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Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Knicks Could Take A Lesson From Sci-Fi

“We’ve made too many compromises already. Too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!”
Jean-Luc Piccard

I’m not angry or upset at the Knicks latest deal. But I’m not jumping for joy when I think about it. I’m left indifferent to Isiah’s new deal, kinda like Jerramy Stevens’ hands to a well-thrown football. It’s no secret that New York could use a small forward to end the Keith Van Horn curse. Since they sent the high-socked spiked-haired one packing, Van Horn’s successors at small forward have all been disasters. Tim Thomas suddenly turned into tiny-Tim, Jerome Williams fell victim to a rule not even named after him, Trevor Ariza is playing like a 20 year old, Quentin Richardson is playing like a 25 year old with a 40 year old’s back, and Penny Hardaway is playing with himself (since he’s not on the team he has to practice by himself – you perverts!).

It’s certainly possible that Jalen Rose can end this curse. Rose is a multi-skilled offensive player, who can handle the ball from the 3 spot and provide a little bit of scoring. New Yorkers might remember when Jalen Rose torched the Knicks for 20 second half points in a 2005 Raptor victory. The Knicks have had problems finding a backup ball handler, a problem only exacerbated by the injury to Marbury. Although the Knicks still need a backup point guard, Rose’s ability to play point-forward will help the team in that respect. He could be the small forward they’ve been looking for all season, and his ability to run the offense might take the pressure off of Crawford & Robinson. The extra year on the deal doesn’t hurt anyone except James Dolan’s accountant, and if there is anyone who can turn a mid-late first into gold it’s Isiah Thomas.

On the other hand, Rose might go the way of the last 5 small forwards who donned the blue & orange. Even in his Pacer heyday, Jalen was a good but not great offensive player. While Rose is a skilled passer for a swingman, he still coughs it up a decent amount, and the last thing the Knicks need is more turnovers. Or maybe the last thing the Knicks need is another porous defender. If that wasn’t enough, Rose is a bit of a head case, ranking about a 5 on the 10 point Artest scale. Rose has complained about playing time, and only have to look at the Knicks bench to see how far those with a skewed sense of entitlement get with Coach Brown. When Marbury comes back and demands the ball in his hands, will an unhappy Rose do a Johnny Cash impersonation and show up dressed in black? Or maybe Larry Brown will get fed up when Jalen allows one too many opponents a closer look at the rim. As for the draft pick, maybe Isiah’s luck runs out? Or maybe he gets another Robinson or Lee: that is a nice role player, but no one that will change the franchise.

So while we wait for the Jalen Rose experience to play out, the question that keeps popping in my mind is “is this how it’s going to be for the next few years?” Are the Knicks going to cash in expiring deals for longer contracts of the league’s unwanted mediocre players? I have the bad feeling that next year I’m going to be writing another blog about the Maurice Taylor/Theo Ratliff trade. The year after, Malik Rose for Wally Szczerbiak.

And my feelings are warranted. The Knicks sent Camby for McDyess, and McDyess for Marbury. They sent Keith Van Horn for Tim Thomas, and Thomas for Curry. Othella Harrington for Jamal Crawford. Kurt Thomas for Quentin Richardson. At the time of each deal, it would have been hard to argue that the Knicks didn’t get the better player. However taken as a whole the deals have extended New York’s stay in salary cap hell. The aftermath has left fans in some kind of rooting purgatory, where we concede any hopes of being seriously competitive both now and in the near future. The Knicks are stuck in a vicious cycle of absorbing salary to get better, but not being able to get better because of those long term contracts. Since the last Finals team fell apart, New York has been a skipping record, waiting for someone to move the needle. Watching the Knick franchise is like watching one of their games. When the Knicks are down by 18 in the 3rd & claw their way back to a single point deficit I don’t say to myself “that’s great they’re coming back!” Instead I ponder “why are they always losing & playing from behind?” And that’s exactly how I feel about the direction this team is in.

I know rebuilding takes time, but then again I’m not sure if this is rebuilding. Isiah didn’t inherit an ideal situation, but he’s only addressed the issue of youth. The Knicks are still capped out. The Knicks are still on the red side of the ledger when it comes to draft picks. And the Knicks still don’t seem to understand that it’s important to get players that can defend. The Jalen Rose trade is a good example of this, of the 4 things the Knicks sorely need to move forward as a franchise, the only long term benefit is the draft pick. If New York is serious about rebuilding eventually somebody, whether it be Dolan, Isiah, or whoever is the GM, is going to have to draw a line in the sand and say this salary cap nonsense ends here.

71 comments on “The Knicks Could Take A Lesson From Sci-Fi

  1. Ben

    I heard over the radio that Kevin Garnett is coming to the Knicks for Curry, Frye and three first-round picks. Can anybody confirm or deny?

  2. Placetobe33

    The deal you guys heard was Garnett for Curry/Frye two 1st round picks, a second round in 2008 and cash.

  3. Matthew

    Here’s a name who can save our franchise: Kiki.

    He saved the Nuggets, committed to rebuilding, and he can do the same here, and all it will cost us is Isaiah Thomas.

    We need to start chanting “Ki-ki! Ki-ki!” at games.

  4. steve

    zeke is gonna do something crazy, and it’s going to be fun to watch. fun, like you can’t take your eyes off this spectable, like watching Reservoir Dogs is fun.

    but, i don’t think he’s dumb enough to trade all those futures on a guy like Garnett, who at 29 has had a decade of pounding on those knees and is starting the downside of his career.

  5. Gabe Farkas

    KB – are you sure that’s the right link?

    It says that it was really a 3-way deal where the Knicks got Garnett and Nowitzki for Curry, Frye, Penny, Ariza, Crawford, the draft rights to Frederic Weis, a conditional 2054 draft pick swap, and the option to exchange Isiah’s sexual assault lawsuit for Marc Cuban’s copyright infringement lawsuit.

  6. Seth

    any writer who says that Jerome James is the knicks most horrendous pickup hasn’t been paying attention to QRich.

  7. Easy E

    KB I totally agree with you! We ain?t going nowhere – if the Knicks are going to cash in expiring deals for longer contracts of the league?s unwanted mediocre players.
    We need to stay the course and show a litle patience.
    Seth I totally agree, even though Jerome James is also pretty horrendous.

  8. Kevin

    You are right, the Knicks got the better talent (exception VanHorn/Thomas). The problem is the Knicks never got anyone who was anygood. So all of this shuffling made the Knicks a little better, but locked out their ability to build any other way than by trade.

    Garnett and Marbury together again, uhm.

  9. steve

    “i like the way isiah is conjuring up rumors throughout the media and everyone believes them.”

    the thing with isiah rumors is that he’s so crazy, so completely nuts, that no rumor is too off-the-wall! i’m waiting, in painful suspense, for him to announce the arrival of kenyon martin.

    the papers are reporting today that david lee and nate robinson are available. oh, god.

  10. Isaiah Thomas, GM of the New York Knicks

    Hey everyone! Isaiah Thomas here. Just checking in with the Knick loyals to let you guys in on how I’m approaching this years trading deadline.

    I wanted your views on a trade I’m working out between my Knicks and the 76ers of Philadelphia. I’m going to trade Lee, Robinson, Marbruy, our 2nd round pick this year and the 1st round pick to be swapped with Chicago next year to Philadelphia for Jamal Mashburn, Chris Webber, Matt Barnes on a sign and trade (I miss the guy!) and a piece of a calzone Samuel Dalembert got a few days ago (I hear it’s really good!).

    Just wanted to hear what you had to say!

  11. Campa

    I think it’s quite clear that Isiah will try some desperate move before the deadline. But I also think the main reason he will do it is the fear of God he’s feeling as each day passes by and everything seems to be headed in the following direction: the Knicks get the fisrt pick in the draft, only to see it go to Chicago.

    That, my friends, is his biggest fear. Not the lawsuit.

    And maybe, just maybe, Isiah will drop by once more to say it himself.

  12. Goo

    I’m not sure what Isiah’s abused worse — Anucha Browne Sanders or the Knicks’ roster… I’m tired of hearing about how he inherited a bad situation from Layden, because a shrewd GM (okay, even a relatively awful GM, like one of the Paxson brothers) would have stepped back, taken a deep breath, and prepared for actual rebuilding, rather than plunging New York further and further into salary cap hell. You can pin Houston on Layden. You can pin Spree on Layden. But Tim Thomas? Quentin Richardson? Jerome James? And now Jalen Rose? People keep saying, ‘well, we’re already so far over the cap we can’t even remember where the luxury tax threshold actually is, so, what the hell, let’s add more bad contracts!’ Dammit, the only way to escape the Layden-Thomas cycle is to — get this — stop trading for players who make more than $10M a year. Duh. And who cares about the 1st-rounder? Isiah’s draft choices (pretty much the only thing he’s done that hasn’t been an unmitigated disaster) aren’t even looking great anymore. Frye? Big whoop! A no-brainer pick, and he’s panned out way better than Isiah expected anyway. Lee? Okay, good pick, but can anyone say “regression to the mean” next year? Robinson? How’s that working out, guys? And Ariza’s fallen off the face of the planet, as expected. Throw in Thomas’ harassment suit, and the Knicks under Isiah’s watch are making the Hawks look like the model NBA franchise! And I bet he’s not done yet — a slumping Earl Watson’s available! There are “win now” moves, there are “win later” moves… but Thomas seems to be enamored with the “win never” move. Don’t draw a line in the sand about the salary-cap nonsense — draw a line in the sand when it comes to Isiah Thomas’ reign of terror as an executive (an executive of anything, for that matter: teams, minor leagues, Wendy’s franchises…). It’s time for Knicks fans to show Thomas to the curb in front of MSG. Period.

  13. steve

    “There are ?win now? moves, there are ?win later? moves? but Thomas seems to be enamored with the ?win never? move.”

    ha ha ha, this is good stuff, goo. i hope you don’t mind if i steal this line.

  14. John

    The Knicks will never get out of this cycle as long as they continue to be profittable to James “The Wiz” Dolan, and as long as Dolan gives Thomas a blank check for these signings. Thomas was clearly great as a player but has terrible business sense. Someone should tell these two that though it is Manhatttan, this is not the Yankees, and the NBA actually has a salary cap designed to create parity in the league.

    Maybe the reason Dolan has so much money to throw around is that he is saving money using the same shitty video production equipment at MSG that was used in 1979 (I used to think the lighting was just bad for cameras at the Garden until I compared the grainy, colorless games on MSG to the sleek production of ESPN, TNT or YES’s broadcasts of Knicks home games).

    Sadly, Knicks brass will continue to put out a shitty product as long as people buy into it. If you’re making money with the league’s highest paid roster, luxury taxes up the ass, a GM with no self control, and the worst team in the league, why change anything? In this way, Knicks fans are actually being punished for their loyalty.

  15. dave crockett

    “If that wasn?t enough, Rose is a bit of a head case, ranking about a 5 on the 10 point Artest scale.”

    :: best line all year KB. actually, it begs for its own column. who are the league’s biggest head cases (5 or more on the 10 point artest scale)? just off the top of my head between classes…

    5-6 on the artest scale (delusions of grandeur/mild personality disorder)

    the “good-but-not-great” label cuts these guys to the core. they aren’t bad players or even bad guys necessarily, but they have a disturbing tendency of sabotaging productive relationships because in their heart of hearts they never learned how to get along and play well with others. so they just can’t be truly happy in any situation where they’re not the alpha dog; tend to see criticism as an attempt to undermine them, unless it comes from trusted sources.

    *jalen rose – i’m a point guard dammit! why won’t anyone believe me?
    *stephon marbury – i’m the best point guard in the nba dammit! why won’t anyone believe me?
    allen iverson (in the past) – practice?! (i think he’s matured to more of a 4-4.5 on the scale. so there is hope.)
    steve francis – all is against me. all the time. i sulk. it’s what i do.
    antoine walker – i’m anthony mason with a (low percentage) three point shot yet i think any all-star team without me is a travesty, a sham, a mockery, a travishamockery!

    * special thanks to isiah for bringing those two great tastes together in one candy bar.

    7-7.5 on the artest scale (ticking time bomb)

    these guys are less predictable in when they’ll force a confrontation or in how far they’ll go. their hyper-competitiveness makes them valuable teammates but they can’t turn it off. they approach everything as a competition, and much of the time the approach leads to winning basketball, but there’s a lot of other stuff that comes along with it.

    latrell sprewell – does anyone question that he’d rather be out of the league rather than playing for the vet’s minimum, even on a title contender?
    kobe bryant – why doesn’t everyone adore me? they must all be crazy… or jealous.
    jason williams – seems to have calmed down since he stopped smoking weed with randy moss. caveat: since williams isn’t big enough, strong enough, or powerful enough to confront other players his outbursts have been directed at fans and media.
    terrell owens – i know he’s not an nba player but this is the category i put him in. he sabotages relationships. he doesn’t know any other way.

    8-9.9 on the artest scale (have i taken my meds today?)

    rasheed wallace – ‘sheed used to anchor the scale but there’s a new sheriff in town. of course just because artest took his crown doesn’t mean ‘sheed is no longer crazy. you all know he sincerely believes he’s never committed a foul like fox mulder believes ufos kidnapped his sister. there’s no convincing him otherwise on some nights, and you just never know when he’ll tire of the polite charade.
    eddie griffin – seriously, i’m glad he got his meds right and got in a good situation because that kid had tragedy written all over him.
    kurt thomas – remember when he’d get that look in his eye and just throw a guy to the floor? then look genuinely suprised at the tech. these moments seemed to occur at random.

    10 on the artest scale (a legitimate class of one)

    ron artest is mike tyson crazy. it wasn’t the fight. (many of us would have been ready to throw down if we were hit by a beer.) to me, the bizzaro moment was asking for months off the promote his CD? have you ever seen him on TV? even for an athlete he’s indecipherable. he’s hyper-distractable and just strange.

    not sure where to place him: gilbert arenas. he seems pretty harmless but just rather odd.

  16. steve

    this may come off as oversimplifying this situation, but i think the knicks — on the court, at least — are a perfectly decent, mediocre team when they have a point guard on the floor.

    i think they were actually almost good when marbury was playing well in early jan.

    but right now, they don’t have a point guard. it’s like a football team trying to score without a quarterback. no matter who your tailback and wideouts are, you’re not going to score with, say, a converted defensive back playing QB.

    if they could just get a mediocre point guard to fill in for steph when he’s injured or in foul trouble, they could win a occasional home game and everyone would calm down.

  17. Cips

    Great Artest scale rankings, but I think you missed a few good omissions:

    6.0 – Zach Randolph – Lemme put it this way: I remember reading a story a few years back about Zach pissing Dale Davis off so much that he had to hide at Ruben Patterson’s house overnight before Dale “calmed down,” because he made him so mad that Dale would’ve done very bad things to Zach.

    Think about that for a minute.

    8.0 – Mrs. Doug Christie – It’s a shame he or she hasn’t been in the news recently, due to Doug’s injury problems. A real shame.

    8.5 – Stephen Jackson – If you rewatch any tapes or clips of The Brawl, Jackson was clearly the craziest of the crazy on the court that night (equivalent to pointing out the dustiest table in Pompeii). He had no reason to go into the stands, threw haymakers on the offensive at fans, threatened someone with a broom thing, and then ripped off his jersey and walked into the tunnel defiantly.

    That’ll be all for now.

  18. Goo

    Great Artest rankings, guys. Here are some new ones:

    7.0 – Qyntel Woods (another Knick!) – Not much of a teammate, but the real story is the bizarre incident in October 2004 in which Woods was linked to illegal pit bull fighting, and was ultimately charged with cruelty to animals. Oh, and throw in the requisite Trail Blazers extracurricular activities: driving w/o insurance and marijuana possession.

    6.0 – Damon Stoudamire – Dude loves his weed, whether he’s on the road with ‘Sheed or in an airport. At least he’s over the grandiose notion that he’s a top-tier PG, though.

    8.5 – Ruben Patterson – Yikes! The “Kobe-Stopper”‘s rap sheet reads like R. Kelly’s memoirs: multiple instances of rape, drug use, spousal abuse… He also went bananas on a guy in a Cleveland parking lot for keying his car. Artest has him beat, but Patterson learned from the best: Bob Huggins.

    That’s all for now…

  19. Ted

    I’m digging the Artest rankings, but a couple of disagreements. Dave, Rasheed Wallace is allright. The Portland media really hated the guy and went out of their way to bury him. Pretty much every player in every locker room he’s been in has nothing but good things to say about him. Also Cips you’ve got Dale Davis and Patterson the wrong way round. At practice once, Randolph punched Patterson hard in the face (almost fracturing his eye socket IIRC) and Patterson got so mad that Randolph hid overnight at Davis’ house because he was literally fearing for his life. As Goo pointed out Patterson is not a guy you want to make mad. Also how has no-one mentioned Isaiah Rider yet? Or are we just talking current players. On a related note I really miss the JailBlazers era. I’m not the only one am I? Bonzi Wells belongs on this list too. A solid 8.0 I’d say.

  20. KnickerBlogger Post author

    I have to disagree with Terrell Owens. I’d put him at a 9. Watch him after every touchdown – his teammates don’t bother to join in on the celebration anymore, because it’s all about TO. Throw in him constantly destroying relationships from calling Jeff Garcia gay, to nasty allegation about McNabb and even taking time to bash him team’s owner. The only thing that seperates TO from Artest is TO hasn’t turned that craziness into violence.

    I thought Randy Moss was an 8 or 9. Remember the water squirt on the ref?

    As for baseball, Albert Belle, Carl Everett, Milton Bradley would be 9s. I’m sure there are a few I’m missing.

    I’d have to give Rodman a 9. Maybe give him a point off for getting into Karl Malone’s head for a Finals.

  21. Cips

    Thanks Ted for clearing up the details on the Patterson-Randolph thing. I couldn’t find the story anywhere so I just tried it from memory. I’m surprised at how close I came off of hazy memory.

    If we’re doing other sports, Barry Bonds is a 5.5, Jeremy Roenick is a 6.5, and Ricky Williams is a solid 7.0. Marcus Vick is a 7.0 as well, I think.

    KB, please tell me you’re compiling these to make into an article later. Please.

  22. Gabe Farkas

    KB – I have to disagree with you about Rodman. At most, I’d give him somewhere in the 4.5-6.0 range. He knew exactly what he was doing at all times. He’s weird, but not crazy. I think Bill Laimbeer or another of his Pistons teammates said about Rodman (I’m paraphrasing) “When he acted normally and had brown hair and led the league in rebounding, he was making one million a year. When he dyed his hair and wore a wedding dress and led the league in rebounding, he was making 10 million a year.” To me, that’s genius. He played the mental games better than almost anyone else.

    Also, there’s another guy that everyone is forgetting:

    Amare Stoudemire.

    I’d give him at least a 6 or 6.5, and here’s why. During the middle of his rookie season (when he won “Rookie of the Year” and was compared to Moses Malone), his agent randomly just quit. Just decided to stop representing him. That’s a little puzzling, no? And remember that Amare played for approximately 18 different high schools, and a bunch of teams passed over him on draft day for some inexplicable reason. Besides Yao Ming (who was a mortal lock to go first anyway), the following players went ahead of him:

    Jay Williams – understandable at the time, but don’t you draft for size, all else equal?
    Mike Dunleavy – weighing in at a svelte 155 lbs, he somehow went 3rd
    Drew Gooden – arguably equal potential at the time, I guess.
    Nicoloz Tsikitshwhatever – huh?
    Nene – again, huh? You would take this guy over the best HS prospect since Kobe?
    Chris Wilcox – picked by the Clippers, so I won’t try to explain it.

    Based just on talent, Amare should have gone somewhere in the 3-5 range, the way I see it.

  23. Goo

    Also, whither Jazz PF Robert Whaley? As an 18-year-old in 2000, he allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl (his case ended in a mistrial, but still). The long string of high schools he attended rivals Amare’s, and he has a history of substance abuse problems. Here’s a crazy fact: he may have had too many character problems to play for Bob Huggins at Cincinnati, as Huggins was instrumental in getting him off the Bearcats roster and to tiny Walsh College. Oh, and if all of this wasn’t enough, he was suspended by the NBA for punching Lakers 13th man Adam Parada in the neck… in a preseason (!) game. My Artest scale guess for Whaley is at least a 9.0, if not more.

  24. Young T

    What about Karl Malone? I’m quite sure where he fits on the Artest scale because he’s not so much crazy and unpredictable as downright mean and nasty, but he was such a dirty, arrogant thug that watching the Pistons defeat the Lakers in ’04 was a real pleasure.

    For a summary of his “achievements” check this out http://makingpages.org/hoops/Malone.danger.html

    Anyway in terms of craziness on the Artest scale I think he’s probably only about a 5, but I think he deserves a scale of his own for Dirtiest Player.

  25. Gorky

    Speaking of Robert Whaley, he also was involved in a bar fight (along with Deron Williams) where his hand was cut. Afterwards, he gave a fake name to police (again with Williams) and then lied to the team about his injury, saying that his young so cut him with a kitchen knife by mistake. That’s a little crazy (and it’s just his first year).

  26. steve

    regarding amare, i remember reading a story about one of his pre-draft workouts. he was looking lethargic the whole time, and then finally quit midway through. when asked what the problem was, he repled, “i didn’t eat any breakfast this morning.” i think people heard that story and ran for cover.

    (by the way, is there anyone besides kiki vandeweghe who though tskitishvili would be a good pick at No. 5?

    at the time, i remember hearing that name and laughing. the nugs could have really done the impossible — turned a franchise around in just a year or two — if he didn’t toss away those two lotto picks that year.)

  27. Jacob

    These Artest ranks are really cool. However, of the guys listed, I think only Artest and Sprewell (and possibly Griffin and Patterson) actually are crazy, if we define “crazy” as having an antisocial psychological disorder. The others’ strange behaviour is probably more a result of an unruly background (stoudemire, rasheed, woods), an egomaniacal personality (kobe, francis, antoine walker), or a volatile temper (steve jax). Rodman was very weird, but not crazy: being a late-blossoming extravagant, he simply craved attention and found a remarkable way to get it without hurting his team or the fans.

    But Artest in particular fascinates me, like he fascinates everybody else I guess. He indeed is Mike Tyson-crazy, with the type of personality found in your average hardcore criminal, but at the same time is capable of excelling in a team-oriented sport that requires following instructions from a principal.
    Personally, I think we should actually applaud the guy for finding a productive way to deal with his insanity – he is one less psycho on the streets.

  28. Jim K

    My biggest problem this season is it feels that Brown sometimes isn’t even watching the game. I mean, you’ll see guys like Taylor or Butler last night looking like they might have big games, and he yanks em for 20 minutes while they’re hot…other than Jalen Rose, who he keeps in there forever, I rarely feel his substitution pattern, which has been incoherent this year, is even based on quick yanks or anything like that. While most agree it isn’t good b-ball, I could understand if he yanked somebody everytime they had a turnover or something…but Frye or Taylor or Lee or someone might have a hot hand in the first quarter, and we won’t even see him save three minutes late in the third

    Also, although I respect Brown, I must wonder — isn’t a coach about making his players better? With his recent quotes he seems to be saying “Bring me in good players” which strikes me as an awful easy approach — instead of coaching these guys, it’s bring me in guys who are already “good” — good idea, I don’t know why every coach doesn’t try it. Most of the Knicks have had varying levels of success elsewhere, so it seems they COULD be brought together to be a cohesive unit — maybe one that only wins 35 games or something, but not one worse than the Bobcats! The Pistons were largely a bunch of role players that Brown cohered into a killer unit. Whilst the Knicks are no Pistons, I don’t see a roster that should be this discombobulated this late in the season. And that’s my biggest gripe — I don’t mind losing, but it seems sometimes that Brown will have a unit playing well, and he’ll blow it up just to give Malike or Butler or James a coupla minutes, and by the 4th quarter, he’s never got the unit that was playing well back in the game together. And I don’t quite get what’s up with that…if the guys are simply lousy, all the more reason to ride whatever hot horse you have in a game…

  29. Rob Gee

    I don’t know what to say about Brown. He certainly seems less focussed, even disinterested. He came here knowing that pieces needed to be fitted together, but his constant shuffling of lineups in the early going left too few players knowing the sets, the plays, or what was coming next. Is he over rated as a coach? Some of the quotes attributed to him about Ariza, Frye etc, seem very meanspirited at the least. What is really evident is the way players are sleepwalking through games, their confidence broken or at the least shaken, this is not the sign a great coach leaves on a team. These young guys playing under a coach with his kind of reputation, could leave lifetime scars, leading to careers and potential that will only be partially realized because of them.

  30. Seth

    Amen to all of that, Jim K.

    I will stand by my conspiracy theory that he was sent here by Joe Dumars to destroy our team.

  31. dave crockett

    okay,

    clearly the artest scale rankings need a more systematic, thorough approach. sounds like a column idea for the spring, no?

    KB, if you’re interested (and have the time) maybe we could tag team on that one, conversational style.

  32. SM

    Why would the Knicks be the team Joe Dumars wanted to sabotage?

    Unless he just really wants to stick it to Isiah?

  33. Brian Cronin

    The only way this makes any sense is if Larry Brown was told to spotlight the shitty players that the Knicks are trying to get other teams to take.

    Mo Taylor, Malik Rose and Quentin Richardson being the three shitty players (Taylor being the best of the three).

    That’s my only hope.

    And the thing is, while I try to convince myself that that is what Brown is doing, he never actually gives any indication that my straw-grasping is correct!

    The Knicks, when they play their good players (Marbury, Frye, Curry, Lee, Crawford, Butler) are NOT a shitty team.

    Brown won’t play those guys. So I can only hope that my reasoning IS the reason.

    Please, Larry!

  34. Hotdamn

    My word of the day was GOONS…fitting huh. On to more important things – how much the knicks have deteriorated. I discovered Knickerblogger in the offseason and was looking forward to great rousing discussions of the potential of this team – realizing they weren’t playoff bound just yet. But this team has been looking god awful.

    Hopefully Zeke can pull off a solid trade …but I dont’ know if that can help, especially with isiah’s track record on trades.

    My question to you all…who would you want in a trade…who would you get rid of (realistically, you can’t trade jerome james because he has no value).

    I’ve heard rumors about some players from the sonics, nuggets and blazers the most – with recent reports about lamar odom and marko jaric…what’d ya think of all these guys? More bums for us to take on or possible key acquisitions?

  35. Steve

    they have to get a point guard. i swear, i don’t think they will win another game until they do, or until steph gets back. i’m almost hopeful that he doesn’t come back for a while, just out of morbid curiosity to see how long this will last.

    i’ve never seen any team, in any sport, lose this much and look so utterly hopeless. this is really something to behold. i think this is historic.

    vs. dallas: 10 assists, 19 turnovers. 13 points in the fourth quarter. wow. i didn’t see the game, but if you told me that a couple guys spent that last quarter standing around half court reading the wall street journal, occasionally looking up to see where the ball was, i wouldn’t doubt you.

    this might sound crazy — and spawn a new thread of “artest scale” discussion — but i like the rumor about getting danny fortson. this team could use someone to kick some ass and establish some kind of presence in the paint. eddy curry, as much as i’ve defended the deal to get him, has looked like a giant pillow of late. fortson’s contract is only this year and next, so there’s no big commitment. (the knicks are floating a rumor that seattle is “interested” in malik rose, hoping to generate some momentum in the press for the deal. ha ha ha ha ha ha.)

  36. dave crockett

    For those of you who will spend time this evening watching college hoops instead of spending quality time with your beloved… shame on you.

    But, you may check out the Temple/St. Joe’s matchup on ESPN2 (7:30?). If you haven’t had a chance to see Temple’s Mardy Collins, he’s a point guard I’ve had my eye on since last season. He’s 6’6″ with good handle, and a very good defender. He’s a streak shooter but really runs Temple’s offense–such that it is–about as well as it can be run.

    He’s a guy that may be available with the first round selection we got from Denver, which may turn out to be a rare feather in Isiah’s cap when it’s all said and done. (That is, if he doesn’t completely screw it up by trading away another first rounder for a gimpy kneed Kenyon Martin.)

  37. dave crockett

    I’ll be taping the game (if I remember) while watching some goofy romantic comedy of her choosing I suspect. Sigh.

  38. dave crockett

    hotdamn,

    right now i don’t want anyone in trade… seriously. sometimes you just have to take your lumps in the short term and hope for things to get better long term.

    when you find that you’ve dug yourself a hole the first thing to do to extricate yourself is to STOP DIGGING. (i’m not yelling at you, just highlighting for emphasis.)

    this team shouldn’t be as bad as it is right now. but it is. no trade is likely to transform it into a good team. the knicks are far better off playing with the roster this off-season. right now i’m just hoping to see signs of progrthe most part are the kind that add time to new york’s salary cap prison sentence. so i’m just looking for signs of progress this season, particularly from curry and frye.

    as for the draft, at this point i’ve become a huge fan of everyone playing against denver.

  39. dave crockett

    i wrote: right now i?m just hoping to see signs of progrthe most part are the kind that add time to new york?s salary cap prison sentence.

    should read: right now the only deals out there are the kind that add time to new york’s salary cap prison sentence.

  40. Ammad

    So what do people make about these latest trade rumors

    Rumor A
    1 Penny Hardaway, Jamal Crawford to Orlando
    2 Steve Francis to Denver
    3 Kenyon Martin, Earl Watson, and some other guys

    Rumor B
    Malik Rose and Ariza for Danny Fortson and Reggie Evans

    Rumor C
    Penny Hardaway and Crawford for Kelvin Cato and Steve Francis

    Does anyone like any of the deals that are being floated around?

  41. Young T

    The K-Mart one is not too bad. Given that it would not appear that the Knicks will have any salary-cap flexibility by the time of the apocalypse then we might as well take on his bad knees and attitude and kronies threatening hecklers in the stands and all. He is one guy who can actually defend inside – right now we have none of those guys. If we got Earl Watson too that would be a pretty good deal I think.

    Francis & Marbury could be really exciting but I don’t think Brown could live with 2 shoot-first undersized guards – look at Athens.

    Speaking of Brown, it would appear that his public criticism of players is proving highly-detrimental to the team. After all, you, me, or Brown can complain about the current roster all we like, but the team should be playing with at least more cohesion by now and the team should be showing some signs of progress by now – but the complete opposite has happened. The coach himself has to take blame for that. Brown may be a great coach or whatever, but he certainly does not appear to be the right guy for the task at hand.

  42. steve

    yeah, it’s becoming clear that brown isn’t the right fit for this groups of players, in this city, with this ownership.

    this is going to get ugly, and i think zeke will lost this battle of wills. i wonder if LB will stick it out for stick it out for five or six years to see this through and maintain his perfect record of turning teams around.

    re: trade scenarios — it seems like zeke’s philosophy is to acquire a roster filled with the league’s biggest underachievers, and hope that they resurrect their careers and actualize their potential. the problem is, that never ever ever works. vince carter can look good for a while cuz he has kidd running the show, but in the playoffs that team will fold up, cuz vince is soft. players get traded because their current teams don’t want them. think about zeke’s signature acquisitions — penny, Q, jerome james, crawford, marbury, tim thomas, eddy curry — all of them were available because their team had given up on them (eddy’s situation obviously is more complicated, but the same principle holds true for him).

    you bring those guys together, throw in underachievers like jalen rose and mo taylor, and you’ve assembled a team that has zero capacity to handle the slightest bit of adversity.

    why do you think francis and kenyon martin are available? because they’re franchise players with prime health who make their teammates better? they’re available because they have bad contracts and the team would be better off without them.

  43. Ted Nelson

    Steve: I agree that Isiah’s plan of bring together nothing but underacheivers who play no D will not work, but saying that the only thing available through trades is junk is taking it a bit far. For example, the Bullets/Wizards have “given up” on a list of players which includes C-Webb, Sheed, Rip, and Ben Wallace. A lot of teams don’t know who they’d be better off without and sometimes someone who’s of no use to his old team is exactly what his new team needed.

    Young T- Totally agree about LB. You can blame Isiah for the team’s numerous holes and for being under .500, but this team should clearly have at least 20 Ws, if not a few more.

    Whatever the Knicks do before the trade deadline and beyond, I hope they focus on improving the basketball IQ, character, and defense of the team. With the East as wide open as it is I really feel that the Knicks are a little bit of leadership, defense, and toughness away from the playoffs next year.

    Any deal involving Francis would not really address these needs and seems like it would be typical Isiah: surely Francis is more talented than whatever the Knicks would be giving up, but Francis has had his character and defensive commitment questioned throughout his professional career. And then there are ?s about how Francis and Marbury are going to share the same ball.
    Despite all this, if nothing better were available I might get behind a Francis deal because the Knicks don’t have their next two firsts and also because LB would have a hard time saying he doesn’t have at least average talent.

    I’d really be much more interested in a deal netting Kenyon Martin and/or Earl Watson as it actually addresses (not furthers) the Knicks’ problems.

    Evans might be a solid Larry Brown PF in the Tyrone Hill mold. Fortson, on the other hand, is probably not what the Knicks need in terms of chemistry (although if they got him for Malik Rose they could just cut him and basically shave a year off Rose’s deal).

  44. John

    “The K-Mart one is not too bad. Given that it would not appear that the Knicks will have any salary-cap flexibility by the time of the apocalypse”

    K-Mart’s contract goes through 2010/2011, Watson’s through 2009/2010 and Francis’ is for three more years after this season. As it stands now, the Knicks will have more flexibility after the 2006/2007 season when Penny, Mo’ Taylor and Jalen Rose are gone, and Malik Rose becomes trade bait for his expiring contract. Any of the above trade scenarios would only guarantee that the Knicks will remain capped-out with an aging, overpaid roster for the next 4-5 years. Should the Knicks trade now to get better immediately, if it means that they will be handcuffed for the next five years? Absolutely not. This is a viscious cycle. The Knicks have to REALLY admit that they are rebuilding, have a fire sale ala the Florida Marlins, try to get under the cap over the next three years, and plan on being marginal during that time. The only trades they should be talking about would be getting rid of long-term guys like Jerome James, Richardson, Crawford, or Curry for some outrageously bad overpaid players with only two more years on their contracts. That would free up room for a completely restructed roster by, at the latest, the 2008/2009 season. Maybe also use the amnesty clause on James next year?

  45. stacks

    I agree, The squad should definitely be at more than 20 wins with this roster. Trades or no trades, the team needs to address things like: getting back on defense, playing defense, not turning the ball over, hitting guys when their open, moving without the ball (…Curry), setting picks…u know the basics. It doesn’t matter who we get in here, if the coach doesn’t make adjustments, get in a few guys asses to try and win a game, we’re definitely not going to improve.

    Honestly, I think these cats have given up on LB. Their not showing up for him and I can totally understand why…they get yanked if they do well, and if they suck; turnover, ok…stay in the game…5/5 from three point land, have a seat. Wheres the motivation? Its like watching a bunch of little islands in authentic knicks jerseys

    Watching Frye throw the ball into the third row because he thought Crawford was cutting is the same as watching Isiah trade for overpriced veterens while LB shuffles the lineup he already has. Theres no chemistry. I agree Ted, they definitely need some basketball IQ, and character guys…guys with intangibles. Its like Zeke doesn’t see that, like he’s only looking arbitrarily at the game end stat sheets.

    As far as the kmart deal, I don’t see it helpin the knicks down the long run (ie maybe beat out the bobcats for the worst team in the L). Same goes for Stevie Franchise, Wink, or Anywhere But Vancouver Grizzlies, Francis. I like Earl Watson, and not just for his forehead, but he reminds me too much of a Moochie Norris kinda guy. You know, good with their team but once their traded they fall off the planet. I think that would happen to him here…things are just a mess here and he wouldn’t fit in.

    Heres the long and short term solution:
    Trade the Knicks starting 5 for Jim Calhoun and UConn starting 5 including a couple players off the bench, (if your curious, I do mean UConn Men’s team although the Womens team would probably give us more toughness than we have now)… We’ll certainly eclipse the 14 win total of this year at all star break. Down the line, we may have a pretty good team, maybe even make the Final Four.

    Is it me, or is Curry getting fatter?

  46. John

    By the way, K-Mart will be 34 in 2011. With his game based largely on his athleticism and his knees already giving him problems, that could be an ugly sight down then stretch.

  47. Seth

    I’m actually excited at the possibility of picking up Francis for these reasons:

    1. Larry Brown would shoot himself in the face
    2. I don’t think there is any comparison in history to the potential backcourt of Marbury and Francis. The possibilities are endless. Watching these two wrestle for the ball would be almost as wonderful as watching them succeed together. Who knows how that would turn out?
    3. 20 years from now when we’re winning championships, we can have a real hearty laugh about all of this.

  48. Ralow

    Speaking of the trade rumors, I would be for a Francis for Crawford deal…at least in the short term. Francis and Crawford (and Nate) have essentially the same game while Francis is better at it. Plus, he’s probably the best rebounding guard in the NBA…i.e. he plays bigger than he is. Chemistry on this team is is non-existant so who really cares if you add another ball hog?? It gives us flexibility to make another move if we have to in the future. Next year we would have 2 of the top 10 PGs in the league (plus Rose’s expiring deal)…and we could package one of them for one of these “young players with potential” that everybody loves and/or some draft picks. Or Marbury and Francis could actually play well together…right. Anyway, I think its an upgrade over what we have already.

    I don’t want any part of Martin. Why keep Frye if you are gonna have an overpaid potentially injured PF to block his way?? Martin is a good player but there is a reason Denver is shopping him. Watson would be a nice addition IMO. He’s more in the line of a Charlie Ward PG than Moochie Norris. He’d know his role as a 20 mpg PG and excel at it. Plus, he could come in the game and allow for Marbury (or Francis) to move to the off guard spot for a few minutes. I like the idea of adding him but I don’t think it will happen.

    The bottom line is that all the trades in the world won’t fix this team until the real issues are addressed. The real problem is obvious but no one (in the media) will actually say what it is for fear of the certain backlash. I, being a die hard Knicks fan, have ZERO problem saying the following: Larry Brown is not the right coach for this team. Sure he’s a HOF coach who has a proven track record but at this stage in his career he’s not the type to develop our young players and help them take it to the next level. He’d be the perfect fit for a veteran team on the verge of winning but can’t get over the “hump of mediocracy”…teams like Jersey, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Houston, and possibly Washington or Denver. Otherise, as evidenced by his showing at the Olympics, he’s not the man to lead young inexperienced guys. Like someone else said, I think our team has given up on the coach. I’m sure David Lee and Frye have to wonder how they can produce consistently and then be benched the next game. Same goes for Jackie Butler who is light years ahead of Jerome “snack cake” James. (Oh yeah, speaking of James, you could only use the “amnesty clause” once…not every year, sorry).I guess my point is that we really need to look at firing the coach before we fire ALL the players and talk about rebuilding from ground zero. By the time we would be able to contend, Brown would be long gone…either retired or on to another team (like Jersey). Herb Williams would have us at least at a .500 record at this point…with an eye for the future. Just my .02….

  49. Brian Cronin

    I have not been following how sports radio has handled this story, so I figured I’d check out YES’ recap of Mike and the Mad Dog, and I luckily tuned in just as Frank Isola came in to discuss the Knicks.

    What a disaster!

    Essentially, all three men said the following – “You cannot blame Larry Brown for the Knicks not winning. He is a Hall of Famer and a Championship winner, therefore, the problem cannot be him.”

    Mad Dog actually LITERALLY said that (Isola and Mike just agreed).

    And get this, it gets even better.

    In an interview last week, Larry Brown told Mike that part of his problem was that he thought he was taking over a much different Knicks squad.

    What squad did he think he was getting? (wait for it)

    Jerome James in the middle
    Sweets as the 4
    Tim Thomas as the 3
    Houston as the 2
    Penny as the 1
    Marbury off the bench.

    Brown apparently said this with a straight face.

    Isiah Thomas has messed up – repeatedly.

    And I am scared about what he will do with the team.

    However, I am just as worried about Larry Brown wanting, like, Tyrone Hill to play instead of David Lee.

    This is the man who (despite their exceptional play at practicetime) wouldn’t play – LEBRON JAMES AND AMARE STOUDEMIRE during the Olympics.

    Would you take Lamar Odom and Richard Jefferson for Lebron James? Brown was playing BOTH of them over Lebron!!

    And, like Lee and Frye, when Brown DID let Amare and Lebron play, they played very well, but they were not “proven veterans,” so he couldn’t play them.

    And yet this is the guy we want dealing with Frye and Lee, two players who will very likely be very good NBA players for years to come?

    Ridiculous.

    My word is perfect – it was scorn. That is what I have for Larry Brown right now.

  50. daris

    mr.thomas this doesnt make any sense this whole thing is getting out of hand especialally with this dumbass trade your are about to pull off trading lee,robinson and marbury thats just a fucking joke

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