Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The (Fourth) Winter of Our Discontent

On December 20th, 2003, a bad New York Knicks team defeated an even worse Atlanta Hawks team, 103-92. The starters for the Knicks in that game were Allan Houston, Antonio McDyess, Keith Van Horn, Dikembe Mutombo and Howard Eisley (do note that 3/5th of the starting five are no longer in the league, and a fourth is so old that he used to babysit Julio Franco). The reserves were Kurt Thomas, Charlie Ward, Frank Williams, Shandon Anderson and Michael Doleac (3/5th of THEM are ALSO out of the league now, with Doleac hanging on by a thread).

Two days later, on December 22nd, 2003 – four years ago today, the Knicks hired Isiah Thomas as their new President and General Manager. Their next game was December 23rd, and appropriately enough, they lost.

I still remember where I was when I heard about the move. I was doing some last second Christmas shopping at the Strand at Union Square, when my brother called me up to let me know that Layden had finally been fired. He asked me to guess who they replaced him with. I went through the typical names being floated around at the time. And he finally had to tell me – Isiah freakin’ Thomas. We both laughed at the awfulness of the move, but being a loyal Knicks fan, I tried convincing myself it really was not that bad, although I automatically presumed that Allan Houston, Keith Van Horn and Kurt Thomas would be traded immediately, as they did not strike me as the type of players Isiah would like.

A few weeks later, Isiah made his signature move – his trade for Stephon Marbury. On January 6th, 2004, Marbury made his Knick debut. Appropriately enough, they lost.

Looking back now, one thing that I find it hard to imagine was that I was not even that mad about the Knicks at the time, but looking at the roster now – what the hell was going on then? Do you remember when Knick fans (including myself) were getting themselves excited over the Antonio McDyess era?!?! “Nah, don’t worry – as soon as McDyess is finally healthy, THEN we can talk!” How deluded were we?

I think what helped was that back then, just as it is now, the Eastern Conference was pretty bad, so I was fairly confident that the Knicks could make the playoffs with just slight tweaking.

And tweak Isiah Thomas did, and hey, the Knicks DID make the playoffs that year (with a losing record, and proceeded to get STOMPED by the Nets, but who’s counting?).

I remembered thinking, “Stephon Marbury, Allan Houston, Tim Thomas, Kurt Thomas and Nazr Mohammed, with Jamal Crawford off the bench? In the crappy East – that might not be THAT bad.”

Oh, but it was.

But there I was, in Game 23 (when Houston returned to the lineup after missing the first 22 games), watching Allan Houston tie the game on a three-pointer in the closing seconds in his FIRST game back, and thinking, “Man, things won’t be so bad anymore!”

But they were.

More injury woes in that season made it basically JUST tantalizing enough for me to think, “Okay, maybe they can recover.”

Then the crazy summer of 2005 happened. Isiah decided, “We’re going to run like the Suns, let me trade Kurt Thomas for Quentin Richardson! Wait a sec…Larry Brown is available? We have to get him! Wait a sec…Eddy Curry is available? We have to get him, too!”

And thusly, we had the 2005-06 season, which had basically one good thing – the Knicks debut of David Lee.

Still, after that season, I think most of us STILL thought, “Okay, they can’t be THAT bad again, Larry Brown is a lunatic (he was). Frye will be good again, Lee will play better, Curry can’t suck this much again – there is some hope here.”

And, for a short period of time, there WAS hope.

Then Lee went down.

Which brings us to this year, where Isiah is still tweaking, adding Zach Randolph to the team, and the team being just as bad as ever (even a little worse than usual).

So here we are, four years later – basically in the same boat the team was on December 21st, 2003 – not a good team, and no real prospects of BECOMING a good team. To Isiah’s credit, I suppose, this Knicks team is at least YOUNG with no prospects, as compared to the ancient monstrosity that was the team Thomas inherited. And the Knicks DO have David Lee – that’s something, right?

Happy Anniversary, Isiah!!

124 comments on “The (Fourth) Winter of Our Discontent

  1. Gabe

    I guess you’re right, the Knicks are a little better off. But not by much. Isiah has done well what he always has done well – draft. And he’s butchered what he always butchers – everything else.

  2. Owen

    My moment of Zen for the morning…

    ?I like the direction that we?re headed,? Thomas said Friday morning. ?I?ve said this before: Our future is definitely much brighter than it was when I got here four years ago.?

  3. gmal

    In the 03/04 knicks went to the playoffs and mostly with Layden’s personel per a dailynews article this morning.
    If he would of just let the contracts expire in 04 and 05 and held on to draft picks this team is in a much better situation today. Ironically thats what we need to do now, draft and develop players while shedding payroll to be able to taken on a big FA in 09/10. IMO this is not second guessing cause it’s done all the time.

  4. dave crockett

    I was at my parents’ home in St. Louis when the news came across the ESPN ticker. I remember being hopeful. At the time the Knicks had to be one of the least talented teams in the sorry East. I thought Isiah would definitely improve the talent. When he made a mockery of the “Fire Chaney” chants on David Letterman I thought, “Whenever it ends here for Isiah, it won’t be pretty.” Then, the Marbury trade. Sigh. I remember having high hopes that Frank Williams would develop into Eric Snow. Having never been a Marbury fan, even back to his brief stint at Ga. Tech, I was trying to convince myself that maybe he’d be a good fit.

    My friend countered with the standard mantra about how Marbury’s selfishness. I said, “Well, maybe coming back to NYC, where he’s been angling to get his whole career, will change him.”

    He goes, “Dave. Selfish is not like AIDS. You don’t catch selfish. You ARE selfish.” At the risk of oversimplifying, selfishness from the top on down exemplifies the Thomas era.

    Sometimes people are selfish because they’re just plain mean-spirited, but often people are selfish because they haven’t mastered the skill of sharing. They just don’t have a feel, in basketball terms, for where to move the ball and when, when to help on defense and how. Have you ever seen teams as poor at passing and help defense as the Knicks in the 4 years under Thomas?

    The Knicks have so many players who are effectively selfish; not necessarily because they’re bad guys in all cases, but because they don’t know how to play.

  5. miik

    I remember the day of the Marbury trade and thinking “I can’t believe we included the rights to Vujanic AND Lampe!” Too funny. Honestly, when Marbury was first on the Knicks, I couldn’t believe how athletic and talented he was compared to the rest of the roster – it was unbelievable. The early signs were promising, too – Marbury even had great chemistry with Van Horn and Doleac. They ran the pick and roll great. Obviously Isiah had to make a splash – hence the Marbury trade – but if he simply stopped his dealing at Marbury, and let the rest of the contracts expire or run their course, I think we may have been okay. But, here we are.

    Isiah’s biggest downfalls have been 1.) his ego – thinking his power of personality could get through to all these talented headcases that no one had success with before – and 2.) his completely manic, inconsistent, bipolar team-building/management philosophy.

    Up till the beginning of this season I was stupid enough to give Isiah the benefit of the doubt. Now, just like 4 years ago when I remember the “Fire Layden!” chants, I want nothing more for Christmas than to hear Isiah is out.

  6. Mark

    The evidence that Isiah doesn’t draft well….

    “Let’s shatter this myth once and for all. What is the evidence that Isiah has a “great eye” for scouting young talent. Have you looked around the league and seen the great young talent on other teams? How does it compare with Nate Robinson (useless), Balkman (one dimensional), David Lee (pretty good, not great), Wilson Chandler (hardly evidence of Isiah’s “great eye”), Mardy Collins (useless), etc. Again, the only reason why this “great eye for young talent” myth has been propagated is that the New York media never heard of most of these guys Isiah drafted, and were pleasantly surprised to discover that they they don’t trip over their own shoelaces when they play. They’re not all that good! You ever want to see Balkman or Collins taking a jump shot? Do you ever want to see Nate dribbling the ball? Whatever happened to the great Trevor Ariza? Sheesh…even in THIS department Isiah is completely overrated. In fact, regarding Isiah and his complete incompetence, to just call him overrated in some areas is a high compliment for him.

    Posted by: Joe on December 9, 2007 03:45 PM”

  7. gmal

    The second part to drafting well is developing the talent, provided there is something there to work with. a lot of effort, time and game planning has been put into Curry at the expense of the other youngsters. If you have the reputation of having a good eye for drafting then why would you give up two potential lottery picks for curry.
    Spotting energy type players in the college imo is relatively easy, finding the guy that has the basketball iq, leadership qualities and potential to take his college game to another level is the true indicator. One thing about all his drafts I can’t say anyone of them has had true leadership qualities. Same for the trades he’s made.

  8. Sly Williams

    My moment of Zen for the morning?

    ?I like the direction that we?re headed,? Thomas said Friday morning. ?I?ve said this before: Our future is definitely much brighter than it was when I got here four years ago.?

    LOL. Maybe he meant that today’s future doesn’t include 4 more years of Isiah.

    Lenny Wilkins as Knicks coach gave us promise, going 40-41, not including the playoffs (yes we were in th playoffs). Isiah got rid of him.
    Instead of firing Isiah, I recommend we hire a panel to manage his activities, with the power to fire him. That panel would consist of Wilkins, Larry Brown, and Browne Sanders. I smell a reality show.

  9. Sly Williams

    I want to alert other Knicks fans to some online info at Sports Law regarding the restriction of ‘Fire Isiah’ signs in MSG. The site also includes a link to an interview on NPR regarding the actions of MSG in restricting speech.
    http://sports-law.blogspot.com/
    Personally, I believe large corporations, like MSG, are functionally Government and unless the public is protected from their infringing on constitutional rights – American people cannot be free. Legally, however, they can currently restrict speech.

  10. Sly Williams

    I want to alert other Knicks fans to some online info at Sports Law regarding the restriction of ‘Fire Isiah’ signs in MSG. The site also includes a link to an interview on NPR regarding the actions of MSG in restricting speech.
    http://sports-law.blogspot.com
    Personally, I believe large corporations, like MSG, are functionally Government and unless the public is protected from their infringing on constitutional rights – American people cannot be free. Legally, however, they can currently restrict speech.

  11. Sly Williams

    I want to alert other Knicks fans to some online info at Sports Law regarding the restriction of ‘Fire Isiah’ signs in MSG. The site also includes a link to an interview on NPR regarding the actions of MSG in restricting speech.
    sports-law.blogspot.com (I am having trouble posting with the link enacted)
    Personally, I believe large corporations, like MSG, are functionally Government and unless the public is protected from their infringing on constitutional rights – American people cannot be free. Legally, however, they can currently restrict speech.

  12. JK47

    If you have the reputation of having a good eye for drafting then why would you give up two potential lottery picks for curry.

    Of course he didn’t think they would end up being lottery picks, but your point is valid nonetheless.

  13. big_fella

    i remember when isiah got here. he said, “everyone is saying i should just blow it up.” and he was right, we were. if only he had listened. thanks for four years of spinning our wheels, isiah! here’s hoping that that slime, james dolan, hires someone willing to finally do the sensible thing.

    i say hollinger for gm and jvg as coach!

  14. jon abbey

    “i say hollinger for gm and jvg as coach!”

    no and no.

    what would be ideal is if Eliot Spitzer forced Dolan to sell the team. if anything could help his putrid approval ratings, it’s that.

  15. Mr. Black

    I see Cotton had 9 offensive boards. I think six of them were from his own misses. He missed 8 shots and they were close shots too!! It’s not at all like JC or N8 going 5-13 from the floor, they shoot from distance.

    And yes, I am going to keep calling him Cotton until it sticks.

  16. oboogie

    [rant]

    the knicks are in such disrepair that the only chance of us getting back on track is having a firesale for draft picks and expiring contracts and rebuilding through the draft (see chicago bulls and portland trailblazers). it has become pretty clear that none of the players on our roster play with any passion (barring lee, robinson, balkman, and maybe wilson chandler). i would rather have a roster of hustlers and passionate players rather than discontent overpaid “stars”. a good place to start would be the acquisition of derrick rose out of memphis.

    we also need a new head coach who instills team defense and a good motion/princeton style offense. nothing is more beautiful than an offensive sequence where the ball doesnt touch the floor, everyone touches the ball at least once, and someone gets an easy layup on a backdoor cut or wide open jumper off a screen or flash (see the wizards this season without gilbert in the lineup).

    many solid gms are available that would communicate a smart rebuilding plan and stick to it regardless of the ny media pressure. jerry colangelo would be perfect for ny.

    i have been a LOYAL knicks fan for the past 12 years and have stuck with them through thick and thin. this year my patience has worn very thin with the team. my girlfriend bought me nba league pass for my bday so i can watch all the knicks games (i live in DC) and i have been boycotting watching them cuz it is THAT bad, damn shame.

    as ny has been a city that demands instant results, the best moves that can happen right now is addition by subtraction. marbury, thomas and dolan HAVE TO GO. marburys horrible attitude and lackadasical (sp?) effort are poisoning our young players. marbury will single handedly shoot us out of a game. thomas is a joke and isnt even worth going into. dolan is the worst. his nepotism and ignorance has allowed isiah and his universal control to drive the knicks into the deepest hole of the franchise’s history.

    i pray for the day when the knicks will turn around and our days of glory will return. it is clear it wont be anytime soon. as long as the knicks win one championship in my lifetime i will die a happy man.

    [end rant]

  17. caleb

    “I see Cotton had 9 offensive boards. I think six of them were from his own misses. He missed 8 shots and they were close shots too!! It?s not at all like JC or N8 going 5-13 from the floor, they shoot from distance.”

    What’s your point?

  18. Sergio

    I seriously think Isiah Thomas is suffering from some type of mental sickness. He just doesn’t make any sense. It’s funny because the Knicks of 2003 with Howard Eisley, Antonio McDyess, Keith Van Horn, Dikembe Mutombo, Shandon Anderson and Clarence Weatherspoon would sweep the current Isiah Knicks. That old Knicks team lost because they simple were not good enough. This current Knicks team losses also because they are not good enough but they also lack heart. Say what you want about Eisley, Spoon and Shandon Anderson, but we never complained about them quitting. Eddy Curry and Stephon Marbury might be more talented and sexier names on paper but they did not improve the Knicks. Facts are facts Isiahsexuals. Thomas took over a 12-20 team that was coming off a 37 win season. Today, the Knicks are 8-18 and won’t even match last year’s win total of 33.

    The Knicks today are not better. Facts are facts. The future is not brighter. Back in 2003, this franchise had expiring contracts and future draft picks. What do the Knicks of today have? Nothing. Unless you’re still an idiot like Isiah and believe in Curry as a future.

  19. jon abbey

    “It?s funny because the Knicks of 2003 with Howard Eisley, Antonio McDyess, Keith Van Horn, Dikembe Mutombo, Shandon Anderson and Clarence Weatherspoon would sweep the current Isiah Knicks.”

    not then and certainly not now.

    “Back in 2003, this franchise had expiring contracts ”

    what expiring contracts exactly?

  20. Z

    “To Isiah?s credit, I suppose, this Knicks team is at least YOUNG with no prospects, as compared to the ancient monstrosity that was the team Thomas inherited.”

    Young isn’t always better–

    old = closer to death

    The 2003 Knicks are almost all a distant memory in this league. The 2007 Knicks are going to be with us for a lllooonnnngggggggggg time.

    “Knicks 03-04 payroll: 89.44-million.
    Knicks 07-08 payroll: 95.30-million.”

    Tack on an additional $11 mil for lewd behavior.

    “It?s funny because the Knicks of 2003 with Howard Eisley, Antonio McDyess, Keith Van Horn, Dikembe Mutombo, Shandon Anderson and Clarence Weatherspoon would sweep the current Isiah Knicks.”

    I don’t think they’d sweep, but after a snooze-fest, I think the 2003 Knicks would take it in 6.

    ?’Back in 2003, this franchise had expiring contracts’

    what expiring contracts exactly?”

    I think McDyess was expiring, which made the Marbury deal possible. Charlie Ward was expiring too, I’m pretty sure.

    Plus Houston’s contract was the albatros that weighted down the Layden Knicks. When that finally expired it should have brought the relief that I think Sergio is referring to. As it was, it was barely felt at all.

  21. Mr. Black

    I cry identity theft!! Some moron uses my name to post “And Yes, I am a racist.” I have seen some low things in my time but for some coward to post something under my name, wow. Well its only fair that he use my name, after all I have been using his wife and mother for such a long time. Turn about is fair play.

    Question: I call Divid Lee “Cotton” becuase a Tee shirt on Zazzle.com features a likeness of DL wering an army helmet, much like Cotton did in God Bless the Beasts and Children. Is it racist to call David Lee “Cotton” when he does look like the character “Cotton” from God Bless the Beasts and Children? To the moron using my name: Rent the movie since I doubt you have the mental fortitude to read a book that doesnt have pictures. Idiot.

  22. Mr. White

    Mr. Black,
    A little advice, The first thing you do when you are in a hole is to stop digging deeper. The problems with the Knicks is not an issue of race or David Lee.

  23. gmal

    The expiring contracts where Mcdyess and Ward in the Marbury trade. Phoenix also got two #’1’s in that deal and dumped penny’s huge contract also.
    Dolan has an eye for picking GM’s.

  24. Mr. Black

    I don’t CARE about David Lee’s race, whatever it may be. Every Knicks is orange and blue as far as I am concerned.

    I use “Mr. Black” as my name because my last name IS BLACK. When did you people become so silly?

  25. Mr. Black

    Caleb,

    My point is that David Lee is not the savior that many think he is. I like the guy, I hope they dont trade him, but he has his limits. My comment was in response to the folks that praised Cotton for his work on the ofensive glass. I just want to point out that Cotton got nine offensive boards thanks to him grabbing his own point blank misses.

    Mr. White,

    You are silly if you think I am “digging a hole.” What hole? He does look like Cotton, from bless the beasts and children see for yourselves.

    http://www.zazzle.com/david_lee_shirt-23588414141011945

    now go rent the movie and tell me I’m wrong.

    My Moron list just got longer…

    43. The other Mr. Black
    44. Mr. White

    Maybe I shouldnt put Mr. White on the list, that might make me racist. On the other hand, most of the folk calling for Isiah to be fired must be racist too. Idiots.

  26. nate the skate

    Wow,
    I’ve supported isaih through thick n thin until now. I always thought marbury could be our savior, that curry was the man, n zbo was the missing piece. Now i give up. F— them all… the only players i want remaining on this team in 3 years r lee, balkman, n chandler n hopefully both the gm n owner r gone… i cant take this much longer…when the nets go brooklyn, i may become a convert, god i hate this, please let the knicks live again!

  27. Maximus Pubisar

    i want my knicks back…is marbury really better than jared jordan? y isnt crawford the coach? he’d prolly shoot less if he were n i bet the team would try more than once every 25 games…please just let everyones contract expire. I miss the ewing knicks, the oakley knicks, y cant we have heart anymore? Why?

  28. not nate robinson

    This is my third consecutive post, n i usually dont post unless im supporting marbury’s claim that when its raining he’ll tell us its raining or really upset over the state of the knicks. Right now im really worried. Chuck Dolan MUST take the reigns from his son n give them to someome competent. Even carrot top would be better than isiah n jimmy d. my kids r gonna be born in the upcoming 5 years n i dont want to bring them into a world where the knicks r terrible. Or worse, a world where they root for my home towns bayern munchen. I hate soccer n would hate to see them becoming soccer fans, or just as bad; nets fabs, because their bball team is no good…please mr. stern…please mr. dolan……let ny have our knicks back

  29. Joe V

    FIRE ISIAH! DUMP DOLAN PROTEST & WALKOUT
    CLOTHING DRIVE TO BENEFIT NYC?S HOMELESS SHELTERS

    SUNDAY DECEMBER 30, 2007 AT 11:00 am
    IN FRONT OF MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

    PROTEST = Stand with us outside the Garden, Be Heard.
    WALKOUT = We are encouraging all fans that attend the game against the Bulls to make a statement by leaving the Garden at the end of the 3rd quarter and join us in our protest.
    BENEFIT = Donate a clothing item to NYC?s homeless shelters for those less fortunate.

    Due to disgrutled fan demand the protest has taken a little twist. We have decided to add James Dolan, Owner of The New York Knicks to the cause. Although Isiah is directly responsible for the debacle taken place with OUR team for the past 4 years, James Dolan is just as responsible overall. Furthermore, it?s James Dolans arrogance and and ignor-ance to do NOTHING to help this team and the changes that NEED to be made. It seems that everyone knows there is a problem besides him. The state of this team has reached a new low.

    Why should we have to suffer for the doings of amateur, inexperienced, immature and uneducated ownership and management. All the while being blatantly conceited and arrogant about it!

    The time has come to stand and unite. Power in numbers!

    This also happens to be the day the Knicks have a home game against the Bulls which will most likely end up being another pitiful Knick lost. An ironic punctuation to an already pathetic season.

    Although this protest has been initiated virally via blogs, podcasts, webcasts, various media outlets and personalities have already expressed interest and support for this protest. Their identity will come on the days prior to and the day of the protest.

    So when you?re sitting there on a dark, cold winter night, this year, next year or whenever and OUR Knicks are losing another game (hopefully not by more than 20 points again), remember that someone organized a forum for you to voice your opinion. Be able to say to yourself, ?I did all that I could? and be at peace with yourself instead of never doing anything. Accept mediocracy and that is what you?ll get. I never claimed that this would solve all of the Knicks problems but to do or say nothing is the real crime.

    Don?t let the nay Sayers be right when they say, ?Knick Fans aren?t passionate enough about OUR team and will never come together and voice their opinions. They don?t care that much about their team? I say ?They are ALL wrong!

    Driving by or waiting to see coverage via newspaper, web or television will not do. In order to make our point, attendance by all disgusted Knick fans is needed. Please support the efforts and message of this protest.

    We?re not pompous or foolish to believe this protest will be the fix to end all problems with our NY Knicks. As die-hard fans that have suffered tremendous anguish watching this ownership and management dismantle and ruin this proud franchise and everything it stands for, our Knicks. The laughing stock of the NBA. WE MUST BE HEARD!

    Please show your support Sunday, December 30, 2007 in front of MSG ?The Worlds Most Famous Arena? with the ?Most Pathetic Basketball Organization!?

    I can be reached via email at joeyvworks@yahoo.com. Also respond if you are interested in receiving the daily protest email update.

  30. villainx

    ?It?s funny because the Knicks of 2003 with Howard Eisley, Antonio McDyess, Keith Van Horn, Dikembe Mutombo, Shandon Anderson and Clarence Weatherspoon would sweep the current Isiah Knicks.?

    I wouldn’t know who would take the series, but yeah, that it might be a question at all is largely due to heart and coaching.

    And someone mentioned this, Malick Rose? When Jeffries, Balkman, and Chandler play 6, 3, and 1 minute respectively? Rose plays 24 minutes?

  31. nate the skate

    i have 3rd row tickets for mlk day. I think that would be the best walkout/protest date. Its during the day and on a day when all of us can be at a better place, like a mlk memorial. most importantly, its on a day when the knicks always play at home n will be discected by the media, n hopefully forced to make drastic changes when about 15 people remain in msg after the first quarter. This has to happen

  32. jon abbey

    I agree, MLK afternoon would be the best day for a walkout.

    but why are people still supporting this evil regime by buying tickets anyway? only free corporate tickets are acceptable at this point, and even then, you need to boo whenever possible.

  33. paolodelac

    I’m boycotting all Knicks games. Maybe once there is disinterest in the Knicks and MSG is empty, Dolan will be forced to make changes.

  34. caleb

    “My comment was in response to the folks that praised Cotton for his work on the ofensive glass. I just want to point out that Cotton got nine offensive boards thanks to him grabbing his own point blank misses.”

    I know this is a small point but I respond because it speaks to some larger issues we talk about a lot here…

    That a lot of these were rebounds of his own shots just points out how important rebounding is. If it weren’t valuable, everyone would do it. If he really rebounded 6 of his own misses (I didn’t count), then it’s the equivalent of his shooting 5 for 7 with 3 offensive boards (in just 24 minutes). We’d all agree that’s a good time.

    As for the point about his 5-13 being somehow worse than a 5-13 from Nate or JC, because they take longer shots… that just underscores how important shot selection is. Unless you’re outside the 3 point line, you don’t get bonus points for difficulty.

    While we can agree it wasn’t his best game, his TS% (which accounts for 3 pointers as well as getting to the line) is easily the best on the team.. i.e. he is the most efficient scorer on the team.

    “My point is that David Lee is not the savior that many think he is. I like the guy, I hope they dont trade him, but he has his limits.

    No one’s untouchable on a team that’s gonna win 20 games.. Heck, no one in the entire league is untouchable.. but DL is clearly the best player on the Knicks and at least a top-50 player in the league. Factor in that he’s on a rookie contract, and I’d venture that there aren’t 25 players in the league more valuable as trade pieces… that’s a lot of value.

  35. danvt

    I am humbled by the level of discourse at this site. You guys know so much more about this team than the mainstream media and more about basketball than our GM, seemingly. Thanks, I’ll add my 2 cents

    November 29th 2003 I saw the Knicks play the Hornets. Allan Houston had what might have been his last great game in a NYK uniform. Mutombo had almost 20 rebounds and Keith Van Horn had a great game. Man, I miss the good old days!

    Like someone said, add Marbury to that group? OK, cool, you gotta give to get and it was exciting to have him, but stop and think for a minute after that.

    I thought the whole thing started to go south when we traded Van Horn for Nazr and Thomas. Not that Van Horn was all that, though I like him, and even more so in retrospect. That trade showed that Thomas had an awfully quick trigger and that he may not be one to think it all through before he does it. It, also, started a huge string of disruptions to whatever continuity was being developed in the locker room and on the court. We immediately got worse after that trade. It is amazing that four years later we still don’t have a set rotation of players!

    Of course the Curry trade was armegedeon (sp). It’s become completely obvious that, even if Eddy turns into a contributor on a playoff team in a few years, he will never be a franchise type center, and was not worth the draft picks and $.

  36. Charles Oakley

    I would hope people would support the day that protest is going to happen and no what when it is not. If Isiah is still around by MLK day, then you can think about organizing another one. First, let’s take care of this one in December and keep the ball rolling. And as JA said, stop buying tickets, going to games, buying food, drinks, etc.

  37. gmal

    Danvt – good post, the 03/04 team had close to the ideal players that could work around marbury’s strengths and deficiencies,
    On defense motumbu was the shot blocker that would cover marburys mistakes and on offense he was there to clean up missed shots. van horn, doleac and thomas kept the defense honest with there consistant mid range shots and it was hard to double team marbury. Once we got Curry that changed everything, it became a slow down offense based around a center that would just turn and jump hook every time he got the ball and the plan was and still is to slow down the offense and force the ball into the middle. And on defense, Curry was not the help defender or intimidator to cover not only marbury’s lack of D but now crawford and nate also. The curry piece just doesn’t fit unless your intention was to build him up in order to package him in a trade for a better player.

  38. Ess-dog

    wow- just when you think it won’t get any more embarrassing…
    Bynum looks like Shaq back in ’98.
    Curry looks like Corky from ‘Life Goes On’.

  39. danvt

    Here’s a question:

    Who’s the next GM? I watched the Nets last night and Mark Jackson had some really interesting things to say about Chris Mullin. He called him the greatest player in St. Johns history. Also, Jackson talked about how Mullin taught him to get things accomplished in the gym. He seems impressive. Golden State is pretty good, or, at least they do well with what they have, which is not Duncan, Dirk, Kobe, or other player on that level. What do you guys think?

  40. Mr. Black

    I dont think Cotton is the best player on the team. I still think Marbury is better. Randolph is more talented than Cotton.

    Look, I love Cotton, as Knick fans know, he is the fabric of our lives. His offensive boards are great but i would much rather he make more of his own shots. I would much rather have Cotton than Curry.

  41. Ess-dog

    god our guard play is repulsive. 5 total assists after 3 quarters? Curry, Q, Marbur, and Nate have to go asap. but who would take them?

  42. KenB

    Curry should be ashamed to carry the title of Center.
    Does he have a winning record on tip-offs this year? any year in the nba?
    Has he dominated in the paint?
    Does he own the boards?
    Does he foul the guy going for the easy layup.

    We should have known that his second half of season play last year was just a fluke. This poor fellow has no heart. I’m not even sure he wants to aspire to anything greater than an overpaid busted pro athlete.

    Is he hurt? Does he need a vacation?

    Eddie, search inside and let us know if you will be able to motivate yourself to any form of quality nba hussle.
    Bro, this is your only job. Its not even a full 48mins on the floor. Guys like Anthony Mason, Charles Oakley, and of course Ewing would put you on your butt.

    You’re not playing like a real Knick. The Knicks from the inception have always been Heart and Hussle.

    We want to see you succeed. We want to see you reach and sustain your potential during your prime.

  43. Mr. Black

    Perhaps it is racist of me to point this out..

    Clyde just said that “Jefferson” would use his length against Kobe. Who is Jefferson? Is there a Jefferson on the Knicks.

    I hesitate to correct Clyde since he is Black.

  44. Ess-dog

    Gee, here’s an idea Zeke. Why don’t you sit Curry, Randolph and Q the WHOLE game next time? You might even win…

  45. Z

    Did the Knicks really only have 7 assists for the entire game? I guess that’s what happens when Jamal creates his own shot 25 times.

    “You cant go to Malik Rose in the clutch”

    But you gotta go to somebody. It’s either bring Curry and Randolph back in for the final minute and a half after the reserves erase a 25 point deficit or go with the guys that got you there. Crawfords other options were Jeffries, a 5’8″ guy, and a well covered David Lee. Malik Rose is the guy the Lakers wanted to let beat them. It was a good strategy. They knew he would hit a wide open 10 footer. He can’t.

  46. matty

    my new york knicks starting line up for the remaining games
    nate, crawford d-lee zach randolph and malik rose
    what do you think?

  47. matty

    the only game the knicks won lately is when quentin actually gave it his all on both ends once a year just isnt enough let him play 8 minutes a game you will probably get the same numbers

  48. Z

    “the only game the knicks won lately is when quentin actually gave it his all on both ends”

    I don’t think Q’s problem is lack of effort. He’s hampered by a combination of injuries and a lack of talent. He doesn’t phone it in, like many of the Knicks.

    He just isn’t a very good player.

  49. Brian Cronin

    One would hope that eventually, after the same results occur over and over again that Isiah would realize, “Okay, play Richardson and Curry less from now on,” but that appears unlikely, doesn’t it?

    I like that Lee played over 30 minutes, but he really should be playing even more. Q should not be getting more playing time than Lee, the Knicks’ best player.

  50. Z

    “Q should not be getting more playing time than Lee, the Knicks? best player.”

    Renaldo didn’t even step on the court today.

  51. Frank

    a few positives from this game —

    I thought Jefferies really did a great job. He was exactly as advertised last year in the 2nd half today.

    Jamal – when he is hitting he is near unstoppable. too bad that only happens 1 out of 4 games.

    The crowd — I’ve been to a bunch of games this year and last — this was by far the loudest I’ve heard the crowd.

    Other comments:

    Curry has to be a 10-15 min/game guy until he finds his heart.

    Randolph should have been on the floor more in the 2nd half. I like Malik Rose as much the next guy, but athletically he just can’t match up. He’s not as good a rebounder as Randolph, certainly can’t score at all, and is not so much a better defender that he should’ve have been out there the whole 2nd half.

    Nate is just electric — no one on our team puts as much pressure on the other team as he does. You can just feel the anxiety of the defense every time he comes down the floor. He missed a bunch of chippies today right at the rim — he won’t keep doing that.

    Where is Balkman?

  52. matty

    NATE ROBINSON, DAVID LEE, JAMAL CRAWFORD, ZACH RANDOLPH, MALIK ROSE

    These Should Be The Starters for the NY KNICKS
    and now you have eddy curry, quentin richardson and jeffries off the bench
    forget ,mardy collins and instead of trading lee
    trade balkman

  53. jon abbey

    I’ve never seen an NBA team worse at passing or defending the basket, let alone both. Isiah is truly putting together something historic here.

  54. KenB

    There is so much talk that D-Lee needs to come off the bench to provide energy and thats why he doesn’t get the start.

    If there is a way to get Lee starting then we can have Balkman off the bench for sustained energy.

    There is no reason we should let teams gain momentum while we wait for the “energy” of D-Lee to come in and try and regain control of the pace.

    These contracts for Curry, MArbury and so forth provide crap excuses for who should start. Garbage, I say! if you don’t produce then, you’re simply over paid and management made a mistake ever signing the contract in the first place.
    In the real world you earn your pay raises. None of these contracts were earned. They are signed in the hopes of production. Unfortunately for us fans we, deal with this crappy product that fails and doesn’t function as promised. Where is my emotional refund.

    Hey Dolan! Above any Knick team member or staff member in the organization you and your father owe the fans an apology for this debacle!

  55. Brian Cronin

    It IS pretty funny that they just hold Lee on the bench until they’re behind by a bunch – and then he helps them cut the lead.

    It’s so comically absurd.

    I figure Balkman has got to be hurt.

    And yeah, Jeffries is actually playing like the player Isiah told us he’d be.

    And I totally agree re: Rose – I know Isiah is trying to send a message re: Rose (“At least I know Rose is going to TRY” – of course, he can’t take that same attitude with Chandler or Morris, who likely would both A. Try and B. Have more promise to them than Malik freakin’ Rose), but it just doesn’t work.

  56. Z

    “Jeffries is actually playing like the player Isiah told us he?d be.”

    Jeffries was good. He played 25 minutes and didn’t embarrass himself out there once!

    I remember watching a game back in 1996 (the Don Neslon era) and the struggling Knicks won a game after big contributions from Charles Smith and Doug Christie. A reporter asked Nellie if he was impressed with the way Smith stepped up and Nellie responded with: “Smith was finally doing what he’s supposed to do. Christie (an 11th man at the time) was the one who stepped up.”

    I liked that Nelson didn’t give the under-achiever Smith a pass for having one good game, and instead focused on Christie elevating his game.

    Giving Koudos to Jeffries for being the guy he’s supposed to be is fine, but he didn’t do anything above what he’s paid $30 mil to do and he has a lot of making up to do…

  57. gmal

    from truehoops.com. Isiah feb/2004 quote.

    “I wanted to put together a team that was exciting for the fans to come and watch, a team that had some character and some guts, but also a team that you can grab a box of popcorn and grab a soda and enjoy the game.”

    Isiah’s world.

  58. Ess-dog

    Yeah, Jeffries needs to be more consistent before I applaud that performance (isn’t Balkman just a younger more athletic slightly shorter version of Jeffries?)
    I agree, Balkman must be hurt. Why not play him?
    I also agree that we should start Nate at least until marbury gets back. He has total lack of judgement, only looks for his own shot and has a hard time on defense b/c he’s so short but at least he gives effort. At this point, that’s all I’m looking for out of this team.
    I know this would be a selfish, undisciplined team, but right now, I would start Nate, Crawford, Balkman/Jeffries, D. Lee, and Randolph. At least that would give us energy and some skills.
    I have to say, even though I hate the guy, Zeke didn’t draft too badly w/ Lee, Balkman and Nate considering the positions he was drafting from.
    Just think if we’d had those 2 Curry draft picks! Or those picks from the Starbury trade…
    Learn your lesson kids: don’t give up draft picks for has-beens or never-will-be’s or free agents w/ smooth talking agents.

  59. danvt

    Didn’t see the game. Looking at the box score there are some unbelievable #s. Zach and Curry 21 minutes. Zach 8 shots (4-8), Eddy (1-5). Zach 10 rebounds, Curry 1 freakin’ rebound. Neither in foul trouble, Curry earns the pine, but Zach? Is Isiah finally benching him for not guarding Troy Murphy.

    And Jamal with the 11 for 25.

    If Zach plays more we win, it seems, but I did not see the game, What happenned?

  60. Owen

    Gmal – Interesting comment way up there
    Marbury though had his best season of his career in 04-05, with a 57.8 ts% and great numbers across the board. But your point is correct, if you wanted Marbury as your guy, you were much better off with a bunch of big men who could rebound and defend, like Thomas and Nazr, than muffins and z-bo.

    As laid out by KB in that post last week, chemistry really is a huge issue with this team. It’s sort of the same thing I get from my daily reading of the Wages of Wins. You can’t put five scorers on the court together, the whole is going to end up being much less than the sum of the parts.

    Good to see that Good things had a good game. That’s a pretty solid line, 6-9 on scoring ops, 13 rebounds.

    Crawford never ceases to amaze. Didn’t see the game, but I have this vision of Craw trying to match Kobe shot for shot. There is just a world of difference between their 31 and 39 point performances. Craw had a winscore of 1.5. Kobe had a winscore of 21.5.

    Jeffries was a +17 in the game. That’s pretty remarkable considering he had 3 points, on 1-3 and 1-2, with five rebounds.

    And Rose, +18! Wish I had seen this one…

  61. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    Crawford had his usual bipolar game.

    First half: 0-7, 2pts

    Second half: 11-18 31pts

    He was actually doing a reasonable job of going head to head w/Kobe in the 2nd (and Kobe was hitting some tough, contested shots – as well as getting Dwyane Wade/Jordan-esque “oops someone breathed near Kobe, that’s a foul” calls).

    Nate (poor shooting line notwithstanding – he blew a couple of easy layups) was fairly impressive as well.

    And thankfully Isiah said post-game that the starting lineup will be different for the next game. Dollars to donuts says Malik Rose starts and Lee continues to come off the bench…

  62. L.A.

    Yeah, I live in LA now but am still and always have been a Knicks fan. Sad to see another loss. Curry and Randolph seem to be slowing down (if that is possible) as the season goes on. I am afraid they may not move at all soon. Like the tin man but a lot bigger and fatter. It’s like watching a movie that goes into slow motion while everybody is moving quickly around them. The “bench” guys kept this from being another 30 point loss and keep the heavy boos away. I think the knicks were a little better last year because Frye, as limited as he was, provided more intensity then the slow, lazy, poor defense of Randolph.

    Also, heard that Marbury is contesting the 200K fine he got for the Phoenix game. Makes me sick. The team has let him off for 7 games to recover emotionally (not to mention the millions for years of sinking the team) and he has the balls to ask for money that 1 game back. What an ass.

    By the way, just told my wife about the game and how the starters got down by 25 and the energy guys caught up again…she said “you wonder why he keeps starting them”…yeah, we all wonder that.

  63. BenBow

    Simple formula to make knicks one of best teams in league. trade away all our shitty contracts and guys like that. give zach randolf, eddy curry, and marbury away from like draft picks. doesnt matter if we dont get much back. keep a few alright players so that we aren’t like the worst team in the history of the league. get a top 3 draft pick a year or two in a row and build a team around our new talent. we can hav a team thats something like derrick rose(draft pick?) as pg. someone else like eric gordon(draft pick) at sg, balkman at sf lee at pf and some other draft pick at center. maybe by tradin away our expiring contracts we could get a nice young one, like andrew bogut?? if the bucks want to contend they could use someone like randolf maybe?? or maybe we could give the grizzlies players for gasol and navarro. so it would take a few years, but we would lose all the shitty contracts like malik rose, that guy with two J’s that makes like 6mil for like 2ppg, and get rid of jarret jeffries contract. we would hopefully end up with a team like this. i know the draft picks might be different, but something like this.

    1.derrick rose/nate robinson
    2.eric gordon/navarro(trade)
    3.balkman(hopefully gotten jumper)/Q-rich(wont have to play much so injurys not a problem
    4.david lee/draft pick/someone traded for
    5.andrew bogut?(trade)/pau gasol?(trade)

    it doesnt seem like a great team, but every single player is young, and like 6/7 years from now we would have a great team built with gordon as main scoring, pau as next, rose as third, and then maybe lee will develop into a bigger threat, or bogut will develop more.

    im not sure if all the trades would work out, but even if they dont, id rather have a young team with some potential than a team like we do now. the team is just sad. did anyone else see that game wehre we lost by like 50? that kinda ended my being a knick fan unless we make some changes.

  64. Brian Cronin

    Ben, the Knicks cannot GIVE away Curry, Marbury, Q and to a lesser extent, Randolph and Crawford.

    There is just not a market out there for those players at ALL, except perhaps in return for players just as bad with contracts just as onerous (the Larry Hughes and Kenyon Martins of the world).

  65. cbrooklyn

    If Zach plays more we win, it seems, but I did not see the game, What happenned?

    what happened is….isiah CANNOT COACH.
    I try to understand his philosophy but i just dont get it….here you have a gm/coach of a team whose starting 5 OBVIOUSLY and i repeat OBVIOUSLY does not play well together…you get booed at every home game, win or lose, people are PROTESTING to have you FIRED,your rep is tarnished forever so you wont ever get another job in such a capacity that you have now,YOU HAVE GOOD PLAYERS ON THE BENCH! PLAY THEM dammit!
    Eddie muffins should be coming off the bench. nobody INCLUDING muffins would be mad at that move, q rich can start, but after he hits his 1 3 pointer and set the defensive tone for the starting 5, he should be back on the bench…fast..no more than 10-12 mins per game for him! YOU CANNOT LEAVE MALIK ROSE IN THE GAME FOFR A WHOLE QUARTER LET ALONE A WHOLE HALF, THAT IS ABSURD! Todays game was definitely winnable if randolph gets minutes in the 4th quarter.
    i dont know what you have to do isiah, but you need to beg ur boy dolan to let you hire a new coach or put herb or mark as head coach and you take ur ass back to the gm office because this is getting waaaaaaayyyyy beyond pathetic! It seems like us knick fans and the players are stuck with you at least for the rest of this season, so go try to make a trade or something, just get off the bench, ur coaching really sucks! YOU HAVE TO KNOW THIS BY NOW,SO DOES JAMES…SO DOES THE PLAYERS….SO DOES THE FANS, HECK I WOULDNT BE SURPRISED IF FANS AT EVERY AWAY GAME START CHANTING FOR YOU TO BE FIRED IF THIS DEBACLE KEEPS UP….

  66. L.A.

    I would love to hear fans at AWAY games chant FIRE ISIAH just for the principal of it. That they would chant for the opposition to be better just for the spirit of seeing a good basketball being played. I would just love that.

  67. L.A.

    About the Rose playing time… to the eye, he was giving hustle. It put Curry and Randolph to shame. I would have rather seen Morris, Balkman or Chandler get some playing time but that just doesn’t seem possible in Isiah’s system. It’s like Isiah only wants to play someone if he has overpaid for them.

    In his defense, Rose was better than both of the twinkie towers on defense and gave plenty of hustle which did help them catch up and therefore deserved the minutes over the hippo twins (as sad as that is to say).

  68. Ken "The Animal" Bannister

    I’d start

    PG Robinson
    SG Crawford
    SF Balkman (assuming he’s healthy
    PF Lee
    C Randolph

    The Subs would be
    Richardson, Curry, Jeffries and Chandler (and or Marbury if/when he returns)

    I’d do my best to trade Curry, Randolph & Crawford for deals that expire w/in 2 years w/the hope of getting under the cap by 2010 when Wade, Lebron, and Melo become free agents.

    And finally, I’d start making sacrifices to the gods to ensure a top two pick and take Derrick Rose.

  69. Z

    “If Zach plays more we win, it seems, but I did not see the game, What happenned?”

    The starters were down 25 points. Rose, Jeffries, Lee, Q, Nate, and Crawford erased the deficit. If Randolph had played more in the 4th they would have simply traded baskets with the Lakers down the stretch which would not have been enough.

    Malik Rose played the 4th because the team actually showed a pulse when he was on the floor, whether it was because of his good play or not. He missed a few key plays down the stretch, but if Randolph had been in his place there is no way the Knicks get to even sniff a win. As it was, they were one bad inbound pass by Lee short of tying it with a group of 5 guys that finally showed heart.

    Heart that Randolph simply doesn’t have.

  70. Ess-dog

    why did Zeke even trade for Randolph? everyone was scratching their head then, and we all feel exactly the same now. Everything predicted came true: Curry’s game was ground to a halt, the offense slows down to a halt when Randolph gets isolation, the lane at the Garden has become an unprotected area where even an average NBA player can breakdance his way to the hoop while ed and z hold their jacket.
    But Curry’s even worse…

  71. Brian Cronin

    Z-Bo for Ben Wallace?

    Hmmm…the Knicks are actually one of the few teams that could actually use the current incarnation of Ben Wallace.

    But I would imagine that whoever takes over for Skiles would like to see if he could reach Wallace where Skiles could not.

    And yeah, as Jon mentioned, I’d take Skiles easy as the coach of the Knicks. Heck, I think he’s such a good pick that I can almost see Isiah convincing Dolan to do it and still keep Isiah as GM.

  72. Z

    Skiles and Curry together again? At least Skiles wouldn’t think twice about benching Big Ed.

    I can’t believe that Skiles is fired and Isiah remains. The Bulls have had some recent tangible success.

    Skiles is firey and competitive and old school. He’d remind New Yorkers what they liked about Jeff VG. All business with no glam. I’d like to have him coach the Knicks, if not now, someday.

  73. jon abbey

    I still like the deal that Bill Simmons proposed a week or two ago:

    “Eddy Curry (less than half the price tag of Shaq for the same stats), Stephon Marbury (expires in 2009) and Fred Jones’ expiring deal for Jason Williams’ expiring deal and $82 million worth of Shaq and Mark Blount (both of whom expire in 2010).”

  74. iyamwutiam

    Mark said not impressed with the draft picks – there is a bif difference in any league when you are draftin gin the top five versus the bottom 10. So for where he picked – Balkman, Robinson, Lee and Chandler are all good picks because they continue to make the team and time will prove this out.

    The 2003 Knicks have like MAYBE 4-5 players STILL IN THE LEAGUE – so it is RETARTED to think the old team could beat this team. Only McDyess is or can be considered front line material – Kurt Thomas couldn’t hang on with a desperate Suns team, Othello Harrington, Van Horn, Doleac -puh-lease – put down the pipe –

    As we can see from the Marlins/Dolphins etc -even in small market teams – you can’t just rebuild by scrapping everything and everyone. It doesn’t work that way – you HAVE to fill the seats. To this end – they did the drama -like everyone else does – they brought in Wilkens (who twice took a team from first or second and led them to seventh place -Toronto and Cleveland). Larry Brown – well we all know he is not getting a job anytime soon. Also – he HAD to bring over Marbury, for sure – and maybe Richardson/Francis – but really these guys were/are highly paid seat fillers and not (and everyone on this board should agree)-NOT building blocks.

    As for the cap – it is different when the cap is 40 million and your payroll is 88 million and the cap is 65 million and your payroll is 90 million- so in 3 years he has sliced atleast 20 million off the cap. Also – by 2010 season – he will slice off another 50 million – with Q Rich and Marbury being gone along with one or two others (Rose). Guaranteed contracts do this to every team. Remember Croshere and Rose in Indiana for a combined 145 million!!!

    He has a young core with low level draft picks and two players who can play IMO. But look at Chicago who MUST regret the trading Aldridge for Tyrus Thomas and DESPITE having two young upper level picks – a team built via the draft and signing of Ben Wallace – not being much better than the Knicks. Firing Skiles is not going to make that team any better btw – but something had to be done to save face.

    Look at all that ‘wonderful’ talent assembled in the drafts by Boston going to Minnesota leading the race to the bottom. The Miami Heat – with a TRUE all star in Dwayne Wade- and not doing much better either.

    Judgement that is based on hypotheticals and wishful thinking tends to be harsh. But I think we have all learned from our OWN life experiences that pre-mature judgement is usually coupled with a lack of the nature of obstacles inherent in a situation as well as unrealistic expectations or inflated opinions of how
    we’ would do better.

  75. Santana

    To the previous post,

    First off, it’s spelled ‘RETARDED’, which is what most of your post seems to be. I’m honestly not sure if the post was sarcasm or someone’s actual thoughts, but here are a few points…

    -K.Thomas was traded mainly for financial reasons by Phoenix, a team that routinely sells their draft picks. KT’s salary plus luxury tax would have cost them around 16 mil this year.

    -Fill seats? It’s NYC-Midtown, not Hicktown USA!!!

    -If you need drama watch daytime television.

    -Don’t hate on Lenny. His 7 years in Cleveland had 5 playoff appearances, including a trip to conf finals, and another to the semis. TOR was pre-Chris Bosh.

    -Given the control, LB would do a much better job than IT.

    -The cap, lol! Definitely the funniest part. Assuming no stupid trades(highly unlikely), no use of the mid-level exception, no qualifiers/team options for Lee, Balkman, Nate, Chandler, and Collins, AND no draft picks with lottery level salaries……………Then yes, we would be below the cap at 58 mil(assuming player options are exercised).

    -Who cares what Chicago did with our pick, Aldridge could have been a Knick.

    -You do realize Boston’s draft picks go them KG, Allen and a ticket to the conf finals, right?

  76. gmal

    if I follow the 2nd previous post, since Isiah kept the salary at around 90mill then the 25 mill extra the league gave every team is in a way a cut (?). The problem with that is
    1- there are only 4 other teams that are even in the same ballpark (dallas, denver, cleveland and boston) all who have considerably better records and personel for the money they invested while the knicks maybe 4th or 5th worst team in the league.
    2 if isiah saved 20 mill then almost everyone else saved much more than he did which puts us still at a disadvantage when trying to see REAL FA’s.
    You are right though Isiah’s 4 years is not enough time and we shouldn’t prejudge just yet.

  77. gmal

    Santana-Seeing the way Isiah likes to draft imo he wouldn’t of drafted aldridge, I think Rudy Gay was his guy in 06 and Acie Law in 07. Two very nice pieces but we would be missing Curry and his 5 boards if he didn’t pull the trigger.

  78. z-man

    Lee’s value is as a role player. He only gets his stas because people play off of him. He does nor garner respect as a legit starting player so he get points by being left alone. If he gets keyed on he gets his shot rejected by any legit starter a PF or center. He is gonig to get starters minutes now, let’s see what he can do.

  79. iyamwutiam

    To Santana- I know how its spelled – however – do you dispute my contention that the team of 2003 had a majority of players who are not in the league with in 3 years. Regardless of what you presume about WHY the Suns let Thomas go- neither he, Van Horn, or others – with the possible exception of McDyess- can not be deemed quality players especially in the context of the last 3 years!!

    Obviously – you miss my point/s entirely- it is precisely BECAUSE we are in midtown Manhattan that star power in some respect had to be brought in- a la Starbury. Do you really think he called himself that BEFORE he got to the Knicks.

    Recall if you will that the San Antonio Spurs despite being multiple world champions mainly make a profit by the redistribution of the salary cap. At first glance this may appear to be a non-sequiter -however – the point is filling the seats /merchandising/TV etc are all part of the equation and large market teams – like the Lakers and Knicks do have the have the ‘draw’ -even if it is bad for the team. You see this repeatedly in another VERY profitable team – in NY- the Yankees.

    In fact- it was widely known -that Krause took a huge gamble by not keeping anyone – although -even he had Pippen hang around forwhen his better days were clearly behind him and lets not forget Jalen Rose as well.

    As for the cap- the 25 million is a direct result of increased player salaries and so it is not a cut but the cost of doing business. If it has been determined by the league that the cost of doing business is $x then it because of the determination of what the average player salary is -multiplying that by 15 -hence 4 million is the average player’s salary.

    I am not saying that he has done a ‘masterful’ job with the cap. I am saying that the premise is- that in my opinion they followed dual purposes of rebuilding and filling the seats. Lenny Wilkens, Larry Brown, Marbury and perhaps Francis and Richardson were a means to an end and not building blocks.

    Atlanta, Chicago, Golden State, Dallas,Toronto have all taken atleast 5-7 years to rebuild. With the one year wonder of the Miami Heat firmly established – very few teams have made themselves contenders. And if you count Boston- then I would have you count the last 4 years of draft picks and the next two years – making the Celtics overnight transition atleast a 5 year deal. Plus each of the three players will be making 20 million whic means that 3 players constitute their entire cap- and as other tema in the past – they will pay for this – like all teams do. In addition – we will see if they actually get a ticket to the conference finals – the playoffs -yes – the finals- a bit early to give them that considering Detroit.

    I am not hating on Lenny – I am simply stating a verifiable fact- both teams were in 7th place at the end of his tenure- that is all I said.

    I am not denying that signing Marbury/Richardson?Jefries?James etc were stellar moves. But in my opinion Curry/Randolph/Lee/Robinson/Balkman/Chandler/Crawford/ is not a bad core.

    I personally have been impressed with Randolph at times, Curry did very well last year and -we all knew it would take time for them to learn to play with each other- and i do agree that many people judged correctly -that it would be hard for Curry to share the ball. But I also think that Curry liked being the focal point and is getting frustrated that the Knicks are not playing the one note- feed it to the post offense this year. They are trying to be more versatile and they have had a LOT of bad shooting nights.

    Again – I am not idolizing Isiah -but as I keep pointing out- look at Chicago (and it is NOT the coach)- Skiles has done a great job for what he had – a bunch of perimeter players. Minnesota, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Miami- geez the Nets – it is just not as easy as a majority of the people on this board tink it is.

  80. jon abbey

    what would really make the Bulls/Knicks “rivalry” entertaining is if NY hired Skiles as coach and kept Isiah as GM, and Chicago hired Larry Brown. how entertaining would that be?

  81. nate the skate

    i’m sorry to say this but damn… screw it… fire isaih, let all contracts run out, dont sign anyone past a year, dont make any trades, and hopefully it will be like nba live so we can get a couple top 4 picks n no bad contracts. the current knicks r sure to lose enough to put us in contention for a top 5 every year for the next few.

  82. Santana

    Still around: McDyess & KT
    Out: Houston(injuries), Spree (pride bc he couldnt feed his kids)

    Everyone else on that team matters as much as Jerome James. But I will still put my money on a healthy 02-03 team winning against this team by double digits.

    Since, IMHO, Wikipedia has more credibility than you after some of the stuff you posted, I’ll give you one of their post on Marbury. “Marbury has often gone by the nickname “Starbury”, a name created during his youth.” …. Don’t you think a kid from CI who almost skipped college for the NBA has enough creativity to realize that Marbury rhymes with STARbury…lol

    I like your comparison to the Yankees, but they tend to target stars with Cy Youngs, MVPs, or multiple All-star appearances…..you know, guys who were actually winners at least for a short period of time….

    When a coach becomes next door neighbors with a newly acquired player, its not sell seats but to empower a potential leader. IT thought SM was something special, now we know he’s nothing.

    Wilkens – Cleveland was actually 2nd in the central div with 54 wins when LW left. He did leave Toronto in 7th place in 2003, the year they drafted Bosh….

    “But in my opinion Curry/Randolph/Lee/Robinson/Balkman/Chandler/Crawford/ is not a bad core.”

    Curry- Soft and Fat. Not something to aim for when your a professional athlete. Let’s start calling him ‘Baby Shaq’ again like the bulls did, or E-City,…why not, eddy’s daily defensive improvements merit all our praise. If we all pray really hard one night, and Eddy eats his Wheaties for breakfast(in addition the usual bacon related fillings), he might be able to stop a penetrating slasher. Ah Eddy, our babied low post presence…yep

    Randolph- Crossing my fingers for this guy but he wont be at his best if he shares the post with eddy.

    Crawford- 27yo and still struggling to break 40%FG, once his speed diminishes what does he have to offer?

    Q-Rich- “Mr. 3-Point Specialist”. Lifetime 35% 3pt is borderline above average for a G/F.

  83. Pete

    one thing on the 03 vs. 07 debate – how many of the current Knicks will be in the league four years from now?

  84. gmal

    As the bull situation is unraveling by the minute some of the players I’d like to stay away from if ever offered are Gordon (no defense, too short at starting shooting guard), wallace (contract and age) and Tyrus Thomas (rumors of being a locker room problem).
    Stick Skiles in there too. When I see guys like Deng and Gordon don’t want to resign very nice looking contracts plus TT and Wallace are rumored to be at odds with him raises a big red flag in my book.
    The Bull blog site is pretty funny, they may take Curry back and are unhappy with the draft picks. Curry and cash for Nocioni would work for me.
    While I’m still dreamin – crawford for seatles earl watson and for now it looks like:

    1)watson 2)stephon 3)nocioni 4)lee 5)randolph
    1)jones 2)nate 3)balkman 4)wilson 5) morris/JJ/JJ

  85. RKade2222

    Who cares about the ’03 vs. ’07 debate? Success is determined by wins and losses, not on the talent of a roster. By comparing the 2 teams, the only thing you are proving is that Isiah has assembled a younger, more athletic, more dysfunctional group than we had 4 years ago. Congratulations Isiah!

  86. caleb

    I wouldn’t take back Nocioni – he’s a solid player but signed for another 5 years…and we already have Balkman and Chandler at the spot.

    What I’d do is see if they’d take either Randolph or Curry in exchange for Noah (or maybe Thomas) with PJ Brown thrown in to make the $$ work.

    Another interesting twist would be Kirk Hinrich – he’s having an awful year and is signed through 2012, but I’ve always liked his game – he’s a terrific defender and decent playmaker… would anyone support or oppose that motion?

  87. jon abbey

    PJ Brown isn’t on Chicago anymore, he’s either retired or waiting to join a title contender down the stretch.

    I think Chicago has probably had enough of dealing with NY, although I think they’d consider a Ben Wallace deal.

  88. L.A.

    I am interested in the Randolph for Wallace trade scenerio. It is one of the few trades I can think of that would help both teams, so maybe there is something to it. Wallace is overpaid so nobody else would want him and the Bulls need to do something now. Randolph helps chicago get some inside scoring. Wallace brings defense to go along with Curry and Lee. Most importantly, Wallace’s contract expires sooner then Randolph’s contract. I would be happy to see it happen.

    Other then this scenerio, I agree with Brian “the Knicks cannot GIVE away Curry, Marbury, Q and to a lesser extent, Randolph and Crawford” and are stuck with what we have for a while.

  89. Ess-dog

    What about Randolph to the Lakers for Javaris Critt., an expiring contract, and a 1st round draft pick? We could even include Starbury for other players. The Lakers would look good w/ Randolph next to Bynum. Critt’s gonna be great and there’s no guarantee that we get one of the pg’s in next yrs draft…
    Other teams that might bite on Curry: Jersey? for Boone and a draft pick. Charlotte? For Matt Carroll and Jared Dudley. The Nuggets? for Kenyon or Nene. Memphis? for Hakeem Warrick and/or Kyle Lowry and/or draft pick.

  90. tastycakes

    Anybody romanticizing the 2003 Knicks needs to get their head checked. That team was awful, worse than the current incarnation by far. Not only were they bad, but they were boring. Harold Eisley had heart? Give me a break, that guy was a bigger loser than Steph. I’d rather watch Nate, Jamal, and Eddy lose games over Eisley, Van Horn, and Mohammed any day of the week.

    I’ll give Isiah credit — he has made the Knicks more interesting in 4 years. The sideshows provide non-stop hilarity, and though there isn’t a future all-star in the bunch (except for Lee, maybe) the younger guys are eminently watchable players (Balkman, Lee, Robinson). In 2003, there wasn’t an up-and-comer on the roster worth tuning in to see, just a team of utter mediocrity.

    Any honest Knick fan knows that this team is never going to win anything with Isiah running the show, and with Steph and Eddy as the main two guys.

    As for Jimmy Dolan, nothing would make me happier than the sale of the team. But I’ll give him credit for one thing, he’s at least not afraid to spend. I just wish he demonstrated the slightest element of intelligence and fired Isiah already, goddamn it. If he ‘accidentally’ hired a good GM, the Knicks could be good again within the next 5 years.

  91. caleb

    The reason PJ Brown is sitting home is because the Bulls have his Bird rights – they can re-sign him for any size deal, and bring back an expensive contract in return. He knows that – it’s like a handshake deal.

    I don’t know that he’s planning to play – if they do a deal like that, the Knicks (or whoever) could just waive him, he retires and collects a cool $5, 10 or $15 million.

    p.s. If we can dump Randolph, Curry, Crawford, Q, Jeffries or James for a contract ending in 2009, it’s a good deal, even if we get NOTHING else. (like, if we hadn’t traded Steve Francis in the first place)… If we somehow traded Zach and one other guy in those “nothing” deals, we could actually be in position to sign a free agent in 2009…

    p.p.s. The above scenario is wildly unlikely – the first principle, as others have said, is just “do no harm.” As long as we don’t take on another contract going beyond 2010, we’ll have a lot of flexibility then (plus a core of Lee, Balkman, Chandler, this year’s lottery pick and next year’s pick)

    If he really does want to play, and they don’t do a deal by the deadline, then I guess he’ll jump in with whoever.

    p.s. I would not take back Ben Wallace, no way. A few years ago, sure. Now – stick a fork in that guy. At this point I’m not even sure how much of an upgrade he is over Curry (he’s shooting 32 percent, guys… average 2 points a game.. rebounding a whole lot less than David Lee)… So we get a bump from 25 to 27 wins… then we have to carry him another two years. C’mon!

  92. caleb

    p.p.p.s. I like Earl Watson too… the Crawford deal actually has a chance in hell… not sure I’d do it, though, just bc his contract runs thru ’11.

    p.p.p.p.s. The 2003 Knicks were horrible.. as bad as the guys we have now, except no young players to improve. No knock on Kurt Thomas, fine player then and even now, but if he’s the best guy on the team you’re gonna suck.

  93. gmal

    the 03 and 07 Knicks debate is great bcause to me its not who beats who, you can see it being close (they both suck)with both advancing to nowhere land. and thats the point. Isiah gained nothing with all the trades for these one dimensional players with baggage. If he would of just sat still, let the contracts wither on the vine, replace them with what would of been high 1st rounders we would of had the money to be in the running for Garnett, Koby or Lebron instead of just newspaper ink for some journalist on a slow sports day.
    Having one of those A players in MSG, now your talking excitement.
    I think knicks 09 draft pick was given up in the SM trade but it is lottery protected.

  94. caleb

    “I think knicks 09 draft pick was given up in the SM trade but it is lottery protected.”

    In theory we owe it this year, but it’s protected through something like #25… next year still protected into the 20s… 2010 we gotta give it up, no matter what.

  95. jon abbey

    I think the only team desperate enough to maybe deal with us is Miami, they’re a disaster even with Wade. Chicago still has a talented enough roster to see if they can turn it around this year, they’re only 4 1/2 games out of 4th and could still be very dangerous in the playoffs if they actually get in.

    so if Isiah drafts Bynum over Frye, doesn’t make the initial Francis deal (keeping Ariza), and had somehow pulled off a deal including Lee and Balkman for Kobe, that Laker core today could have been in orange and blue. those three guys went for 80 points, 24 boards, 14 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks combined today. LA is suddenly looking very dangerous in the West, a very deep bench and Bynum seems to become more of a force by the day.

  96. Owen

    LA does indeed look like a championship contender. Kobe is extremely happy they didn’t follow his advice.

    Looks like Lee is getting the start tmw, pretty fair Christmas present for me….

  97. Bob Cook

    I’ve got it: Z BO IS JOE BTFSPLK
    You all remember Joe, don’t you? The character in Lil’ Abner who is the world’s worst jinx. Here he is:
    http://www.lil-abner.com/familyalbum2.html
    Now, here’s my case. Last year, the team was clearly headed north. We were playing 500 ball, Curry had taken a big step forward and the youngsters (Lee, Robinson, Balkman) were developing, especially Lee. The only disappointment was Frye. Maybe his injury permanently slowed him, as with LJ and many others. Anyhow, injuries kill off our season but we still move up from the rediculous 2005-6 season.

    Then, IT makes what looks to be a great trade. We get Z Bo, with all star numbers, for the useless Francis and the aforementioned Frye, who was certainly no longer helping the team. Reports on Zach admit his skills but say he’s a bad character guy. He promises to reform (echoes of Bernard King!) Portland has only traded Z Bo because with the top pick in the draft, they are able to get Odom, a sure thing, the second coming of Wilt Chamberlain, who will dominate the paint making Zach superfluous. Then Odom hurts himself and is out for the season. We note that Portland will doubtless lose all their games again and get a second #1 pick but who cares?

    And what happens? Z bo seems to play well; he puts up his usual numbers and as a bonus, shows no bad character signs but the rest of the team does not mesh and we become the worst and most disappointing team any of us can recall. Well, you’ld think Portland must be worse. Whoops. They just won their 11th in a row (best win streak in the league so far). I looked. Frye doesn’t start but is a useful sub. Francis is no where to be seen. The explanation must be THE Z BO CURSE IS LIFTED. All IT, therefore, needs to do is bench Z Bo, or have him killed, and we would at least be as good as last year pre-injuries. Worth a try, no?

    Or maybe Isaiah is Joe BTFSPLK.

  98. iyamwutiam

    “Everyone else on that team matters as much as Jerome James. But I will still put my money on a healthy 02-03 team winning against this team by double digits:

    Here are my points:
    1. Dec 2003 is when Isiah came in- I would wipe that year off- 2003-20041/2 – if you throw in the Larry Brown disaster. I think in retrospect – most can agree that the LArry Brown ‘idea; was certainly not Isiah’s- as it does not fit his mindset in anyway.
    2. There must be at least a PARTIAL acceptance that bringing Marbury + Brown was a move designed to generate interest in the team while it was to under go re-construction.

    That said – that gives us two and a half years – of Isiah’s moves which have resulted in:
    1. Eddie Curry- agreed ‘muffins’ and all – but the one thing ‘I’ see – is almost all the Knicks opponents swarm him in the post and he is STILL getting double and tripled team in the post. I do NOT disagree that he does not pass out of those well, his defense is poor, he can get more rebounds etc etc. However- very few ‘bad’ centers get double and triple teamed on the basis that Curry does.
    2. Zach Randolph: I really like his game and offensively consider him to be far superior to Kurt Thomas- he can shoot consistently from 18 feet and in/ does rebound.
    3. Crawford – is and always will be an enigma- no ‘real’ hops to actually force his way to the basket. No ‘real’ consistency in his jumper, and a lot of poor decisions and turnovers. But at times- like against the Lakers recently – he can go from 0/10 in the first half to 8/11 in the second half and finish with 30 points or so.
    4. David Lee- all he does is get points and rebounds. Still raw- as can be seen by the in bounds pass to Nate Robinson – and the fact that he has yet to develop a 10 foot jumper range that would make him dangerous.
    5. Nate Robinson-tremendous athlete- can take it to the hole, quick as heck, has developed his shot much more and is playing better every year.
    6. Jeffries- can be a good defender, is getting better offensively and may in a few years become a pretty good role player.
    7. Fred Jones- has hops, can take it to the hole. Needs a jumper and can play PG if needed- provides some defense

    Unknowns-
    1.Balkman- good athlete (not great ala Rodman) -no shot to speak off –
    2. Chandler – tremendous hops and if he gets a consistent jumper -look out. Prolly a ‘good’ defensive player on the Knicks roster. Needs a year or so.

    IMO- Marbury/Richardson/Rose are all gone in two years -freeing up close to 50 million in cap space.

    So my interpretation is :
    That Isiah is or has tried to put together a power inside team. Curry /Randolph with Lee/Jeffries/Rose will allow you to play the ole skool ball of pounding it in to the post.

    I definitely think that the only players worth anything in the 03 line up were houston, spreewell and thomas period. I would say that Houston and Spreewell can be considered stand out players and the Knicks may have only one at best- Randolph. But overall the Knicks roster of today is definitelt better.

  99. Z

    “Still raw- as can be seen by the in bounds pass to Nate Robinson”

    Speaking of this inbound pass–

    Why did Nate slam on the breaks at half court allowing Farmar to steal the ball? Can’t a player catch the ball in the backcourt during an inbounds play in the last 2 minutes?

    I haven’t seen anybody pick up in this, with most blaming Lee instead of Nate for the TO. But I did read a Nate quote saying he didn’t catch the ball because he didn’t want to cross the half-court line.

    Am I wrong about this rule?

  100. Mr. Black

    John Abbey,

    I agree that much of the current Laker core could be in NY today; however, you overlook the fact that theLaker core plays with the best player in the NBA and arguably the best coach. I dont think you get the same production from Bynum and Ariza playing with Marbury as you do when they play with Kobe.
    ————–

    As far as trade senarios go…

    I would send Curry back to Chicago with Malik Rose. I would take back Ben Wallace but Chicago will need to send back two picks for us to eat that contract. I would take Thomas and a future first rounder. Despite how I have basehed Wallace in the past, I don’t think he is washed up. I think he was fed up with Napoleon Skiles. Wallace would improve the interior D. His rebounding should improve significantly because rebounding is as much about skill as it is desire. I think Wallace lost the desire under Napoleon. With Curry gone Randolph could go back to his strenght, post and lane drives.

    I am wondering if the Grizz would want to move Gasol. He sems to be out of favor with the new coach. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Grizz want Curry for Gasol.

    Since his contract expires next year, do you think any GM would be interested in Marbury simply as a cap management device.

  101. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I saw the same quote. Nate just didn’t know the rule, which I really don’t know if you can really blame the coach for – I think not knowing such an important rule has gotta be on the player.

    So bad on you, Nate!!

  102. caleb

    re: trades, you can’t trade Curry (or any of the other players we gripe about) and expect something of value in return. You can’t ask another team to take your worthless problem for nothing; you’d have to add a sweetener to get the other team to bite, i.e. include one of our young players.

    The only exception is an even swap for someone else’s problem, like Wallace or Larry Hughes.

  103. Joe V.

    Hey Gang, Don’t Forget:

    FIRE ISIAH! DUMP DOLAN PROTEST & WALKOUT
    CLOTHING DRIVE TO BENEFIT NYC?S HOMELESS SHELTERS

    SUNDAY DECEMBER 30, 2007 AT 11:00 am
    IN FRONT OF MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

    PROTEST = Stand with us outside the Garden, Be Heard.
    WALKOUT = We are encouraging all fans that attend the
    game against the Bulls to make a statement by leaving
    the Garden at the end of the 3rd quarter and join us
    in our protest.
    BENEFIT = Donate a clothing item to NYC?s homeless
    shelters for those less fortunate.

    We?re not pompous or foolish to believe this protest
    will be the fix to end all problems with our NY
    Knicks. As die-hard fans that have suffered tremendous
    anguish watching this ownership and management
    dismantle and ruin this proud franchise and everything
    it stands for, our Knicks. The laughing stock of the
    NBA. WE MUST BE HEARD!

    Please show your support Sunday, December 30, 2007 in
    front of MSG ?The Worlds Most Famous Arena? with the
    ?Most Pathetic Basketball Organization!?

    I can be reached via email at joeyvworks@yahoo.com.

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