Lots of Stuff From the Beat

Lots of good info from the Knicks’ beat writers. Whoda thunk a 1-9 team with no draft pick and no game for a few days would merit so much good ink?

First, Newsday’s Alan Hahn nails it with “Knicks had to get it right, and didn’t”.

Meanwhile, Donnie Walsh and his staff had to get this draft pick right. Not only because of how valuable a lottery pick can be to a rebuilding franchise, but because the team doesn’t have a first round pick in2010. Every criteria had to be exhausted when considering all of the draft candidates at No. 8 and that includes character.

A kid that shows up at his first NBA Summer League admittedly not in great shape, to me, shows major character flaws. How much does he want it? How much does he care?

There are two kinds of players in the NBA: those who love basketball and those who love the life. One goes to the gym at night and puts up shots. The other goes to the club and puts down shots and sweats.

You feel me?

With the No. 8 pick in the draft, you try your best to get the first kind. Or at least one who has the tendencies to be the first kind.

So the fair criticism right now is to analyze the decision the Knicks made to take the not-yet-ready Hill and leave Jennings and Ty Lawson, two dynamic guards, on the board.

And where are the other scouts who should have been aware of Jennings even before he left for Europe? Was there enough of a debate in the War Room that night as the Knicks were on the clock and had gotten over losing Stephen Curry to the Warriors?

Curry topped the list and, despite his mercurial start with Dysfunction State, would have been the best fit. Tyreke Evans was also high on the list, I’m told, and yet it’s interesting that Jennings had his pre-draft workout for the Knicks against the much bigger Evans and, from what I’ve heard, he really took it to Evans. I remember Jennings walking out of the gym feeling very confident in himself that day.

Lawson, the Carolina product who we touted here at the Fix as early as the 2008 draft, was also up at the MSG Training Center in June for a pre-draft workout. Walsh really liked Lawson but, again, size (5-11, 195) was a major issue. And the other question was whether Lawson was a top 10 pick. Almost everyone had him projected in the teens and that’s exactly where he went. Denver traded an unprotected 2014 first-rounder to land him from Minnesota, which took him at No. 18.

Lots of good points here. The significance of the 2009 draft, and a little bit of why the Knicks passed on Lawson & Jennings. Additionally Hahn takes the Knicks to task for not knowing Hill’s motor (or apparent lack thereof).

Berman gets a good quote from Walsh:

Knicks team president Donnie Walsh told The Post yesterday the club’s franchise-worst 1-9 start is his fault and no one else’s, taking the heat off coach Mike D’Antoni.
The Knicks, who had the day off from practice yesterday, don’t play again until Wednesday in Indiana and have to marinate in the shame of being the first Knicks team to start a season 1-9. The franchise dawned in 1946.
“I’m not blaming the players, not blaming the coaches, I’m not blaming anyone but myself,” Walsh told The Post. “I feel this is my responsibility more than Mike’s or the players. Maybe the team doesn’t have all the elements.”

Hmmm blaming the front office for this start – where have I heard that before?

The Daily News, courtesy of Mitch Lawrence, give some insight into D’Antoni’s practice.

The New York Zombies, er, Knicks, returned to the practice floor Sunday in Greenburgh, with Eddy Curry taking a step toward returning to action this week and Wilson Chandler accepting a potential demotion to a bench role.

Curry could see his first action of the season Wednesday in Indiana. Mike D’Antoni, who called his players “zombies” after it went through the motions Friday in a loss to Golden State, isn’t sure how many minutes Curry will get against the Pacers.

His plan is to give Curry some minutes in the first half, then see if he merits more action. “Given that (D’Antoni’s) system is based on running, it’s definitely hard,” Curry said. “But I think I’m catching on and he is being very patient with me.”

But it appears that D’Antoni has run out of patience with Chandler, who has started the first 10 games, first at guard and more recently at forward. A demotion would mark a setback for both Chandler and the Knicks. D’Antoni has said a number of times that one of his primary objectives this season is to develop his top young players, starting with Danilo Gallinari and Chandler.

Yesterday, D’Antoni concentrated on defense, with Jared Jeffries, a reserve since the fourth game of the season, working with the first team and Chandler a second-teamer. As for Chandler’s move to the bench, D’Antoni wasn’t ready to announce it. “We’re still searching a little bit,” he said. “We don’t know yet, to be honest with you.”

With the Knicks offense reeling, seems like a great idea to get Jared Jeffries into the starting lineup. Maybe New York can grab Bruce Bowen to help light it up too? With a lineup of Duhon, Bowen, and Jeffries, you could have Barkley and Shaq as the 4/5, and still not break 100 points.

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Mike Kurylo

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

100 thoughts to “Lots of Stuff From the Beat”

  1. Did Darko kill Coach D.’s cat b/c I read over the weekend he doesn’t fit in with what we are doing and stiuff like that. I mean darko is what he is but c’mon amare and Marion are not walking thru the door, so they might want to play and deal with what they’ve got ratehr than some alleged system, unless D’antoni is incapable of more.

  2. The one thing I still don’t see enough analysis of in all the post-draft handwringing is to what degree Hill was drafted as David Lee insurance. Was it possible Walsh envisioned some scenarios where he could pull off a sign and trade with Lee and acquire some quality guards? That doesn’t make the Hill pick that much more defensible (if he really was considered more of a mid-first round talent and was drafted for need), but I wonder how high Hill was on other teams’ boards.

    I wasn’t crazy about the Hill pick, but I think there’s just a bit too much hindsight on Jennings; he got pulled from the green room by his agent on draft night, so lots of teams were ambivalent. Even the Bucks said they were close to considering Jrue Holiday instead of Jennings, and Holiday looks no better than Hill.

    Also, I think it’s a little early to be declaring Hill the next Darko in a suddenly good-looking draft. I want to see him play more before I declare him the next Frederic Weis.

  3. Finally came up with a partial explanation for the Knicks not guarding anyone on Friday against GS – ESPN is reporting today that CJ Watson (who I believe made every shot he attempted) thinks he has swine flu. Obviously, the Knicks were informed and no defender would get within 5 feet of him (of course they wouldn’t get within 5 feet of healthy Warriors either….)

  4. 1. I don’t feel bad about passing on Jennings. Even though he was highly regarded out of high school, he had almost no track record in Europe. The few stats he did accumulate were NOT impressive. The only way you could come up with him was visual observation and projection from excellent scouts. Advanced stats simply were not going to get you there. So I don’t think there is much to complain about here. Also, the little we knew of his personality screamed red flags.

    2. I was upset they didn’t consider trading down to get Lawson, but Toney Douglas’s stats are not so far off Lawson’s that we can conclude with certainty that Lawson will be better eventually. Douglas will have to learn to distribute better, but as their relative selection points in the draft I would say they represented equal value. Plus, we know that Lawson has been injury prone.

    3. I had mixed feelings about the Hill selection, but am starting to feel a lot better about it. He looked medicore in summer league and pre season. He didn’t have great stats in college. But he may have more upside than the typical 22 year old because of his inexperience. So far he has looked very good in limited minutes in the regular season. I also think he fits in SSOL way better than David Lee. We all admire Lee for his efficiency and rebounding, but he has no outside game and is a massive liability on defense regardless of whether he’s covering PFs or Cs. SSOL (like it or not) requires the PF to help space the court so that the PG and C can run the PnR and have an option to kick the ball out to another shooter. Lee can’t do that. THat’s why he plays C and we will rarely see him on the court wirth Milcic or Curry. If Hill develops this year, Lee will probably be traded for another need or as part of a deal to dump Curry or Jeffries.

  5. I don’t usually react strongly to player quotes, but Chandler’s quote in Lawrence’s piece regarding his demotion: “I don’t know if I deserve it” is jaw-dropping. Is he really that clueless? Duhon could at least sort of defend his descent into corpse-dom with all the minutes he’s played, the bad back, etc. But Will needs to take responsibility for his gargantuan suckitude. Almost makes me wish Q-Rich were still around to slap him silly (since that seemed to work last year for a few games here and there).

  6. Speaking of Q-Rich I heard durign or before the Nets game Miami’s coach sat him down and told him to come into camp in shape and lo an behold he dropped 20/30 pounds. Earlier I thought I read D’Antoni’s comments when it was reported Q had slimmed down it wa sto the effect of “that’s nice why didn’t he do that last year.” or somethign to that effect. I get the idea there is no real accountability on this club (sucking so badly doesn’t exactly make it any genius insight).

  7. “wasn’t crazy about the Hill pick, but I think there’s just a bit too much hindsight on Jennings”

    I am not sure how much hindsight is being used around here. No one is saying they would have taken Jennings really. But no one wanted Jordan Hill and it was clear we needed a point guard, so seeing two rookie point guards who were available blowing up for other teams leaves a very bitter taste.

    Douglas has been good so far, but not as good as Lawson. And while I hated the Hill pick early returns are mildly positive. That said, at this point, Knicks fans are entitled to second guess management as much as they want.

  8. I am so sick and tired of reading about how NY needed to “trade down” to get Lawson. WHO CARES WHERE HE WAS RANKED? if he’s the best player/best fit when your pick comes up, take him then. INFURIATING.

  9. Maybe D’Antoni is the problem. Hear me out on this 1. I like D’Antoni..but the difference between him and the Phil Jackson’s of the NBA is the great coaches define roles and have their players understand and accept those roles. That and his lack of a better defensive scheme problee makes him an overrated coach. There’s no way any coach in their right mind would allow players like Chandler and Harrington to run up and down the court and chunk up long J’s all game long-not even Don Nelson lol. Look, I understand that the NBA is entertainment and everyone loves to see players run up & down the court scorin 110 points a game, but somebody has to balance teams out in terms of offense/defense. The only role player that knows his role is JJ, and he only accepts it b/c he KNOWS he can’t score. You’ve got to coach guys to play within themselves and take advantage of what they do well-u know define roles. That’s not happening rite now becuz David Lee takes too many shots (he’s a 10 and 10 guy not a 15-18 ppg guy),and overall the team takes too many long jumpers. D’Antoni says that his offensive system is designed to put up points and out-score the opponent, and that you get your points in the flow of the offense. OK, well why is he allowing guys like Harrington & Chandler to jack up shots just because? Instead of takin advantage of what we have we rely on Rooster’s 3’s, Hughes/Douglas/Chandler’s (our worst shooters aside from JJ) jumpers to fall, and Harrington’s ultra bright green light. I know this much, Larry Brown, JVG, Avery Johnson, Sam Mitchell, and problee even Mark Jackson would not have that in the Garden. Like I said, I like D’Antoni, but maybe he’s not the right coach. OK, sure-he won a buncha games with Phoenix with better players. I understand his system not workin in Denver b/c it was unproven. But now it is, and he can’t seem to coach guys to stick to his system. Duhon’s no Nash, but even tho he’s playin horrible-I still see him makin good decisions with the ball. And Nash’s decision makin drove the SSOL didn’t it? I mean, along with his talent of course. So why are the players not sticking with the system? It makes u look better than u really are!! I would stick with it if my next contract depended on it. Tim Thomas got another contract out of it when he left Phoenix. Some people might say that it’s the players who just arent listenin. OK..but u know what the great coaches do when players aren’t stickin to the plan? Bench they asses! D’Antoni tells guys they’re great (which I don’t fault him for b/c u hafta instill confidence in them) and then let’s them do what they want on the court with minimal consequence. I know for a fact that there’s talent on the roster, maybe not elite talent, but enough talent to play .500 ball. But the team will only get there if they play to their strengths more, rather than havin a coach inflate their ego even more and buy into the hype believin that they all can lead the league in scorin. The coach is responsible for what’s happenin on the court in this case, even tho the players play the game. I hope I made sense becuz I feel like I just typed some random rant lol.

  10. I’m just glad that Hill is at least able to do one of the things he was touted as doing (shoot jumpers) and maybe a second (rebounding… can’t really say in 35 minutes). Basically I’m thinking there were about five skills Hill was drafted for: jumper, first-step/driving, athleticism, rebounding, and defense. The first-step is quick, but I can’t get the image of LeBron reaching over and picking his pocket the one time he tries to drive that game out of my mind. Hard to say anything about defense in such a short sample on this lousy team, but that’s the area where I’m really hoping he becomes strong. By athleticism I am largely referring to an ability to finish around the basket, which may or may not be there on a consistent basis… finishing at the rim could go a long way toward determining Hill’s offensive success, along with whether his handle and court awareness catch up to his quick first-step.

    As much as Knicks fans are beating ourselves (and Walshtoni) up for passing on Lawson and Jennings, imagine Minnesota fans… Not only did they draft TWO PGs in the top 10 above Jennings, but they actually drafted Lawson before trading him for a pick FIVE years down the road… In fairness Flynn has played well and through 7 games Rubio is 2nd in the ACB in assists per game and leading the league in steals per game despite playing only 19 mpg. Still, it’s got to hurt.

    Besides Lawson and Blair, another big name around here this summer was Ramon Sessions. I was definitely among those who thought Sessions was a no-brainer free agent steal. Hasn’t worked out that way through 11 games for Minni…

    Another name to note on the T-Wolves is Oleksiy Pecherov, whose option they didn’t pick up (I believe). He hasn’t extended his range to 3P land yet, but is a jump shooting big who D’Antoni might like. His TS% through 163 minutes is 55.5% for 18 pts/36 a usage rate of 21.6. His rebound rate is above 15, which it also was in limited minutes last season. His TO-rate has been low over all 3 seasons. http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/p/pecheol01.html
    Whether the Knicks miss out on James/Wade or been to put some cheap guys around one or both… this guy should definitely be on their radar at this point.

  11. Jus read my post..lemme clarify my players not stickin to the system thing. Coach says u get points within the flow of the offense-whether it’s a jumper or not, but there’s no flow to the offense. Harringtons goin one on one against smaller guys and tryin to take them off the dribble instead of postin them up. And other guys are throwin up bad shots just because it’s early in the shot clock, and the ball hasn’t moved around the perimeter or in and out of the post most cases b4 a 20 footer is thrown up. On top of that guys who don’t have the ball stand around a lil too much for my liking. I thought the SSOL’s strength was ball movement.

  12. I like the class and leadership of Walsh in that quote, but come on… I blame the coach AND the players more than I blame Walsh.

    “amare and Marion are not walking thru the door, so they might want to play and deal with what they’ve got ratehr than some alleged system, unless D’antoni is incapable of more.”

    AMEN TO THAT!!!!!
    I like the Q Rich/laissez faire coaching comment too.

    “Duhon could at least sort of defend his descent into corpse-dom with all the minutes he’s played”

    I don’t mean to single you out BK, because so many people say the same thing. Duhon only averaged 37 mpg last season. Maybe he’s got a back injury or other issue that predisposes him to not playing 37 mpg, but for a starting NBA PG in their theoretical athletic prime years 37 mpg isn’t that much. He was 29th in the NBA in mpg and 24th in total minutes last season.

    “[Lee] is a massive liability on defense regardless of whether he’s covering PFs or Cs.”

    Lee’s defense wasn’t a massive liability on PFs, but it is on Cs.
    I’ll take the not side of like it or not for SSOL… At least for this season. If Walsh still likes D’Antoni as his coach after this season then they can look to build a team to fit this offensive system (I’m not even in favor of that, really, but whatever). This season, without their 1st, I would really like to see D’Antoni adapt to the talent he has rather than force square pegs into round holes.
    I’m certainly not against moving Lee and/or Robinson in a decent trade, especially since it seems that D’Antoni doesn’t want either one around.

    “The one thing I still don’t see enough analysis of in all the post-draft handwringing is to what degree Hill was drafted as David Lee insurance.”

    I don’t think it matters. It makes the pick less defensible, in my opinion. I don’t think anyone (at least on this board) is calling Hill the next Darko, though, and you can’t not be impressed with the way he’s shot the ball through 35 minutes. People didn’t like the pick then, and Hill hasn’t really done enough to change their minds (yet). Who knows whether he ever will or not.

  13. “I am so sick and tired of reading about how NY needed to “trade down” to get Lawson. WHO CARES WHERE HE WAS RANKED? if he’s the best player/best fit when your pick comes up, take him then. INFURIATING.”

    The implication (at least in my case) was that the Knicks COULD trade down, get another pick, and still get Lawson.

    I thought Lawson was the best PG in the draft based on a static evaluation of his stats, but I still would have taken Rubio and others over him. I believe a lot of projection takes place (for better and worse).

    On Chandler, isn’t it clear he doesn’t have the intelligence to match his athletic gifts. Even D’Antoni must have realized he can’t hit a 3 pointer because he’s cutting down his attempts.

  14. Gian has a new seven seconds or mess webisode up…


    Jon – It’s infuriating to me also.

    Kevin Arnovitz has a great post up on Clippers Blog, the point of which is summarized succintly by Henry Abbot.

    “Limitations make would-be stars into role players. Knowing those limitations makes role players into winners.”

    It’s kind of awesome when someone summarizes a thought you have had many times so much better than you could have…

  15. Hahn’s Twitter reads “At practice today, D’Antoni admits he needs to adjust the system to fit the players he has.”

    Hope? The death of the stubborn?

    Tonight, I will dream of set plays and gritty D and the 1990s.

  16. “The implication (at least in my case) was that the Knicks COULD trade down, get another pick, and still get Lawson.”

    Maybe trade the #8 pick to Denver for the #17 plus Renaldo Balkman! :)

  17. “Tonight, I will dream of set plays and gritty D and the 1990s.”

    And Wed. night you will wake up to the harsh reality of Al Harrington going one on one while the rest of the team watches, soft and porous D and the year in hell that is the 2009-2010 Knicks season.

  18. Breaking News (so to speak) – Warriors trade Stephen Jackson and Acie Law to the Bobcats for Vadmanovic & Raja Bell

    Hm. What if the Knicks had offered Jeffries & Duhon?

  19. They wouldn’t have done that deal Robert…

    Duhon has no value to anyone right now, and even less value to a team with Monta Ellis and Stephon Curry. And Jeffries on a team with Anthony Randolph

    I know it’s not basketball or the knicks, but from a stat junkies perspective it’s amazing to watch the brouhaha over two recent football plays. Belichik’s decision to go for it on fourth down and MoJo Drew’s kneel down on the one yard line. It really goes the heart of the whole intuition vs empiricism question…

    Here is Freakonomics on the Belichik decision…


    Here is Brian Burke in the New York Times…


  20. Why would we want S-Jax? He has a huge contract that runs for 3 (?) more years.

    Regarding D’Antoni/system, I think it’s clear that the team isn’t playing the same spread-the-ball style that D’Antoni’s other teams have played. But what’s the reason? D’Antoni unable to get his message across? D’Antoni not giving a damn about this season? The players giving up? Duhon’s horrible drop in form? I don’t really know. It’s a bit unsettling to see D’Antoni not yelling at his players when they do idiotic iso plays.

  21. “Breaking News (so to speak) – Warriors trade Stephen Jackson and Acie Law to the Bobcats for Vadmanovic & Raja Bell…”

    But I thought we were getting Raja Bell!!! (Curse you The Knicks Blog for getting my hopes up!)

  22. “Iverson’s being waived — should we give it a shot?”

    Mmmm… the team could go no worse, so, why not? but i figure that iverson could get himself waived in 2 weeks, hehe. If Q-Rich broke a record in transactions, could Iverson get a record by being waived more times in a season than anyone else?

  23. “What if the Knicks had offered Jeffries & Duhon?”

    -The deal (Jax and Law for Duhon and Jeffries) wouldn’t work under the cap rules.
    -If the deal could be done the Knicks would be saddled paying a 3X old Jax over $10 million in 2012/13.
    -If the deal could be done the Warriors would probably reject it for Rad-man/ Bell.

  24. You’re probably right Owen. Amazing that Vlad Rad and an injured Bell are worth more than JJ n’ C-Du.

    What about if we try to aquire Monix from the Anaheim Amigos for a washing machine? He turned the Flint Tropics season around!

    (Yeah, I guess I’m the only one who sat through all of “Semi-Pro”…)

  25. I think the topic of Iverson coming to MSG deserves a whole-hearted debate here. Sure, it might simply turn into Marbury 2.0, but we really have nothing to lose right now by bringing him in. That would finally give us a guy who can drive the lane and attack the rim, which should theoretically open up the perimeter game that Gallo brings to the table. What do my Knickerbloogers think?

  26. In fairness Rad-man has been as miserable this season as Duhon. However, he’s a career 38.4% 3-pt shooter who is somewhat passable as a 4 and will probably even play some at the 5 for GS. Don Nelson do what Don Nelson do… and neither Duhon nor Jeffries do what Don Nelson do (or what D’Antoni do). On paper/according to popular opinion Bell offers more veteran leadership than either guy the Knicks could offer, which is something GS sorely needs. It doesn’t help that CJ Watson outplayed Duhon in the Knicks-Warriors head-to-head, and is stroking it this season (.634 TS%). Anyway, the deal doesn’t work cap wise and I would have considered stopping being a Knicks fan if a similar deal happened (only would have considered hanging on since Jeffries would be involved, making the cap ramifications more bearable but still horrible).

    By the way, such a typical Charlotte deal. There used to be a typical Isiah deal where he would win on pure talent, but lose on basketball IQ, motivation/chemistry/attitude/etc., cap wise, and sometimes also future considerations wise (draft picks). Charlotte (MJ, LB, or whoever makes their personnel decisions) has its own M.O. now of bringing in good defensive players and often winning or breaking even on talent, but getting creamed cap wise: Nazr, Diop (Carrol’s deal is as long but significantly smaller), Richardson, and now Jax. At least Felton did them the service of not re-signing the ridiculous deal they offered (only a matter of time before they overpay him, like Isiah they literally seemed to be bidding against themselves) and NO gave them Chandler’s shorter contract for Okafor. Not as bad as Isiah because at least they’re actually a good defensive team as a result of this strategy. Unfortunately they’re the worst offense in the NBA (Jax does probably help there) and saddled with a bunch of bad contracts for a few more seasons.

  27. “I think the topic of Iverson coming to MSG deserves a whole-hearted debate here. Sure, it might simply turn into Marbury 2.0, but we really have nothing to lose right now by bringing him in. That would finally give us a guy who can drive the lane and attack the rim, which should theoretically open up the perimeter game that Gallo brings to the table. What do my Knickerbloogers think?”

    Seeing how badly the Knicks are playing, I would certainly consider it. A few more games keep going the way they have been and I would literally have no problem cutting Duhon. We know you HAVE to start Iverson (not that I really care who starts) and make him happy with his role (not sure what happy with his role means to him… minutes I think). He actually played pretty well in 3 games for Memphis, but I guess he wasn’t happy playing 22.3 mpg. I would consider bringing him in as a starter, the Knicks don’t really need another combo-guard with Nate and Douglas in place though. If he were younger I would say let Nate and Douglas compete with him but he’s a one year rental and won’t settle for competition or a combo-guard role anyway.

    Another question is whether Iverson gets any feelers from contenders. Does he take a small role on a contender vs. being D’Antoni’s starting PG?

  28. I hope to the cosmos that they bring Iverson in with a one-year deal. With no pick, there’s nothing to lose, and I’m sure Iverson in blue and orange would sell enough tickets (though I believe there’s been some discussion here on Iverson’s supposed ability to move tickets) to make at least some of the money back. Give him 35 minutes a game and let him ball.

  29. “neither Duhon nor Jeffries do what Don Nelson do”

    One of my favorite (non)sentences I’ve read in a long time.

    “Charlotte (MJ, LB, or whoever makes their personnel decisions) has its own M.O. now of bringing in good defensive players and often winning or breaking even on talent, but getting creamed cap wise”

    True, but even if Charlotte held onto its cap space, it’s still not a very attractive place for top-tier free agents to sign. They are probably not doing any worse than taking on other teams contracts because the players that would willingly sign with them are the Stephen Jacksons of the league.

    Re: Iverson:

    I think the stars are aligning: Iverson gets cut the day Walsh turns certifiably desperate. I see 3 years, $18 million coming his way…

  30. “I hope to the cosmos that they bring Iverson in with a one-year deal. With no pick, there’s nothing to lose”

    So let me get this straight, pretty much everyone on this board thinks Gallo needs more shots and you want to bring in Iverson who’s going to take 15-20 shots a night come hell or highwater?

    Um. No. I’ll pass on another shoot-first undersized shooting guard who doesn’t play defense. In his prime, there was serious debate about whether Iverson was really that valuable. (I’ll let the Berri-heads make the numerical argument. Me no totally understand WoW. Me not smart enough.) Seriously, is he really better than Nate at this point in their respective careers?

    And personally I couldn’t care less how many jerseys/tickets Dolan is able to sell.

  31. I don’t really care how many wins he’ll add to this joke of a team. I don’t think he was ever very valuable, though he does have nice PER from ’01-’06 and his Win Share scores are quite nice on occasion.

    Right now, we’re looking at a 15 win team that might just give the Jazz the number one pick in the draft (which, if they’re into being risky, will net them a couple 1st rounders over the next few years, since they have a star point guard and certainly don’t _need_ John Wall).

    I’m just asking for a player who might give a damn on the floor. Even that’s debatable, but I don’t think I can handle watching this team for another 72 games.

  32. “even if Charlotte held onto its cap space, it’s still not a very attractive place for top-tier free agents to sign.”

    I don’t know. Charlotte was a fast growing city during the boom, the weather’s got to be decent in NC, and a lot of NBA players have NC roots through college (UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, NC State, etc.) if not growing up there. If they had a winning organization in place I think people would sign in Charlotte.

    Without getting into a general discussion about team building… To me they (the Bobs) take too much of the traditional players under contract as assets that can’t be wasted approach, and basically ignore opportunity cost. When you draft Gerald Henderson with the 12th pick there’s really no hope for you organization anyway.


    My first reaction was the same as yours (is Iverson better than Nate or even Douglas?), and certainly it’s a really open debate where there’s no right answer except in hindsight. At this point, though, my thinking is that Iverson is a better PG than Duhon.
    Two variables to consider are whether AI wants to play anywhere ever again (or retire with 9 figures in career earnings) and whether he’ll buy into D’Antoniball or whine and pout about every little thing.
    His scoring efficiency has actually been decent recently besides the Detroit stop and his usage has been declining. He seems to have gone to Memphis with a mission (that he quickly aborted), so a big question is whether the 2009-10 Iverson is the 07-08 version or the 08-09 version. Whether he fits into the Knicks and D’Antoni’s system. At least he is as good or better a playmaker as Duhon or Nate or Toney, on the one hand, and as good a scorer as Harrington, Chandler, or Hughes on the other.
    The Knicks could certainly use the 07-08 Iverson on their squad. No idea if he still has it. If no other team is quick with an offer the Knicks can see if Duhon has gone Knoblauch/Ankiel on them or if he can turn it around. Even if Duhon returns to career average form I still think the Knicks should consider AI.

  33. Agree with THCJ – if we had our pick, absolutely no way on AI. But to avoid the embarrassment of Utah getting the #! or 2 pick and also to bring some measure of respectability to this team (and let’s face it, AI is still better offensively than anyone on the current Knicks) I say what the hell. He may see this as his last hurrah and play out of his mind, who knows? It won’t help or hurt our recruiting of LBJ, Wade, etc.either, except possibly to get the joke tag off this franchise.

    However, I thought Walsh said absolutely no way on Iverson when it first looked like he wanted out of Memphis?

  34. Who knows what Walsh means when he says anything. Didn’t he say he wasn’t going to trade Mobley any more? Why the hell is that guy still on the roster?

  35. Picking up the Memphis Grizzlies’ leftovers is suggested as the Knicks’ way to remove the “joke tag” from the franchise.

    This truly is the end of days.

  36. they could have signed Iverson in the offseason if they wanted to, dude has nothing left and a bad attitude to go with it. he killed Detroit last year, I don’t want him anywhere near MSG. I don’t even want to see him sitting courtside.

  37. “I think the topic of Iverson coming to MSG deserves a whole-hearted debate here. Sure, it might simply turn into Marbury 2.0, but we really have nothing to lose right now by bringing him in.”

    One of the worst ideas I have heard. It would mark my descent as a Knicks fans into the fullest fieriest depths of hell…

  38. This isn’t the end of days, this is the final purge. Something beautiful will be reborn in the ashes of this season!

    Also, I read today that the Grizzlies didn’t waive Iverson, they “terminated his contract” and that he didn’t collect the full value of his $3 Million contract. Does anybody know if A. This is true. B. How this is possible?

  39. Larry hughes and Iverson never played well.

    Should we at least ask about cp3? I’m just saying is all.

  40. I understand the general aversion to AI, but I think we should at least have a constructive discussion on the pros and cons (what the Daily News article says Walsh is doing). I don’t think it’s wise to just dismiss the possibility off-hand, given how bad the Knicks are and that they don’t have their first rounder. I would be interested to hear the reasoning behind the strong responses against AI.

    Most of us want Harrington and Chandler to shoot less, and Duhon to either get it together or sit. We long for a better (even if only slightly) playmaker at the point. Trying to make AI into Steve Nash would probably be an unmitigated failure, but if D’Antoni can find a way to fit AI into his system the Knicks could certainly use the talent. The attitude is a huge turnoff, but if the situation is handled correctly maybe it infuses a glimmer of hope into a hopeless team. What chemistry is there for him to interrupt? Then again, if things continue to be so nuts he’s only going to add to it.

    If the Knicks are about ready to just go with a strong youth oriented line-up I don’t care at all if they pass on Iverson. I just don’t see why they should lose with worse veterans on the last years of their contracts instead of upgrading the talent. Where’s Caleb for an addition by subtraction debate? The biggest argument against this move is basically one of subtraction by addition, as I see it.

  41. so walsh will take a risk on a diminished ego driven star, but not on jennings or holiday? yeah that makes sense.

  42. “Picking up the Memphis Grizzlies’ leftovers is suggested as the Knicks’ way to remove the “joke tag” from the franchise.

    This truly is the end of days.”

    Let me clarify my “joke tag” remark – all I’m saying is right now this franchise and its players have hit rock bottom, and there’s no sign it’s going to improve this season. I know it’s all about 2010, but I do think salvaging some respectability this season is important, especially in terms of the development of the players that we want back next year. I just don’t think we should throw away this season, and if there’s an opportunity to improve w/o upsetting the cap situation, we should grab it. Would he make us worse? I guess that’s next to impossible.

  43. “Iverson to MSG would sell a lot of tickets.”

    Who cares? So would live sex acts or monster trucks at halftime. Aren’t we trying to rebuild here? It isn’t a flea circus.

  44. Wait, how is iverson bad for this team? He is absolutely a shoot first players, but so is everyone on the Knicks, at least he makes his shots. He alsoattacks the basket, something noone does right now. His passing numbers have gotten better with age. What’s the downside? Nate won’t like it? Think about the pick, folks. Another aldridge or Jennings somewhere else. I wont survive that.

  45. ” I would be interested to hear the reasoning behind the strong responses against AI.”

    He is not the future and in the present I simply don’t want to watch him play. He is the epitome of the scoring is greatness philosophy that got us where we are today.

  46. I think Dw has his hands tied here… If AI can help win some games then he has to sign him…I wonder if he would come here since we aren’t contenders and this is his last season.

  47. I’ll gladly take AI on this team.

    “He is the epitome of the scoring is greatness philosophy that got us where we are today.”

    Really?? I know his reputation as a ball-hogger and sure his TS% for his career is only 52% so most of his scoring is based on the amount of shots he takes but he does average 6 assists and 2 steals per game for his career and also close to 4 rebounds per game which for someone his size is pretty impressive. Also averages 9 ft attempts per game for his career.

    Has he been overrated a bit during his career?? Maybe but he still has had a HOF career. Now will he come and be a pain in the ass?? Maybe but if he is they can cut him instantly so really whats the big deal??

  48. “I would be interested to hear the reasoning behind the strong responses against AI.”

    Owen said it well. I don’t care if we go 5-77, let Gallinari and Douglas and Hill and even Chandler play. let’s see what we’ve really got or don’t have in those guys. if you’re going to pick up anyone off waivers, let it be young guys, or D-League guys.

  49. How does AI affect Gallinari and Hill?? Heck it might help them because AI will certainly get them good looks, alot more than anything Duhon or Hughes can get them.

    Signing AI shouldnt affect Douglas because he should still get minutes in the backcourt along with Nate. The only thing to me is if they sign AI it better mean the end of Duhon’s minutes.

  50. I’d take him. Wasn’t interested before the season, but he would definitely add entertainment value. Slot him in at the 1, put Duhon on the bench where he belongs, and enjoy the show. (I’ve never been a big AI fan, mind you .. clearly these are desperate times)

    I’m not buying the idea that he would somehow “cripple” the progress of the youngsters. Someone who has a little fire in their belly would be good for the team.

  51. Allen Iverson is among the last people I’d want as a locker room influence on my young team. I just hope NO is desperate enough to somehow take Harrington+a hot dog for CP3 or something.

  52. Thomas,

    The risks and the decisions themselves are hardly comparable. In the draft there is a huge potential opportunity cost no matter who you take. The opportunity costs with AI are mostly a roster spot and intangible things like chemistry. Anyway, he hasn’t taken any risk on AI yet. He had Jennings and Holiday in for workouts, just like he sat down with AI.
    Another aspect to consider is the old “FAs don’t sign with losing teams” logic. It’s not overly tangible, but D’Antoni–maybe the Knicks second biggest bargaining chip after the City–is looking really bad right now. A 15-25 win season and suddenly his Golden Boy rep is gone. Come to NY to play with a crap team for a crap coach… Great. AI is no sure thing to turn it around, but with an extra roster space he might be worth a look.


    That’s kind of what I figured. Symbolically he stands for everything we hate, but it’s not personal… it’s personnel. The Knicks need basketball talent badly. Iverson has it.
    In 07-08 Iverson has a WP48 of .134 and “produced” 9.5 wins. Sound like something the Knicks could use at the PG position? If this weren’t Allen Iverson I think the conversation would be a lot different. Whether AI can duplicate his 07-08 success is another matter, but he came out firing in 3 games for the Grizz before he went all Marbury.


    First, I don’t really believe in force feeding young guys minutes. Give them a chance, sure, and maybe give them a little more latitude than vets, but make them earn their minutes like anyone else. Like BBA says, though, not sure AI would take minutes from Hill or Gallinari. Douglas, maybe. Like BBA says Duhon’s minutes are somewhat up for grabs after his start, and while I’m impressed with Hughes a few more 1-7 nights and his minutes might be up for grabs too.
    By the way, what about Landry? And we have a pretty good idea what we got with Chandler at this point. I wouldn’t mind seeing Landry get a shot at his minutes soon. At some point the Knicks have to consider a trade to get rid of his salary from the 2010 cap.

  53. W/r/t Iverson, though I’m against it, it’s really silly to speculate whether he is or isn’t a “bad influence” in the locker room. The beat writers don’t know and neither do internet scribes. The only folks who know are Sixers, Pistons and to a lesser extent, Grizzlies. Let’s please keep the conversation to stats/b-ball analysis and not engage in amateur sociology. It bugs me when Berman/Isola/et al do it and it’s silly here as well.

  54. “but he does average 6 assists and 2 steals per game for his career and also close to 4 rebounds per game which for someone his size is pretty impressive.”

    Someone his size? Seriously?

    Ted – It’s a true sign of your genius that you actually made me think, maybe that’s not such a bad idea after all…

  55. How many players 6 ft and shorter avg 4 boards a game???? I was surprised to see that for his career he is averaging almost 4 boards a game. To me that is impressive. The 6 assists and 2 steals arent that impressive but it is proof though that he is more than just a scorer which is what you alluded to.

    This team pretty much sucks and to say that signing AI wont help or at the least greatly improve the talent on this team is ludicrous. I for one all of a sudden am a bit excited to watch this team if only for the curiousity of watching AI. Again to me he could only help someone like Gallo not hurt him. Like I said if signing AI cuts into Douglas’ minutes and not Duhon then that would to me be a problem unless they all of a sudden start winning which I highly doubt, although I do believe if they sign AI and he plays the rest of the year w/o incident this team should match last season’s win total rather than barely win 20 like they seem destined to do.

    I for one do not want to see another #2 or worse #1 pick of ours go to another team. I could at least swallow it a bit if the pick falls in the range where the Knicks have picked recently which is anywhere from 6th to 9th.

  56. Don’t want Iverson. I’m glad Ted is arguing for him for conversation’s sake, but I really don’t believe he would be happy with a fluid role (sometimes starting, sometimes coming off the bench depending on his play). His agent is making some noises that he would be flexible, but I think noises is all they are. That may be amateur sociology on my part (sorry Robert), but Iverson has always been proud and stubborn by all accounts, and I don’t know why he would change his spots so suddenly because it’s New York.

    Also, how much better could the team be with him? A 30 win team instead of 25 wins? 25 intead of 20? Is this worth taking shots away from Douglas, Gallo and Hill, and worth adding yet another ball dominant, volume shooter? I’m not sure the marginal improvement is worth the potential disruption to the development of younger players. And I say this as someone would love to see Iverson’s career end on a more positive note…I just don’t believe it will happen here.

    I don’t agree that D’Antoni’s reputation will be so endangered by the losing that a move like this is required. Sure, if the team wins only 10 games or encounters a record-setting losing streak with Golden State levels of dissension and squabbling, there could be a hit. I live in Boston where Doc Rivers coached a 24 win team and was called an idiot many, many different ways for over a year (with chants of yes, “Fire Doc”) and lost 18 straight games. It did not keep the team from acquiring Allen and Garnett — by trades rather than free agency, but Garnett had to be convinced he was going somewhere he could win, and when the Celtics made the right moves and presented the plan, the trade went through.

    Future free agents will make a similar determination based on what NY does with its cap space moreso than whether a coach with a track record of past success gets a team of renegades to win 20 or 25 games. Walsh seems to be doing everything he can to broadcast the message that winning this year is ancillary to getting the right pieces next year. If that’s the case, why run toward another mercenary with marginal added value, where the upside is limited and the downside potentially significant?

    Exception: if Duhon is on a continued straight line downhill (hard to imagine he could sink much lower, but still), and doesn’t show any signs of even modest recovery, then he’s a net negative and Iverson is necessary for some sort of competitiveness. But again, success is dependent on whether Iverson will accept flexibility with his role, and he hasn’t shown signs he will be flexible.

  57. BigBlue –

    per 48 rebound average for the average point guards is 4.8
    per 48 rebound average for the average shooting g’s is 5.6
    per 48 rebound average for Allen Iverson…………………4.26

    He has played on some slow paced teams but the bottom line is that he is not a good rebounder. He really isn’t good at anything on the basketball court other than stealing the ball and scoring at high rate with below league average efficiency.

    You know what, I can imagine a positive in his coming too.

    If New Yorkers hadn’t learned the lesson that scoring is overrated from well, let’s see, Houston, Marbury, Francis, Randolph, Curry, Hughes, Harrington, Crawford, etc, maybe they can learn it for good from Iverson.

  58. Final Iverson note: the last quote I saw from Donnie is that signing Iverson is “unlikely”, but Woj at Yahoo speculates that there may be a courtesy meeting to keep relations good with Iverson’s people (Leon Rose and Worldwide Wes specifically) — since they also happen to be Lebron’s people.

    So there’s a scenario that makes Iverson’s signing palatable: a few more wins, and Lebron’s folks are that much happier.

  59. Randolph’s career PER is slightly over 19 and Marbury’s is just below 19. Iverson’s is 21. They are nowhere near comparable to the other guys you lumped them in with, even though I obviously loved Allan Houston but he truly was just a scorer although at times a pretty efficient one who was an excellent 3pt shooter. Hate the way those 3 guys play all you want but those guys are still very good basketball players.

    Look I certainly dont blame for you not wanting Iverson and I too have never been a big fan of him and his style of play. BUT give him his due he is a potential HOFer and sometimes his ball-hogging reputation gets way overblown.

  60. A big ciao to you all knicks desperate supporters. So am i. I’ve never seen a basket team playing so badly. Quite frankly i don’t see any solution with this roster. The vets know they won’t be here after april and think only to their stats. The coach does not seem to adapt his system to the players. The young core either is not that good now, TD-Hill, either comes from surgery, Gallo-Chandler. In one word we are in a mess of a situation. i just want to point out that AI is not the solution, can you imagine the locker room with him too? BTW i want to ask something to the knicks management: how can you imagine to run a team without a playmaker and a center? I mean, the two main position? Maybe this management needs a soccer culture in order to learn some tactics, chemistry and discipline.

  61. I cannot believe this is even a discussion other than for the sake of discussion. The Knicks aren’t here to be Allan Iverson’s nanny and cuddle the corpse of his career after his own crappy play, NO DEFENSE other than 2 of 80 possessions on which he manages a steal, his attitude, selfishness and frankly an IQ below that of a ceolocanth to not realize what was going on at Memphis. If the plan was f’ 09 we just want to get under the cap and go get LeBoron, Wade, Amare and/or Bosh then DW should just reap what he has sown and deal with it, rather than try and distract people with the smoke and mirrors that may trick some into thinking he is trying for this season. I’m tired of watching overrated 40% shooters, who play no defense, can’t run a play that doesn’t involve them shooting and won’t hustle w/o the ball in their hand. Enough is enough.

  62. Iverson doesn’t impair cap space. Despite being a hog, by drawing defenders, his offense might actually open up some looks for Gallo and others. If Curry returns to form, his (AI’s) presence would not hurt. Most importantly, next year is going to be a very different world for the Knicks. As such, I would be OK with trying him, if only to make this season more palatable. I don’t think his presence will hurt the rooks. I also do not know which members of the current team are really in next year’s plans, including Gallo.

  63. Bringing Iverson in would be a pointless move by the Knicks. His career has been dead for 4 years. Even at his peak, he was not a team player and his value was dubious. The last thing the Knicks need is another player taking the ball away from Gallinari.

  64. Romanista at KB….nice.

    AI…everybody up here was against that move during preseason…..it was forbidden to think about adding another locker room problem after letting one go for good….We were all blinded by the positive vibe this site spreads, we really thought this team can go 0.5. I for one did.

    But looking at the team now makes you think….just do something please and do it fast, even bringing one like AI.
    Heal trouble with trouble.

    With Z-Man’s optimism gone ;), and AI in consideration……we are at rock bottom/turning point.The tide will turn come AI or not.

  65. Correction: rock bottom will be June 2010. “And with the first pick in the draft, the Utah Jazz select…”

  66. Man, a lot of blind, misguided AI hate here. This is a future hall-of-famer who carried a weak Philly team to the Finals one year. The dude battles. He is (was) lightyears better than Marbury ever was. Aren’t you all sick of the complete and utter lack of heart and effort and guts exhibited by the Knicks this year?

    The whole point is: it isn’t about wins and losses this year. It’s about showing some goddamn pride. Wins won’t get us to the playoffs and losses won’t get us a high lottery pick. The only thing worth playing is the development of young talent and some kind of team cohesiveness (which I think is basically impossible with half the roster out the door).

    Now, AI has certainly played the fool in a number of his recent stops. If Walsh and D’Antoni look at him and decide he can help (and not hinder), I can live with that.

  67. Tastycakes — well said. If you surveyed the Knicks players and asked “would you rather keep the roster as is, not be competitive most nights, and have no go-to guy in crunch time, or bring in AI and amp up the Garden and win a few more games this season?” I’m sure (other than Al Harrington) all the players would say bring him here and let’s see what happens. I know it’s not up to the players, but the point is, this team desperately needs a shot in the arm and in this case change for change sake makes sense.

  68. I understand the apprehension to bringin in AI, but the fact is he does bring things we lack. AI’s not a loser, nor a ball hog. This guy has been a PG his whole life, even on the football field. It jus so happens that he’s a scorin point. Even more important than his schoring ability, he brings dogged determination. Say what u want, but he is tenacious. He goes at u all day long. See the theme here? It’s clear that alot of the players on the squad has given up. Let’s not forget that until LB turned him into a SG, he was averaging 7-8 apg. In this system, even in his diminished state, AI will be a great peice. You have to defend him all game, and he will get easier shots for the other guys on the floor who will get less attention defensively b/c of the threat of AI. But let’s not fool ourselves. This is the old AI, not the AI of old. SO we can’t expect him to go for 30-8-4 and 2 every game. A simple 20-8-3 and 2(points, assists, rebounds, steals) is very possible and will help this team a great deal. If AI signs, then Duhon or Nate HAS to be moved. IMO, Nate and AI bring the same skill set to the table. Considering that and his value, I would say trade Nate if AI signs. That way, Douglas can learn from a scorer and a distributor. Also we’d have to do something with Larry Hughes unfortunately, if AI signs. I say unfortunately b/c I love Hughes’ defense, but AI needs shooters around him, and Hughes is not a shooter. Either we’d hafta lose Hughes or try him at the starting PG with AI as the SG-but the latter would be a bad idea. So the question is, where can we grab a SG with a respectable outside game? Do we trade Chandler just to get one? Or do we save Chandler in order to use him to move JJ or Curry? Either way, at this point I don’t see signin AI as a problem…

  69. As interesting as it might be to see AI here, I am fully against it. At best, he makes us a 30 win team. What is guaranteed is that he will be a ball-hog, which is what he has always been — we have plenty of those, and it will only make our chucker offense more chucker. What’s also guaranteed is that he will take minutes away from Douglas, who looks like one of the two bright spots for this so-far ugly season, and will take shots away from Gallinari, who is the other bright spot. He’s also CLEARLY not part of the future of this franchise, so what is the point? I think we need to get beyond our lost 2010 draft pick — it’s gone, and it matters not even a little bit to us whether it’s the #1 pick or #14 pick. Naturally it hurts if Utah gets John Wall but we have our own problems to worry about without freaking out about what might have been.

    Also — what does AI bring us that Nate doesn’t, without all the added press scrum? They’re both short, electric, high-volume, uber-athletic combo guards that have trouble playing within a team concept. I’m not sure what having two of them on the same team does for us.

    And while on the subject of Nate — I think the major difference between last year and this year has been our guard play. Our interior defense sucked last year, and it sucks this year — but Duhon has been a complete zero (or really a -10000) so far this year. Duhon had bad stretches last year also, but it was covered up at least partially by the often-brilliant play of KryptoNate. Nate has only really played 3 games this year not counting the GSW debacle — one we lost to a team that is clearly better than us (MIA), and the other 2 we lost in overtime. So here’s to hoping that the return of Nate will bring some MUCH needed dribble-penetration, more high-percentage shots (did I just say that?), and more energy. And then we can all put Allen Iverson WAAY back in the rearview mirror.

  70. The people who think Iverson sahould benefit the knicks overlook a simple, obvious fact: the Iverson of today is not a starter-caliber player. Period. Yes, he brings determination, pride, baggage, low price tag and many other things. however, he does not bring the most important thing: the playing skill. the guy is shot and has been shot for 4 years. The diminished skill, along with the undiminished baggage makes him into a liability, not an asset. Why should the knicks bring another problem to the lockerroom? It’s not like Iverson is going to make the Knicks – or any other team – a better team at this point in his career. It is not like people are dying to see him and will come to the Garden no matter what as long as Iverson is here. If all that were possible, his stint with the Grizzlies would not have come to such abrupt end.

    BTW, I firmly believe that the best way to drastically improve the Knicks’ performance is for D’Antoni to start coaching to the players’ strenghts, instead of forcing them to play in a chaotic style (SSOL) that has no chance of succeeding with the current personnel. What about some simple fundamentals, like defending better, running/rotating more (a la Reggie Miller) and passing the ball to the open man?

  71. “understand the apprehension to bringin in AI, but the fact is he does bring things we lack. AI’s not a loser, nor a ball hog.”


    Actually, AI is a loser and a ball hog. It’s a joke he will be a first ballot hall of famer and a guy like Manu Ginobili will struggle to get in.

    If you haven’t noticed both the Sixers and Nuggets (1-8 in the playoffs there) improved after AI left. Did he help Detroit? Did you notice that the 2004 Olympic team he co-captained settled for bronze?

    The guy is actually not a winner. He really isn’t a great basketball player. Above average, that’s about all you can say. He is known for his offensive skills but the Philly teams that he dominated never once finished in the top ten in offensive efficiency.

    So sick of Iverson…

  72. Maybe I can enliven this discussion (or, more likely, be shouted down immediately) by framing the issue slightly differently. What if we just thought of Iverson as an asset?

    We have one of the best systems in the history of the league for creating a high volume of numbers. We do not have a clear #1 offensive option or a competent creator at the guard position. So we sign AI, we give him the keys to the offense, tell him to run in transition and attack the rim all he likes, we surround him with a lineup of our best shooters (Gallo, Douglas, Nate, Harrington, Hughes, whatever) so that he can drive and kick if the defense collapses on him.

    Does he score 20 points a game? Does he score 25? Not impossible given the system, the pace, the restored sense of swagger he has for being “the guy” again, and a potentially awesome connection with the MSG crowd…right? Not a sure thing by any means, but not impossible.

    Now its the trade deadline and we have a guy scoring 22-24 ppg with 5-7 assists (wishful thinking, but humor me) for the veteran’s minimum. There have been months of columns in the NY papers and ESPN and SI puff pieces about how “AI is back” (because people love volume scorers, no matter how much the people on this board are suspicious of them). Suddenly, do we have a trade partner in a contender who needs a scoring guard to bring off the bench? Does his combination of high scoring numbers and chicken-scratch salary make it worth a contender’s while to take on a year of Jeffries.

    Probably not, but maybe. And this team needs to start stockpiling maybes.

  73. Meh.
    Too many ifs. I think you are sabotaging the development of the young guys on the team for the CHANCE that a good team will want AI for the stretch run. I think it’s unlikely that any team will take him on, given the complete lack of interest in him during the offseason, the clear chemistry issues he’s had everywhere he’s been. Most teams on a playoff run would rather land a piece rather than a guy who thinks he’s still the man. All the contenders have multiple guys who think they are the man, and I don’t think any GM who was smart enough to construct a playoff team would then turn around and be dumb enough to rescue us. Frankly, I think it’s more likely that a GM might want Jefferies for a playoff run.

    And then if no team bites, then you’re left with a team that has had the growth of the few young talents stunted by a 5 month experiment. Not worth it in my book. Although it would be fun to watch Harrington and AI fight over the ball on offense. Maybe they could shoot the ball together.

  74. “Although it would be fun to watch Harrington and AI fight over the ball on offense. Maybe they could shoot the ball together.”

    Good one. Although if this was possible I’m almost certain that Crawford and Randolph would have tried it last year.

  75. The Steve Nash of 2004 was not considered to be the Steve Nash of old either. His health and his skills were supposedly on the way down, so much so that he was allowed to walk from a talented Dallas roster to sign with Phoenix. And look what D’Antoni’s system did for him. Look, I’m not delusional and think the Suns in Nash’s tenure compare even remotely to the talent level we have here. But I’m fairly confident our team is not as putrid as they’ve shown over the first ten games either. Why would it be so far-fetched to think the system couldn’t do wonders for AI’s game?

    Haven’t we been saying all along that D’Antoni’s system depends on an up-tempo point guard to push the issue? Even Duhon was looking great during the first half of last year in this system until the wheels came off (and apparently stayed off). I don’t recall many of AI’s former teams being as run-and-gun oriented as the Knicks are supposed to be. I would be intrigued to see how things would turn out if we added a future HOFer to this particular mix. Hell, if we can sign Duhon as a stop-gap solution at point guard for two years, it’s not entirely out of the question to sign Iverson for less than a year.

    And let’s try to get off the whole “bad attitude” hangups that we’ve had since Marbury poisoned us with his presence. Iverson may have always had issues with team concepts and authority, but his game has always spoken for itself. His rep has taken a bigger hit recently not entirely unrelated to his last two coaches being less than forthright with how he would be used (Rip Hamilton basically confirmed that Michael Curry “lied”, Lionel Hollins said he “didn’t need to talk to him” about his role). Everyone talks about Jennings’ bad attitude before and after this year’s draft, and now he’s looking like the real deal, attitude be damned. We keep this up, we’ll keep passing on talent that can help this team both short-term and in the future.

  76. Why do people feel the need to resurrect the corpse that was AIs alleged career? He didn’t wanna be in Philly or whatever the story was. He couldn’t get out of the first round in Denver despite his all world competitiveness and stuff. Detroit imploded, he couldn’t be botrhere to consistently practice with by the second week and he pouted. He went to a crappy Memphis team with 1-3rd year #1 picks and complained that he didn’t know this was a rebuilding team. Why should the Knicks do him the charity of saving himself from his own stupidity and selfishness?

    And name me one just one player who AI made better. Just one. You who might be close Aaron McKie. Any others that had their careers improve from his relentless penetration, kick outs and all the other real and imaginary benefits.

  77. if im DW i have to resist pushing the ‘panic’ button. for whatever reason the offense isnt clicking. its going to be interesting whether or not DW makes a move on A.I..

    I personnally dont see how he stunts the growth of the younger guys…its the opposite, he can show these young guys what not to do with a hall-of-fame career!

    i say sign him up and let him shoot his heart out, with this offense there are plenty of shots to go around and I think he actually might make us competitive!

    “do it Donnie!”

  78. A lot of people seem to be completely ignoring, or completely unaware, that Iverson is only one season removed from a very good season. His most efficient scoring season (56.7% TS%), a season where he was well above average in the WP48 metric he is the posterboy of flunking, and a season where he led the Nuggets (a 50 win team) in Roland Rating by a wide margin.

    I agree with those who say Iverson has been vastly overrated on his career (I would point out to Owen that he is also a pretty low TO player, a skill he missed). However, he was a very good starting PG for the Nuggets just a season ago. The ideal starting PG? No, but a lot better than Chris Duhon has ever been and will ever be.

    I don’t see how he “sabotages” the development of the Knicks young players. I think that’s total BS. He takes shots away from Danilo, even though Melo and JR Smith both took more FGAs/36 than Iverson in 07-08? If he is the Knicks starting PG it’s more likely he takes Duhon’s minutes, but is a few mpg difference his rookie year really going to alter the course of Toney Douglas’ career? If anything, playing on a team that wins more games should help the young players develop, as should learning by observing a HOF player. Are all his habits and tendencies things to emulate? No, but he’s had the work ethic and determination to be a good NBA player for a long time. More so than anyone on the current roster. The Knicks aren’t anywhere near the playoffs, so bashing AI for not getting out of the playoffs in Denver is completely irrelevant.

    It doesn’t matter what picks the Knicks give the Jazz, but how many games they win may matter to LeBron, et. al. LeBron has stated that he HAS to be contending for a championship every season. Directly, if AI is a beast for the Knicks it’s a HOF side kick to offer to resign to maybe a one year deal before going after Chris Paul or someone in 2011… The Knicks version of Mo Williams, but with a lot more hype. Indirectly, the different between a 20 win team and a 30 win team is how LeBron or other FAs see the Knicks young talent: as promising almost-winners or as inexperienced losers.

    So, I think the only question worth asking is if AI can return to his 07-08 level of play. Does he still have it in him? If the answer is yes then this is a no-brainer, if it’s no then pass. (Where’s Caleb for the addition-by-subtraction/ subtraction-by-addition conversation.)

    Interesting take, Kevin. A definite “maybe.”

  79. irvin,

    “the guy is shot and has been shot for 4 years.”

    This is the kind of blanket statement that belongs in the comment section of espn.com, not here. While Dave Berri’s metrics trash Iverson (throughout his career), his PER has been fairly (if not extremely) high since he turned 30.

    2005-06 25.9
    2006-07 19.6
    2007-08 20.9
    2008-09 15.8

    Now no one here will posit that PER can determine a player’s actual value (as it is some illusive, Barthelme-type trope that we can never actually reach), but if you are going to say that he’s been washed up, at least back it up with some evidence aside from that you’ve seen it yourself. He had a PER of 25.9 four years ago, and that makes it more likely that you’re wrong than right.

  80. You know, this whole time I’ve been freaking out about the possibility of us giving away a number 1 pick to Utah, when it just occurred to me how &%$@ing set the Nets are. They’ll get a top 3 pick in the draft, have loads of young talent and enough cap space to sign at least 2 all-stars. Plus, once they draft John Wall, they’ll easily be able to trade Devin Harris for another quality player. Then they can fire whathisname and hire a high-caliber coach and they’ll be contenders for a decade. Damn.

  81. jagermeister,

    Interestingly, the Denver team that Iverson had such a good season playing for in 07-08 was also THE FASTEST PACED team in the NBA that season. So, you may have a point about letting Iverson run the show on a fast paced team.
    You are also right that attitude (good or bad) is often assigned to a player based on performance: if a guy is a dick and wins he’s a competitor, if he loses he’s a problem.


    PER significantly overvalues scoring volume and almost completely ignores defense. Therefore, it is not a metric that can tell you who is a very good basketball player. According to Hollinger himself (paraphrasing here) he designed the metric to lump all box score stats together to come up with a single value for a player that is in-line with the popular perception of that player. This is called the “Smell Test:” if the population at large thinks a player is an All-Star then he has to have a high PER or it smells funny.

    Hollinger does not try to reimagine player value, but rather to quantify it. Because he doesn’t rock the boat he’s making what I assume is a boatload of cash writing for ESPN as a mainstream journalist. ESPN would be a lot less likely to hire someone like Berri, whose system, rightly or wrongly, bucks conventional logic.

    Personally, I’d say PER does a good job of identifying the truly great players and pointing out some overrated and underrated players. However, the real value of stats should be parsing out the great middle. Identifying good role players, basically. Which is something PER does mostly for guys whose role is high volume scoring and/or rebounding.


    To further reinforce your point, AI was actually above average according to Berri in 07-08.

  82. What’s even worse is even with half their roster not playing for various reasons, they STILL come out and compete. I doubt the Knicks of the last 10 games would have gotten the game as close playing the Celtics as the Nets did.

    But guys, I’m shocked, shocked, that we’ve fallen so low we have Iverson advocates here. This isn’t the Iverson of even 3 years ago, and other than Marbury, I can’t recall an ‘NBA superstar’ falling so far so quickly both in terms of reputation and production. Even restricting yourself to just the pts column of his career box score, you see a player age 34 who’s barely half the player he was 3 years ago after a steady diet of over 40 mins/game while he’s been in the league. 7SoL wouldn’t have the impact on Iverson’s career it did for Nash, even if Iverson COULD run the system half as well as Nash did. So what do we gain, a low chance of a few more points a game? We already have guys who go hard at the offensive end. They don’t make shots, fumble passes, and go hard 1 person at a time(whoever’s hogging the ball at the moment), but yes, we already have guys who are pretty much focused on the offense. I’m not down to sacrifice the development of what talent we do have to satisfy this guy. Even leaving that aside, actually trading assets like Nate not for future chips but to make room for Iverson thanks to redundancy would be utter folly. I’m not gonna lie though, I’d laugh my ass off if Hughes got traded away from a team so Iverson could take over again. The basketball black hole with his own web site telling him to stop shooting meets the OG black hole…again. Like they did in Philly.

    And people need to stop handwaving away the impact he’d have on a team’s psyche. On a team this weakly invested in each other and deferential already, a strong personality like Iverson’s could easily upend any sense of ownership of the team for our young guns and signal that it’s “Woop Don’t Give A Fuck” time to the veterans. The media is salivating over the prospect of Iverson in NY. Can you imagine the shit headlines Berman/Vecsey will pop out whenever there’s a hint of discord or after every loss? They’re already ripping W’alshtoni as if he was the one 6 years ago who traded the pick away, who built up a roster of horrendous contracts, etc. You can criticize his draft, but even that hasn’t been so bad. I’m butthurt about Jennings too, but don’t tell me you weren’t as surprised by his 55 as you were Villanueva’s 48 when he was a rookie. I read recently that just like Obama, after a certain period of time the shitpile of your predecessor becomes your own pile you become assigned responsibility for. I say let him continue on in Year 2 of the 2 year plan. Walsh has done what he was brought in to do, and so has D’antoni(don’t judge him until after next year), and I’d hate to see us get panicked into a short-sighted move that will eventually only hurt us down the line.

  83. I enjoy the passion of the arguments here, though at this point, I wish this were one of those forums that had the emoticons — specifically, the dead horse one. That’s not aimed at anyone in particular, but more that the numerous angles seem to have been covered extensively, and the only thing we can all agree on is that Iverson is polarizing. I suspect fans of all the other teams he’s played for would agree.

    If Iverson really is capable of coming close to what Ted says is his last decent season, I’d be inclined give it a shot. But let me flip one of his previous arguments on its head: if Iverson comes in and fails spectacularly and/or gives the Isolas and Bermans of the world fodder for more shots at this regime with his complaining, it will start to reflect on the coach. It’s one thing to be saddled with leftovers while accumulating cap space, and struggling vainly to be competitive and professional. But if you become a way station for mercenaries who keep failing, that type of failure (even if it’s with talent way past its expiration date) is going to build a greater negative halo effect than simply losing a lot of games.

  84. I am surprised how many people only worry about the shots he is going to take from Gallo. Why he isn’t taking shots from Chandler, … or from Hughes, … or from Duhon?

    Actually, Gallo may have more shots if our PG actually makes his shots, because opposing teams have to defend Iverson (which is not true with the rest of our guards)

    About Toney Douglas minutes, i believe it is better actually to take some pressure off him. I am not sure that he is a natural born leader, and start a team destined to win 15 games this season can hurt him very badly.

    So, OK, Iverson may not be great, but signing him has little downside and can help our offensive woes at guard position.

    (Actually, the biggest problem is that he plays a similar role than nate robinson, but i don’t mind the redundancy)

  85. If the Knicks had their draft pick or a fortune teller assured me that we will be able to dump Curry’s or Jeffries’ contracts, then I’d agree with the anti-AI contingent. But think it about it, if Stern lowers the cap, and we can’t move one of those contracts, we may only be able to sign one big name FA. So is LeBron or Wade going to come to a team that wins 15-20 games and shows no heart or competitive fire? I know AI won’t be on the team next year, but it’s all about perception. We need to change the perception that this is a team of quitters that rolls over when pushed. For all his flaws, I think AI could accomplish that.

  86. “So, OK, Iverson may not be great, but signing him has little downside and can help our offensive woes at guard position.”

    Little Downside?! Guys, Iverson is not coming to NY saying “Aiight guys. I’m here. How can I help?” It’s going to be more like “Al and Hughes both know I got to get mine, right? As a starter? Good.”

    If you still say that’s fine and you’d rather have Iverson ballhog than the hogs we have now, god help us all.

  87. how about a very low risk very low reward brevin knight signing for the vet min. at the very least it would allow duhon some spells.

  88. I remain totally unconvinced that AI will help us, or that anyone like Lebron, Wade, Bosh, etc. would want to come here more because we won 30 games rather than 24. Lebron/Wade/Bosh will want to come here because it’s New York, it’s D’Antoni, it’s $$$, and because resurrecting the corpse of a franchise with the Knicks’ history is appealing — not because Allen Iverson was on the team in 2009-2010. We’d be signing AI to the vet’s minimum — if he actually does well, do you think we’d ever be able to get him to sign for the minimum again? This is 1/2 a season and done, one way or the other.

    And Ted — I absolutely think bringing him here will sabotage the development of the young players. Sure, Melo took more shots than Iverson per 36, but this is Carmelo Anthony we’re talking about here. Do you think Iverson will defer to Gallinari? And his work ethic is PRECISELY what we don’t want our young players seeing — the whole “practice” thing turned into a big joke, but “practice” is important, especially for young players. Buying into the system is important, especially for young players. Playing team basketball from an early age is important, especially for young players. AI is only 34 years old, which is roughly the same age as Steve Nash, Chauncey Billups are, and you don’t see their games falling off as much as AI’s has — the reason is that AI got by on pure athletic ability and heart all these years, and never became as cerebral about the game as those guys are — and now that his athleticism is waning, he’s just not that good. Jason Kidd nearly averaged a triple-double at age 34 for the Nets.

    Look – at the end of the day I am somewhat moved by the idea that maybe he’s got something in the tank and that he would be fun to watch. Fine. But I’d rather do it this way — it’s not like AI will have teams beating down his door. He’ll sit there until we come calling, if we come calling. Let’s play another 10 games or so with our AI-lite (Nate) playing, and see if we really need the Answer with all his headaches. I HIGHLY doubt anyone else will take a chance on him (only we are this desperate), so there is no hurry whatsoever. It’s not like waiting 10 games will be the difference between playoffs or not.

  89. And still, there are folks ignoring not only statistical evidence to suggest AI might still have enough left in the tank to help out a dismal situation, but also the fact (sorry, dead horse, here’s another wallop) that his two stops after his last good season in Denver have ended at least partially due to bad communication about his role from his coaches. You think Walshtoni would sign him thinking he’d be a bench player after the media frenzy over this? I think they’d clearly consider him only if his role would be clearly defined and deemed to be a good fit for the system he’d be playing in. I think you’d expect him to come in saying “I got to get mine”… is that really a bad thing, given the current competitive level of our team?

    I’m not a huge Iverson fan myself, but one thing I know he will bring is toughness and fire. Say what you will about him as a winner and skillful player, but you have to consider he’s proven to be one of the most fearless and driven guards when he’s on the court. That may not necessarily translate into wins, but I doubt anyone is expecting a winning season this year anyway. If it makes the Knicks more competitive, gives the sting of losing our draft pick tolerable by possibly winning a few more games, and helps establish a better perception of our team to impending free agents, all at the cost of a contract that runs less than 1 year, then I’m all for it. Small victories are all we can hope for today while we wait for the 2010 plan to come to fruition.

  90. Who said AI has been shot for 4 years? Owen? Look…AI’s jus not the philly AI anymore. We don’t need the Philly AI..furthermore there’s not a guard in the league that can stop him from gettin 20 a nite-which would help us. As I alluded to earlier, and which a few have agreed with, the fact that someone has to guard AI would be beneficial to the rest of the guys on the floor with him. Right now defenses only hafta stick with the shooters becuz they don’t hafta worry about any scoring happening in the paint. That fact alone is enuf to justify interest in AI. Sure AI’s not your “traditional” point guard. We don’t need him to be Stockton or Kidd..but what he brings is a dangerous scorer with more point guard skills than anyone else on the roster. This is the rare situation where u get to see AI make others better around him. He will attract defenses attention and make the game easier for whoever else is on the floor with him. Yea, I know he’s already done that…but not in a system like D’Antoni’s which relies so heavily on outside shooting. All he has to do is drive and kick to the shooters on the floor and that instantly opens things up. I just think right now, this is as perfect a match as your gonna find. AI doesn’t wanna shoot the ball every posession..he jus wants guys on the floor he can trust to make a shot when he passes it. I’m not comparin him to Jordan, but wasn’t Jordan the same way? I’m not convinced that if he didn’t have the system he was in that he would have won 6 titles. And no, i’m not sayin the triangle made Mike. I’m sayin the triangle was a perfect fit and the Bulls surrounded him with supporting players that fit. AI’s never been in a system(players and offense) where driving and kicking would be as beneficial to him as it will be in NY. He’s never been surrounded with shooters. Only defenders (Philly) and scores who needed the ball (Denver & Detroit). SO all i’m sayin is since this season’s a wash, give him a try. It makes sense

  91. D’Antoni’s SSOL system is overrated in my opinion. When you have Nash and Stoudemire on a pick and roll 30 times a game it would be embarrassing not to get 50 points out of it. The main factor here is that we are not pushing the ball. For some odd reason either our players forgot to push it, or D’Antoni decided to slow down the pace in order to not tax Duhon. Speaking of which, Chris fails to make the most of the lane hes given when working off of the pick and roll. And worse yet, teams are zoning the paint when so and Lee either is not open or fumbles a pass. Teams are also switching thus slowing us down.

    Due to our roster we are not putting 4 shooters on the floor at one moment – which is a big key to the SSOL system- and when we push it we rarely have 3 players on a fast break. Chandler and Duhon are bricking every shot, and when we don’t have Jeffries in the lineup its Harrington jacking it up.

  92. “It’s going to be more like “Al and Hughes both know I got to get mine, right? As a starter? Good.””

    And then, the knick crowd will shout “Hallelujah!”

    Is Iverson taking shots worse than harrington taking shots? At least you can expect some assists to come by.

  93. GAx,

    You are incorrect about Iverson’s supposed fall over the past three seasons. Two seasons ago was maybe his best season ever.

    I am pretty sure it’s already “Woop Don’t Give A Fuck” time for the vets. There is no chemistry to trash, so there is no chance Iverson could trash the team’s chemistry. If he starts acting up, cut him.

    How does a one year contract hurt down the line?

    On your second post, I don’t think Walsh is going to bring in Iverson unless he’s satisfied that he is coming in with something resembling the right mindset.


    Good points. On the bad press issue, I think you keep Iverson on a very short leash and the second he acts up just cut him. Theoretically, the failed experiment will give the back-page writers some material, but not that much. It will also show them that Walsh is willing to explore all avenues to win now and that he’s running a tight organization that cuts off the loose ends before they become problems.


    In the scenario I envision AI would not be brought in as a Nate Robinson type, he would be brought in as a starting PG. For all the selfishness talk (and certainly a lot of it is warranted), since moving back to PG AI is a guy who consistently puts assist rates that are as good as or better than Duhon without Duhon’s massive TO problem. Not only is he a better playmaker and scorer than Duhon, but he’s quicker than Duhon. He excelled in the fastest offense in the NBA just two seasons ago. If he plays like 07-08 he’s a HUMONGOUS upgrade at PG.
    I do think he’ll defer to Danilo or whoever to some extent, at least as much as the current Knicks. Every day we bitch that people are not passing to a wide open Danilo. It’s like you are forgetting about the status quo: no one passes to Danilo already. If D’Antoni watches some tape of that Denver team maybe he can come up with something where Danilo has a Melo type role and Douglas and/or Robinson is/are the JR Smith type.
    Why do you say AI’s game has fallen off? Because he struggled on a slow-it down Detroit team that was 29th in the NBA in pace? AI is definitely not a slow-it down PG. Just one season ago he was cruising as a fast paced PG. I don’t see sufficient evidence to say he’s fallen off. Through 3 games (a ridiculously small sample, I know) he had a 59% TS% for Memphis this season. He was shooting the lights out. You can’t just look at PPG and say he’s fallen off. Despite his (sometimes well deserved) rep, AI seems like a pretty smart player who has played for some good coaches (Thompson, Brown, Karl, …).

    “Look…AI’s jus not the philly AI anymore.”
    That’s a good thing.

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