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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winning or Hope: What Can the Knicks Offer Their Fans?

It is often said that a franchise can sell its fans one of two commodities: Winning or Hope. Having given up on winning, the Knicks redoubled their efforts to peddle hope. Despite being mired in their worst season ever, the powers that be gathered a Willis Reed-sized dollop of chutzpah, and sent letters to season ticket holders outlining their commitment to fielding a competitive team. Signed by both Isaih Thomas and Larry Brown, the message sang a seemingly harmonious rendition of: Tomorrow, tomorrow, the sun will come out tomorrow?

But is there gold at the end of the rainbow? While I realize prognosticating on how the Knicks can improve for next season may be subscribing to the same short-sighted philosophy that drove them into their current quagmire, I believe there are some simple moves that would improve the team without selling the future for the present. Heading into the off-season the Knicks have three holes to shore up ? Perimeter Stopper, Back-up Point Guard, and Interior Defense ? with three resources to do it ? Free Agency, Trades, and the Draft.

I exclude Trades from the analysis, because it takes two to tango, so any proposal is at best a rumor and at worst a fantasy. Also, we will see trades are not necessary to fill these needs. The free-agent market has its own problems as a team can only buy what is being sold, and this year the pickings are particularly slim. The draft is also expected to be marginal, but just because there is no superstar ability, does not mean there is not a density of contributing talent.

When filling the perimeter stopper role, ironically of all the available players, the most qualified athlete was not only traded away from the Knicks, but was stuck on the bench in the first place: Trevor Ariza. No other free agent fits the job description, much less would be available for the mid-level exception. The closest imposter would be the decrepit James Posey, a slowing Bonzi Wells, or the too expensive Caron Butler. So, to fill this need, the Knicks should turn to the draft. Equipped with the projected 21st and 29th picks overall, the drafts of recent years have proven that elite level defensive players are available at these slots: Trevor Ariza (43rd), Tayshaun Prince (23rd), Josh Howard (29th), and Gerald Wallace (25th), Bobby Simmons (41st), while both Ben Wallace and Bruce Bowen were undrafted.

The Knicks other two needs, Back-Up Point Guard and Interior Defense, do not necessitate a trip to the market, but instead a raid of their own cupboards, as they can both be filled in-house. The Knicks already serious roster issues have been further aggravated by mismanagement of their own players. Whether management does not appreciate star talent (Marbury), under-utilize production (Sweetney), bury budding talent (Frye, Lee, Butler, Ariza), or overplay inferior aging veterans (Taylor, M. Rose), the Knicks have run a Stern Business School clinic on how not to handle human resources. I offer these suggestions knowing full well that the chances are slim of the Knicks suddenly turning an about face and proving competent at handling players.

With Marbury and Francis starting in a dual-penetrating backcourt, much like Chris Paul and Speedy Claxton in NOK, the back-up point guard spot should be filled by Jamal Crawford. A team no less successful than the Phoenix Suns demonstrate that when going small and quick, the other team must compensate by substituting out their larger players to keep pace. Playing Crawford twenty minutes a night as a combo guard is a better fit for his skill set of smooth ball-handling and shot creation. Besides, Crawford has demonstrated an affinity for the reserve role this year, enough to merit early season nomination for the Sixth Man Award.

Moreover, consider the production of back-up point guards of many playoff teams and its clear that teams have succeeded with much less production than Crawford offers: Lindsey Hunter, Gary Payton, Jacque Vaughan, and Chucky Atkins, just to name a few.

As for Interior Defense, the answer is addition by subtraction: Replace Curry in the starting line-up with Butler. As an adept rebounder and shot-blocker and a capable if unspectacular offensive player, Butler is certainly worthy of a starting center spot. Pairing him with Channing Frye at power forward would be a strong defensive pairing. Since Curry isn?t a flashy, high-energy guard, it?s often lost that he would be best used as a Sixth Man. His skill set of high per-minute scoring, shot creation, and porous defense, makes him better suited for a reserve role, feasting on the league?s second units and back-up centers. Continuing to start him worsens the high turnover rate and lackadaisical effort that is plateuing his career.

So with the roster?s needs filled through the draft and proper roster management, who should the Knicks focus their mid-level exception on? The answer isn?t obvious, since no player out there can fill a need of theirs, and because, well, the players out there aren?t that good in the first place. I would grab the best available player and pull a Nuggets by trading them to a contender at the trade deadline. Anyone from the following would fit that bill: Lorenzen Wright, Bobby Jackson, Bonzi Wells, Vladimir Radmanovic, or Nazr Mohammed.

The rotation would be thus set: Marbury and Francis, with Crawford as the third guard; Woods, Frye, and Butler, in the frontcourt with Curry and Lee in reserve; then J. Rose coming in as a point-3; Robinson and Draft Picks filling out the end of the bench; and Q-Rich the NBA?s most expensive 12th man. Now, where does this leave room for Malik Rose, Mo Taylor, and Jerome James? It doesn?t. Perhaps Thomas should adapt a New York City tradition of getting rid of old junk: Flea-market anyone? I?d trade any one of those players for a decent armoire on any Sunday afternoon.

Why not trade these albatrosses you ask? Because the only general manager foolish enough to buy a bridge in Brooklyn already works for us.

With these relatively modest moves, the Knicks can employ a very solid rotation. While lacking any All-NBA talent, the roster is also bereft of any open sores, which is more than can be said of many playoff teams. Besides a second consecutive total tank job by their head coach, there is no reason to believe that the talent the Knicks field won?t be able to compete for an Eastern Conference playoff spot in 2006-07, as even our worst enemies admit we are not as bad as our record this season. Tomorrow, indeed, may have a brighter future than one would expect.

33 comments on “Winning or Hope: What Can the Knicks Offer Their Fans?

  1. John

    Zann,
    If there are only slight changes needed to make this a competitive roster, that leaves Brown culpable for the Knick’s lack of success this season for not settling on a 9-man roster.

    With the Marbury/Francis/Woods/Frye/Butler starting lineup, you may have picked the only starting lineup that Brown HASN’T used this year. The problem is that even if this lineup is used next year, the Knicks won’t have solved the perimeter defense problems that the Marbury/Francis pairing pose. According to 82 games.com, the Marbury/Francis duo has a +/- of -53, Off = 99.2, Def = 109.8.

    The alternative is not pretty though. Say either Marbury or Francis are moved (I don’t think Zeke will move both), and Thomas gets LB his distributing PG who plays reasonable defense (in the mold of Watson or Claxton) to play at the 1 with Marbury/Francis at the 2. The problem then is that Marbury/Francis have no chance of containing opposing SGs like Allen, Redd, Wade, Bryant, Pierce, Ginobili etc. because they both play matador defense and they are too small. Personally, I would rather keep Marbury (the early January version) at PG and pair him with a larger, better defender at the two that would assume defensive responsibilities on the perimeter.

    My hope for the offseason, is that Isiah employs the “addition through subtraction” philosophy, and
    instead of landing another flawed, offense-only superstar through some trade that compromises the team’s future, he lets go of the M. Rose and Taylor (as you suggested). Because of his contract and penchant for underachieving, we are stuck with James, like it or not.

    At this point, a guy like Pryzbilla, who will be a free agent soon, would be much more useful as a rebounding inside defensive presence than Curry. He is a better rebounder and defender, and would take some of the rebounding responsibility off of Frye. Also, with an interior defender, the guards could play tighter defense on the perimeter. I would take Pryzbilla starting with Butler coming in off the bench and James never playing over the Knick’s current situation any day.

  2. Andrew

    If I was gm what i would do is cut Taylor and Jalen Rose maybe even Malik to i guess buy them out , get rid of LB and bring back Herb,only cause were not gonna win for the next few years. open up some roster spots for the new rookies were gonna get. Do that instead of trading them for players with bigger contracts which is probably what isiah will do this summer like he did with penny. Try to trade anybody else on the roster with big long-term contracts for shorter contracts.

  3. Gorky

    I thought Q-Rich was a one of our best (not saying much) perimeter defenders. Plus, he cares about winning and I hope he can regain his basketball ability when he doesn’t have so many personal problems in one year. How about Marbury or Francis, whoever is left, and Q as the starting backcourt? I think that’s better than Marbury/Francis.

  4. PTC

    John,

    A few things:

    1) Historically, Francis is a solid defender. Basketball prospectus says his defensive per is JUST above average. This year using +/- for his Orlando days the Magic were actually VERY VERY slighty better on defense with him in the game than without. I take his knick stats with a grain of salt.

    First, LB has used him all over the map. There has been no continuity with his minutes or rotations. I expect when things settle down he would go back to his history which says hes just above average.

    Marbury would probably be the guy you’d want at SG and while he would get torced by the Pierces and so on….everyone does. So I don’t see that as a huge problem. If we had interior defenders this wouldn’t be such an issue.

    Long story short I think we’d be better on defense than I think you think. We wouldn’t be great, mind you, but I don’t think we’d be this unmitagated disaster either. I also disagree with your view on Francis’ defense….at least historically.

    2) That dovetails nicely into what I think was your best point which was: Get Joel Przybilla! If you want to put Steve and Marbury together (and I think we should) having Joel lurking behind them would be key. That move alone would would cover up a LOT of problems we’d have and I think turn a weakness into a strength.

    I would like to see us get a true-blue defensive center and SF. I would like to see us use Francis and Marbury together (forget offensive position designation, just let em play). And I would like to see Frye as the main focal point in the post.

    My hope was that we could do all that with Curry, but he just might not have the desire to defend at the level necessary to let us try that.

    What our team would end up looking like would be like the Sixer team with Iverson that got to the finals…except that instead of one Iverson we’d have two quasi-Iversons which I think would give us more offensive punch.

    I remember that year people knocking AI for his shot attempts. I watched a game where an analysist said that his shots aren’t really a problem because many of his misses get offensive rebounded and put back in. In a sense the planning on the misses made many of the misses not a problem because they still turned into points. And the guys doing the putting-back were being used most effectivly and that had AI tried to share the ball in a more traditional way it wouldnt have worked as well because they were not capable of being a low-post scoring threat.

    So what you had was a low shot % from AI (however a really high Usage Rate) and then really high shot % from guys like Mutumbo because most of their buckets came on taps and put backs.

    At first I didn’t really see it, but the more I thought about it the more it seemed that this offense was about as effective as anything else out there and it explained why a ball hog like AI wasn’t killing his team like people assumed a ball hog would.

    I mention it because we could, in theory, duplicate that style with the exception of adding a Francis for an Eric Snow type. More created shots, more chances that a hot Marbury or Francis takes over the game…and while we create more misses if we had the right bigs many of those could still end up being points because of put backs.

    The other upside to this is that no guards are going to be able to contain our gurads and in this league the way it’s called now-a-days we’re looking at leading the league in FT attempts almost every year. Which was another huge aspect as to why those Sixer teams did better than one would expect for having a ball hog. He was a ball hog who created FT’s!!

    I think there is enough there to at least TRY this out for half a season and see what happens. While it’s possible I don’t see how this could be any worse than what we have going on now and it would certainly be more entertaining.

  5. Kevin

    ?Butler is certainly worthy of a starting center spot?. Based on 500 career minutes in mostly mop up time. Yes he?s young and raw, but projecting him like this is getting ahead of yourself. I?ve never been impressed by his defense. His numbers projected out to 40 minutes are 15.2 ppg/9.7 rpg ? oh and 7.6 fouls per game. Curry?s per 40 are 20.4/8.5.

    I think James should be shut down and Butler should play 30 a night ? see what he can do. Saying he is clearly worthy, based on what he has done, is getting ahead of ourselves.

  6. John

    PTC,
    I suppose that you could argue that Francis’ performance with the Knicks has suffered due to no set rotations or defined roles, lack of training camp and practice, pressure etc. When I’ve seen him play defense in past months, he seems, like many other Knicks, to just be flat and disinterested in defending. He routinely gets blown by or shot over, and it is not rare to see Francis getting burned trying to go for a steal. Hopefully this will improve when things settle down, as you say.

    Interesting points regarding the Sixers team that made it to the finals. I completely agree that with solid defenders at the 3 and 5, the Marbury/Francis model could work (or would at least be interesting to watch).

    The problem with the pairing though, is that Brown is not the type of coach that will “forget offensive position designation, (and) just let em play”. Despite his public endorsement of the Francis deal, and the Frazier/Monroe comparisons, he has been set in his coaching style for 30+ years…a style that has brought alot of success. In that sense, Brown is responsible for not adjusting and maximizing the talent that he has.

    Without rehashing the blame debate too much, I do think the team ‘s failure ultimately has to fall back on Thomas for putting LB together with a roster full of guys who AREN’T Brown’s type of players.

  7. John

    What I wanted to emphasize that didn’t really come off well in the previous post is that Brown has shown, both in the media and on the court, only a superficial commitment to the Marbury/Francis duo. He praised the Francis acquisition, and has started them in tandem, but after the end of the first quarter, they rarely play alongside one another for extended minutes.

    Whether or not the two can play effectively together remains to be seen, and it may be moot point now that Marbury is out and the offseason is approaching. I think that on paper they are a very interesting one-two scoring punch. However, I seriously doubt that the pair can be effective under Brown, given his coaching style.

    I have to think that Brown’s endorsement of the Francis trade and the Frazier/Monroe comparison was more a show of Knick front office solidarity than actual optimism about a Franbury backcourt.

    More likely than not, as Chuck Daly mentions in his book, Thomas will try to pull off another blockbuster trade involving at least one of the two in the offseason.

  8. PTC

    John,

    I don’t really disagree with what you say here. I just would like to see them play together for long periods of time (i.e. weeks) before trading one of them and declaring it didn’t work.

    I do agree that it’s very likely that Marbury is gone and we may never know.

    One thing I will say is that I don’t think Brown wanted Francis as tall. I think he publiclly said that to give the impression taht Brown has more power over these decisions than he really does. If there is one thing true about LB it’s a need to appear to be in control…even when he isn’t.

    I think it was smart for Thomas to let him do it because then Brown couldn’t whine about Francis like he does about everything else. That is to say if Brown got what he wanted could he rationally complain later? It saved Thomas another headache.

    As far as ultimate blame going to Thomas because of hiring Brown I would agree. Thomas hiring Brown was so clearly a desperation move most of us probably saw that coming a mile away.

    Getting back to Marbury/Francis it appears as if Marbury is the one likely to be gone. But I don’t see how this solves the real problem. Francis will end up having basically the same problems Marbury did with Brown. Also I find it hard to believe we’ll get value back for Marbury which would lower our talent level and might turn off the casual fans. (the ones that remain anyhow)

    Typically one way you improve a team is by making trades with teams who are dealing players for non-skill related reasons. That is how you get some of the bigger rip offs in NBA trading history. I like that we do business with desperate teams, I just don’t want to become one.

    And this is where Brown is at his worst. All his sniping with Marbury did one thing for sure: It lowered Marburys trade value.

    Now teams know we need to deal Marbury which puts us at a disadvantage AND the guy just had his HOF coach tear him apart as well…which makes things worse.

    It’s safe to say Marburys value is at an all-time low, and thats what Thomas has to deal with when trying to deal this guy.

    To me it would be much smarter to keep your mouth shut and try to raise trade value when you don’t like someone….not lower it.

    But thats me.

  9. Michael Zannettis

    In the words of my sister the social worker, Larry Brown’s treatment of his point guards exhibits: “A pattern of abuse.”

    Subsequently, I would comment at length how inane it is for the Knicks to trade away Marbury at pennies for the dollar to appease Brown, but a writer far greater than me, Malcolm Gladwell, already said it five years ago, in an article titled, “There’s No ‘I’ In ‘Coach’, Either”: http://www.slate.com/?id=87690

  10. mase

    I want smarter players. i think that is where the fault lies in Isiah’s roster because b-ball smarts is key to on-court chemistry. Jalen rose fits the mold although not athletic enough for Isiah.

    The 1st off season move is to fire Isiah and get a new GM, IMHO.

  11. Count Zero

    I gotta agree — the Marbury situation is a shame and evidence of bad personnel management. But I also think it’s water under the bridge at this point — Marbury needs to go or LB needs to go. Tough call, but if forced to make it, I would get rid of Marbury. His skills will be diminishing over the next couple of years anyway.

    I would also trade Nate. Hate to say it, but for a mediocre-talent rookie, he’s got way too much attitude. If a rook’s gonna’ talk s**t to a veteran coach like LB, he better be Chris Paul-type talent. Doing it when you have Nate-level talent is evidence of insanity / stupidity / a bad attitude. Gone in sixty seconds.

    The Butler / Curry thing is an interesting idea — good point about Curry’s instant offensive bursts. Not sure Butler’s the man you want him to be, but it’s definitely worth a shot.

    And yeah…fire Zeke.

  12. Dane

    I think Crawford should be someone to keep, as he is a good person, he seems to sacrifice his game for the team and he is instant offense off the bench. However, this team is a mess and I think the people who should go should be LB, Isiah, Marbury, James and Francis. But that might be hoping for too much.

  13. Count Zero

    I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t a big Jamal fan for the past two seasons. But he’s changing my mind. I don’t think I would trade him right now — he looks like the best guard we have at the moment, and LB likes him.

    I guess it comes down to who stays: if LB stays, I look to trade Marbury if I can because there is no way those two are ever going to get along.

  14. Brian Cronin

    Oh, Jamal is definitely looking like the best guard the Knicks have right now (a healthy Marbury is likely better), but also, he’s the easiest TO trade.

    And if trading Crawford can

    A. Get the Knicks something good

    or

    B. Get rid of an albatross along with Crawford (like a Malik Rose)

    then I’d do it.

    In addition, isn’t it amazing how decent this Knicks squad has been looking? Possibly their LEAST talented team of the season, and it’s performing like an actual basketball squad!!

  15. Marc R

    I’m also pleased with how decent the team has been looking. I think a good reason for it is that injuries have finally got Brown to shorten his rotation.

  16. EGY

    In the rush to expunge this season from memory, let’s not get hasty. Crawford is better than Marbury and Francis, for a few reasons:

    1 – He’s not a chronic malcontent
    2 – He’s not afraid of pressure
    3- He’s young and improving

    I believe the reason we’ve been looking good is that we are good, sort of. A rotation of Crawford and Robinson at shooting guard, Woods and Q at small forward, Frye and Lee at power forward and Butler and Curry at center gets the Knicks into the playoffs next year. It also sets them up with a nice young foundation for the future. We just need to draft/trade for a pass-first point guard.

    The big problem is that we also have Taylor, James, 2 Roses, Marbury, Francis, and a coach who insists on playing them.

  17. mase

    “The big problem is that we also have Taylor, James, 2 Roses, Marbury, Francis, and a coach who insists on playing them. ”

    those are max contract players for the most part, I doubt if its totally the coach’s decision to play those guys.

  18. Count Zero

    Brian — Not sure I agree with that logic for a couple of reasons:

    1) I do not see how you can keep Marbury and LB at this point — one of them has to go. Personally, I’d keep LB and get rid of Marbury…in a NY minute. :)
    2) EGY’s points are also valid — Marbury is no longer getting better at 29, and he IS a chronic malcontent that made every NBA team he has ever played on worse than it was when he arrived. Say what you will about his talent, but that’s his team history. Wherever he goes; they lose…frequently.
    3)Crawford is actually getting better on D…Marbury couldn’t guard my grandmother at this point.

    I wouldn’t trade Jamal at all right now, since that leaves me with Nate, Q or Marbury as my 2 guard. Three backup 2s — not a starter in that bunch. I would consider Jamal, Frye and Lee as my untouchables.

  19. Brian Cronin

    I will admit, with the injury and his age, I have NO clue what to expect from Marbury next season. So Crawford MIGHT be better than him next season.

    As for Marbury and his teams, remember, the Wolves got a GOOD deal worse when they traded Marbury. They improved the NEXT season, when they added Wally and gave Rasho minutes for the first time. And his Nets DID get better the next season, only getting worse the following season when they lost Kittles, Van Horn AND K-Mart to injuries.

    He was then traded to the Suns, who DID get worse when he was traded to them.

    Then he was traded to the Knicks, who got BETTER when he was traded to them.

    So, basically, I’m not buying the “Marbury hurts teams” argument.

  20. Count Zero

    You’re looking strictly at W-L record in the subsequent season. At Minnesota, he feuded incessantly with Garnett — let me ask you, who would you have traded? Garnett? In NJ, he feuded with everyone and blamed all the team’s woes on his teammates. And while he helped the Knicks win games after his arrival in the ’04-’05 season under Lenny-have it your way Stephon-Wilkens, he has now become the same poisonous, non-team player here that he has been everywhere he ever went.

    http://www.nypost.com/sports/knicks/64507.htm

    “Marbury said, stronger then ever, Brown is to blame for the Knicks’ catastrophic 22-56 record. Marbury joked that he has asked the Knicks’ PR staff for a podium next week to air his views.”

    “Marbury said his injuries (22 games missed by season’s end) didn’t cost the Knicks the season, but de-emphasizing his part in the offense did.”

    There’s plenty of blame to go around…starting with Zeke, down through LB, Marbury, and others. But as usual, Marbury denies having anything to do with it — it’s ALWAYS everyone else’s fault with Marbury. You claim to be the star? The team’s best player? Stand up and take responsibility.

    Aside from the fact that he can’t feed the post and can’t adjust his game to his teammates, his simple problem is that he never makes the people around him better. Great players (especially PGs!) make everyone around them better — that’s the true measure of their greatness. Marbury brings out the worst in everyone around him, and then claims it’s because they suck. That’s why he’s a perennial loser.

    I say get rid of him…whatever it costs. He’s like a cancer, whereas Jamal is starting to look like a real leader.

  21. Fred

    Just when you thought we could actually start talking about basketball issues, here goes Marbury opening his big mouth. Regardless of talent, he now has to go. Even if people hate Brown’s work this season, you can’t have a player disrespect the coach like this and not have repercussions, what kind of example is this for the young guys? God, why isnt this season over yet.

  22. Kevin Pelton

    Here’s an interesting description of the relationship:

    “Despite a rare flare-up or two over the past seven years, the relationship between Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury never reached the level of a feud.”

    I suggest reading the whole article.

  23. EGY

    The sooner we jettison Marbury & Francis, the sooner the aneurism I used to call my brain can heal.

    Next, get a veteran, pass-first point guard in to run the show (anyone know what Mark Jackson’s up to these days?). I’ve read that Kiki may be willing to part with Andre Miller…

    Finally, pound it inside to the big men the majority of the time. Frye, Butler, Lee and Curry (get those elbows up, Eddy) all shoot close to or over 50% from the field. Kick it out to Crawford, Richardson, etc. to keep teams honest.

  24. PTC

    What one has to ask themselves is why, honestly, Marbury forces a trade out of Minny? He doesn’t just leave when his contract is up, like most unhappy players, he feels it best to use his leverage to force a trade that not only makes him look bad….but hurts his old team, and by extension, his “supposed” friend: KG.

    I have a hypothesis about that situation that both time (vis a vis Marbury’s history) and personalty have convinced me is true.

    Secondarily, those that disagree with me have never put forth a convincing idea why I’m wrong, they simply refute me with “Well we don’t that since he never SAID it.” Which is like saying Richard Nixon didn’t do anything wrong because he never ADMITTED it.

    Anyhow, my view is that Marbury was so unbelievably jealous of Kevin Garnett that he would rather hurt his reputation, his “friend”, and his then-current team simply for the POSSIBILITY to advance his own ego and personal agenda.

    I think it became clear very early on that the team was always going to be KG’s team. I think he realized that no matter how much both players claimed the team was “theirs” (along with Tom Gugliotta’s) that it was KG’s first and everyone came second.

    Other factors certainly weighed in: racial makup of Minnesota, weather, marketability of the team, ect…..however, THE prime factor involved in Marbury leaving was petty jealousy.

    The reason Marbury WILL not go back is because it’s a silent admission that he was wrong to do what he did and that he was a young punk who made the mistake of actually THINKING he was the next John Stockton. (You see the Stockton reference in several quotes from him). Not that his style was like Stockton, but that his impact and…oh let’s call it gravitas, was at the Stockton level.

    At the end of the day I think an honest Marbury would tell you that his stunt WAS a mistake, that it impacted his career for the negative, and that his ego wrote checks that, ultimately, his talent couldn’t cash.

    The sole reason this isn’t a feud is because to have a feud you need both parties to feel slighted and to react. That’s impossible in this case because KG has handled the sitatuion with class, thus giving Marbury no logical reason to advance this into a “feud”.

    But if one think’s that at that time all was hunky dory, they are naive.

  25. Count Zero

    All seems like a moot point since it now smells an awful lot like LB is about to step down for “health reasons” and Zeke will soon inspire us with a speech about how “he has complete confidence in Marbury’s ability to lead a young team into the future.” They will then name Herb Williams coach in a move to ensure that Marbury gets his way no matter what, since Herb isn’t likely to stand up in the same spot that resulted in a veteran coach like LB getting axed. Enter the gimped coach Part Deux.

    Don’t get me wrong — LB shares a lot of the blame for a pathetic season. But out of the triumvirate of failure (LB, Zeke, & Starbury), I’m more inclined to give LB another year than I am to give it to either of the other two. We continue to be cursed with the front office from hell. :(

  26. Count Zero

    Don’t know — but according to today’s Daily News, the contract is insured against just such an event. So it wouldn’t be coming out of the Knicks’ pocket unless it’s a trumped-up illness manufactured solely to make a change.

  27. PTC

    Depending on what you think of Brown I find something ironic. When we first hired Brown I’m sure knick fans worried that his flaky attitude and quitter mentality would hurt the team when he left.

    It’s interesting that if you believe Brown has been a disaster, this mentality he has, is actually going to HELP us. Who would figured that?

  28. Cips

    Yeah, we have an insurance policy worked out in his contract that if he resigned for health reasons or went to coach somewhere else, we wouldn’t be troubled to fulfill contractual obligations regarding the money. Thank God.

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