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Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Worst Article Of 2007

Folks it’s about that time of year again, to announce the worst article of 2007. While there were many fine candidates throughout the year there’s one article that was published just 2 days ago that has surpassed all others. I’m proud to say that this work is right up there with previous winners such as Charlie Rosen’s most overrated list, and Frank Hughes 2004 piece. The winner for KnickerBlogger’s worst article of 2007 is brought to us by Lou V. of paperbacknovel titled “Why the Knicks Don’t Suck.. Anymore, But the NY Post and NY Daily News Do (Suck).”

I don’t know what the internet comparable version of “don’t judge a book by it’s color”, but maybe it should be “judge an article by it’s title.” It certainly applies to this year’s worst article winner. Notice the improper use of the ellipsis (two dots instead of three), and how the author has to add the final “(Suck)” in parenthesis because he decided to throw in the word “Anymore”. If the author wanted a better title, he could have dropped both words for a simpler title: “Why the Knicks Don’t Suck, But the NY Post and NY Daily News Do.” But why go for clarity when you’re aiming for much lower?

While I have to admit I thought at first that this would be an Onion-esque satirical piece, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t. The author, Lou V., starts off by bashing the local media for “getting their [readers’] attentions off real economic and political issues by parading sports and the lottery in front of them.” A reasonable start to an article, as I’ve certainly taken my shots at the mainstream news. Unfortunately he follows it with this monstrocity:

… the Knicks are fine. They remain as they were to start the season — a young, athletic team with guys who can score; they have great chemistry, believe in their coach, and are progressively playing better defense… They’re not a championship team yet, but they’re a good team; a playoff-caliber team.

I guess if you’re going to define “good” as being one of the worst teams in the league, then the 5-11 Knicks are good. By those standards, the 6-10 Clippers are great, the 7-8 Bucks are awesome and the 8-9 Nets are unbeatable. Just about the only thing true in these sentences is that the Knicks are a young athletic team with guys who can score. They do not have good chemistry, and they certainly don’t believe in their coach. Their defense hasn’t progressively improved, in fact it’s been about the same for the last 2 years. No the Knicks aren’t a championship team. No the Knicks aren’t a good team. No the Knicks aren’t a playoff-caliber team. Of course the author throws in this nugget in the same paragraph: “… James Dolan, owner, who has proven to be a stand-up, moral guy …” More on that later.

In his next section Lou V is a bit more sensible. Lou talks about how Isiah was “castigated” by the Renaldo Balkman selection, and states that Larry Brown was viewed favorably due to racism. There’s definitely a valid point to be made with Balkman. Many in the mainstream media criticized Thomas relentlessly for the selection, one that is looking better and better by the day. And yes claiming Larry Brown was liked not because he is one of the better coaches of his generation, flaws and all, because of the color of his skin is one of the more reasonable claims of this column. Read on.

The next section titled “Why Isiah Thomas Doesn’t Suck” is laughable. The author claims that “Isiah has turned the Knicks around in 3 years at the helm as GM.” and “Most GM’s in the NBA would exchange their best three big men for [Curry-Randolph-Lee]in a heartbeat.” I guess you could debate that Isiah has only been around for 3 years, since he is 19 days short of his fourth season. However what’s not debatable is that he’s turned the team around. The Knicks have only bested their ’03 record of 37 wins once in Isiah’s tenure, and are on track for only 25 wins this season.

But it’s the author’s second assertion that has me thinking. How many teams would trade their top 3 big men for the Knicks? Well I think I can safely omit Boston, Orlando, Toronto, San Antonio, Phoenix, Utah, Dallas, and Houston due to their star power at those positions. I might add Miami (Shaq), Chicago (Ben, Thomas, Noah + didn’t want Curry in the first place), Denver (Camby, Nene, K-Mart), Clippers (Brand), Portland (Oden), and Memphis (Gasol). Then there are teams where these three wouldn’t fit in like Golden State (Nellie-ball), and Detroit (‘Sheed/McDyess). Not counting teams that wouldn’t do it for reasons of fiscal irresponsibility, I count 16 teams that wouldn’t trade for our trio tower. Of course I guess a team like the Nets or Lakers might (Bynum?), so Knick fans might want to put in an order for that Kwame Brown or Nenad Krstic jersey they’ve been pining for.

What puts this article at the top of my list is the sidebar containing “Isiah Thomas’s Knicks’ Resume.” Some of the gems:

“Zach Randolph and Fred Jones for Channing Frye? This may go down as one of the great Knick trades ever.”

“Acquired Tim Thomas from Milwaukee and center Nazr Mohammed from Atlanta in a three-team trade…. Mohammed played some good ball in NY, but then helped Isiah rebuild with the trade listed below this one. Tim Thomas played some ball in NY, but then helped Isiah get Eddy Curry from Chicago. This Feb 2004 trade was a fantastic setup trade for the Knicks.”

“Despite the criticisms, Marbury has played a lot of all-star basketball in NY. The final word is still out on this trade as there is still that conditional 1st-round pick hanging out there in 2009 or 2010 that Phoenix gets from NY, but so far, NY got Stephon Marbury for a bunch of crap — including Knick-franchise-of-the-future-according-to-Stu-Laden, Michel Lampe. Penny Hardaway was used by Knicks to help get Stevie Francis, who was used to help get Zach Randolph. Phoenix used this trade to get $7-million under the cap, enabling them to sign free agent Steve Nash, and catapulting them to an elite team. This trade looks good for both teams right now, for different reasons.”

The Knicks best trades of all time: Dave DeBusschere for Bellamy; Riordan and Stallworth for Monroe; Oakley for Camby; and Zach for Frye? Um yeah… The author also credits Isiah for drafting Trevor Ariza and Demitrius Nichols, ignoring the fact that the first was traded and the second’s expulsion from the club was a classic blunder.

Not to be outdone, the author concludes with “Why James Dolan Doesn’t Suck.” He states that “Dolan’s handling of the Anucka Browne Sanders case is prototypical of his high moral fiber.” I guess I couldn’t have said that better myself.

52 comments on “The Worst Article Of 2007

  1. TheMC5

    Why does the link to paperbacknovel bring me to the Knickerblogger home page? I actually want to read this disaster.

  2. Alec

    In theory, some moves Thomas has made make sense. I just can’t think of any off the top of my head.

    On another note, someone once said that Thomas traded for all these current players, because he was gathering players for the Big Ticket. But then Minn balked at the deal, leaving Thomas with the current roster.

  3. Gorky

    I dunno if this is worth mentioning, but clearly Mr Lou V did not do his research. James Dolan Sr does not, in fact, exist.

  4. retropkid

    Lou V may be related to Zeke in some way, can there be any other explanation for his self-delusion??

    There are so many holes in his argument, one wonders where to start…

    He never says the Knicks will be a winning team, just that they might be a play-off team…at the end of the day, Lou V sets the bar dismally low for Zeke and Dolan — Lou V is just another guy who doesn’t understand how to win, but certainly understands how to whine…

  5. brian quinnett's left nipple

    Jerome James: A minor free agent signing — Knicks used their $4 million exception to sign him. He’s been wrecked by injury in his first 3 years in NY. He was a dominant inside defender and rebounder in Seattle and in brief healthy appearances in NY. Still 2 years left on the 5 year contract to see if he’ll ever be healthy in NY.

    his words. not mine.

    awesometastic.

  6. Mr. Black

    I agree with most of the article. I think it is too much to call Balkman a “top-player”. It is too forgiving to call Burger King James and Jarhead Jeffries “so-so” picks. It is too much to continue to call Steph a star point. I think he is still top ten but not a star. I dont know who Nate Richardson is.

    Berman has written much worse articles. Ditto lupica. It is about timme that someone wrote an over the top positive article. The team isnot that bad. They can turn it around. There are still 60 plus games left. They can 40 out of the next 60. That would put them 5 over .500 for the year. I still think they can do it.

  7. TheMC5

    That article was so bad it was almost good. Balkman’s a “great NBA player”, is he? A guy who can’t hit a 5 foot wide open jumper is a great player? No doubt, he’s a good defensive specialist and a solid rebounder, but nothing more, and his offensive deficiencies pretty well guarantee that he won’t see the court for over 20 minutes per game. And Jared Jeffries can “potentially shut down opposing big men”? Really? Since when? Jeffries is a 6’11” swingman with no offensive game whatsoever, and at best an average defender. And James Dolan, man of high moral fiber: classic.

    Does CableVision have a stake in paperbacknovel, or something? Did Saint Dolan commission this piece?

  8. Owen

    There are backup point guards better than Marbury. Jose Calderon for instance, 142 assists and 25 turnovers, 15.2/40. He would be a nice fit on this Knicks team…

  9. Z

    “There are backup point guards better than Marbury.”

    Dan Dickau had 8 assists in 20 minutes the other night.

  10. daaarn

    so now that King’s out in Philly, can we expect some more GMs firings, particularly the bad ones?

  11. Alec

    Its not that Marbury is that bad, but he is lost in the system. He has to be the number option in order to be good. On the current roster, he’s the 4th.

  12. xduckshoex

    “There are backup point guards better than Marbury. Jose Calderon for instance, 142 assists and 25 turnovers, 15.2/40. He would be a nice fit on this Knicks team”

    Calderon would be a nice fit on any team, it’s obvious that he should be the starter on that Raptors team. I’d give up any Knicks player not named David Lee to get him.

  13. Owen

    Yeah, I agree 100%, and I am sure Colangelo does too. There is no Knick the Raptors would possibly give up Calderon for right now, other than David Lee. They already have Moon, who is posting Balkman-like numbers and is leading the team in minutes played…

  14. KingLeer

    this is FICTION

    after the Boston Massacre, i’d be hard pressed to find any reasoning to keep Isiah around. He ran the CBA into the ground, left the Pacers worse than when he was there, ruined the Raptors, and he is burning down Madison Square Garden…
    WHO NEEDS TWO ZACH RANDOLPH’S ON ONE TEAM???
    idiot

  15. Mr. Black

    We need to get something straight. Isiah did NOT run the CBA into the ground.

    The CBA was already sinking fast. Isiah jumped on a sinking ship with a bucket and some krazy glue and he tried to fix the problem. Unfortunatley the damage was too great and CBA sank. It would have sunk whether Isiah was involved or not. Warren Buffet couldnt have saved the CBA.

  16. LA

    Read about Marbury’s dad. Very sad. To think his last moments at the garden were spent watching his son get booed.

    I have to wonder why the reported family member told the team not to tell Steph until after the game. If Steph spoke at home that he didn’t care about the team as we all believe, wouldn’t they have gotten him out of there. I have to believe that in his private moments away from the media he is telling his family how much he wants to play and win with this team. Why else would the family try to protect him from the news so he could play? So sad. I am convinced by this that Steph has heart and desire. Sadly, his main fault is that he is just not good enough on the court to win against the best players in the world. He also has an obvious lack of self awareness when he talks to the media which turns the fans off. I hope Steph takes some time off from this and comes back more focused and self aware. And I hope the fans stop booing him.

  17. Mike Andarese

    I agree with Mr. Black. That article hits the nail on the head in many areas. Isiah HAS made good trades and draft picks. The Knicks are 5-11 after a tough schedule. You’d think they were 1-15. People have to have patience.

    I think that article is the best I’ve read in 2007.

    Which would make this blog — the worst blog of 2007!

  18. Z

    “Dan Dickua is not better than Marbury. Not on his best day.”

    You’re right.

    Not on Marbury’s best day.

  19. dchan

    The only way “Why the Knicks Don’t Suck” makes any sort of sense to me is if it were a satire. In fact I’m going out of my way and saying it is the finest satire that I have every read (with apologies to Jonathan Swift).

    How else can you explain why Lou V writes that the Knicks have “great chemistry”? Or partially defending the Jalen Rose trade by saying his being waived “opened up some salary savings”? Or playing down the Jerome James signing as a “so-so signing”? (“Still two years left on his five year contract to see if he’ll ever be healthy”) And the true gems are the ones defending Jimmy Dolan, claiming that he gave another chance (and a roster spot) to a former alcoholic and that he clearly will “spends lot of money to make the Knicks good.”

    Let’s get serious here for a moment. Spending a lot of money means nothing if everyone is overpaid. Giving alcoholics another chance (and a roster spot) is clearly at odds with trying to “make the Knicks good. When you waive a highly paid player by Knicks standards to “open up some salary savings” and it is still a drop in the bucket compared with your payroll, you’re doing something wrong. (And when $11 million settlements in sexual harassment suits are a drop in the bucket compared with…) And finally, when you give $25 million to a slacker when nobody else was stupid enough to pay him that much (remember Bonzi Wells and his playoff contract push?, and you’re still waiting for him to get “healthy”, ……

    Ah, why am I even writing here. It’s not like I’m opening up anybody’s eyes here. I’ll say one last thing. If your team has so many embarrassing issues that nobody has to go to much effort to really point out, yet you’re playing in the media capital of the world, you’re in a lot of trouble.

  20. booklover

    Have some sympathy … 14 years olds who have had their hearts broken by their teams are the true fans! Lou V. … Luv U!

    p.s. btwm the correct expression is ?don?t judge a book by it?s cover?,

    Cheers!

  21. Mr. Black

    Z,

    Dan Dicau was the subject of the previous sentence, so the pronoun “his”, which takes the place of the subject noun, refers to Dan Dicau, not Stephon Marbury. Of course, I invited confusion by placing a full stop, the punctuation you might call a “period”, in a place that called for a comma.

    My apologies for confusing you Z.

  22. bmj320

    Isiah has a chance to redeem himself thanks to the Bobcats offering Varejao a contract Cleveland will match the offer and have to open up a roster spot with the likely person to be waived is Demetrius Nichols. The Knicks need out side shooting and some length in the backcourt. Cut Collins or Fred Jones to open a roster spot.

  23. Owen

    Isaiah is going to have to do a little bit more than that to redeem himself….

    So, who is our starting point guard tonight?

  24. jon abbey

    actually, just saw a story that Steph might play, his dad’s funeral is tomorrow AM. with these next games all being close to home, he might not miss any.

  25. Ben R

    Fred Jones while not great has been pretty solid this season.

    His TS% is quite good and the third best on the Knicks. His defense while a little overrated by Isiah is still good and better than Marbury, Crawford, or Nate. In fact his 54.8% TS% is the 2nd best of his career and should be even higher. If he was shooting his career average FT% his TS% would be 59%. He is also averaging 1.9 Stls and 3.3 Asts per 40.

    The only thing keeping him from having a great year is that his turnover rate is very high at 18.7 and 2.9 TOs per 40.

    Overall considering how alot of our players have played Jones starting is not that bad as long as he only plays as a guard, because he is too small to play SF and should not be ahead of Balkman in the rotation.

  26. Mr. Black

    Anyone want to comment on how many of David Lee’s shots will be blocked tonight?

    I am going to put the over/under at 3. I am taking the over, if Curry cant play tonight.

  27. Z

    “My apologies for confusing you Z.”

    I was being a wise-ass.

    But I’d still rather have Dickau at least as a back up to Marbury, if not as the starting PG for the year instead of him. The PG position is a serious, serious problem for this team.

  28. caleb

    I will take the under on blocks and the over on 55.

    Here’s one: Will Lee or Randolph make more free throws, per minute, this season?

    I’ll take DL.

  29. Mr. Black

    Z,

    “‘My apologies for confusing you Z.’

    I was being a wise-ass.”

    Yeah I know. I was being a wise-ass back at ya. :-)

    I agree. It is unfortunate that Thomas cut two players (Dan and Demitrius) that could help this team while holding fast to two players that really bring nothing to the table. Those two players being Burger King James and Malik Rose. I would much rather have Dirty Dan and D-Nice on the bench, especially when James and Rose do NOTHING!!

  30. DNM

    Rose is a SCHOLAR. He goes home after every game to and tries to solve global warming and world hunger.

  31. Mr. Black

    Owen said:

    “Alright, I will take the under?

    And let?s do another one, David Lee posting a ts% above 55%, you want the under? ”

    Hmmm thats a tough one. If Curry does not play, I take the over because Lee will have room to work in the post and he will catch a few more fast break dunks. IF Curry does play, then Lee wont have a ts% of 50 tonight.

    I like Lee alot but it seems that he has lost some lift/explosiveness followng that high ankle sprain. Is he 100%? Come to think of it, Balkman looks a tad slower than he did over the summer. But that could just be becuase he is playing against better talent now.

  32. Mr. Black

    Rose is a SCHOLAR. He goes home after every game to and tries to solve global warming and world hunger.

    He could solve world hunger by getting Jerome to share.

  33. caleb

    I also wonder about Lee’s health & fitness… even if he’s technically 100%, he missed a lot of conditioning and strengthening time over the summer – if I recall he wasn’t healthy by summer league in mid-July. And yeah, he looks to have less spring in his step.

    Balkman not only missed training camp with the high-ankle sprain, he got hurt again the first week of the season… so he’s definitely been limited by injuries.

    Even with slow starts, IMO both these guys are upgrades over Randolph (or Curry) and Q, respectively. But I won’t rehash that argument.

  34. Z

    “Even with slow starts, IMO both these guys are upgrades over Randolph (or Curry) and Q, respectively. But I won?t rehash that argument.”

    If Randolph and Curry didn’t exist we would still be 5-11. Maybe better. Not worse.

  35. teddd

    I finally got around to reading the article from 2004 winner, Frank Hughes. And now that we look back at it, don’t you owe him a huge apology KB? Wasn’t he ahead of curve on this one.

  36. caleb

    “‘Even with slow starts, IMO both these guys are upgrades over Randolph (or Curry) and Q, respectively. But I won?t rehash that argument.'”

    If Randolph and Curry didn?t exist we would still be 5-11. Maybe better. Not worse.”

    Not suggesting we play 3 on 5… just that Lee should get starter’s minutes, and one of those other guys would see less PT. (like a 36-30-30 split, or 36/36/24)

    You’d see much better defense and overall ball movement.. and while he’s not AS good an individual player on offense as either Curry or Randolph, he’s solid… and beyond that, those two cancel each other out – when one has the ball, the other doesn’t, and is on the court for basically no reason at all. Let’s say it was Randolph whose minutes were cut – Curry would get extra shots, which would be just fine.

  37. Z

    “If Randolph and Curry didn?t exist we would still be 5-11. Maybe better. Not worse.?

    I should have said if Randolph OR Curry didn’t exist…

    I don’t see much debate to the issue of whether Curry and Randolph make much sense on the court together. If one of them disappeared (off the court, not on it, as has been too often the case this year) we’d be better.

    I’d rather it be Randolph because a) he plays a position we can replace in house and b) his contract is fatter and longer. Other than that

  38. retropkid

    Knicks evaluation:

    Owner: F — character and integrity starts from the top…ain’t nuthin’ home…
    Coach: F — and, no, I don’t give him credit for draft picks. It’s about winning, and his draft picks haven’t helped us win. Sorry Balkman lovers, the guy doesn’t score 5 a game…can’t shoot free throws. He ain’t the magic man…
    Center: C — scores in the paint very well, doesn’t do much else well at all.
    Forwards: C — generous grade maybe. Randolph a B so far, Richardson a D at best.
    Guards: D — Steph doesn’t win. Anywhere. Without KG at least…immature, ego-maniac, doesnt’ deliver the goods. Kinda like our coach. Crawford too streaky.
    Bench: B- Likable bunch, don’t make the difference in W’s though…If Chandler is a great draft pick, how come he doesn’t play on a 5-11 club?

    Would rather have Charlotte or Atlanta talent to build from than ours…would rather have Orlando talent or Boston talent to win now…Either way, we got much of nothing here in the Apple…

    Team grade: F — The Knicks — sorry Mr. Black, but TNYKs just suck…

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