP and the most easily-identifiable superstar talent that we’ve seen since Anthony Davis.

    I agree that those guys were extremely identifiable. But often times it’s less cut and dry. Last year if you had the #2 pick and traded down that would look like a big mistake but if you had the #3 pick and traded down you’d look very clever right about now (not to disparage RJ who I still think can be a good player but he’s clearly not a premium tier prospect the way Ja is at this point). I was way higher on Ja predraft than RJ but that certainly wasn’t a unanimous position, and I definitely don’t think it was clear that Ja was in the “elite prospect you don’t trade down from” category and RJ wasn’t at the time.

  66. Yeah, your playing is super tasteful, especially on that bassline. Killing it.

    I’m not a big house guy, but this is the second time Nicolas Jaar has blown my mind with glitchy wild house stuff:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hPfc02Q1qA

    Last year if you had the #2 pick and traded down that would look like a big mistake but if you had the #3 pick and traded down you’d look very clever right about now

    Absolutely. Morant is a great prospect still, but his success was far less clear than Zion’s, in my opinion. And as I said earlier, guys like Michael Beasley were “can’t miss” and missed hard. Of course, it didn’t matter to the Heat, since they had to trade him for pennies on the dollar to clear space for the Heatles, but it was still a failure relative to what they expected from him.

  67. If the Knicks didn’t take Frank at 8, Dallas was going to take him at 9. They tried to deflect the other way after they actually got DSJ, but they wanted Frank over DSJ. Rightly so.

  68. We’re currently at #6 in the draft lottery odds, one win away from #2. The Razor is looking to stay sharp, my dudes.

  69. There never was a point to Elfrid Payton and Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock and (*) Julius Randle and there’s even less of a point to them now.

    (*) To a lesser degree.

  70. I think there was a point to Elf — we had no actual point guard — it just wasn’t a very good choice (although I don’t know that there was a better one). I’d replace him on your list with Mr. Portis.

  71. I was fine with taking a chance on Payton, he is still young enough that we could hope for improvement, and if you give credence to the idea that the development of some of your guys was hindered by not having a decent PG, well, at least he can do basic PG things. He hasn’t really improved, so the experiment at least partially failed, but it was a reasonable signing.

    Portis, Ellington, Bullock and Gibson weren’t. Morris was decent because there was always the chance of trading him, which was a success, and Randle was a decent gamble until he proved us that his improved shooting was indeed unsustainable, so that eventually failed too.

  72. Portis, Morris and Payton are the best of our free agent pickups. Payton is our starting point guard and deserves it. He’s not great as starting point guards go, but getting a good point guard through free agency is rare. Compare him to Raymond Felton, also a Knick point guard of no special distinction. We had to trade assets for Felton and here we didn’t trade anything, which is a good result. Morris was clearly a good signing given how it worked out. Portis is overpaid, but we have very friendly contract terms and he’s been durable and gotten a lot of usage. We need scoring off the bench and he gives us that.

    The other free agents we hired over the summer were Bullock, Randle, Ellington and Gibson. I give the Bullock deal an incomplete. Who knows how it would have worked out if he didn’t fail his physical. Gibson doesn’t seem great, but maybe Mitch is learning from him. Randle brought needed scoring to the front line but is expensive and not a good fit with the rest of the team. Ellington so far is very forgettable and has probably been the least productive pick up.

    Overall we didn’t do as badly as we could have in our hires and we didn’t sacrifice financial flexibility. There wasn’t anybody great on the market we had a chance at after Durant was injured, so we couldn’t have made a great team out of free agents. Maybe the biggest cost of our spending spree was opportunity cost. We didn’t take on long term contracts in return for accepting assets. It hard to say how big a loss that was. Overall this basically meh free agent record is so much better than the disasters many Knick management teams have wrought, that I’m ok with it. As I’ve said before, if we don’t screw up free agent hirings and trades, some of our draft picks will probably work out and we will get better eventually. Baby steps instead of backwards steps are alright with me.

  73. In this time of stress, fear and pain we should all take a deep breath and reflect on the fact that Marcus Morris is hooting 28% from three for the Clippers.

  74. Maybe the biggest cost of our spending spree was opportunity cost.

    Maybe? That was the entire complaint the whole time!

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