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Friday, April 20, 2018

Knicks Morning News (2017.12.17)

  • [SNY Knicks] Melo on the Knicks: ‘I like what I see, I like the potential that they have’
    (Sunday, December 17, 2017 12:27:54 AM)

    The Knicks downed the Thunder, 111-96, in Anthony’s first game in New York since he was traded in September.

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis-less Knicks top Thunder in Melo’s return to MSG
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 11:19:41 PM)

    Carmelo Anthony got the cheers but the New York Knicks got the win, shutting out their former All-Star in the second half and beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-96 on Saturday night for their fourth straight victory.

  • [SNY Knicks] Carmelo Anthony goes scoreless in second half of MSG return
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 10:55:44 PM)

    Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony finished with 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting, including zero points in the second half, in his return to Madison Square Garden on Saturday evening.

  • [SNY Knicks] Kristaps Porzingis (knee) out vs. Thunder
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 6:30:06 PM)

    Kristaps Porzingis has been ruled out for Saturday night’s game against the Thunder with a knee injury.

  • [SNY Knicks] Tonight’s game: Knicks vs. Thunder 7:30 p.m. ET
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 5:16:47 PM)

    Coming off arguably his team’s most important win of the season, Carmelo Anthony makes his return to Madison Square Garden at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night for the first time as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

  • [SNY Knicks] Donovan unsurprised of former player Kanter’s success
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 4:38:31 PM)

    Thunder head coach Billy Donovan isn’t surprised at the success Enes Kanter is having with the Knicks this season.

  • [SNY Knicks] What would the Knicks look like if they kept Carmelo Anthony?
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:00:57 PM)

    With Carmelo Anthony making his return to Madison Square Garden tonight when his Thunder take on the Knicks, it makes you think…what would the 15-13 Knicks look like right now if they kept Melo?

  • [SNY Knicks] Carmelo Anthony ahead of MSG return: How could I not miss New York?
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 10:10:57 AM)

    Carmelo Anthony speaks at length about the Knicks and New York ahead of his return to Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

  • [ESPN] Beasley upstages Melo’s return to New York
    (Sunday, December 17, 2017 2:44:49 AM)

    Kristaps Porzingis was sidelined, Carmelo Anthony was in visitor colors and Michael Beasley was the best power forward on the floor at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

  • [ESPN] Weary Thunder return home after eventful reunion trip
    (Sunday, December 17, 2017 1:07:49 AM)

    Thunder stars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony got to visit their old locales on the same road trip, with triple overtime in Philadelphia in between.

  • [ESPN] Melo thanks Knicks, calls tribute ‘bittersweet’
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 7:57:58 PM)

    Carmelo Anthony received a mix of cheers and boos in his first game back at MSG since being traded to OKC and said he hopes Knicks fans will remember him as “somebody who wanted to be here” and “remained positive through all the negative situations.”

  • [NY Newsday] Honoring Carmelo Anthony right move by Knicks
    (Sunday, December 17, 2017 2:43:36 AM)

    Carmelo Anthony sat on the visiting bench, hoodie on, head down, as a tribute video showing some of his best moments as a Knick aired high above the Madison Square Garden floor. The nearly one-minute montage before he was introduced ended with the words “Thank You, Melo.”

  • [NY Newsday] Enes Kanter on facing Thunder: ‘It always feels special’ to play former team
    (Sunday, December 17, 2017 1:00:47 AM)

    The video tribute played and then Carmelo Anthony was introduced, to the sound of mostly loud cheers in his return to the Garden with Oklahoma City on Saturday night.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks beat Thunder; Carmelo Anthony held to 12 points
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 11:53:25 PM)

    Carmelo Anthony who? Kristaps Porzingis who? Mike Francesa who?

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis hurting too much to face Carmelo Anthony’s Thunder
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 10:25:48 PM)

    Knicks fans hoping to see Kristaps Porzingis play against Carmelo Anthony at the Garden will have to wait ’til next year.

  • [NY Newsday] Carmelo Anthony’s departure was long overdue
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 7:53:16 PM)

    Carmelo Anthony returned to Madison Square Garden on Saturday night with the Knicks in a better place than when he left.

  • [NYDN] Kristaps Porzingis misses Carmelo Anthony’s MSG homecoming
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 9:07:08 PM)

    Carmelo Anthony was back at the Garden on Saturday night, but his replacement as the face of the Knicks wasn’t.

  • [NYDN] Michael Beasley drops 30 as Knicks beat Melo’s Thunder
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 9:03:27 PM)

    Anthony’s return to Madison Square Garden at least represented a familiar experience from much of his New York tenure.

  • [NYDN] Kristaps Porzingis has the New York City spotlight all to himself
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:13:19 PM)

    The big guy for the Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis, is even bigger right now than Aaron Judge.

  • [NYDN] Carmelo Anthony welcomed back to MSG with video tribute
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 2:59:41 PM)

    Fans at MSG had no problem booing Carmelo Anthony towards the end of his Knicks career, but on Saturday night they made up for it.

  • [NYPost] It looks like Ron Baker busted out of his sophomore slump
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:14:48 PM)

    The sophomore jinx is starting to turn for Ron Baker. Given a new lease on his second season because of Tim Hardaway Jr.’s leg injury, Baker is back to being “Ron Burgundy” — the affectionate nickname Carmelo Anthony bestowed on him as a rookie. As part of their balanced attack that saw six Knicks hit…

  • [NYPost] Michael Beasley outdueled idol Carmelo Anthony on huge night
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:05:33 PM)

    Michael Beasley welcomed the challenge of going against his idol, Carmelo Anthony. He said he grew up watching Anthony and was intrigued by his moves. So Saturday in a starting role for the Knicks against Anthony and the Thunder, Beasley got a chance to go one-on-one with one of his heroes. “For me, it’s fun,”…

  • [NYPost] Kanter, McDermott remind Thunder what they’re missing
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 7:27:19 PM)

    Saturday was a big night for Carmelo Anthony and his return to the Garden with the Thunder. And it was just as big for two other guys, Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott, who were traded away from Oklahoma City when Anthony made the move West. “It always feels good to beat whoever’s out there, but…

  • [NYPost] Carmelo Anthony’s warm Garden welcome didn’t last long
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 7:21:36 PM)

    Before Carmelo Anthony was introduced with the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night, the giant jumbotron dangling from the roof of the Garden began to play a short video of Anthony’s highlights as a Knick. After the montage of game-winning shots, his interaction with fans and some clips from his charitable endeavors, Anthony was…

  • [NYPost] Carmelo homecoming wrecked by dominant Knicks victory
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 5:26:41 PM)

    Carmelo Anthony couldn’t have everything. The ex-Knick got a rousing welcome during player introductions that included a stirring video montage, then the night of his Garden return went downhill from there, crashing and burning. Anthony would find himself in a familiar spot — a loser at the Garden. Booed almost every time he touched the…

  • [NYPost] Knicks don’t have Kristaps Porzingis for Melo’s return
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 1:49:16 PM)

    It was fleeting, but for a slight time Saturday, it seemed like Kristaps Porzingis might play for the Knicks. Yeah, fleeting to be sure. After testing his sore left knee that he injured Thursday in Brooklyn, Porzingis was ruled out against the Thunder in Carmelo Anthony’s Madison Square Garden return with the Thunder. Porzingis had…

  • [NYPost] Melo’s return likely to mimic his Knicks tenure — a mixed bag
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 1:24:15 PM)

    Once a Knick always a Knick is what former players who once made their home at the Garden are greeted with when they return. Mark Jackson got the salute the other night when he was courtside working the game for ESPN. Patrick Ewing was always acknowledged when he returned as an NBA assistant coach. Carmelo…

  • [NYPost] Tim Hardaway Jr. finds a new role while trying to wait out injury
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:58:42 PM)

    It’s a tricky injury, a stress reaction/fracture that requires more rest than rehab. So Knicks swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. is trying to use his extra time to help the team off the court. His father, Hall-of-Fame candidate Tim Hardaway, is currently a Pistons assistant coach, so it’s not unfamthomable his son will want to move…

  • [NYPost] The only holiday carols New York fans need this season
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:52:41 AM)

    Wait … it’s that time of year again? Holy cow, it’s that time of year again. Time for mistletoe, egg nog, a warm fire, and few ditties to commemorate the season A-one, and a-two and … “It’s the Most Mets-iest Time of the Year” (“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”) It’s the most…

  • [NYTimes] Knicks 111, Thunder 96: Carmelo Anthony, Back in New York, Gets Cheers, a Video and a Loss
    (Sunday, December 17, 2017 5:06:39 AM)

    Anthony also heard some jeers, and he made just 5 shots in 18 attempts during his first game at Madison Square Garden since the Knicks traded him to Oklahoma City.

  • [NYTimes] Ex-Wife of Lorenzen Wright Charged With Murder in 2010 Death
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 4:34:21 PM)

    The body of the former N.B.A. player was found near some woods in 2010, 10 days after he was reported missing in Tennessee.

  • [NYTimes] On Pro Basketball: An N.B.A. Team in Mexico City: How Realistic Is That?
    (Saturday, December 16, 2017 6:57:43 PM)

    Smog, traffic, security concerns — all are issues the league is assessing. But there are lots of reasons to think it might move aggressively into Mexico.

  • 62 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.12.17)

    1. Totes McGoats is so G he pours Pepsi in a Coke bottle

      I feel like the Knicks were SUPPOSED to win last night, and win they did. Yes, it was a trap game- but trap game and OKC doesn’t feel natural. Two reasons why I felt we were supposed to win:
      1. Our Knicks have been feasting on home cooking all season.
      2. Not only was it the 2nd game of a back to back in which the stars played heavy minutes in a multiple overtime game for OKC, they were also without Steven Adams.

      At the same time, this is a win we should feel good about. Beasley was phenomenal, Jack stepped up with Ntilikina in foul trouble, Baker played really well again, Lee and Thomas played smart on both sides for the most part, KOQ had a good game- and we won without Kanter’s usual contributions while also missing KP.

      I am still weary of the team’s road performance though. That’s the reason I would be surprised(mildly at least) if we make the playoffs. We’ve gotta find a way to right the ship on road games.

    2. Brian Cronin

      It’s one of those things where, yeah, they should have won, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t still very satisfying that they did win, ya know? It was a great win overall. Anf four wins in a row! Wow! When was the last time that they won four straight?!

      By the way, holy shit, the NBA has this bizarre middle class where, like, everyone below the top teams seem to be all the same. The #4 team in the East doesn’t seem to be appreciatively better than the #10 team! Same in the West. What a weird season so far.

    3. Brian Cronin

      Answering my own question, they won 4 in a row around this same time last season, to get to 12-9.

      They won 4 in a row twice the previous year, once to get to 8-6 and then once to get to 14-14.

      The last time they won more than 4 in a row was back in 2013-14 when they had that strong second half surge when Tyson Chandler got healthy (they won 8 in a row at one point!).

    4. MSA

      By the way, holy shit, the NBA has this bizarre middle class where, like, everyone below the top teams seem to be all the same. The #4 team in the East doesn’t seem to be appreciatively better than the #10 team! Same in the West. What a weird season so far.

      The west looks like a lot “softer” this year.

      I mean, outside the top-3 teams (which are title contenders) there aren’t really any scary team over there.

    5. MSA

      BTW, the Knicks are 1st in attendance this year.

      I hope this will be enough to remind the FO that we don’t need the BS “star player” to attract public and revenue to the garden.

      A winning team is enough.

    6. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      A lot of stars lined up for the Knicks to get yesterday’s win. Back to back on the road is already tough, but after a triple OT game where most of your starters played around 50 minutes and missing your starting C (a player that would have given Kanter fits), that’s a lot of help. Still, we were missing our two best scorers and needed a couple of guys to step up. A lot of people played well and made big shots.

      Beasley was terrific. I trash on him all the time because he makes frustrating mistakes. I’m sure there will be plenty more plays like that in the future. But he carried the team at times last night. Whenever a possession broke down, the Knicks just gave it to Beasley to create something for himself. He mostly created pretty good shots and made them. He even made a few nifty passes. Other people shot well when open, but without Beasley there’s no way the Knicks win that game. I’m going to concede I was wrong about him even as recently as a couple of days ago. Maybe the only situation he’s very valuable in is when we are missing both KP and THJ or desperately need a scorer, but at the price I’ll keep him.

    7. GianaDani

      I can understand that many Knick fans talk about last two years and how those teams folded after a reasonable start but this team is way way different. Clyde’s captures this in one phrase “Entire Knick bench is hyperventilating”. This is a true team. These guys actually like each other. They support each other; protect each other; hold each other’s work ethic accountable; play for each other; their sum is greater than their parts. In other words, this team has “Grit”. (See Angela Duckworth’s work) .

      OT: Only half ass effort on this team comes from KP when setting screens for his guards & when closing out and contesting 3 pt. shooters.

    8. Z-man

      I don’t think of the Spurs as true title contenders, much as I don’t think of the Celts that way. They are supremely well-coached overachieving teams that are highly vulnerable in the playoffs. The only title contending teams in my book are GSW, HOU and CLE. The teams that need help are SAS, BOS, and maybe TOR. Then maybe WAS has a puncher’s chance of getting to the finals if LBJ gets hurt, and who knows with MIN and MIL? But yeah, the bottom 3 spots in the both conferences playoff hunt are totally up for grabs. There’s a shitload of teams that are in that “bizarre middle class” that BC described in @2. Only about 7 teams are lock lottery teams: CHI, ATL, DAL, SAC, PHX, LAL, BKN. Others are probably MEM (although if Conley comes back healthy they could roll) ORL & CHH (both seem better than they’ve played) and LAC.

    9. Z-man

      Speaking of the Bulls, they are a lot like us (mix of promising young players and savvy vets, although their oldest player is 29!) and their recent good play is not a mirage. That sucks for us (#2 pick) but whatever.

    10. DRed

      The Warriors are probably coasting a bit and are probably going to steamroll everyone once the playoffs start.

    11. GianaDani

      Doc Rivers & his Clippers are approaching tank mode. Lou Williams is averaging 20ppg this year. Shooting the three pretty good too. They’ll dump him for a first. Not ready to pay him this offseason.

      Is he a veteran type of veteran guard that puts us at 45 wins?

    12. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      I forgot to mention that Jack had a terrific game last night.

      Before OKC ran out of steam in the second half, they played some very good defense in the first half. Frank looked overmatched on offense against them. Maybe not enough was being done to get him open when he didn’t have the ball, but when he did that defense had him locked down.

    13. DRed

      Jack-who sucks-has sucked less than I was expecting this season. I hate watching him play, but he hasn’t been terrible. I was wrong about his signing.

    14. Bruno Almeida

      @8

      I agree, it’s been a super damn weird season so far.

      I think the Rockets and Cavs have distinguished themselves as contenders already and both are probably going to give a hard time to GSW. Isaiah Thomas hasn’t played a single minute and the Cavs are rolling, and the Rockets have insane synergy and an all-time backcourt that might just be the best in the league overall.

      It always feels stupid to discount a Spurs team but their two biggest competitors in the west also have great coaching and synergy and are just more talented overall.

    15. Z-man

      I beg to differ, DRed, I actually like watching him play. He has his share of cringe-worthy moments/stretches, but mostly hustles,. plays team basketball, and is much better on D than I expected. He’s never really been a starting-level PG but has been a very solid backup and stopgap starter, and a great on-court leader and locker room guy. His offensive game is similar enough to Frank’s to be an effective mentor for him…mostly a 4th-5th option taking opportunistic pull-up jumpers within the offensive scheme, better at the smart pass than the flashy pass. Mark Jackson lavished praise on him during a recent Knicks telecast, and I can see what he was talking about.

    16. Z-man

      OTOH, it’s sad that Sessions is glued to the bench, he could still be a decent backup for the right team, why not just cut him and bring up Burke?

    17. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      His shooting is abysmal, but when Jack is on the floor, the offense looks like an NBA offense. The second and third passes are a welcome sight.

    18. Z-man

      Also lol at Baker mentoring Frank.

      If you’re referring to my post @16, it was about Jarrett Jack, not Ron Baker.

    19. geo

      I’ve had my doubts with horny (mostly rotations and which players he chose to come off the bench) but, last night was most definitely a coaching win…

      without 2 starters and having to utilize a bunch of guys that at the beginning of the season looked like some rejects from a box of broken toys – the knicks played some fairly competent basketball last night…

      very encouraging going forward if they can continue to play together as a team…

      seems tough these days to coach a team to pass and play defense – we’ve been doing both…

      Charlotte has lost 3 in a row…definitely doable tomorrow night…

    20. nicos

      Watching Beasley is very frustrating- he’s one of the biggest wastes of natural talent I’ve seen. Of course basketball IQ counts as a talent too and he’s got little of that so maybe he’s not as talented as he seems. I do think he’d have had a better career if he was drafted now- tweeners fair much better in today’s switch heavy NBA than they did 7-8 years ago.

    21. Z-man

      http://knickerblogger.net/knicks-morning-news-2017-07-06/

      Here’s the thread where Ron Baker’s contract was announced. After being the lone holdout against the hysteria and taking a beating for it, I posted:

      Z-man
      July 11, 2017 at 7:19 pm
      All u haterz need to promise me right now that if Ron outplays his contract, you will buy a Ron jersey and wig and wear it to a game…or dinner at Clyde’s Wine n Dine.

      Is it too early to collect? ;-)

    22. BklynBoy

      “We can and will win now. And the nattering nabobs of negativity will come on board when it happens and profess that it was their plan all along, not Phil’s.”
      reub

    23. thenoblefacehumper

      If you put aside that finding a point guard who can help us win games in 2017-2018 probably shouldn’t have been a high priority, Jack is probably second to Tyreke Evans for best guard signed to the minimum. It’s also worth noting that while Evans has been way more productive overall, Jack has been the superior playmaker (though that very well could be related to role). I agree with Z-Man that he’s been eminently watchable this year, largely because we’ve been deprived of the most basic point guard play since, like, Linsanity.

      Beasley is fucking maddening, but when our two highest usage rotation players are out you could do a lot worse for the minimum.

      Overall, as long as the team hovers above .500 I’m not going to complain too much about the draft. Guys like Lee, Jack, and KOQ are an annoyingly large part of our success, but Porzingis is still our highest usage player and Frank is getting good reps every night. Just be prepared to go into fire sale mode quickly if/when things take a turn for the worse.

    24. Bruno Almeida

      I mean, 5 games is obviously overwhelming evidence!

      After destroying the Spurs last night, the Rockets are 14-0 with Chris Paul on the lineup. That ties the NBA record for straight wins for a new starter on a team, with Dennis Rodman’s 14-0 start with the 95-96 Bulls. With 1/3 of the season done their current projection would be about 70-12, is it possible?
      The crazy thing is that they’re still behind the Warriors in net rating.

    25. Z-man

      I mean, 5 games is obviously overwhelming evidence!

      Agreed. But considering the abuse this poor, misguided fan took back in July for believing in him, I thought I’d enjoy this little tiny window for gloating, since according to all the haterz, that window should slam shut any day now. I mean, how can any Knicks fan in his/her right mind even root for him, being that he’s either going to revert back to being an overpaid G-Leaguer or is set to either ditch us or fleece us at year’s end if he keeps playing well?!

    26. thenoblefacehumper

      I mean, how can any Knicks fan in his/her right mind even root for him, being that he’s either going to revert back to being an overpaid G-Leaguer or is set to either ditch us or fleece us at year’s end if he keeps playing well?!

      The problem is this is true.

    27. Jack Bauer

      Beasley has been blowing me away with his play on offense. Just carrying the team for long stretches, very surprising. He still makes too many stupid plays, but overall he’s been a huge boost to this team, especially with KP out. McDermott hit some big shots and Jack played well for the most part, but he and the team have far too many turnovers.
      All in all a good win, 4 in a row, it’s good.

    28. Bruno Almeida

      @32

      I’m fine with accepting 5 games as a sample size, as long as you also accept 23 games is quite enough to argue Dennis Smith Jr. is terrible!

      Jokes aside, Baker has done a lot of good things so far in this stretch and I think the way he’s playing is his best case scenario, good 3 point shooting on low volume, good defense / hustle and not turning the ball over while playing 15 minutes a game. That’s a legitimately good backup to have.

    29. Z-man

      The problem is this is true.

      Really? I guess that means that it’s impossible that he plays just well enough to opt in, then improves just enough to get a longer term deal at a reasonable price. Or it’s impossible that he plays just well enough to opt out, then signs elsewhere for more money but never lives up to that contract.

      I will again refer back to the Afflalo and DWill signings of 2015. Even if it is conceded that they were unsound signings, once they were done deals (and it was no longer useful to discuss whether they should have been made or not, no need to rehash the opportunity cost argument) the two reasons that people used to trash the opt-out clause were the two you cited above. As it turned out, they both played just well enough to opt out and yet we never missed them because they never played well enough to miss.

    30. Z-man

      Re Dennis Smith Jr., fair point. Two things. First, I said after the fact that once I learned that he refused to share medical records, I would have had passed on him and moved on to Mitchell. Second, like Baker last year, Smith Jr.’s main issue is shooting inefficiently. His assist and turnover rates are very promising for a rookie that was thrown into the fire at 28 mpg against starting NBA PGs and allowed to shoot at a 30% usage.

      But yeah, on the negative side, he could wind up being a total bust (less likely) or an injury-prone Derrick Rose clone (more likely).

    31. thenoblefacehumper

      Really? I guess that means that it’s impossible that he plays just well enough to opt in, then improves just enough to get a longer term deal at a reasonable price. Or it’s impossible that he plays just well enough to opt out, then signs elsewhere for more money but never lives up to that contract.

      Yes, I find it highly unlikely that Baker plays exactly the way a $5m AAV player should simply because that level of precision is damn near impossible to achieve. We’re either going to gain value on his contract in a year winning games isn’t all that important, or lose value because he’s not good. A straight 2 year/$10m contract would’ve been better and a one year/$5m contract would’ve been better. It was structured in a hilariously stupid fashion in which almost any outcome is a bad one for the Knicks.

      As for Afflalo and Williams, sure, it’s nice that they misjudged their respective markets and opted out. It was still an absurdly stupid risk to take, and I don’t see how it’s possible to separate them being clearly unsound signings from a key aspect of what made them so unsound (the opt-outs).

    32. Bruno Almeida

      Hezonja just shot 8/12 on 3s to end with 28 points against the Pistons. 2 assists, 3 steals and 6 rebounds too.

      I really wanted the Knicks to throw some garbage at the Magic and pick him up, now his price might be going up too.

    33. Brian Cronin

      As for Afflalo and Williams, sure, it’s nice that they misjudged their respective markets and opted out. It was still an absurdly stupid risk to take, and I don’t see how it’s possible to separate them being clearly unsound signings from a key aspect of what made them so unsound (the opt-outs).

      The Afflalo and Williams’ contracts were horrible, but neither player lost money from opting out. Williams got the same contract from the Heat that he would have had he remained a Knick and Afflalo improved on his Knick contract.

    34. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      I was never against bringing Baker back. I argued that he was a good defender and was very likely to be more efficient this year based on free throws alone, let alone if he improved his shot. My problem was the contract. If I recall the details correctly, they were in a position to give him the qualifying offer. They had to drop him to make room to overpay Hardaway. Then they signed Baker later for way more than the qualifying offer. Even if Baker turns out to be a bargain I’m still going to think that was a bad sequence of events. You either sign Baker cheaply and offer Hardaway a little less or if you are desperate for Hardaway you drop Baker and maybe give him a little sweetener for working with you. You don’t overpay for both. A far as I know, even if there was some interest in Baker out there, no one was giving him anywhere close to what the Knicks gave him.

    35. Brian Cronin

      I don’t think anyone was against bringing Baker back. It was the ridiculously dumb contract that was at issue. A contract that everyone agreed was dumb.

    36. DRed

      The Hardaway and Baker deals were both dumb.

      As it turned out, they both played just well enough to opt out and yet we never missed them because they never played well enough to miss.

      That’s another reason the contracts were bad. Neither player was particularly good. Williams had some upside, but Afflalo was, at best, going to be just a guy for a team that was nowhere close to contention, so it was ridiculous to assume the risk of him opting in.

    37. kevin5318

      Yeah I’m pissed about Hezonja stating to show his worth now. Wish we could’ve got him for a 2nd months ago.

    38. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      The Afflalo and Williams’ contracts were horrible, but neither player lost money from opting out. Williams got the same contract from the Heat that he would have had he remained a Knick and Afflalo improved on his Knick contract.

      I disagree.

      With some rare exceptions, you have to put a competitive team on the court within a certain period of time or you will get fired. If you stink because you are in the early stages of a reset (or like to tank all the time), the youngest and best free agents won’t sign with you. But you still have to build a team. So you have to look among the second and third tier free agents to fill some spots. You may still have a tough time getting any of those guys to sign short term deals with you, but there will be some that are willing to bet on themselves and take a short term deal, especially if you give them a little premium up front. The Afflalo and Williams deals were fine. No one young or good wanted any part of NY. We signed rotation players without making a crippling long term commitment to anyone that was not part of the long term plan. Guys like that are sort of like mercenaries. If one works out, that’s fine. If none do, you don’t care. You might even get lucky and get one for a single year or they’ll opt out after one year (as they did). Then you’ll get another chance to try to add a core piece the following year. Rebuilding is a multi year process. Contracts like that retain some flexibility while you are trying to build something and aren’t in a position to sign attractive players.

    39. Brian Cronin

      . So you have to look among the second and third tier free agents to fill some spots.

      You really, really don’t. You can make trades using your cap space to pick up guys who will play for you and pick up actual assets to help your future. The very same time that the Knicks were wasting their cap space on Williams and Afflalo, the Sixers were using their cap space to pick up a Sacramento 2019 first rounder (basically one of the best assets you could possibly have) and 2017 swap rights with the Kings (which ended up with the Sixers getting the #4 pick) just for taking back Nik Stauskas.

      This whole “Jackson had to make dumb moves because you can’t rebuild in New York” is a piss poor narrative. The guy didn’t avoid a teardown because they wouldn’t let him, he avoided a teardown because he thought that he knew better (he didn’t).

    40. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      If you set your standard for a GM by looking at the best trades other GMs make, of course most GMs and most deals will fall short. It’s the same if you complain that the GM didn’t get players for less than their actual value. Of course you want that, but other than rookies and superstars, most NBA players are played at least their value because of the way the CBA sets salaries. So I am not complaining if our GM just ends up paying fair salaries for role players. Of course, they could excel and be worth more the next year making it hard to keep them, but that is in the nature of the NBA. If players get better, eventually their salary goes up.

    41. thenoblefacehumper

      The Afflalo and Williams’ contracts were horrible, but neither player lost money from opting out. Williams got the same contract from the Heat that he would have had he remained a Knick and Afflalo improved on his Knick contract.

      Correct, my mistake. I thought they both signed for the same contract and assumed they would’ve stayed had they known that in advance given the unideal situations in which they both found themselves. Still, there was absolutely no benefit to assuming all of that risk.

      . If you stink because you are in the early stages of a reset (or like to tank all the time), the youngest and best free agents won’t sign with you. But you still have to build a team. So you have to look among the second and third tier free agents to fill some spots.

      The Sixers didn’t bother with this nonsense for years and now they might sign LeBron James.

    42. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      You really, really don’t. You can make trades using your cap space to pick up guys who will play for you and pick up actual assets to help your future. The very same time that the Knicks were wasting their cap space on Williams and Afflalo, the Sixers were using their cap space to pick up a Sacramento 2019 first rounder (basically one of the best assets you could possibly have) and 2017 swap rights with the Kings (which ended up with the Sixers getting the #4 pick) just for taking back Nik Stauskas.

      I don’t disagree with you in a theoretical sense, but imo you playing a form of fantasy basketball. Hinkie was brilliant, but he also got fired for all that tanking and losing. I also wonder how their bottom line looked during that period.

      Basketball is a BUSINESS. Owners are looking at attendance figures, TV ratings, merchandise sales, cable subscriptions, advertising revenue etc… Managers, coaches, and their staff are thinking about their jobs and the jobs of people they’ve brought in. The media (especially in NY) is always looking to stir the pot and create controversy. Most fans can’t think past the last game, let alone 3-5 years out.

      In the real world, people are trying to balance financial, basketball, and career goals while worrying about the careers of others they are responsible for.

      If it was just about winning a championship, everyone would tank and rent cap space until they were totally stacked at every position. But that’s fantasy league. Teams will selectively tank a year (like we did to get KP) or rent cap space if they already know they will suck and have no other options (like the Nets this year), but it’s not a viable business or basketball strategy if you want a job or return on investment. You have to try to get better by winning deals, finding hidden value in the draft, and signing good deals.

    43. Bruno Almeida

      @53

      I don’t disagree with you completely strato but I think you are actually taking it to a more theoretical side than Brian’s argument.

      The Knicks had bad assets, pretty much no young talent and an aging, fading star that didn’t merit building a team around his 29-33 years. It was obvious that the Knicks had nothing to build upon. When the Knicks signed Afflalo and Williams we had just drafted Porzingis and the team had zero talent elsewhere. It was the ideal time to take Porzingis as a building block for the future and year everything else down.

      If you’re the Hornets with 24 year old Kemba Walker or the Pacers with Paul George at that age, or even teams like the Bulls after they were left with only Butler or the Wizards with Wall + Beal, yes, you go around building your team in the best way possible around the established talent you have. Most teams in the league actually have established talent of varying skill levels, and it makes sense for them to take the approach you talk about. So no, obviously not every team should tank every time, only a few teams are actually in a hopeless situation that needs to be blown up.

      The Knicks didn’t have it, and still went on making less than ideal deals to try to compete when they had a golden opportunity to start over with Porzingis and a complete clean slate (and finally picks after the Melo trade nightmare finally ended).

      So while I agree with you theoretically, I think you’re ignoring context. Do you think Philadelphia would be better off today if instead of tanking they just kept Iguodala and Holiday and built around them? I’m sure not.
      The fact that Hinkie got fired for eventually building the most exciting young team in the league now is much more a testament on how owners and managers are often stupid and don’t see the bigger picture than an indictment that he did something terrible.

    44. JK47

      Phil Jackson was a fucking joke of a GM. I can’t believe there are still fanbois here slobbering over that doddering old hippie.

      “I just gotta have Joakim Noah at any cost, I mean having a center who can execute passes out of the pinch post is absolutely essential to winning in the modern NBA” -Phil Jackson’s mescaline-addled brain

    45. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

      Most of the complaints about hiring Afflalo and such are from the point of view Phil should have made Hinkie like moves. But Strat’s and my points are that these are normal GM moves driven by the desire to have some sort of coherent team on the floor while also trying to improve the team. Phil screwed up with Noah, gave Melo a NTC, and he also pissed off most his players and couldn’t get the sort of coherent team play he wanted. But he hired a reasonable coach, drafted well and didn’t give up picks, which was much better than many other Knick GMs. That’s a mixed record, but to me a refreshing one. And on pissing off players, I remember that posters here actually wanted him to do that to make Anthony willing to leave.

    46. Brian Cronin

      I don’t disagree with you in a theoretical sense, but imo you playing a form of fantasy basketball. Hinkie was brilliant, but he also got fired for all that tanking and losing. I also wonder how their bottom line looked during that period.

      But Jackson got fired in roughly the same amount of time as Hinkie anyways, right? Both lasted about three seasons (Hinkie could have lasted longer, but he was pissed that he got effectively demoted by the hiring of Jerry Colangelo).

      Most General Managers end up getting fired. Might as well try to make the best moves you can while you’re here. Especially when you’re making, what, eleventy billion dollars a year, or whatever Jackson was making. I don’t think he made moves due to pressure, I think he just thought that the moves that he made were the best moves.

    47. alsep73

      Depends on your definition of “finally.” But yes, that was him.

      How many times has Reub tried coming back before this one, Brian?

    48. Z-man

      I never really defend Phil’s strategy per se, as I have always agreed with Brian et. al. that a complete rebuild was the only sound strategy available to the Knicks when Phil’s tenure started. I tried (and continue to try) to judge each move in the context of the flawed strategy, both at the time and in hindsight. At the time, I thought that Afflalo and DWill were questionable moves with limited long-term positive or negative potential, i.e. that as “stupid win-now moves” go, they were pretty inconsequential, especially if the “third” outcome (they would play just well enough to opt out and not well enough to miss) came to pass, which it did. It’s not really defending Phil, it’s stepping back and judging the deals in the shitty context within which they were made.

      As to Afflalo, Phil actually chased him out of town by dissing him in the media.

      Same with the Ron Baker deal. It’s a relatively inconsequential move no matter how it turns out, and could actually turn out positively, even if made for the wrong reasons or if bungled in negotiations given the market for him. I happened to love Ron at the time of his signing, and if you go back to the DWill signing, I hated him at the time (saying, I believe, you might as well just lit the money on fire.)

    49. Brian Cronin

      How many times has Reub tried coming back before this one, Brian?

      Four? Five? Maybe more? Whichever number it was, it’ll be one more very soon when he tries again. I know we’re awesome and all, but it’s hard to believe that there isn’t any other place worth talking about the Knicks out there for him.

    50. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

      @58

      I think from day one Phil believed the right way to build a winning team was to slowly change the culture by adding young players and veterans that fit the personality type he desired and that would be willing to play his style. I think he believes (as does Mills and Perry) that part of changing the culture is trying to get better by winning trades, finding value in the draft, and making selective FA a deals – as opposed to serial tanking.

      1. He cleaned house of the “suspect personalities” and in a couple of cases gave away assets just to get rid of them.

      2. He tried to add core pieces, but when he couldn’t (which was practically always because we sucked) he added the best available filler he could find on short term deals and tried to keep rolling over cap space.

      From where were were (missing two 1st round picks, being so bad no one wanted to play here etc..) he was handcuffed pretty badly. No doubt he made some unforced errors along the way. But had he done some of the things that would be more ideal if we were playing fantasy sports, he would have been crucified by the media and fans even worse than he was.

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