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Friday, August 1, 2014

Goodbye-ee Part 3: Gallo

Because we’re sentimental bastids, Kevin McElroy and I are teaming up on a three-part series talking about the Denver Four/Minny Two, as they shall heretofore be known. We’ll look back fondly (and at times, not so fondly) at the careers of the sextet of ‘Bockers that were summarily dispatched to the Rocky Mountains/Great White North. No analysis of the merits of the trade, mind you (I think that dead horse has been soundly beaten), just nostalgia and sweet/semi-sweet farewells

Alas, Mr. McElroy and I both came down with a truly nasty virus in the last day or so, so we’re splitting final chapter in two. Here’s 3(a) with my take on…

DANILO GALLINARI

It was February 1979. I was seven years old and just begun watching Knicks games in earnest with my Pops (technically, I started during the ’72 finals v. the Lakers. When I couldn’t be coerced into falling asleep, the only thing that would work is my father would get in the car and drive around the block with me in the front seat. During these circuitous trips, he’d crank up a playoff game on the radio and Marv Albert’s sonorous voice/rhythms would knock me out quicker than a Thanksgiving turkey with Ambien stuffing). The team wasn’t very good that year, but I immediately latched on to their one “star,” a doe-eyed undersized center/scoring machine that had been pilfered from the then-Buffalo Braves named Bob McAdoo. For those too young to remember, take a look-y loo at his stats. Eerily similar to a proto-Amar’e, right? (At least before an oft-rumored problem with booger sugar totally wrecked his game.) I didn’t even really know that he was good or why I selected him as my fave, I just liked him. Maybe because he had a name that just sounded badass and as a nice Jewish boy growing up on the mean streets of the Upper West Side I had a preternatural/instinctive desire to attach myself however tangentially to urban toughness/cool. Maybe I managed to glean some knowledge via osmosis that he was the best jump –shooting big in the game (Kids just learn things in ways that we can’t ever logically explain). But more than anything, I remember oh-so-clearly the exact moment when I learned he had been traded, to the hated Celtics, of all teams. I was in my bunk bed, my lil’ Sis blissfully asleep below and my father came through the door and told me the Knicks had traded McAdoo for nothing. (Well, not nothing, but multiple first-round picks and a non-entity named Tom Barker [NOT a cool name]) But I didn’t really get the concept of the draft at that tender age and so all I knew was that my team had just sent MY favorite player to the enemy for free! Zilch! Nada! Bupkis!

Through tears I just kept asking my Dad, “Why? Why would they do that? It’s not fair!” He tried in vain to explain how they were rebuilding and draft picks meant they could get new, young players. I didn’t care. Bob McAdoo was my favorite player and now he was gone. When I heard Gallo might be a piece in the trade, like Proust with his cardboard madeleines, all those same emotions came flooding back. (Between semi-sobs, like a stock Fellini-esque bent, old crow of a woman who could be anywhere from 50-90 years old, draped entirely in black even if it’s August in Rome, clutching at Rosary beads, and somehow simultaneously wailing in anguish and clenching her gnarled, tiny fists in rage) “Wait. We traded Gallo? Why? Melo wants to come here and, and, and, he’ll sign as a free agent and, and, and NO it’s Zeke. That Iago-like bastard is secretly pulling the strings and he’s trying to destroy the team so that Walsh gets fired but he gets credit for Melo. No! It’s Dolan. That guitar-wielding fool has a personal vendetta against me! I’m going to find out what AA meetings he attends and call out the bastard! I dunno which portion of the 12-Step Program making a colossally stoopid trade violates, but I’m sure it’s one of them!!!”

To briefly recap his 2.5 year tenure at MSG: Danilo was the first ray of hope to emerge after 10 years of Layden and Isiah. The sixth pick in a (or so they said at the time) loaded draft, it seemed he was destined to go to the Knicks, both because Gallo’s dad played with our freshly minted coach Mike in the Italian league, and because a 6’10” forward who could shoot the lights out would be the perfect stretch 4 in SSoL. At the time, the pick was denounced by the local wags: “Nepotism. We coulda had Brook Lopez! Or D.J. Augustin. We seriously need a PG! Or what about Joe Alexander?” Look how it went down. There’s really no one (aside from the late bloomers) considerably better than Gallo left on the board – save possibly Eric Gordon. In fact, if you re-drafted the lottery knowing what we know now, a very good case could be made for this order: Rose, Westbrook, Love, Gallo, Gordon, Serge Ibaka, DeAndre Jordan, JaVale McGee, Nicholas Batum, Roy Hibbert, J.J. Hickson, Beasley, Brook Lopez, O.J. Mayo.

We get Ibaka? Sweet…Hindsight notwithstanding, Gallo got off to a nifty start in his first summer league game, before colliding with the carcass formally known as Robert “Tractor” Traylor (Great Nickname), resulting in back problems that plagued him throughout his rookie campaign, limiting him to 28 games. Even in a limited role, we saw something. He could, indeed, hit shots from anywhere in the gym and he had a weird confidence/verve that made his moniker, “Il Gallo” i.e. “The Rooster” (or “The Cock” for those get the giggles at that sort of thing), seem oddly apt.

In season two, after being anointed, “The best shooter I’ve ever seen,” by MD’A (More nepotism!) he continued to make in rain from outside, but it was clear that his back woes weren’t entirely behind him. Especially in comparison to the clips of him playing for Armani Jeans in the Italian League. (When I showed these to my then ex, she quipped, “Georgio Armani has a team? Why can’t we root for them?”) Here you see a fleet-ish, lanky slasher with some serious hops who could contort his wiry frame to score in multiple ways at the rack. Not the guy who trotted like someone had just taken a two-by-four to his lower lumbar. But lo, this season, he started to add pieces to his game. Unleashing a heretofore-unseen ability to get to the line and even stretches of defensive prowess, though his shot’s been wonky all year. Still, you could see progress. It was clear that his game was expanding, even if the numbers suggested he was pretty much the same player he was in the season prior.

But whether he fulfills his potential and becomes a poor man’s Dirk Nowitzki (without the Hasselhoff tunes perpetually running through his melon) and/or a much cooler Peja Stojakovic/Detlef Schrempf, losing Gallinari just hurts because, gosh darn it, I liked the guy beyond the usual, “He plays for my team and he might be good” mishegas. It’s beyond (as Seinfeld said) just rooting for laundry.

But why?

Honestly, I can’t really say. But as Spalding Gray said, “like any good liberal, I should question eeeeeeeeevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrything” (Go to 2:57 of the link. Heck watch the whole movie if you’ve never seen it. It’s unfathomably good. I’ll wait) I’ll ask myself now. Bob, why are you in a glass case of emotion? Why is this Knick different from all other Knicks? (Yes, I just referenced Spalding Gray, Anchorman, and slung some Yiddish in the same article. That’s how I roll, yo.

Maybe it’s because I myself had the good fortune to spend a great deal of time in my youth in Tuscany. Briefly, my father fell in with a group of artists/US expats who had formed a colony in Carrera, the region where Michelangelo got his marble and so most Summers, my family lived there. And we ate schiacciata biked down cobble-stoned streets and walked to the beach and played tennis on clay courts with a leather-skinned pro who continually barked at me, “Muovi le gambi!” (Translation: “Move your legs!”) And the elderly Mammas all thought I was cute as a button and give me rock-hard, practically bitter candy that they seemingly always had stored in their pockets. (Yes, it was as blissful as it sounds. Please don’t throw heavy objects at me) Through my adolescence, I vainly clutched to the (utterly false) notion that I actually had some Italian blood buried somewhere deep in my family lineage. So like the imaginary famiglia that I glommed onto, maybe the thought of a paisan on my favorite hoops team struck a chord somewhere deep in the crevasses of memory that can’t be logically explicated.

Maybe it’s his deeply earnest, almost Chico Marx-esque interviews. Now that I think about it, Chico (my favorite Marx brother) probably is the best comparable to Gallo. Bent, awkward, goofy looking yet clearly spilling over with talent and unimaginable grace. Watch Chico play the piano and you’ll see what I mean  He always seemed unmediated – unwilling or unable to craft an easily marketable image and sling the usual sports clichés (and again, this may be due to the language barrier). Hell, he’d even croon Beyonce. Early this season, when asked if he thought he could become a star, instead of ducking the question and muttering something Laloosh-like about, “Just wanting to help the team.” He said, No. Just plain no. And like the feral jackals they are, the tabloidians jumped on that to bellow, “See! He doesn’t want it! He lacks confidence! Get him outta here! NYC needs winners, killers, dontcha know!” But I dug it. It was unexpected and honest and pure in a weird way.

Maybe it’s because I took particular delight that when he drew contact, he looked like he’d just stepped on a landmine in Tunisia in WWII. Either flopping is hard-wired at birth into Europe’s soccer-mad athletes or he really does got knocked off kilter at the slightest touch. I can’t tell if the former or the latter is more enjoyable. As I wrote back in October,There are very few sights in this work-a-day world more enjoyable than Paul Pierce with a royally pissed-off look on his mug because he can’t fathom how he got whistled for hacking a guy (our Danilo) who runs like a drunk careening down 9th Avenue, crashing into mailboxes/streetlights, trying to avoid an imaginary cop.”

Maybe it’s the way he was willing to go head-to-head with Melo last season, unwilling, like Montenegro going toe to toe with the Soviet Union or Eugene Debs running for president, to back down in the face of far superior force/foe

Maybe it’s all those things. And maybe it’s none of them. Simmons kinda stole my thunder on this last week when he wrote about the pain of losing Kendrick Perkins. In what may be the best line he’s ever written, he said, “You can’t truly love a team until you’ve suffered with it.”

I agree with him 100%.

It’s because we saw Gallo grow, warts and all, only to have him taken away before he truly arrived….well it just feels more like a shot to the gut than any awful Isiah-era mistake.

Okay…I can’t help it. I know I said I wasn’t going to mention whether I think the trade was a good or bad thing (and like Hamlet said, “There is nothing in this world neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so.”) but I know. I know that in a couple of years we’re going to regret this ghastly trade. Just like the Francis deal or the Curry deal or the Marbury deal and on and on, this is going to a be a franchise-altering mistake. A mentor of mine once told me, during a moment of despair in my own life when I was practically screaming/sputtering, “But I’m RIGHT! They’re wrong and I’m RIGHT and everyone knows it so…so…I’m RIGHT!!” And he leaned back in his chair, as he was want to do when he was preparing to dole out some great insight, “Bob. Bob…In most instances in life, you have two choices: You can be happy or you can be right. Very, very rarely do you ever get to have both. Which do you prefer?”

I think you can guess what my answer was and continues to be.

But the Friday after the deal went down, I found myself hanging out with my fellow actors at the conclusion of another performance in an overpriced pseudo-Mexican restaurant/bar, nursing a Diet Coke, eyes firmly glued to the TV screen while my comrades drank and made merry, watching Gallo use his wobbly, careening gait to get to the line time and time again, snatching offensive rebounds like he was channeling his inner David Lee, all to the tune of 30 points and 9 rebounds on 14 shots, while going 15-17 from the charity stripe. And I smiled a bemused knowing smile. It was all there — Bob McAdoo and Spalding Gray drowning himself in the East River and summers in Pietrasanta on the beach and my own laughable efforts to transform myself into an athlete and the years of futility and the painful losses/missed opportunities the ‘Bockers have had and all the underdogs and gloriously doomed causes everywhere.

Watching Gallinari excel, I finally understood what Roger Kahn meant when he wrote (about another tragi-comic NY franchise), “We stand in front of a mirror, naked, hearing laughter that includes our own.”

135 comments on “Goodbye-ee Part 3: Gallo

  1. Doug

    That’s weird that Jeffries didn’t appear in the box score until the 4th quarter… I counted at least 2 offensive rebounds in the first half.

  2. Doug

    oop, wrong thread.

    but

    “It’s because we saw Gallo grow, warts and all, only to have him taken away before he truly arrived….well it just feels more like a shot to the gut than any awful Isiah-era mistake.”

    That’s what hurts me the most, that Gallo’s potential was snatched away from us. He only made it a little bit further than David Lee to being on a legitimate contending NY team.

  3. Robert Silverman Post author

    rohank: Great job and all…but I’m pretty sure it’s spelled “Danilo” (1 ‘L’)  

    Yoiks! Fixed…

  4. massive

    Losing Gallo hurts really bad. Twice as more as losing Daivd Lee did for me.

    Great write-up, Robert.

  5. endyendy

    Yeah, Gallo’s the one that hurt. Chandler was good, Mozgov was the possible diamond in the rough, and Felton was a gritty player ‘(can I still use that if he isn’t white?), but Gallo, Gallo was a Knick. It was the slow motion fall of a glass of wine, the only source of color in a black and white world, to the floor below, shattering on impact.

  6. JK47

    @7

    I agree. I didn’t care much for Felton and his “grittiness,” always thought Wilson Chandler was a replaceable piece and never really got to know Mozgov all that well. But I believed in Gallo.

  7. Frank O.

    Okay…I need to move to Italy, live like an expat, return to the state’s, become an alcoholic, and learn to manage my addiction so I can write like that…
    I hate you, Robert…

    Favorite line? “Maybe it’s because I took particular delight that when he drew contact, he looked like he’d just stepped on a landmine in Tunisia in WWII. Either flopping is hard-wired at birth into Europe’s soccer-mad athletes or he really does got knocked off kilter at the slightest touch.”

    As for Gallo, I have a feeling he will find his way back to the Knicks. He fits in the Garden.

    I’m passing on your post to my wife. She loves Gallo, who she refers to as babyface, which always triggers this response from me: “He’s 6’10 and at least 230 pounds. He’s freakin’ enormous…”

    And btw, I’m laughing too.

  8. NateRobinson

    Gallo, that is what enfuriates me. Regardless of Fields’ super role player status Gallo’s upside is 3 times as much as Fields. Plus all in all I consider Gallo the better player now and the better defender.

  9. Robert Silverman Post author

    misterma: Poll: Who would you rather have, Gallo or Fields?I say Gallo :(  

    Cold hard logic: on a team where the Stat/Melo/Billups trio are going to take 50-55 shots a game, Landry’s rebounding/hustle/defense/hoops IQ is more valuable than Gallo’s shooting/offense

    Emotional response: I want both!!

  10. Robert Silverman Post author

    Frank O.: And I don’t really want any addiction. But damn…:)  

    Thanks for the kind words, as always, Frank. But trust me, the addiction(s) hasn’t helped one jot.

  11. Ben R

    Fantastic article. Swimming to Cambodia, one of my favorites, also loved the Chico Marx reference. I think the drunk down 9th avenue line is one of my favorites on this site ever.

    One thing about sports, I watch sports to be entertained, to have something to root for, to be apart of somethng. This year I felt like I was part of these Knicks, I had seen Gallo and Chandler, especially Gallo, grow and was seeing glimpses of what they would become, we had a wonderfully endearing center in Mozgov and a team that really seemed to like each other. The games were fun to watch, the upside limitless.

    Now, even if we’re better, even if a miracle occurs and we are able to get Williams or Paul it won’t be the same. I will root for whoever is wearing a Knicks uniform but it is not the same when we have a team of hired guns, it doesn’t feel like the Knicks, it feels like a group of players, talented as they may be, who happen to be wearing Knick uniforms. Melo is not a Knick, Amare is not a Knick, they are players wearing Knick uniforms and no matter how they play or how much they win they will never have a place in my heart like Gallo or Lee or Starks or Ewing. I want to watch our players grow into stars not sign them fully formed.

    Win or lose this team is not as much fun to watch and not as much fun to root for, and if we gut the rest of our team to sign Paul or Williams it will be even less fun.

  12. kburt8

    While I absolutely miss Gallo and the home grown Knicks, I do see Amare as a true Knick. He came here when no one else would and was a huge part of the turnaround. Carmelo and the others to come…those are the hired guns.

  13. Caleb

    @11-12 more important to the cold hard logic was that Gallo takes up $4.2 million next season, Landry takes up $750k. In 2012 Gallo’s cap hold is $8.4 million, Landry’s is @1 million.

    @16 – I couldn’t agree more (until the last paragraph; if we get one of those guys it could be a pretty fun team to watch depending how we flesh it out)

  14. latke

    Ben R: Now, even if we’re better, even if a miracle occurs and we are able to get Williams or Paul it won’t be the same. I will root for whoever is wearing a Knicks uniform but it is not the same when we have a team of hired guns, it doesn’t feel like the Knicks, it feels like a group of players, talented as they may be, who happen to be wearing Knick uniforms. Melo is not a Knick, Amare is not a Knick, they are players wearing Knick uniforms and no matter how they play or how much they win they will never have a place in my heart like Gallo or Lee or Starks or Ewing. I want to watch our players grow into stars not sign them fully formed.

    Yeah, I was a yankees fan back in the day. Watching them buy star after star, I gradually lost interest. Now I don’t even watch baseball anymore.

    The NBA is a different situation though. Even though we’re bringing in stars, we’re not doing it through much of an advantage. Unlike baseball, the NBA has cap rules, so any success they have will have more to do with wise decision making, a more human and therefore interesting reason.

    I will always love the Knicks, but I think I’ll always follow whatever team Gallinari is on as well, just like I still tune into random blazers games now and then to check on Marcus Camby (another Knick that I loved who was traded despite having many good years in front of him).

  15. Ben R

    Caleb: (until the last paragraph; if we get one of those guys it could be a pretty fun team to watch depending how we flesh it out) Caleb

    Maybe but I think Melo is an extremely boring player to watch and even with the addition of an elite PG I still foresee a lot of iso stand around basketball. Plus for me most of the fun in watching basketball is watching the players I like grow and do well. Having Paul, Melo, Amare + 12 scrubs does not sound very interesting to me and honestly I doubt it would even be that good of a team.

  16. kaine

    You may not know, but there’s a weeping nation out there.
    There’s a generation of italian like me that fell in love with the nba in the 80′, thanks to the men that played then. before the dunks and the no look passes, it was the great personalities. Kareem.Magic.Bird.Jordan.Doc.Moses.Akeem. Ewing. the bad boys.
    and when we were in awe at watching the gods, we followed a great italian team, lead by one of the greatest mind that we witnessed on a field, moustache men D’antoni.
    I can assure you that he was that good, a stern general well different from the laid back coach of today.
    In that team played Gallinari sr. A bruce bowen-type player, I had the luck to wath them play live and I can’t recall to saw him ever try a shot to the rim. defense was his thing, nothing more.
    In that glorious days, our collective daydream was to see one italian player to finally succed on an nba field. to show that we are not bound to scramble for a ball with our feet in the mud, but that also the Italians can fly
    Last year I finally had the occasion to visit the big apple, and obviously I dragged my wife at the Garden. I was graced with a (rare) great win over the 76ers, and Gallo (along with Douglas) was the leading force to the win.
    Seeing him live to blossom into a king for Knicks brought to me all the lost memories of my generation ; the dream of us playground player to become an Nba star was now real.
    the quest had been fulfilled.
    The icing on the cake was that happened in New York, the city that we consider part of ourselves. it’s not the global icon, it’s just the perfect blend of European and American flavours that we love.
    I can assure you that Gallo felt the same: he truly truly loves new york.
    Now the song has ended. the knicks dismissed Gallo like some high school sweetheart traded for the new flashy hot girl. just another victim of the summer of LeBetaDog.

    Time will do us justice. for now…
    “è meglio amare e perdere, che non aver mai amato”

  17. New Guy

    So many great points. Gallinari was one of my favorite things about the Knicks. Ever. I would have rather watched his entire career here than watch Carmelo Anthony. I know it sounds crazy. But it’s true.

    Robert, thanks to giving a voice to guys like me. Guys who think watching basketball is about more than acquiring stars and making a run.

    Danilo Gallinari was made for New York, for the Knicks, for us. Sad to see him go.

  18. Kevin McElroy

    @21,

    Kaine, thanks for posting that. Really appreciate that take on the situation. It’s sad to think that — just from a demographic perspective — it will be difficult for him to have the same connection with the Denver fans that was developing here.

  19. Brian Cronin

    I guess, but I dunno, Dirk is like a demi-god in Dallas, so I think fans from different walks of life can have connections with players, no matter their demographic.

    But either way, very nicely written piece, Robert!

  20. nicos

    While Gallo was never my favorite Knick, in fact he was my least favorite of the guys they traded- the soccer-style overreaction to any contact was certainly effective at getting calls but really annoying to me. That said, he was definitely the toughest to let go- I never saw him as the next Dirk but the next Peja was certainly a possibility and that’s pretty darned good.

    A minor quibble but if you’re taking Gallo over Eric Gordon right now you’re doing so on potential- Gordon’s having the kind of offensive year we were hoping that Gallo might have down the road- 24 ppg with a TS% of .586 and a very solid for a 2 guard 4.2 apg.

  21. cgreene

    Home grown is great and all that. And I love watching Gallo get better. And he might yet get good enough to be a 3rd best player on a title team but he’s not that good yet. I also think he was a great fit in the community. There are Italian Americans all over the country though. It is hardly a fringe heritage. But we do ultimately root for the laundrey as Seinfeld said. Yes Stat won our hearts by coming here and making the team better. But it’s unrealistic to think that rootability needs to be home grown. Do Lakers fans feel any less fond of Gasol? How about Celtics fans with Garnett and Allen? C’mon. Melo has been here 5 games. The people that didn’t like the trade still don’t like the trade and are having trouble accepting it. It’s kind of weird for a blog that is so numbers driven to all of a sudden be so emotional. Guess that’s sports. One thing I can tell you is that come playoff time when we are in the heat of battle in game 6 at the Garden against the Bulls. Ain’t no one gonna be thinking about Gallo then.

    Also, Ben R, not sure you ever professed your love for the ’90s Knicks or whether you are old enough to have really appreciated them but that was some of the worst and ugliest basketball in NBA history. (And I loved every minute of it.) Watching Melo and Stat play compared to that is like comparing a Rembrandt to a stick figure drawing. So you can’t claim your love for Ewing, Oak and Starks and then say you love pretty ball.

  22. Brian Cronin

    The people that didn’t like the trade still don’t like the trade and are having trouble accepting it. It’s kind of weird for a blog that is so numbers driven to all of a sudden be so emotional.

    The people who don’t like the trade don’t like it because of the numbers. Seems pretty consistent.

    (NOTE: And the best argument for the trade is a numbers one, as well, and it is one I am clinging to – that Melo being here will bring in D-Will or Paul).

  23. jaylamerique

    nicos: While Gallo was never my favorite Knick, in fact he was my least favorite of the guys they traded- the soccer-style overreaction to any contact was certainly effective at getting calls but really annoying to me.That said, he was definitely the toughest to let go- I never saw him as the next Dirk but the next Peja was certainly a possibility and that’s pretty darned good.A minor quibble but if you’re taking Gallo over Eric Gordon right now you’re doing so on potential- Gordon’s having the kind of offensive year we were hoping that Gallo might have down the road- 24 ppg with a TS% of .586 and a very solid for a 2 guard 4.2 apg.  

    yah i agree with this. Gordon is better than Gallo. i dont think he’s the next peja either, he doesnt shoot as well as peja.

  24. Brian Cronin

    he doesnt shoot as well as peja.

    Only twice in his career did Peja have a better TS% than Gallo has right now (and one of those years, we’re talking 60% for Peja to Gallo’s current 59.9%).

    But yes, Gordon is having a better year than Gallo this year. Gordon’s having an All-Star level season.

  25. Frank O.

    Robert Silverman: Thanks for the kind words, as always, Frank. But trust me, the addiction(s) hasn’t helped one jot.  (Quote)

    truth be told, I hesitated joking along those lines, but, obviously, I went ahead.

  26. Robert Silverman Post author

    Frank O.:
    truth be told, I hesitated joking along those lines, but, obviously, I went ahead.  

    No worries – I wouldn’t litter my articles w/AA references if I was hyper-sensitive.

  27. adrenaline98

    Excellent writeup, echoes my sentiments as well. I think Frank had it correct (or his wife did) when they referred to him as babyface. It feels like losing a kid kind of (not biological) but a kid raised among a community of people. Just felt like he was one of us despite making about 10 times more and being quite a bit larger.

    But I also agree that I believe he will find a way back to the Knicks. Somehow, I think Gallo understands that he is a Knick, and always will be a Knick. I can envision him taking less to play for the Knicks. I see him wanting to be here. And as mentioned, his honest, brevity, perhaps the result of the language barrier, made him seem more genuine than most, and I think he genuinely wants to be here and only here – he just needs to bide his time. Or maybe I’m completely delusional and he will never be back (I think this possibly reality hurts just as much as seeing his name in the trade).

  28. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, the babyface angle is something my wife picked up on, as well. That we saw him grow from a baby into a man. Luckily, she can still root for her “Beardy” (although Turiaf recently trimmed his beard!!).

  29. adrenaline98

    As much as I liked Gallo’s babyface, I always did make fun of his hair, usually to the tune of “What the hell was he thinking?”

  30. Brian Cronin

    His hair was often quite ridiculous. You know who also has even worse hair? His fellow Italian countryman, Marco Belinelli. Dude was rocking a freakin’ neck beard last night!!! A neck beard, people!!!

  31. Brian Cronin

    As a quick aside, I was watching the replays, and MSG is doing a Billups-centric commercial “It took him three games to live up to his potential.” Cool commercial. However, I was a bit put off by the fact that the commercial uses Marv Albert’s call from the broadcast of the game. That seemed kind of cheezy to me. You fire a guy to save money and then use his call in your promos?

  32. Ben R

    cgreene: Also, Ben R, not sure you ever professed your love for the ’90s Knicks or whether you are old enough to have really appreciated them but that was some of the worst and ugliest basketball in NBA history. (And I loved every minute of it.) Watching Melo and Stat play compared to that is like comparing a Rembrandt to a stick figure drawing. So you can’t claim your love for Ewing, Oak and Starks and then say you love pretty ball.

    Those Knick teams in the 90′s were the teams that got me into basketball in the first place. It was ugly basketball, no doubt, but there was something special about that team. It found ways to win, it played hard every second of every play. It had an enemy that it could never in a million years be as good as but tried to make up for it by playing harder and tougher than any team I’ve ever rooted for.

    Melo and Amare have more talent, short of Ewing, than any player on those 90′s teams but will never play as tough or as hard as those teams. (They probably have more talent than Ewing too, Ewing just plays harder)

    As for growing to love Melo and Amare, I’m not sure. It’s not about drafting a player it’s about watching them grow and develop, or simply overachieve. When I look at Melo and Amare I see what they aren’t, what they can’t and don’t do, when I look at Lee and Gallo I see what they are, and am glad for what they do contribute. I don’t see that changing. They are who they are and neither has shown any proclivity to overachive in their careers. I like Amare, he is a great player but if we traded him tommorrow for Howard, there would be no remorse, no sentimentality, I would be stoked.

    Losing Gallo, even if it had been a straight up trade for LeBron, is bittersweet.

  33. Robert Silverman Post author

    ]

    Brian Cronin: I was a bit put off by the fact that the commercial uses Marv Albert’s call from the broadcast of the game. That seemed kind of cheezy to me. You fire a guy to save money and then use his call in your promos?  

    Actually, that’s Marv’s kid. He broadcasts for MSG in rotation w/Crispino when Breen’s unavailable. But yes, he sounds remarkably like his father.

    Marv Albert didn’t do the Nix/Heat tilt for ESPN. It was Hubie Brown, who’s always enjoyable if only for the prolonged 2nd-person run-on sentences.

    If I remember correctly, on Sunday we definitely got something like: “Okay. You’re Chauncey Billups. You’re a pro’s pro who’s battle tested, been the MVP of a championship team, can hit from three and play great defense, and now you’re in a situation with two stars but you know, you’re the one who’s gotta set the tempo and get the offense running so you know that your job and your adjustment to Mike D’Antoni’s is as crucial to your team’s long-term success both in the regular season and in the playoffs as any guy on the roster.”

  34. cgreene

    Brian Cronin:
    The people who don’t like the trade don’t like it because of the numbers. Seems pretty consistent.(NOTE: And the best argument for the trade is a numbers one, as well, and it is one I am clinging to – that Melo being here will bring in D-Will or Paul).   

    That was out of context. The emotion was in reference to people saying that they won’t enjoy rooting for the team as much bc Gallo is gone and they have an emotional attachment to him not bc they think it was a bad trade. Whether or not it was a good trade remains to be seen.

  35. adrenaline98

    Robert Silverman: ]If I remember correctly, on Sunday we definitely got something like: “Okay. You’re Chauncey Billups. You’re a pro’s pro who’s battle tested, been the MVP of a championship team, can hit from three and play great defense, and now you’re in a situation with two stars but you know, you’re the one who’s gotta set the tempo and get the offense running so you know that your job and your adjustment to Mike D’Antoni’s is as crucial to your team’s long-term success both in the regular season and in the playoffs as any guy on the roster.”  (Quote)

    Hahahahaha

  36. cgreene

    Ben R, fair points all. And I understand the emotional tie to the 90′s Knicks. Although it seems I am a fair bit older they are my favorite in all of sports except maybe the ’96 Yanks.

    Where I disagree and I think you are being unfair is questioning Amare in particularly and Carmelo somewhat in terms of effort. Amare is a bad rebounder because he is a bad rebounder (D’Antoni even said so on his interview w Michael Kay). The dude plays very hard. Seems like Melo has played hard too. He also happens to be a FANTASTIC rebounder for his size and shows great effort on the boards especially following his shot. The guys are 28 and 26 respectively and could be here for 10 years. Give it a minute.

  37. Ben R

    I don’t like the trade from a numbers point as well, but that’s been argued to death and if I keep going over how ill conceived this trade is and how it morgages our future all in the name of a “superstar” I will go slowly crazy, so I have to come to terms with it and hope that it works out well.

    Mine was an emotional response to this trade and our future, which I think is in keeping with Robert’s excellent article.

    Robert also previously wrote an excellent piece that got a lot of heat in this forum that I also agreed with:
    http://knickerblogger.net/an-open-letter-to-lebron-james/

    For me being a basketball fan is much more about the emotional than simply winning and losing, much more about having players I like even when the numbers aren’t completely there. All players are flawed, even LeBron and Jordan, but it is easier to overlook their flaws when a you have an emotional attachment to said player, ie you’ve watched them grow and develop, or when they play really really hard and leave it all on the court. Unfortunately we have two players we’ve neither seen develop or leave it all on the court that often. Two very talented hired guns with effort issues, nothing is more frustrating for a fan, at least for me, than gifted players not giving it their all.

  38. Ben R

    cgreene – the effort thing is based not on rebounding but on defense, I think Amare’s lack of boxing out is a lack of skill and early development, but not the lack of defense. I think both players tend to play defense some of the time, and thats not good enough. Gallo and Fields are both mediocre defenders but I don’t think you can question eithers commitment to it. Both Melo and Amare do not bring it night in and night out defensively.

  39. cgreene

    Ben R, I guess we completely disagree on the fact that Amare Stoudemire has “effort issues”. I find that statement very surprising. I don’t know Melo well enough day to day to know but reading the Denver blogs those guys absolutely love him.

    Not sure if you are a Yanks fan but how do you feel about CC Sabathia? Talk about a guy I didn’t need to see “grow” to have an emotional connection to. I love him.

    Each his own I guess. But homegrown could have you waiting a loooooong time to be good better yet win.

  40. cgreene

    Hard for me to tell whether Amare’s issues on D are effort or smarts or avoiding fouls or what. The rebounding thing seems to me that he just doesn’t know where the ball is going off the rim a lot.

    Ewing, to me, was a very flawed guy and player (and my favorite Knicks ever along w Oak – who we traded for btw from the Bulls of all people and helped Bulls win titles with Mr Bill). He was a terrible passer out of the post. He had bad hands. He didn’t want to change his game to help the team at certain times as well. So let’s just not look through rose colored glasses.

    I hope you end up loving the guys we have. You seem like a smart guy and good fan.

  41. Ben R

    That’s exactly my point cgreene, I could overlook Ewing’s flaws, Starks streakiness, Lee’s bad defense, Gallo’s passiveness, because they were our flaws they were our guys. Amare and Melo for all their skill aren’t. They are hired guns, they are mercinaries that happend to join the Knicks, their flaws are theirs not ours because to me they are not one of us. Maybe eventually they will be but I am not sure. I’m still a Knicks fan and the name on the front says new york so their my team just not my guys.

    I don’t want to be better than Cleveland, Indiana, Milwaukee just because we have a more attactive destinationa and more money to spend. I want to be better because the players we picked and developed are better, because they play harder, because out team makes better choices, not because a bunch of “superstars” decided they all want to team up and NY seems like as good a place as any.

  42. Jim Cavan

    Great stuff Robert. But for as much as I will miss Gallo, I think the whole “home grown” vs. “imported” talent thing is a little overblown. Some perspective:

    Home grown (i.e. drafted) players:

    Willis Reed, Clyde Frazier, Bill Bradley, Patrick Ewing, Mark Jackson, and lots of other guys far worse than those mentioned here.

    “Hired guns”:

    Dick Barnett, Earl Monroe, Dave DeBusschere, Bob McAdoo, Spencer Haywood, Bernard King, Charles Oakley, John Starks, Anthony Mason, Charles Smith, Derek Harper, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Chauncey Billups.

    A lot of these guys played many years elsewhere before joining the Knicks, and still managed to achieve varying degrees of immortality amongst the Bocker faithful. Why should Stat, Melo, Billups, or the countless others not mentioned here be any different?

    Why Stat should be embraced as a true Knick: he wanted to come here, took the gargantuan challenge of revitilizing a broken franchise on his shoulders, and helped make basketball matter again in NYC.

    Why Melo should be embraced as a true Knick: he wanted to come here, was born here, played his college ball upstate, worshiped Bernard King… oh, and HE WANTED TO BE HERE!

    I completely understand disagreeing with how the trade went down. But to poo poo it because we had to ship out our “home grown talent” I think misses the mark. People forget that we gave up Walt Bellamy — while at the time not exactly in his prime, still a good player — and Howard Komives, another fan favorite, for a 28 year old guy named Dave DeBusschere. Last I checked, that guy’s number was hanging in the rafters.

    I know we grow attached to these guys, but this is the NBA. Trades happen. Free Agency happens. Say what you will about our compromising advanced stats in making these moves, but don’t dismiss the very real and very powerful fact that we now have two all stars who genuinely want to be here, and who will see anything less than a…

  43. Brian Cronin

    I’m really glad that Melo is now wearing a blue headband. The orange headband and the 7 jersey was way too unsettling.

  44. Robert Silverman Post author

    Brian Cronin: I’m really glad that Melo is now wearing a blue headband. The orange headband and the 7 jersey was way too unsettling.  

    Now, all he needs to do is ditch the dark navy blue legwarmer-thingies he wears (left over from Denver’s color set) and get a set of royal ones.

  45. latke

    Jim,

    To make an analogy, let’s say, rather than helping Luke Skywalker out now and then Han Solo shot the shot that destroyed the Death Star or emerged victorious in mortal combat with Darth Vader and the emperor. It would wreck the movie, since Solo wouldn’t have gone through all the things Skywalker did. Vader wasn’t his father. He never was friends with Obi Wan and couldn’t care less about the big picture. Mostly, he’s only there because he thinks Princess Leah is hot.

    The knicks have, over the years, brought in many Han Solos. Some have come because they have a crush on New York (or New York’s money). We’ve also brought in many Kobe Bryants — guys who, sure, didn’t start out with us (Kobe was drafted by Charlotte), but grew significantly as players in their time here. Mason and Starks had played in 70 NBA games combined before joining New York. Oakley game in as a low-talent bruising forward. He grew to be an all-star.

    To make another comparison, let’s say you find a video of your wife with her ex. In it, you see her exhibiting all the same mannerisms that you find so charming and that have, up until then, indicated to you how special you were to her, how comfortable she was with you. Now it feels like you’re just an interchangeable part. What you have doesn’t seem special anymore. Well, we have all the old videos of Carmelo and Amare doing with Denver and Phoenix all the things they do for us. New York seems more like just a place they feel comfortable with, a place to settle down in.

    Now, if Carmare do things in New York that they haven’t done before, if they raise their level of intensity and become better players, then they can prove that New York is as special to them as it is to us fans. Then I will root for them the same way I rooted for Danilo or Starks or even Wilson Chandler.

  46. Brian Cronin

    To make another comparison, let’s say you find a video of your wife with her ex. In it, you see her exhibiting all the same mannerisms that you find so charming and that have, up until then, indicated to you how special you were to her, how comfortable she was with you. Now it feels like you’re just an interchangeable part. What you have doesn’t seem special anymore. Well, we have all the old videos of Carmelo and Amare doing with Denver and Phoenix all the things they do for us. New York seems more like just a place they feel comfortable with, a place to settle down in.

    That was an unsettlingly sad analogy.

  47. Kevin McElroy

    latke: Well, we have all the old videos of Carmelo and Amare doing with Denver and Phoenix all the things they do for us. New York seems more like just a place they feel comfortable with, a place to settle down in.

    Interesting analogy…falls apart if they win a title here though, no?

  48. swiftandabundant

    I think I was most bummed about Gallo leaving even though I knew it was very likely. I feel like a lot of this Melo to The Knicks stuff started last year when we played Denver in The Garden and it was Melo versus Gallo. I hope he does well in Denver. Who knows, maybe Dantoni can talk to his Dad and get him to come back in a few years. Gallo’s gonna be a good NBA player.

    Hello Melo – over 20,000 Youtube Views!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S2sLe8VuMo

  49. BigBlueAL

    The reason we loved Oak, Starks, Mason etc isnt because they were “ours” it was because they played on teams that you know actually won games. Spree and LJ are loved and they certainly were not “ours”. Sorry but I have no emotional attachment whatsoever to guys like Lee and Chandler because they didnt win anything here and were brought here by Isiah.

    Gallo was tougher to see go but its funny seeing people criticize effort from Amar’e and Melo when there was no bigger schizophrenic player on the team than Gallo.

  50. Kevin McElroy

    Of course people don’t feel like “real Knicks” when they’ve been here for either 8 months or a week. You wouldn’t have called Oakley a “real Knick” the week after the Bill Cartwright trade and you were probably fervently anti-Camby after we moved Oak to get him. If the Knicks win 2 of the next 5 titles, I promise you that in 15 years you’ll think of STAT and ‘Melo as real Knicks.

    (Note: I don’t think this will happen. I’m just saying.)

  51. Brian Cronin

    My brother is a huge Suns fan, so I’ve been closely following Amar’e for pretty much his entire career, so I feel as connected to him as I do any other Knick over the last decade.

  52. jon abbey

    Gallo is the only guy we traded that I’ll miss, in part because the PA call on his 3 pointers was the best I’ve ever heard. I do think it’s possible he ends up back here somehow at some point, just because I’d think for Europeans, there is NYC and then there’s everyplace else in the US, there is only one NYC.

  53. Kevin McElroy

    Look at every team that has won a title since the end of the Jordan era:

    1) Spurs: tanked a season and lucked into winning lottery to draft Tim Duncan who was already basically a finished product. Didn’t “develop” him any more than we developed Carmelo. Won 4 titles.
    2) Lakers: Got Shaq the same way we got STAT. Won 3 titles. Had a long dry spell behind a home-grown (although actually acquired in a draft day trade for Vlade frigging Divac) Kobe Bryant playing hero ball before lucking into Pau Gasol — a painfully underrated finished product from Spain via Memphis. Won two more titles (supporting cast of, among others, Lamar Odom on his third NBA team and Ron Artest on his 5th)
    3) Pistons: Got Chauncey from Minny (after he was also on Boston), Rip from the Wiz, Big Ben from Orlando, and ‘Sheed (the final piece) after he’d completely burned out his welcome after 9 years in Portland and then played ONE game in Atlanta before being engineered to the Pistons. He’d been a Piston less than four months when they won the title.
    4) Heat: Traded for Shaq. Won a title. Then failed to win for a few years after it became just Wade’s team. Then brought in LeBron and Bosh to try it again.
    5) Celtics: a laughinstock for a decade before trading for Allen and Garnett in the same offseason and then immediately winning a title. Those guys definitely seem like real Celtics now.

    So my question is — where is the team that won in today’s NBA by relying solely on home-grown talent? The Spurs are clearly the best example but guys enter the league as title-ready as Duncan like, once every 25 years. Where is the team that did it without a marquee acquisition somewhere along the line? How long would you like to wait?

    Players become associated with teams after leading them to titles.

  54. jaylamerique

    Brian Cronin:
    Only twice in his career did Peja have a better TS% than Gallo has right now (and one of those years, we’re talking 60% for Peja to Gallo’s current 59.9%).But yes, Gordon is having a better year than Gallo this year. Gordon’s having an All-Star level season.   

    well if you look at efg %, Peja has never had as bad a shooting years as gallo is having this year. You can not honestly believe that Gallo is as good of a shooter as Peja

  55. Jim Cavan

    Latke:

    I guess this begs the question: would you rather have (a) a team with Chandler & Gallo that routinely makes it to the 2nd round, maybe a conference final for two, but never the finals? Or (b) a team of “Han Solos” who bring us to a title? If your answer is (a), I can respect that. But what I don’t understand is how, just because you draft or otherwise rear (Gallo & Chandler) a particular player x, that player doesn’t necessarily look at his situation as his dream scenario.

    Let’s say we’re operating a horse stable, and we breed a couple promising ‘stangs that could one day win the Kentucky Derby. They like running for us, mostly because they’ve never run for anyone else. They win a few minor races, show steady growth and progress, but don’t exactly show signs of being the next Secretariat. One day, a pair of ridiculous stallions come rolling into our pasture, fed up with having not been surrounded with the proper staff at their last home (they hopped the fence or something — work with me here!). They show an almost immediate enthusiasm for their surroundings, and display a pedigree superior to that of our home-grown talent (although they’re, let’s say, a year or two older). Now let’s say there’s a law governing how many eligible horses we can have, and because these two new steeds arrived, we have to give up our two youngsters. They aren’t too happy about it, again because ours is the only barn they’ve ever known. Once they find a new home they’ll adjust, and their potential will still be what it was before.

    We grow attached to certain players we draft, but you might never know if that’s where there heart really was. Instead, we selfishly like them more out of familiarity and sense of ownership than a mutual admiration. With Melo and Stat, however, we have two guys who admire us and came to us. Not just for the money — they could have gotten that anywhere — but because, I believe, it felt like home in a way. We should…

  56. Brian Cronin

    Man, how amazing is it that the Spurs drafted the four best players that they had when they won their four titles?

  57. Brian Cronin

    well if you look at efg %, Peja has never had as bad a shooting years as gallo is having this year. You can not honestly believe that Gallo is as good of a shooter as Peja

    Sure, I’d take Peja, but they’re close. And Gallo has the advantage over Peja in that he actually drives to the basket, thereby making up for whatever advantage Peja has in outside shooting (hence their TS% being so similar).

    Gallo has yet to put it together for a full season like Peja did, but he’s clearly close enough to be at that level. And that’s a good level to be at (although not a Carmelo Anthony level).

  58. latke

    Kevin McElroy:
    Interesting analogy…falls apart if they win a title here though, no?  

    Completely agree. For them to do that though, they will have to grow as players, which is something we’re still at the stage of hoping we’ll do. If they do take that leap (and it’s a big one), then New York will be as much theirs as they are New York.

    So I feel like that answers your list of title teams as well. In order to be so dominant, some of those players (Bryant, Odom) had to grow. If Ray Allen and Paul Pierce hadn’t manned up in a big way on defense, they wouldn’t have rings. Bottom line, winning a title in the NBA requires growth. Even the Heat, with all their star power, will have to adapt to one another, compromise, etc, to win. That makes them true members of the team as opposed to mercenaries. All I’m saying is that I won’t love these guys the way I loved the old guys until they prove their commitment to new york. A title or even some gritty playoff battles would get me there.

    BigBlueAL: Spree and LJ are loved and they certainly were not “ours”.

    The Sprewell vs. Allan Houston example sort of proves what I meant though. We loved Sprewell because before he came here he was a wreck. Houston was good old Allan Houston. Sure, he got better, but he didn’t transform himself the way Spree did.

    Brian Cronin:
    That was an unsettlingly sad analogy.  

    sorry, didn’t mean it to be so sad. I don’t cry while watching the Knicks. I promise

  59. latke

    Jim Cavan: Let’s say we’re operating a horse stable

    I guess the problem for me with this analogy is that I don’t really care about horses. Horses will generally run the same no matter who owns them, so dedication, but ignoring that, I’d still feel sort of ambivalent about the new horses. I wouldn’t blame them for looking for better opportunities, but I also wouldn’t feel particularly close to them. Even with their immediate enthusiasm, I’d be distrustful. I’d wait for them to face a real challenge, and if they showed real dedication to overcoming that challenge — went above and beyond in terms of focus and effort in an attempt to win the race — then I’d start to trust and root for them.

    That’s really all I’m saying. I don’t mean I could never root for carmare, just that they’ll have to prove some things, and that will take time.

    The bottom line is we’re talking about feelings here. When people criticize her personal preferences, my girlfriend likes to say, “let me feel my feelings,” which I feel like is true. Feelings are personal. Just because one person feels a certain way, doesn’t mean everyone else should.

  60. Jim Cavan

    latke: I’d wait for them to face a real challenge, and if they showed real dedication to overcoming that challenge — went above and beyond in terms of focus and effort in an attempt to win the race — then I’d start to trust and root for them.

    That’s really all I’m saying. I don’t mean I could never root for carmare, just that they’ll have to prove some things, and that will take time.

    It was admittedly a half-assed analogy. But I completely agree with you: how they’re viewed, respected and embraced depends on what they actually accomplish, not how they feel about being here. And yes, it will take time.

  61. bobbidybob

    There is only one truly homegrown player on the current team. Melo. After that Amare has to be considered the truest Knick since he chose to come here and adopted us. Guy’s who were drafted had no choice so in my eyes Gallo was actually less of a Knick than them, at least in the beginning. Chauncy Billups transcends regionality at this stage of his career but I will already regard him as a true Knick. If he sticks around for a while even better. They are all hired guns as well as interesting individuals so try to enjoy them all while they are here.

  62. jon abbey

    bobbidybob: There is only one truly homegrown player on the current team. Melo.   

    can we please not buy into this PR crap? Melo was born in Brooklyn, but moved to Baltimore when he was 8 and has always identified with Bahmer until recently when it became convenient to say he wanted to “come home”.

  63. totti

    Just back from car expo in Geneve,
    I can’t help to open your blog.
    I think it is a voice in the desert. Compliments.
    And thanks to everybody for your sincere appreciation of Gallo.
    Of course i hope that your regrets for having sent him to denver become bigger and bigger. The performance of Gallo in Portland reminded me another game he played in Tel Aviv at the age of 19. It was euroleague and Maccabi don’t take prisoners at home. Well, he played so well that when he was fouled out the public awarded him with a standing ovation. The same coast to coast, the same dominance. The italian Gallo is back, he’s no more obliged to stand by the corner by nashless dantoni, teammates give him the ball, ty lawson gives him the ball, he even integrates with chandler. Happy meloless coach Karl already loves him and fans appreciate his hustle and good defense. No more bloggers or writers regretting for Lopez or Gordon, no more ironic talks about his father and dantoni, a GM who follow his career since he was 15 and a young owner supporting the new vision of young promising players willing to share the ball and defend hard.
    The cocktail sounds good

  64. Z-man

    A while ago I came up with the nickname “Mousse-elini” for him, but I liked him too much to disgrace him with that despicable historical figure. I really miss him, and fear I will miss him more as time goes by. Nice piece, RS

  65. Frank O.

    totti: Just back from car expo in Geneve,
    I can’t help to open your blog.
    I think it is a voice in the desert. Compliments.
    And thanks to everybody for your sincere appreciation of Gallo.
    Of course i hope that your regrets for having sent him to denver become bigger and bigger. The performance of Gallo in Portland reminded me another game he played in Tel Aviv at the age of 19. It was euroleague and Maccabi don’t take prisoners at home. Well, he played so well that when he was fouled out the public awarded him with a standing ovation. The same coast to coast, the same dominance. The italian Gallo is back, he’s no more obliged to stand by the corner by nashless dantoni, teammates give him the ball, ty lawson gives him the ball, he even integrates with chandler. Happy meloless coach Karl already loves him and fans appreciate his hustle and good defense. No more bloggers or writers regretting for Lopez or Gordon, no more ironic talks about his father and dantoni, a GM who follow his career since he was 15 and a young owner supporting the new vision of young promising players willing to share the ball and defend hard.
    The cocktail sounds good  

    In a way, the chance of scenery could make him much, much better. and he can come back when he’s an FA.
    Hope Geneve was lovely

  66. totti

    Frank O,

    Incredible how the change of scenery has done all the good to Ill Will who’s playing with IQ and to Felton who’s sharing the ball.
    It is the coach maybe?

    The cars were….WOW!

  67. BigBlueAL

    As a Yankee fan, this debate reminds me of the stupid stuff about when a player becomes a “true” Yankee. Obviously as Yankee fans its whenever the player comes up clutch in a postseason game and wins a ring which to me is still kinda stupid because that means that Louis Sojo is more of a “true” Yankee than Mike Mussina which is stupid of course.

    As a Knicks fan since we have been so freaking horrible for the last 10 years I have no real affection for Lee or Nate or even the guys just traded because they never once even played in a playoff game for us. Maybe thats the Yankee fan in me and the fact that I grew up with the 90′s Knicks who made the 2nd round of the playoffs for 9 straight seasons so to me its hard to have real affection for players who were on horrible teams.

    Again I admit losing Gallo hurt even me but in the end I am more than happy with getting Melo and Billups and for the first time since 2001 having a team with a legitimate chance of not only making the playoffs but advancing. Plus I know everyone is all up in arms about destroying the future and stuff with this trade but Amar’e and Melo arent exactly old men plus we still have guys like Fields, TD and Shawne who are young and could be on this team as supporting players for years too.

    I have no problem whatsoever rooting for this team and especially for Amar’e and Melo and am looking forward to rooting for them for the next few years.

  68. BigBlueAL

    totti: Frank O,Incredible how the change of scenery has done all the good to Ill Will who’s playing with IQ and to Felton who’s sharing the ball.
    It is the coach maybe?The cars were….WOW!  

    Felton has been horrible with Denver so far.

  69. totti

    BBA,
    Actually Felton played well last two games, where he acted as a pg and not as a second Stat.

    As for the Knicks, i agree with you, they can beat everyone now, they finally have their big 3 and all the nation talks about them again.
    No matter they are capped out or sent away their best youth, they are relevant again.
    How much relevant?
    Playoffs will tell.

  70. Kikuchiyo

    DReDD: can’t believe I’m saying this: “Go Magic!!!”  

    Tell me about it. I’m rooting for J.J. Redick!

  71. BigBlueAL

    Totti, dont get me wrong I like the team now and yeah they can beat any team at any time but not any team 4 out of 7 times in a playoff series lol.

  72. BigBlueAL

    I always wanted to face the Bulls in the 1st round but now Im not sure if I wouldnt prefer the Heat lol.

  73. totti

    Big,
    for sure you like your team as every fan should do.
    Expecially a team with a fantastic player like Billups.
    Billups, the real lord of rings. The real value of trade imo.
    BTW as you say, lakers seems out of reach for everyone in the east, maybe boston can do something, well, hope not.

  74. outoftowner

    This might be slightly off topic, although perhaps not since advanced stats are a big part of the reason that people are upset about losing Gallo. I was just thinking about true shooting %, which has become synonymous with “offensive efficiency” for most people who care about advanced stats. Maybe statheads can correct me, but isn’t using the .44 coefficient for free throws for all players kind of arbitrary?

    It’s used to account for possessions used when shooting free throws, but there are examples, such as and-1′s, where a player doesn’t use any extra possessions when shooting a free throw. So TS% would underrate players who draw a lot of and-1′s (Melo for example). Just correcting for and-1′s drawn would raise Melo’s TS% to .568 (increase of .021). For comparison that would raise Gallo’s to .612 (increase of .012). Of course, Gallo gets fouled on 3pt. attempts a lot so that might mean his TS% is underrated in that way. Still, it seems like it would be important to know how much possessions used / FTA differs between players.

    Also, it seems like to maintain a TS% of .600 on free throws, all a player would have to do is shoot 53% (.600 * 2 * .44). This is a lot easier than shooting 60% from 2 or 40% from 3. So it seems like the best thing an offensive player can do is draw fouls – not only does it make him hyper-efficient, it also puts his team in the bonus, which makes everyone more efficient.

  75. latke

    outoftowner–

    that’s an interesting question.

    Let’s say Carmelo averages 1 more “free” free throw per game than TS% gives him credit for (i.e. an and 1 or a foul on a 3). That would mean TS% overcounts his attempts by .44/game. That would raise his TRUE true shooting percentage this season from 54.3 to 55.5%. That’s a pretty big difference though not enough to account for the difference between ‘melo and gallo’s efficiency.

    I also doubt that he is that much better at finishing after a foul than the average dude. Amare seems to more often finish after a foul than Carmelo. Lebron seems the best at it — other players seem to bounce off him, and he just finishes after the whistle like nothing happened. All that’s subjective tho. Maybe you could email TRUEHOOP about it. THey have access to all those expensive stats and could probably look up the number of AND 1s players get.

  76. massive

    I know Amar’e led the league in And 1s last year. But that is an interesting point outoftowner brings up. I just hope stops looking to shoot so much.

  77. Mike Kurylo

    outoftowner: Maybe statheads can correct me, but isn’t using the .44 coefficient for free throws for all players kind of arbitrary?

    It’s not arbitrary. It’s derived from the league average of possessions ended with free throws. And even if it were, it’s the same constant for everyone, so it’s unbiased.

    outoftowner: Also, it seems like to maintain a TS% of .600 on free throws, all a player would have to do is shoot 53% (.600 * 2 * .44). This is a lot easier than shooting 60% from 2 or 40% from 3. So it seems like the best thing an offensive player can do is draw fouls – not only does it make him hyper-efficient, it also puts his team in the bonus, which makes everyone more efficient.

    Interesting look at it. However you can’t just draw a foul, you need an opposing player to help out. So fta isn’t an independent stat, but in a way is tied to fga (which is in the denominator).

  78. outoftowner

    Mike Kurylo:
    It’s not arbitrary. It’s derived from the league average of possessions ended with free throws. And even if it were, it’s the same constant for everyone, so it’s unbiased.
    Interesting look at it. However you can’t just draw a foul, you need an opposing player to help out. So fta isn’t an independent stat, but in a way is tied to fga (which is in the denominator).  

    Arbitrary was the wrong word. What I meant was that different players have very different styles, so using a universal coefficient might be unfair to some. Its not unbiased if slashers, shooters, bigs, defensive specialists all have different and 1 or 3pt foul rates resulting from different style of play.

    On the FT issue, I think certain guys are having their TS% inflated by shooting extra free throws. Guys who shoot tech’s (which are much more common now due to the defensive 3 second rule). Guys who are given the ball in late-games when the team is holding on to a lead. And, in general, anyone who plays with a good foul-drawer, because they’ll frequently be in the bonus. I don’t know how big of an effect this is.

  79. dsulz

    Watching the Nuggs-Jazz game. Felton looks terrific. Both he and Chauncy are really good pgs. I’m happy we have Chaunce, but it still hurts to see Felton gone. He really wanted to be a Knick.

  80. BigBlueAL

    Felton was 3 for 10 for 8 pts tonight. His shooting in Denver has been beyond awful so far.

    The PG who looked great tonight was Lawson. Surprised at Chandler, only 6 pts on 6 FGA tonight in 28 mins. Denver though showing they still have a decent team with their tremendous depth. Have a feeling though they will be a fairly quick out in the playoffs though. Expect them to lose in 5 vs either OKC or the Lakers since they seem to be their likely opponents in the 1st round.

  81. jon abbey

    it occurred to me that some of the people yearning for a ‘homegrown’ team actually have the chance to root for that, in a way, with the current Denver team. if NY had set out explicitly since 2002 to put together Denver’s current roster, I’m pretty sure they could have (very rare in the NBA, I’d think).

    Nene, Chandler, Gallo-drafted by NY
    Chandler, Harrington, Felton, Mozgov-played for NY
    Lawson-could and should have been drafted by Walsh instead of Jordan Hill

    which really just leaves Afflalo, Birdman, JR Smith, and Kenyon Martin, all of whom could have been acquired over the years if one’s goal was solely to recreate this Denver team.

    so if you’re looking for a ‘homegrown in NY’ team, buy League Pass if you don’t have it and root for the alternate universe Knicks, the Kniggets. you’re welcome.

  82. Ben R

    I think I might have overstated the “homegrown” thing. It’s not just about being drafted by the Knicks. It’s more about players who found their identity here rather than somewhere else and then coming here. Also it’s not bad at all when players join teams even if they are veterans and already established but they are joining teams, they are not taking over them. Debussere became part of the Knicks. It wasn’t him and Chamberlain and West coming over and replacing Frazer, Reed and Bellamy. Even when Garnett and Allen joined the Celtics, two of their four best players and 3 of their starters were Celtics.

    I think what Miami did last summer is gross and should not be the blueprint. Players joining forces and then arbitrarily choosing a team is not the way and it undermines what it means to be a fan. I don’t know exactly why this feels different than when players switch teams normally but this, along with what the Heat did, feels wrong somehow. I don’t want us to be whats wrong with the NBA. I don’t want to be part of the mass exodus of talent from small markets to big markets.

    I want us to build our team the way teams are supposed to be built, with time and luck and great management. Not by throwing around money and backdoor deals between rich superstars. It feels cheap, it feels like a shortcut. If we do get Paul, somehow, and win a championship I don’t think it will be as sweet. We won’t have earned it. We would simply be the port of choice for this newest “big 3″.

    I hate the Yankees and the last thing I ever want the Knicks to become is the Yankees. I would rather have 10 years of 2nd round exits we earned than one championship we didn’t.

  83. jon abbey

    with all due respect, “earned” is a totally meaningless concept in this context, unless you’re talking about the Dallas/Miami finals. but again, if that’s what you want, go root for Oklahoma City. that will never happen in NYC.

  84. BigBlueAL

    “I hate the Yankees and the last thing I ever want the Knicks to become is the Yankees.”

    So you hate winning I guess lol.

    In all seriousness I am a Yankee fan because as a little kid thats who my parents loved and they took me to a bunch of Yankee games even though we lived in Queens and all of my friends and their families were Mets fans lol. I mean growing up for me the Yankees and winning was just stories and video highlights since I grew up and lived in NY in the 80′s when the Mets were much better than the Yankees and I never got to see the Yankees in the playoffs until 1995.

    But to me even though the late 90′s Yankees were more of a “real” team than the 2009 Yankees I loved, enjoyed and celebrated them just as much as I did the 90′s title teams.

    The problem is not too many teams, if any, win titles the way you are “supposed” to win. Hell the Lakers might not have ever won a title since moving to LA if it wasnt for raiding great players from small markets (Wilt/Kareem/Shaq/Gasol). As much as people try to complain about baseball the league with by far the least amount of parity is the NBA and its not even close. 2 teams have won over half the championships ever and that doesnt even include the Bulls and their 6 titles. So basically 3 teams in the 64 years of the league have won 39 championships. Its almost as bad as the English Premier League or La Liga in Spain (soccer leagues if you dont know lol).

    I love the Knicks obviously and I assume most who comment here do as well. Yet this place was a helluva lot more fun when we sucked than it is now lol. Lets just enjoy the fact that we are finally back in the playoffs and with a team that has a legitimate chance of doing some damage if not this year certainly in the next few years as much as it apparently pains alot of people here to admit it.

  85. Resounding Rebounding

    Ben R, how would us getting Paul and having our own Big 3 win a championship be like the Yankees? The problem with the Yankees isn`t that they sign free agents. The problem is the large payroll disparity between the Yankess and most other MLB teams. That’s not really a problem in the NBA because there’s a salary cap, even if it is a soft cap. We’ve still got, at least for now, Landry Fields. We`ll see who they draft with our first round pick this year, which in my opinion in an EXTREMLY important pick for us.

  86. Spree8nyk8

    totti:
    No matter they are capped out or sent away their best youth, they are relevant again.
    How much relevant?
    Playoffs will tell.  

    Idk why you consider them to be “capped out” They only have 3 players signed past next season Melo, Stat, and Balkman. To me that seems to leave a decent amount of room. Next year they’ll have many disposable contracts leading up to free agency. All of these moves have been carefully thought out. I think they’ll be just fine honestly.

    As far as Gallo goes, earlier in the thread they were talking about choosing between Gallo and Fields and while Gallo is the better player….with this roster Fields is the better fit and was much more needed for the here and now. And honestly, some of these guys I’d bet money will be back. I can definitely see Gallo, Moz, or WC returning at some point. They know the only reason they are gone is a business decision. They all loved being here and idk, I just really think at some point they’ll work their way back. And for Gallo especially I think the move will be good. Being stuck behind Melo in this rotation was going to stifle his development.

    While Gallo was my fav player that left, Mozgov was the loss that hurt me the most bc I think he was starting to flip the switch. His development in a short period of time really seemed to take off and I think he could have developed into the player we’ll need to find. God I wish we could have kept him.

    Honestly, when I look at how good Denver is doing right now I’m kinda mixed. Bc I wanted them to do poorly for sticking it to us, but at the same time I’d like to see those guys we sent there do well. Anyway, looks like the trade could work out all the way around.

  87. Resounding Rebounding

    I like Gallo and Fields. I keep reading comments that Gallo is the better player and Fields will never be more than a role player or my favorite, “super” role player. I agree RIGHT NOW he is the better player, but I am not convinced that over the long term, Fields won`t turn out to be the better player. I guess I`m just higher on Field’s potential that most other people.

  88. Spree8nyk8

    Ben R:
    I think what Miami did last summer is gross and should not be the blueprint. Players joining forces and then arbitrarily choosing a team is not the way and it undermines what it means to be a fan. I don’t know exactly why this feels different than when players switch teams normally but this, along with what the Heat did, feels wrong somehow. I don’t want us to be whats wrong with the NBA. I don’t want to be part of the mass exodus of talent from small markets to big markets.
      

    not trying to tell you how you feel, but for me the only reason it felt so shameless with regards to the Miami situation was because of the way it went down. It felt like going into free agency that all these teams had legit shots at all 3 of those guys, then the rug was kinda ripped out and it seemed like a setup from the start. Those guys knew they were going to do that for a long time. Then they topped it off with the ridiculous “decision” special and that really put a bad taste in everyones mouth. This really isn’t the same thing. These guys didn’t put everyone through that. Amar’e just came, Melo made his intentions pretty well known. They didn’t create a farce to where everyone believed that the decision was up in the air. And not only that but this is more or less them trying to build a team to stop the evil empire. And honestly, I’m great with that. The best punishment for their behavior is to stop them from achieving their goal.

    And no matter how you feel about the Yankees, the Knicks have more than paid their dues waiting for a championship. And however they do get it, they will have earned it. And they won’t be the Yankees. The yankees are in a sport where you can just outbid. In the NBA you have to make a situation that people WANT to come to. And that is what they have done. And I think that is fantastic.

  89. Spree8nyk8

    Resounding Rebounding: I like Gallo and Fields. I keep reading comments that Gallo is the better player and Fields will never be more than a role player or my favorite, “super” role player. I agree RIGHT NOW he is the better player, but I am not convinced that over the long term, Fields won`t turn out to be the better player. I guess I`m just higher on Field’s potential that most other people.  

    If I’m not mistaken I think Fields is older than Gallo. So I’m not saying that is the end all be all for how far they should be developed, but it’s not like Gallo is the aging veteran and Fields is the newborn. They are just about the same age. And I think the ceiling on Gallo is higher. But who knows.

  90. BigBlueAL

    “Honestly, when I look at how good Denver is doing right now I’m kinda mixed. Bc I wanted them to do poorly for sticking it to us, but at the same time I’d like to see those guys we sent there do well. Anyway, looks like the trade could work out all the way around.”

    Denver still had some pretty good players on their team after the trade plus George Karl is and always has been a damn good coach.

    Look at it this way, since the trade they are 5-1 yet Gallo has only played in 2 of those games and in those games he scored 2 pts and they won then scored 30 pts and they lost. Felton in the 5 games he has played in has shot 18 for 47 (38%) including 2 for 10 from 3pt range and only 4 for 8 from the ft line. Chandler has been for the most part excellent and Mozgov has only played garbage time in 1 game.

    There schedule gets tough though, believe they play 6 of next 7 on the road which includes a visit to both teams in Florida I believe. Still dont think they have a chance in hell come playoff time because they are likely to face either OKC or the Lakers although if they can somehow pass OKC for the 4th seed and have homecourt then all bets are off I presume.

    Hopefully Gallo comes back healthy soon, still enjoy watching him play and will continue to root for him and wish him all the best. Same goes for Chandler too.

  91. Brian Cronin

    The key to Denver’s strong play so far is that they’ve become a good defensive team without losing their offensive abilities.

    They are scoring one point less per game while giving up twelve less points per game!

    Of course, six games is a minuscule sample size, so let me again stress “so far.”

  92. T-Licious

    Very interesting article. I really hated to see gallo leave to Denver.
    But i am very optimistic that we will see him back in new york.
    In european soccer you can lend a player to a team for a couple of years. Maybe this is the case for Gallo as well. You have to see it this way. We have Amare now and he is 28. He has maybe 4 years of being very good. Gallo is 22 and has a lot of years left. Maybe Gallo will develop better in Denver. He got a new coach and will learn different things. And if Coach Mike will have success with the Knicks now he will stick around for a while (altough i don’t think so because his lack of Defensive coaching) he will get Gallo back for sure. I have no doubt about that because the two are really close.
    Maybe when Gallo develops in a star we will see him back in New York. I think he loves New York and will like to be back anytime.
    Well, thats the personal part of it. Thats the hope we will see Gallo back.
    We can discuss as long as we want if the trade was good or bad at this time but I am a stats guy and i compared Melo’s and Gallos stats. All i can say is that Gallo is way more efficient than Melo. Melo took something like 22 Shots per Game as a Knick. Gallo took 14 a game with 4 Minutes less than Melo. I don’t want to get much into it but at the end of my research i saw that if Gallo would have the same touches and attempts as Melo he would score something like 30ppg. I know it sounds crazy but stats dont lie!!!

  93. Z-man

    Nobody knows how good Fields might turn out to be. If the comparisons to Havlicek are valid, look out! He has adapted so well to the pro game already that it is hard to imagine him leveling off after 50 pro games. We’ll know a lot more about him in the fall after he has had an entire summer to work on the things he has learned he needs to work on. He certainly has no physical limitations at the SG spot.

  94. daJudge

    We gave up some nice players, but if we do some damage in the playoffs and move on to become a championship contender, I seriously doubt there will be many regrets on this blog. I also think it just takes some time to develop a loyalty to a player, or anything for that matter. Once you develop a loyalty, it sticks. As an aside, the player you are often routing for bears no resemblance to the person you perceive him to be. That player’s so called personality is a large part the fan’s perception. Gallo, Fields, etc.. are likable, but do any of us really know what they are really like? There are at least three interesting issues here. Some dislike the trade based upon what they believe is objective data. Other’s have a strong loyalty, affinity to Gallo, et al. Other’s, like me, have seen so many players come and go, that the loyalty sticks more to the ‘colors’ than the particular players. Bottom line, I am an avid Met fan, but if the Knicks become more like the Yankees, I will be thrilled.

  95. Nick C.

    Losing Gallo is bittersweet as much becuase of what he symbolizes as for anything he did on the court. For me he was the first player I could root for after years of finding the team and players almost impossibel to root for.

  96. StevenU

    Great article-really-maybe the best I’ve read about the trade anywhere, let alone this site.
    I LOVE Gallo and will root for him in Denver. I know Melo is a better player and probably always will be. There is just something about rooting for a kid as he becomes a man in front of our eyes that’s special and this young man is a pretty special player already-and still could become a bigger star than even he himself thinks.
    Unless this Knick team actually goes all the way-I will never be convinced that the difference between Gallo and Melo justified all they gave up.
    And, I too, have hoped as another poster wrote-that Gallo will find his way back to NY.
    All that said, I am really surprised that people still get all sentimental about DLee; part of what’s made me love Gallo-even in the frustrating moments where his lack of assertiveness made him disappear for long stretches-is that his intelligence, and even humility were always on display and he was always actively working on his weaknesses (his man to man D, ballhandling and his willingness to take it to the hole in a crowd). DLee was good-but I for one was never able to get over his total lack of interest in team defense. His indifference on the defensive end, with all that agility dexterity and athleticism that shows on offense, is inexcusable (and continues).
    he makes Amare look like Olajuwon on D.

  97. villainx

    I’ve only watch bits of several games, and Fields didn’t impress during those segments. But I am still comforted when he’s on the floor and I check the box score. I guess the biggest question is how he’ll adjust if the game moves to less motion and as Melo dominates the ball a little more.

    I miss and wish Gallo well, but I’m more interested in how the Knicks develop going forward.

  98. dsulz

    A lot of the comments here have lumped STAT in with Melo and I don’t think that’s fair. I think one reason why is expressed perfectly in this statement:

    Ben R: It’s not just about being drafted by the Knicks. It’s more about players who found their identity here rather than somewhere else and then coming here.

    Amare really did come to the Knicks for a new identity. He wanted to lead a team and so far he has. Also, lets be honest: without Amare we would have sucked this year, just like in years past. Finally, we got Amare in free agency. The Carmelo acquisition reeked of Yanki-fication. I think I’m actually come to peace with it, in part b/c Carmelo seems to really want to create a new identity for himself here in NYC and Billups is one of those great veteran acquisitions that feels substantial and right. What I cannot abide are all the calls now for CP3 or D-ron in 2012. Fans who call for this are not real fans. Real fans value the relationships with the players that are on the team (so long as those players can give the fans plausible hope that they can win). We’re going to the playoffs for the first time in six years. We’ve got a real shot to advance to the second round for the first time since 2000-01. I’m going to enjoy the ride, and hope we have many in the future with the same great core of dudes–Landry, Amare, Billups, TD, Carmelo, maybe even JJ–who began it all. Who knows? maybe one of our Lost Boys (Felton, Wil, Gallo) could even return home someday. Now I’m just getting sentimentally carried away.

  99. Owen

    Interesting conversation.

    I’d cast votes my vote for players who generate surplus wins over their contract values, whether they are homegrown or not. Because as fans we learn to love players who produce wins on the court pretty quickly.

    I think it’s true that you are far more likely to get surplus from homegrown players, either on rookie contracts, on cheap extensions, or when you have a superstar you can lock up below market. But you can acquire high value players in other ways.

    And personally, I prefer winning ugly. That’s because I think it’s easier to put together a winning team if you are willing to use cheap, productive, but aesthetically dismal assets like, say Anthony Mason, rather than paying extra for publicity and entertainment value, which is what they did with Carmelo. Houston is basically Kevin Martin and the Castoffs and they have been better than us according to B-Ref’s recent rankings. (which may change going forward). I’d rather have that kind of a team and add a superstar later like the Rockets are doing. Ship has sailed though…

  100. JK47

    If D’Antoni really is moving away from SSOL, I think that is actually good news. It would pretty much render obsolete all the talk that D’Antoni is stubborn and blindly faithful to his system. It opens up the possibility of bringing in a more defensive-minded 5, and not one of these Channing Frye “stretch 5″ types.

  101. Robert Silverman Post author

    Owen – is there a team that’s actually doing this? Putting together a WoW team? I mean, Houston might be the closest, but they’re a .500 team. You could say SA, but Ginobili, Parker and Duncan are definitely considered “stars”. It seems every team tries to get “stars” and then fill in w/undervalued assets. The Lakers, Celtics, Heat, Bulls, all do this. I mean, the only historical answer that immediately comes to mind would be the mid-2000′s Pistons, where Billups and Wallace were the “stars”, even if they weren’t perceived as such in the traditional sense.

  102. Frank O.

    What a fascinating thread.
    Interesting discussion about modifying TS%. Great points about win shares.
    And a heavy dose of sentiment.
    I’ve actually avoided watching the Nuggets because, for me, focusing on the team we have is more interesting right now. We are watching a team come together that truly is scary.
    Make no mistake, this team is getting better, they have more willful players than they did before, and when they get to the playoffs, they’re going to be exciting to watch.

  103. endyendy

    Robert Silverman: Owen – is there a team that’s actually doing this? Putting together a WoW team? I mean, Houston might be the closest, but they’re a .500 team. You could say SA, but Ginobili, Parker and Duncan are definitely considered “stars”. It seems every team tries to get “stars” and then fill in w/undervalued assets. The Lakers, Celtics, Heat, Bulls, all do this. I mean, the only historical answer that immediately comes to mind would be the mid-2000?s Pistons, where Billups and Wallace were the “stars”, even if they weren’t perceived as such in the traditional sense.  

    Is it really that voluntary on Houston’s part? They definitely attempted the star method, with Yao and McGrady until it was derailed by injuries and they were said to have interest in Melo had he been willing to sign an extension there.

  104. Robert Silverman Post author

    For example — let’s say you could hypothetically put together a team composed players w/high WS/48 who aren’t considered “stars” in by the mainstream. I.e. no starting five of Howard, LeBron, Wade, Paul and Garnett or guys who have been on an all-star team in the last couple of seasons or were Team USA invites

    Let’s say you could field a lineup/rotation like this

    C: Marcus Camby
    PF:Kris Humphries
    SF: Landry Fields
    SG: Kevin Martin
    PG: Jose Calderon

    Bench: Amir Johnson, Thabo Sefolosha, Chuck Hayes, Andre Miller

    That team’s going to rebound like the Dickens. But are they a contender? Every one on that roster has a WP48 over .150 and all the starters are over .200. According to Berri’s metrics, that’s a 60-plus win team.

    Sorry. I don’t see it. They’re just not going to score enough to win and the backcourt is going to get scorched on D. They’re a 45-win team at best.

  105. jon abbey

    dsulz: What I cannot abide are all the calls now for CP3 or D-ron in 2012.Fans who call for this are not real fans.  

    actually “real fans” would only root for a team whose players are all nurtured from birth by the wife of the coach. if you can’t tell, I think the concept of “real fans” is idiotic.

    CP3 or D-Ron in 2012! :)

  106. latke

    I think the problem is that as soon as teams win, people pick players to label as stars. IMO, because they weren’t high draft picks, Parker and Ginobili could easily have labored away on 40 win teams for the last 10 years and never have made an all-star team or gotten any sort of mainstream attention. Carmelo could do the same thing, and because of he was hyped and a high pick, he still gets cred as a top 5 player.

    I think WS certainly has problems overvaluing certain skills and cannot measure the way a player’s teammates affect his production. Fields’ rebounding #s for example have been inflated because of pace and because the rest of the Knicks are terrible rebounders. WS/48 also can’t measure a player’s propensity for foul trouble or injury, or how many minutes a player is capable of playing (e.g. nash, manu play lower minutes because they get hurt/tire out when given more mins).

    I think WS is helpful though when comparing players who have similar roles on their teams.

    So,

    If you replaced Kobe with Manu and gave Manu the ability to play 36 mins and avoid injuries, WS suggests the lakers would be marginally better. Would that be the case?

    Bosh is a bigger name than Al Horford, but if you put Horford on Miami, wouldn’t they be a lot better?

    I think its flawed when used as the end-all be-all evaluator of value (which some big time stat heads sometimes tend to do).

  107. Spree8nyk8

    T-Licious:We can discuss as long as we want if the trade was good or bad at this time but I am a stats guy and i compared Melo’s and Gallos stats. All i can say is that Gallo is way more efficient than Melo. Melo took something like 22 Shots per Game as a Knick. Gallo took 14 a game with 4 Minutes less than Melo. I don’t want to get much into it but at the end of my research i saw that if Gallo would have the same touches and attempts as Melo he would score something like 30ppg. I know it sounds crazy but stats dont lie!!!  

    First comment is Gallo didn’t shoot 14 times a game. He shoots 10-11 times a game over the last 3 seasons. And yes he has done so with great efficiency. But here is where I hate to hear about advanced stats because sometimes it leads to correlations that simply are not there.

    Gallo is shooting 10 times a game with great efficiency
    Melo is shooting 20 times a game with lesser efficiency than Gallo.

    So the conclusion drawn is that if Gallo shot as much as Melo he’d score as good or better than Melo.

    The problem with that theory is that it does not take into account on any measure how defenses will guard a player that is taking 10 shots a game vs a player that is taking 20. Melo is constantly drawing a double team, his man is (barring a mental breakdown) never going to leave him. He is a focal point for the opposing defense. Gallo on the otherhand is not. He’s shooting ten times a game so he’s pretty much only shooting open shots or driving attempts. He is never going to be double teamed. So for the most part his attempts are going to always be better looks. THAT WILL CHANGE, if he starts to shoot 20 times a game. Defense will adjust, and the likely result will be his %’s going down. It’s the nature of the beast. I think it’s very difficult to compare a high volume scorer to a mid guy. It’s just…

  108. Spree8nyk8

    All i know is that if any team other than the Lakers, Heat, or Celtics wins the title this year it’s going to make me very happy.

  109. Owen

    Robert – I am not trying to pimp the WOW here. I won’t deny that I think that team would win 50+, especially if I could exercise an option to substitute a PF with more low usage efficiency pedigree that Humphries (Millsap perhaps?)

    But the point I was trying to make is about surplus value above contract. I think that Knicks management has been overly focused on finding marquee names and insufficiently focused on acquiring great contracts.

    Really it’s the Evan Longoria argument. I don’t care how good Albert Pujols is, the most valuable player in MLB over the last two years has been Longoria by a long stretch because he is so freaking good and so freaking cheap for so long.

    The question I would love to ask Donnie Walsh and Jim Dolan is would you rather have Kevin Martin (26 per 36, 60% ts%) and Paul Millsap for 18 million or Amare and Melo for 42? Rondo for 10 or Carmelo for 20? Manu for 12 or Carmelo for 20?

    Also, the biggest issue with WOW lineups btw is always how are they going to score points? And frankly, I think its a myth. How hard is it to pick up the slack for departed scoring stars. Not very hard is the answer.

    As George Karl put it yesterday…

    “I know the other team doesn’t know how we’re going to score because I don’t know how we’re going to score,” Karl said. “But we do score.”

  110. Ben R

    Robert Silverman: Let’s say you could field a lineup/rotation like this
    C: Marcus Camby
    PF:Kris Humphries
    SF: Landry Fields
    SG: Kevin Martin
    PG: Jose Calderon
    Bench: Amir Johnson, Thabo Sefolosha, Chuck Hayes, Andre Miller

    While I’m not a big fan of WOW. I think we need to be more fair because one thing it doesn’t account for is defense and you picked two of the worst defenders in the NBA in Calderon and Martin. Also postion is very important in WOW and Fields loses a good amount of value moving from the 2 to the 3. So I think you have to keep Fields at the 2 which means bringing in Josh Smith instead of Martin. That gives you even more rebounding and decreases the star power even more. I would also, to be fair to WOW, put Kidd as the PG, he is long removed from his “star” days and is still an outstanding WOW PG. So I think a better test of WOW would be:

    C: Camby
    PF: Humphries
    SF: Smith
    SG: Fields
    PG: Kidd

    Bench: Amir Johnson, Thabo Sefolosha, Chuck Hayes, Jose Calderon

    That one doesn’t feature two horrible defenders as the backcourt and still keeps the “star power” pretty low. I think that team would be a more accurate test because both Martin and Calderon have huge negative value that is not within the box score.

    I don’t see 60 wins but going on this year’s production (not in the future because Camby and Kidd should both drop off the cliff soon), I could see that team win over 50 easy and be very competitive.

  111. Robert Silverman Post author

    Here’s the thing – Yes, Milsap is clearly better than Humphries but according to WoW, Humphries is the better player.

    And Josh Smith scores very well in WoW, but he’s hardly an unrecognized player.

    Oh, and if you think Calderon is a sieve on D, check out Kidd these days. He’s pretty awful on D. Now.

    But the whether they’re a 45 win team or a 50 win team, according to Berri, they’re a 60 win team/contender

    Owen – you don’t think Shawne Williams, Landry Fields and Toney Douglas are cheap assets acquired by the Knicks this year? The thing about the guys you mentioned — Milsap, Ginobili, Rondo – is that they were all late round picks that their teams signed long term as soon as they could. Why? Because the key to building a contender is getting late draft picks who, by the nature of the CBA, outperform their contract.

  112. NateRobinson

    Ben R: C: Camby
    PF: Humphries
    SF: Smith
    SG: Fields
    PG: Kidd

    Bench: Amir Johnson, Thabo Sefolosha, Chuck Hayes, Jose Calderon

    I don’t care what your numbers say, this team does not win more than 45 wins in any season. Fact is crunch time scoring is pretty much gone, bench scoring is non existant and this team would not spread the floor effectively.

    Unfortunately for you stat heads there are so many basketball variables that it will take much more time to figure out stats that account for them all.

    I’m with Spree when it comes to stats. The eye should be your first and main measurement of a player. Stats can paint a picture that is truly not there.

  113. Jafa

    Spree8nyk8: All i know is that if any team other than the Lakers, Heat, or Celtics wins the title this year it’s going to make me very happy.  

    Here! Here! I will be absolutely estatic as well, unless its Chicago that wins. I’m sick of all the DRose love already. I wouldn’t mind Spurs, Thunder or Mavs winning, as long as its not against us, if we were to get that lucky.

  114. Jafa

    Spree8nyk8: All i know is that if any team other than the Lakers, Heat, or Celtics wins the title this year it’s going to make me very happy.  

    Here! Here! I will be absolutely ecstatic as well, unless its Chicago that wins. I’m sick of all the DRose love already. I wouldn’t mind Spurs, Thunder or Mavs winning, as long as its not against us, if we were to get that lucky.

  115. Ben R

    Robert – That is the problem about trying to build your team by going after only max contract guys. If the Knicks sell the farm to get Paul, which for Paul would be worth it, you ensure that the Knicks have no underpriced assets. While Paul is worth it and so is a 2nd “star” like Melo or Amare having all three destroys any chance of having good underpriced assets because we would have to renounce them all.

    Look at the Clippers, they have four grossly underpriced assets in Gordon, Griffin, Aminu and Jordan. Jordan will get paid this summer but next summer in 2012, when Williams, Howard, and Paul are on the market they will be 30+ million under the cap and be able to sign a “superstar” while keeping their assets intact. If they traded Griffin for Howard and Gordon for Melo they might be a better team but it would be a terrible move because it would obliterate their cap room moving forward. That is essentially what we did.

    NateRobinson: I don’t care what your numbers say, this team does not win more than 45 wins in any season. Fact is crunch time scoring is pretty much gone, bench scoring is non existant and this team would not spread the floor effectively.

    I don’t even like WOW and I think that team is pretty strong. First off “crunch time scoring” doesn’t matter, a point is a point whether it is scored in the first five minutes or the last, second that team spreads the floor just fine. Kidd is shooting over 36% from 3 Fields over 40%. Third bench scoring is ok, Johnson is a solid scorer (over 14 per 36) and both Hayes and Calderon are ok (over 10 and over 11 respectively per 36) only Sefolosha is a poor scorer. Top that off with amazing rebounding and solid defense and I think that team would be fine.

  116. dsulz

    jon abbey: I think the concept of “real fans” is idiotic.

    Apologies for my Palinspeak. I was trying to make a point about caring for the team you have as opposed to obsessing about the stars you can catch in the future. But obviously, the term “real fans” was overblown.

  117. jon abbey

    dsulz:
    Apologies for my Palinspeak.I was trying to make a point about caring for the team you have as opposed to obsessing about the stars you can catch in the future.But obviously, the term “real fans” was overblown.  

    that’s cool, sorry for being obnoxious, but as a long-suffering Knicks fan, I will take a title almost any way I can get it*.

    *although I’ve been wondering recently if I would have been happy if Tim Duncan was a Knick, complete with titles. no one is questioning how great he is, but I’ve always found his game dreadfully dull, albeit incredibly effective. maybe if he had brought Parker and Manu with him, I could live with it. :)

  118. T-Licious

    Spree8nyk8: The problem with that theory is that it does not take into account on any measure how defenses will guard a player that is taking 10 shots a game vs a player that is taking 20. Melo is constantly drawing a double team, his man is (barring a mental breakdown) never going to leave him. He is a focal point for the opposing defense. Gallo on the otherhand is not. He’s shooting ten times a game so he’s pretty much only shooting open shots or driving attempts. He is never going to be double teamed. So for the most part his attempts are going to always be better looks. THAT WILL CHANGE, if he starts to shoot 20 times a game. Defense will adjust, and the likely result will be his %’s going down. It’s the nature of the beast. I think it’s very difficult to compare a high volume scorer to a mid guy. It’s just…

    Good point. Right now i just see what i see. Melo has to step up his shooting game. Yesterday he had a couple of open shots.

  119. Brian Cronin

    Man, Derrick Rose is winning MVP, isn’t he?

    I guess he’s not a terrible choice, but man, there are better choices than him, but it seems like it is his to lose right now (can’t give it to a Celtic or a Spur, it’d be hard to give it to Lebron, not going to give it to Dirk, can’t give it to Gasol, and Howard is hurt by his team not being as good).

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