|Carmelo Anthony, SF 28 MIN | 8-15 FG | 5-7 FT | 9 REB | 4 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 24 PTS | +22
Good evening distinguished players, honored coaches, august bloggers, committed comment board veterans, and everyone reading this at home. I stand before you as a humble representative of a blog, a team, a franchise to report to you that the State of our Knicks…is strong.
[RAUCOUS APPLAUSE FROM ALL IN ATTENDANCE]
It is impossible to talk about the Knicks without talking about Carmelo Anthony. Only a week ago, this incomparable talent authored the most outstanding display of scoring in the history of our franchise.
[RAUCOUS APPLAUSE FROM ALL IN ATTENDANCE]
Tonight, while less explosive, was impressive in its own right. Anthony turned in three brilliant quarters of two-way basketball, attacking the glass, picking his spots on offense, and moving the ball to create opportunities for teammates. And it is because of games like this that I am recommending that Congress order Mike Woodson to continue playing Carmelo Anthony at the power forward position so that he can continue to force impossible matchup decisions for opposing defenses and utilize his impressive inside-out passing skills when doubled on the block!
[WILD APPLAUSE FROM HALF THE CHAMBER, A STRAY VOICE AMONG THE MINORITY THAT IS SITTING YELLS “NO! THE EAST IS TOO BIG!”]
|Tyson Chandler, C 23 MIN | 5-6 FG | 2-2 FT | 13 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +28
It is hard to think of the New York Knicks without thinking of those who defend us and keep our rim safe. I speak of course of Tyson Chandler.
[EVERYONE EXPLODES OUT OF THEIR CHAIRS, HOPING THAT THE CAMERA WILL CATCH THEM BEING THE FIRST TO APPLAUD]
Tyson Chandler has spent the past few years doing the kind of thankless work that no one else wants to have to worry about. But we can not ignore the real costs associated with this kind of work. Tonight’s ankle injury provided us with another sobering reminder that leaning too hard on one person, no matter how courageous, leaves us vulnerable. A chain, after all, is only as strong as its weakest link. And that’s why I’m recommending that we abandon our switch-happy defensive scheme and make EVERY defender accountable for checking his own man before Tyson Chandler’s legs snap like pretzel rods and he kills his coach in a bout of stress-rage!
|Raymond Felton, PG 25 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 8 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 4 PTS | +24
When Mike Woodson took office 3 years ago, he inherited a team with no healthy point guards under the age of 35. That summer, the Knicks acquired Raymond Felton via free agency and decided not to match the Houston Rockets offer for Jeremy Lin.
[PART OF THE AUDIENCE STANDS TO APPLAUD, THE OTHER PART HISSES AT THEM VIOLENTLY. THE ROOM EXPLODES INTO A CHAOTIC MAYHEM OF FAN ON FAN VIOLENCE. BRICK STABS A GUY IN THE HEART WITH A TRIDENT. AT LONG LAST, ORDER IS RESTORED AND RAYMOND FELTON IS GIVEN A C-PLUS.]
|Pablo Prigioni, PG 27 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 7 PTS | +12
America is, at it’s heart, a melting pot and a land of opportunity. It is a place where power forwards from Germany can play next to point guards from Puerto Rico, where a Chinese center can kick the ball out to an Eastern European swingman. Two years ago, the Knicks found a slender Argentinian point guard and made him one of the oldest rookies in the history of the NBA. That point guard, Pablo Prigioni, is here with us tonight.
[CAMERA CUTS TO A SMILING PRIGIONI SITTING IN THE LOWER BALCONY, WAVING AT THE STAGE AS THE FIRST LADY NUDGES HIS ARM]
My friend Pablo is familiar with both the challenges and the triumphs that come with playing in the NBA. When he first got here, he didn’t get to play much and was confused by the stubborn withdrawal of the man with the shiny head and the perfectly-pencilled circle beard. He didn’t understand a great many of our customs. But he had that most-cherished of dreams: to be a Knick. And when duty called and Jason Kidd was reduced to a dripping pool of wax — not unlike a candle too-often burned — Pablo became the linchpin of the team’s second-half revival. It is with this in mind that I am recommending the Knicks return to the two-point-guard lineups that underscored their success in the second half of last season!
[GENERAL APPLAUSE; THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM C.A.A. RISES BRISKLY AND LEAVES THE ROOM]
|Iman Shumpert, SG 8 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | +14
It is important that we never forget the contributions of the next generation, and the investment we must make in the youngest and most helpless among us. Too often does a promising youngster make a forgivable mistake and have it met not by a calm and understanding hand, but by being derisively called “Rook” and benched for something that would be ignored if done by an older, higher-profile teammate. But it has been proven, time and time again, that when we believe in youth, youth rewards that belief!
[NEAR-UNIVERSAL APPLAUSE; CAMERA RESTS ON A CLEARLY OUT-OF-PLACE LARRY BROWN WHO STARES GLUMLY AT THE GROUND]
As important as it is that we invest in youth, it is equally important that we not become overly-enamored with the familiar — that we believe in our players but do not fail the test of objectivity. It is for this reason that I am recommending that Iman Shumpert only be made available in a trade that brings back a long-term asset but that the New York Knicks reverse their damaging habit of trading away mid-first-round draft picks in an ill-advised swipe at the false promise of expediency!
[HALF THE ROOM APPLAUDS, THE OTHER HALF TEARS OFF THEIR DRESS SHIRTS REVEALING A SEA OF “TEAM BARGS!” TEES]
|Jeremy Tyler, PF 23 MIN | 7-9 FG | 3-5 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | -2
The Knicks, like America, must be a meritocracy — built on achievement rather than relationships, on promise rather than promises. There is a young man here tonight who embodies this sentiment.
[CAMERA CUTS TO JEREMY TYLER, SITTING WITH HIS EXCITED PARENTS AND TEACHER]
Jeremy Tyler could have been a Knick three months ago, but the team allowed itself to be blinded by the urge to please a player who was never realistically going to receive a better offer than the one he had from New York. And in their attempt to indulge this person, the Knicks risked losing a player whose youth and interior athleticism has the potential to make him a legitimately important part of their rotation. We are lucky to have Jeremy Tyler with us today, but we must never forget the lesson that our 15 spots go to the 15 best players, no matter their last name, or their brother, or their agent!
[SCATTERED APPLAUSE, KNICKS’ PR STAFF LOOKS VISIBLY CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR JOB SECURITY FOR LETTING ME TALK]
|Kenyon Martin, PF 9 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +12
As important as it is that we invest in our youth, it is equally vital that we care for the elderly in our society who have done so much for us in the past. In the past 12 months, Kenyon Martin has provided everything the Knicks could have expected of him and much, much more. He has served as a rim protector, a spiritual leader, an occasional mid-range threat, and — at times — the primary interior anchor of a team ravaged by injuries and lacking in post player depth! Thank you Kenyon!
|Metta World Peace, SF 8 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | 0
For milennia, humans have striven to solve the riddle of World Peace. Is World Peace something attainable here on earth, or is it the province only of the angels? I am here to report to you that we have World Peace! World Peace works for us now! But man, has World Peace gotten old! I want to urge you to believe that we can do BETTER than World Peace! Give Peace a chance…
|Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 33 MIN | 5-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +10
…but only give Peace a chance for like 9 minutes a night because, dammit, how great does Tim Hardaway, Jr. look!
[CROWD LOSES THEIR DAMN MINDS]
|J.R. Smith, SG 34 MIN | 6-14 FG | 2-5 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | +13
If the Knicks are to be a franchise of opportunity, they must also be a franchise of accountability. Much of what makes our team great is embodied in JR Smith: his brashness, his flair, his love of the big moment. But we must strive to temper that which makes us great with that which can also make us good. Nothing is more frustrating than watching a player that we know can help us in so many ways loaf around the court, only to be sparked into action when he has the ball in his hands and a decent look at the basket. JR Smith showed us tonight, like he has so many nights, that he is a creator, an attacker, a capable passer, a willing if sometimes unprincipled defender. We must push him, as we must push ourselves, to look deep within himself!
[CROWD BEGINS TO RESPOND]
To find that which tempts him toward selfishness — and tame it! To find that which is best — and nurture it! To know himself not only as we know him, but also as he can only know himself! And to rise every day — as we all should rise — with a firm desire to return to his bed that evening a better player, teammate, and person than the one who got out of it in the morning!
[CROWD APPLAUDS LOUDLY, CAMERA RESTS ON J.R. PLAYING ON HIS PHONE]
Only one man has the ability to take what is beautiful about this team and put it into practice! Only one person in this room has the power to pair with the intuition that can compel this team to be its best self. Mike Woodson: it’s been a long and interesting journey to this room, on this day. Your failures, though often self-inflicted, can not objectively be said to have exceeded your successes. There have been times when you deserved to be shown the door — this may still be one of those times — but today, you are here. And you have a job. And whatever else I can say about you, let me also say this: I believe that you want to do that job and I believe that if you simply look objectively at the things that you have already done right and stand firm against the forces that would have you ignore them, you can do it!
[FRONT OFFICE SHOOTS DAGGERS AT ME, EVERYONE ELSE APPLAUDS]
We do not have a championship-caliber team. No matter. The Knicks have 15 players and they have a coach and they have an arena and they have a basketball and they have a deathly loyal fan base in a bad division in a weak conference and they have thirty-seven more games to show people that they can do the things they did tonight, and the things they did last year, and the things that they do in our minds every night when our heads hit the pillow and we dream of a future with defense and ball movement and a Garden that sways from the energy generated by the players and through the fans of a team that knows what it is to represent a city where basketball is second to nothing!
[LONG STANDING OVATION]
Ladies and gentlemen, on this night, against this Boston Celtics team, for just this one moment, I speak to you with hope and honesty and purpose when I tell you that the state of our Knicks is strong! Good night, and God Bless the New York Knicks!