2010 Summer Interview: Danilo Gallinari

Another Reporter: You have to be excited about this year, with all the new changes. Do you think you’re a playoff contender?

Danilo Gallinari: I think we have a playoff team. There’s a positive atmosphere. We’ve been working out together and getting to know each other. We’ve got a nice group of guys. Everybody is optimistic, and everybody’s so excited for the new season.

Another Reporter: Are you excited about having Amar’e here?

Danilo Gallinari: Amar’e is an unbelievable player. He’s an All Star and he’s been improving his game over the last couple of years. He’s going to be great for us. And we want to (do well together).

Another Reporter: Are you happy with how you rebounded from injury last year?

Danilo Gallinari: My goal to have the chance to play 82 games. I played 81 of 82 and it was a great experience to see how long and tough the NBA schedule is. I’m looking forward to getting more wins this year.

Another Reporter: What do you need to improve on?

Danilo Gallinari: I have to improve on a lot of things. I’ve been working on a lot of things this summer, especially my post up game. I’m looking forward to having a great season with my team and make the playoffs.

Another Reporter: Do you get distracted by trade rumors, especially with Carmelo Anthony?

Danilo Gallinari: I wasn’t worried, because I knew what New York wants from me and I know what the coaches and organization thinks of me… And the expectation they have of me.

Mike Kurylo: What have you been working on this offseason?

Danilo Gallinari: I’ve been working on my body with my trainers. In our program we have two goals, one of them to improve my flexibility and the other to improve my explosiveness. Also I’m working on my post up game a lot.

Mike Kurylo: In the past you’ve mostly been a perimeter player. Are you looking to moving to the mid or low post?

Danilo Gallinari: Yes, of course. It’s one of my goals, and I think I did pretty well last year towards the end of the season where I was playing in the post a lot more. And I was pretty effective. I’m looking forward to being even more effective this year.

Mike Kurylo: Where are you looking to be in the low post or the mid post?

Danilo Gallinari: Both positions, because in Mike (D’Antoni’s) system you have to be ready and aggressive every time. In any situation the ball can get to you so easily and quickly so you have to be ready in any position you are at.

Another Reporter: Given the recent history of the team, how do you think the city will react if you find a way to play winning basketball and actually get a playoff spot?

Danilo Gallinari: You would know better than me. I’ve been in New York for just two years, but you’ve been here in New York when they were winning… I want to be a part of this history. I want to get to a point where Madison Square Garden rocks.

Mike Kurylo: How do you feel playing with all these new teammates?

Danilo Gallinari: I have a good feeling when I began to work out with them two weeks ago. And everybody is so excited… We are ready to go.

Mike Kurylo: Who are you most looking forward to playing with?

Danilo Gallinari: I’m looking forward to playing with everybody, because everybody has a great knowledge of the game and there is a lot of talent.

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Mike Kurylo

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

51 thoughts to “2010 Summer Interview: Danilo Gallinari”

  1. The guy could be a politician…

    Also, this LeBron race stuff is so stupid… Certainly there is a lot of racism in America. However, in this case people would not like the way LeBron acted in the off-season if he were white or Asian or Latino. It’s not what he did as much as how he did it. People don’t really care that Chris Bosh signed with the Heat. He’s black. He announced his signing with his teammate Wade, though, whereas LeBron went on national TV by himself to make a huge spectacle. The fact that he doesn’t even know why “The Decision” was viewed so negatively shows how disconnected with reality the guy is… how egocentric the guy is. Even if race is *an* issue here, it is clearly not *the* issue.
    I also wish that ESPN would fire Jalen Rose (who says on the sidebar above that race is the issue here, but then goes on to make a bunch of arguments that are 100% not related to race). I don’t really remember ever enjoying hearing the guy speak.

  2. Z-man: Looks like Randolph will see time at the 5 right off the bat.Interesting.  

    Did you really expect anything different from D’Antoni?

  3. I think it is a good move regardless of the coach. There are so few traditional centers now, and if nothing else it might toughen AR up a bit. It also makes it easy to keep him, Gallo and Amar’e on the floor w/o moving Amar’e out of the PF spot. It might not turn out to be AR’s ideal position (does he have one?) but I’d like to see how it works in preseason. If he models his game after Camby on D, it could work well. I don’t think it matters much on O.

    It was also said that he will be used at the top on a zone press. There are some highlights of him stripping dribblers up top. I’d like to see that too.

  4. Ted Nelson:
    Did you really expect anything different from D’Antoni?  

    Well in fairness it seems Turiaf has been holding that unit back. Assuming you are saying that with a sneer. I think we are all holding out hope that the regular starting 5 becomes:
    Buke – could AntRand play this spot???? Just a thought.

  5. If Randolph is the next KG, can block shots, and do everything on offense why don’t we like the idea of him starting at the 5???

    Also, any chance the only thing holding back a Gallo for ‘Melo swap right now is that they want Gallo for this pre-season Euro tour?

  6. Re: Randolph @ the 5,

    I think you have to have him, Gallo and Amare on court as much as possible. They are your three best players!
    He could be a mismatch at the 5 if he can hit that mid-range jumper. If he can bring a guy like Bogut 10 feet away from the basket, that’s enough room for AR to completely blow by him for a dunk. But they are going to dare him to shoot. Also, between Amare and Randolph, that’s not a lot of passing in the post, although Timo seems to be a good passer.
    Inversely, can Randolph maintain position on the block against guys like Bogut, J. O’Neal, Ilgauskas, Yao, and Bynum? Traditional half-court back to the basket centers? There’s no doubt he’ll be great on the break, but against big center, half-court teams, we’ll have to use Timo a lot. At least we finally have some good options!

  7. Hahn, who is pretty decent among the NYC sports reporters, confirmed the Sheridan report on the Knicks having access to a number 1.
    That the Knicks are making that known does two things: It takes pressure off Walsh for having given up the number 1 to get a certain 2 that will remain unnamed; and it gives fans something to hope for given that has been cited as a stumbling block to a Knicks trade for Anthony.

    It’s part of the posturing. If they Knicks had a deal that was imminent, we probably wouldn’t have heard anything about the pick.

    Hahn also noted again Denver’s reluctance to deal with the Knicks in part because they think the Knicks were tampering…

    But with a pick, the Knicks could make a formidable offer for a guy who appears only willing to play in NYC. At some point, if Denver can’t deal him elsewhere because he won’t sign an extension, and the Nuggets want to get value for Melo, they will have to play with the Knicks.
    Something is better than nothing. And the Knicks give the Nugs cap flex with Fatty’s expiring contract.

    Donnie is playing a smart leverage game. And he may not have to give up both Randolph and Danillo to get him. Frank O.

  8. your q’s are much better then the other reporters.

    Asking real questions (mentioning mid or low post… wow… you actually WATCH the games!)

    good to see!

  9. On James and the race outcry, he didn’t bring the race issue up Soledad did:
    O’BRIEN: “Do you think there’s a role that race plays in this?”
    JAMES: “I think so, at times. It’s always, you know, a race factor.”

    I mean, if that isn’t a “sure the sky is blue” comment, I don’t know what is.

    Sometimes I think sports reporting is a bit of a joke. Right…sometimes. :)

    To portray it as James blaming the reaction on racism is ridiculous.

    And I loathe James for his self-absorbed “decision.”

  10. @11

    Indeed, the quote has been blown out of proportion; but it also tells you how the media is seeking controversy for James. James is the new ‘bad guy’, and everything he says from now on is going to be magnified… in a very bad way. I believe Iverson warned LeBron in an interview that the media could turn against him very fast; and although Iverson is the kind of guy who would believe in conspiracies against him and all that, that very statement is quite true.

    On the other hand, Durant is the new ‘good guy’, lead the USA to the gold medal, resigned with his old team (as LeBron did in his day), and is the favourite for the MVP award. The story is always a “good guy” vs a “bad guy”.

    BTW, the old “bad guy” (aka Mr Kobe Bean Bryant) must be wondering why he isn’t the focus of attention, he just got his 5th ring. But the truth of the matter is that a “Kobe vs Garnett” rivalry is only of interest to eldery people (and who would be the “good guy” in that one?), the “Kobe vs LeBron” failed to materialize in the finals; so the media is banking on a “Durant vs James” for the next 3 years at least.

    Chemistry issues in the Miami Heat? ESPN just started drooling.

  11. Frank O.: To portray it as James blaming the reaction on racism is ridiculous.

    I have to admit that I haven’t really followed it too closely, just the media reaction. You may be absolutely right. Then the only person I want to criticize is Jalen Rose. He calls out white season ticket holders for being racists, and proceeds to give a bunch of evidence that in no way implies racism… LeBron wants to win… does that have anything to do with his race?

  12. Ted, agreed.

    Jalen Rose is a millionaire because, in part, white season ticket holders enriched him. It doesn’t mean he can’t say what he feels. He doesn’t owe anybody anything.
    Are some of them racist, sure. But by slandering all season ticket holders in that way, he makes himself look somewhat bigoted.

  13. Z-man: I think it is a good move regardless of the coach.

    I don’t think it would be a good move for every coach or every team. I would agree that given the Knicks roster it makes sense.

    Still, though, did you expect anything different from the guy who played Boris Diaw at the 5 and talked about Jared Jeffries as a 5 in his first Knicks news conference?

    Again, Marcus Camby is a traditional 5. He played the 5 in college and is a former DPOY at the position. I see the similarity, but AR cannot become as good a defender at the 5 as Camby simply by wanting it. Boris Diaw is probably a better example short-term, or maybe a Diaw/Camby hybrid. AR has to prove he can guard the post and man the middle, plus he’s still going to be asked to defend guards.

    cgreene: I think we are all holding out hope that the regular starting 5 becomes:
    Buke – could AntRand play this spot???? Just a thought.

    First, I don’t really care who starts so much as what the rotation is. Points in the first 5-10 minutes don’t count any more than at any other point in the game.
    In terms of the top unit, I certainly hope AR *earns* his way on it. I agree with Z-man that the best situation for the Knicks is for Gallo, Amare, and AR to be on the court (if they all deserve to be).

    Where else is AR really going to play offensively for D’Antoni? This is a guy who wants shooters on the court, and AR can’t shoot. If Amare is your 4, that pretty much leaves the 5. AR can defend guards at times, but offensively he needs to be on the court with shooters most of the time.

    I’d like to see Timo earn a rotation spot, and also Turiaf. Both sort of maxes out at 20 mpg, though, best case. Seeing D’Antoni play that traditional a line-up for 40 mpg would be a shock, and probably indicate that AR got outplayed by Turiaf… not a good sign for the Knicks future.

  14. Frank O.: But by slandering all season ticket holders in that way, he makes himself look somewhat bigoted.  

    Especially because he fails to back up the claim in any way besides simply saying “they are white and athletes in the NBA and NFL tend to be black” in the ensuing rant… I agree 100% that racism exists in a big way (of course “big way” is fairly ambiguous) in American society (and pretty much every society in one way or another), but I don’t think it plays a big role in the LeBron situation. Had he done the same thing as a white man, there might be some different tones and rhetoric… but he’d still be viewed in largely the same way. People would still hate.

    People think Ryan Leaf is a total tool even though he was a white athlete, just to throw the first example that comes to mind out there. A-Rod is not black, but he was still a lightning rod for having a huge ego and being amazing but failing to win a title. He took crap for his contract, too, as well as for being traded to the Yankees. (Interestingly I don’t see too much of a link between racism towards Latino immigrants and racism towards Latino baseball players, though I also don’t live on the border right now or tend to associate with blatant racists more than I have to).

    So, I agree with LeBron’s statement that racism is always out there and influences people even in ways they don’t know (besides those who damn well know they are racists and just don’t care), but that’s not the biggest PR problem he’s got. If he thinks it is, he’s not in touch with reality. Again, didn’t follow the whole thing too closely, but I think one reason the race comment got so blown up is because he continued to play the victim role in other ways. You went on national TV to do an unprecedented thing… you opened yourself up to tons of criticism regardless of race. The fact that you were already sooooo hyped up and were disappointing fans in Cleveland, NY, Chicago, LA… all the big media markets… didn’t help. This was almost an inevitable outcome.

  15. Ted Nelson: were disappointing fans in Cleveland, NY, Chicago, LA… all the big media markets…

    Should probably say “your hometown and all the big media markets…”

  16. 2 thoughts:
    1) LOVE Rooster’s attitude. Kid’s gonna be a star playing with a decent PG and Amare.
    2) Maybe Randolph is our new and improved Camby? 10 more lbs and he could add a totally different dimension at the 5, if that’s where D’Antoni wants to play him. At 21 he’s already a great “rim protector” and has a decent rebound rate. Offensively he worries me though. The kid has all kinds of talent, he may try to do too much on offense-whereas Camby didn’t need the rock to make an impact.

    The more and more I think about it, Walsh shouldn’t even think about trading those 2 until we see what they can do this season. Maybe Randolph in a package for CP3 or Deron Williams…but we definitely can’t lose both.

  17. While i’m at it, i’ll comment on the racism thing. Yes people racism is still alive and rampant. I encounter it everyday. It seems like for a while, modern racism was kind of an undercover thing and it feels like now that we have a black prez more and more racist types feel the need to “step out”, know what i’m sayin? As far as LBJ goes, I don’t fully agree with his thought on the criticism. I mean, what he did was arrogant and a bit unbecoming. For those 2 reasons alone he has earned that criticism. As a man…if I were in his shoes…I would have left Cleveland. But that organization would be the 1st to know. It’s called respect. Granted, he didn’t owe that organization anything because they rode his coattails out of the ashes. But it seems to me that LBJ has faced this issue runnin away…instead of standing up and saying thank you for your faith but it’s time for me to move on. It’s kinda like gettin the break up text..and that I can’t respect.

  18. o yea..the LBJ quote was blown out of proportion..i’m jus sayin race wasn’t as big a factor as folks want everybody 2 believe.

  19. Frank O.: On James and the race outcry, he didn’t bring the race issue up Soledad did..To portray it as James blaming the reaction on racism is ridiculous. And I loathe James for his self-absorbed “decision.”  

    I agree 100%. “Do you think there’s a role that race plays in this” is a vague question with assumed context at best. If LeBron had said “No, America is a color-blind nation” his Q rating would have dropped to 0 among blacks.

    I actually thought Maverick Carter’s answer that “[racism] definitely played a role in some of the stuff coming out of the media, things that were written for sure” was an interesting answer that could have used at least one follow-up.

    But, in the end, Maverick is right– the media is bigoted, maybe not racially, but it thrives on tearing down people, whether deserving or not.


  20. Re: James, that is a good point – it was a baited question somewhat. I mean, how was he supposed to answer that? If he had elaborated more in the way Maverick did, it might have served him better (to focus on particular members of the media) but then again in his position, it’s best not to have to discuss it at all and it’s not like he lingered on the topic. Jalen Rose is another story altogether. Frankly, I’ll be glad to put this taking my talents crap behind us and focus on games. It should be pretty interesting with the NBA now having a loaded ‘Yankees’-type team (which we’ll probably never see again after the new cba agreement.) And don’t forget the Celts are pretty loaded as well. Their 2nd team is Delonte, Nate, Daniels, Big Baby and Jermaine O’Neal… with Shaq on the 3rd team!

    Meanwhile, it seems that Chandler is not impressing in camp and is being shopped to no avail. I think it might be better to start Mason – a veteran presence who can actually shoot – at the 2 and leave Chandler to back up Gallo.

    And if this 1st round pick is for Douglas/Walker, how do you feel about that? It would be tough to give up on Douglas right now, and who do we replace him with at back up point?

  21. ess – don’t worry about the #1 – that was just to show publicly that if the Nuggets were serious about trading Melo to the Knicks, the Knicks could acquire a #1. I read it as Donnie letting everyone know the Nuggets are full of sh*t. I doubt we’ll part with either Douglas or Walker right now, both of whom are MD faves.

    Chandler, another story. There was just a Times piece in which he talked about being rusty, admitted to only starting to run a month ago – and if he’s admitting in an interview that he’s rusty, he must be playing poorly (especially against the upgraded in-house competition). I think he’ll be OK this year, but is definitely best as a backup at the 3. If he continues playing poorly in the preseason, maybe we’ll get lucky and have Roger Mason start at the 2. That would be a more balanced lineup, anyway.

    This IS a deep team. I can’t see how MD would be able to play fewer than 10 guys once Buke is back. If the guys are in great shape and run like crazy every game, we should enjoy a substantial edge with the second unit. I expect a .500 season. Actually, looking at our schedule, seeing how bad some of the teams we play a lot are going to be (Wiz, Philly, Nets, Raps, Cavs), we should be more like 44-38.

    Start of the season is brutal, though. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 3-7.

  22. First preseason game vs Milano is tomorrow and is being shown by NBA TV. Yes!!

    (Ok, a game vs Milano means nothing, but with all this boring ass college football on today, I am ready!)

  23. Regarding AR at center, M’DA’s history suggests he’s going to start his best 5 guys, regardless of position. Right now, that seems to be Felton, Will, Gallo, Stat and Randolph. Considering the dearth of true low-post centers, aside from Howard, Bogut, Kaman, Brook Lopez, Marc Gasol, Bynum (injured) and Yao (coming off an injury), I think AR will do just fine most nights (and Turiaf and/or Mozgov would have problems defending the above septet as well). He’s certainly fits in physically w/the Noah/Varejao/Camby/Ibaka/Robin Lopez/Biedrins/McGee type that’s prevalent these days. I say start AR!

  24. Does anyone hear have League Pass broadband? I’m thinking about getting it, but was curious if the NBA blocks out Knicks games if you’re watching from NY. I don’t have a tv and you can’t stream MSG, as far as I know.

  25. Mulligan, I have League Pass but I live in Austin TX, and am pretty sure they do blackouts for local teams (in my case Spurs games will get blacked out, which is fine by me!).

    The future — streaming everything — is bright, but this kind of old-school TV territorial bullshit needs to get resolved.

  26. Z: But, in the end, Maverick is right

    He may be right in some regards, but I don’t think he’s right if he thinks people would like LeBron any better after this offseason regardless of race. If he was white and pulled the same stuff, Maverick might be right that the media reaction and overall reaction would be “different” but I don’t think it would be less or more harsh overall. Different things may or may not have been said, but the general consensus would be that the guy is a huge douche because he acted like a huge douche. He would take a lot of heat for what he did even if he did it in the most courteous and nicest and whatever else way possible… Since he did it the way he did he opened himself up to more criticism. People do not tend to like cocky arrogant self-absorbed people who outwardly act like they are better than everyone else, regardless of skin color.

  27. Ted Nelson:
    If he was white and pulled the same stuff, Maverick might be right that the media reaction and overall reaction would be “different” but I don’t think it would be less or more harsh overall…the general consensus would be that the guy is a huge douche because he acted like a huge douche…People do not tend to like cocky arrogant self-absorbed people who outwardly act like they are better than everyone else, regardless of skin color.  

    I saw Facebook: The Movie last night. The main character was basically the LeBron James of nerds. He was the cockiest, most arrogant, most self-absorbed guy I’ve ever spent two hours with. Talk about a douche. But for some reason the audience reaction was to see this guy as some kind of hero? Why? Because he was entrepreneurial? Because he was sticking it to the system? Because he was the best in his field?

    Or, maybe, could it be possible, that because he is a non-threatening little white kid renowned for his brain instead of his brawn, he is somehow held to a different standard than a similarly gifted physical black man? I don’t know the answer, but this conversation was on my mind while I was watching this movie, trying to figure out if I had ever seen a more detestable protagonist. When I was a kid nerds got wedgies. Now, miraculously, they have reached the top of the cultural food chain in America. Michael Cera actually gets the chick in movies! George Clooney has to go to Italy just to find work! Nerds DO get treated “differently” when they exhibit the same megalomaniacal as athletes, and it is not only less harsh by society. It is embraced.

    In the words of LeBron: “It’s always, you know, a race factor”…

  28. Ummm. Anyone want to talk about the Knicks pre-season game? Surprised this blog hasn’t been more active about that. Here’s my take.
    1. Amare was a beast and totally dominant (concerned about his passing out of double and triple teams)
    2. Gallo was Gallo (concerned about him not forcing the action enough and shooting too many 3’s. 11 of his 14 FG attempts were from 3)
    3. Mozgov doesn’t seem nearly as rough around the edges as anticipated. He actually looks downright polished. He showed touch, athleticism, smarts and good D. Of any possible unexpected positives I am most excited about Mozgov. Believe he can contribute 15pts and 7 rebs in 25-30 mins of time.
    4. Ray Fetlon and TD were both fairly underwhelming and are a concern.
    5. The 2 guard spot and having another shooter on the floor seems to definitely be the biggest issue.
    6. AR looked… well… kinda like we have talked about him. A little bit of everything and some obvious mistakes.

  29. Re: zuckerberg and LBJ.

    I think this is an apt comparison, and while it sounds like you observed people in the theater giving him props for his behavior, he has taken a lot of heat for being arrogant and naive. See here: http://www.businessinsider.com/well-these-new-zuckerberg-ims-wont-help-facebooks-privacy-problems-2010-5 for an example.

    It’s undeniable that race is a big issue for the NBA, but I just don’t think the bad press surrounding LBJ has much to do with it. He is taking heat (no pun intended) for being egotistical and naive, not for being an “uneducated thug” (the most common racist euphemism used in reference to NBA players).

    As far as the Italy game goes, I only watched part of it. Gallinari and Amare looked strong, but that’s to be expected. Felton looked like Duhon except stronger defense and a bit more of a threat when in the paint. Mozgov and Randolph played well but didn’t exactly “break out”. They both have clear potential but made lots of mistakes and bad fouls (9 turnovers and 9 fouls between the two of them all in under 40 minutes combined). I don’t think this game makes the knicks’ chances look any better for the season, and because it’s the first preseason game, it also doesn’t make them look any worse.

  30. Agree, c. In addition:

    Amar’e dribbled the ball and forced the issue too much early on. He seemed to settle in as the game went on. Basically, he was a man against boys and probably could have gone for 50 if he wanted to.

    I thought WC had a solid game, he went to the hole well a few times.

    Turiaf looked pretty terrible, especially on O.

    Mozgov looked really good on offense. He hit two open 15-footers and a had a very nice catch and reverse layup. Also committed a few fouls in the second half and probably benefitted from some no-calls. Fouls will be his biggest problem. I thought bothe He and AR rebounded very well. Made a great 3/4 court pass to AR who then lost the handle. I think he has to play more than Turiaf, he’s just better.

    D’Antoni blasted AR a few times after dumb rookie-like mistakes. AR took 4 or 5 bad shots, mostly early, but overall played pretty well in the 2nd half.

    Bill Walker had a nice stretch in the second half.

    Fields didn’t show much but at least seemed like he belonged on the floor.

    Mason was a non-factor

    Considering it was their first game together and all the distractions in Milan circus, they looked exactly as could be expected, except for Mozgov who looked better than expected: sloppy w/ lots of turnovers. I was also not impressed with Felton, but he should probably get some slack until he has a chance to figure this team out.

    Wednesday’s game vs. T-Wolves should tell us more.

  31. Z,

    I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t really comment. I would say that it’s a movie, though, and doesn’t definitively prove anything about whether LeBron James is less liked because of his race. Again, A-Rod is not black. People hate him. Ryan Leaf is not black. People hate him. (Leaf isn’t nearly as good an example, but I can’t think of a white athlete with the same combination of dominance/arrogance… so went with an obnoxiously arrogant one.) If LeBron James were white and did the same things he did this offseason with the same attitude he did them, I don’t think America would like him. I really had a high opinion of LeBron going into this offseason, it’s changed, and I really don’t think it has much to do with his race. I don’t think some movie based on a true story proves too much about that… but, again, I haven’t seen the movie.

    Take another example: Michael Jordan. He’s black and seems about as obnoxious as LeBron, yet people love him. And they loved him because his obnoxiousness was mostly limited to rumors about what a prick he was, and not national TV appearances where he rubs in everyone’s face what a prick he is. People loved Jerry Rice, also apparently a prick. People loved Tiger Woods until his affairs were revealed. On the other hand, people hated Barry Bonds because he was such an obvious prick and steroids added fuel to that fire (people still hate McGwire for that too, even though he seems like a pretty nice guy… I think Canseco is just crazy enough that people don’t really care).

    Everyone on top is going to inspire jealousy and hate–especially when people feel they’re underachieving, which I don’t agree but people think about LeBron’s empty fingers–but LeBron invited a lot more than usual on himself this summer with his own actions, in my opinion. I wouldn’t care if it was David Lee who acted in the same way, I would still consider the guy a prick and have lost a lot of respect for him.

    latke: Re: zuckerberg and LBJ.

    I think this is an apt comparison, and while it sounds like you observed people in the theater giving him props for his behavior, he has taken a lot of heat for being arrogant and naive.

    I haven’t seen the movie and don’t really care about Zuckerberg, but I have also heard plenty of bad things about the guy. Having not seen the movie, it seems possible that if people do like him they naturally identify with him as the protagonist of a story. I think that most people at least greatly respect LeBron’s ability, and any knocks against that come out of ignorance and/or jealousy (and in some cases probably blatant racism, too, but I don’t think that’s the mainstream reaction of an NBA fan given how many NBA players are black… unless you root for the Indiana KKKs, I mean Pacers, you’ve got to be rooting for black players).

  32. @34,

    Philip Rivers is pretty dominant and arrogant, although I wouldn’t say he’s A-Rod or LeBron dominant. People can’t stand him though, he talks trash to other teams fans.

  33. I didn’t get 2 see the game but I peeked at the box score. Considering the fact that it was the 1st preseason game and it was overseas, I think the current rotation is nice. Now..I would problee stick a shooter in as the starting 2 as opposed to Chandler. Speaking of Wil..the box score says he had a excellent game..but then I peeked over at his plus/minus. He was still a +5, but one would expect a higher number considering his line for the game. I know Azu’s expected to start once he gets back, but i’d like to see Mason start at the 2 for the rest of the preseason. Mason’s a much better fit as a reserve, but with Turiaf out there on offense, we don’t need 2 starters who really can’t shoot. Now imagine a 2nd unit of AR, Mosgov, Chandler and Douglas focusing more on defense when they get in the game. Perfect balance, no? I like the thought of having a “crash unit” out there in spurts that can also score to keep opponents honest. I also like the fact that Fields got some run. That’ll definitely change once Azu’s ready though. Can’t wait to see how things develop. I am a lil worried about Rooster’s 11 threes. We can’t have that too often even though he did hit 5 of ’em.

  34. Lots of people hated Roger Clemens even before the steroid issue. How he handled that pretty much confirmed my opinion of him – and he is the closest analogue to James I can think of. A dominant player who was so full of himself and so distanced from reality that he squandered the goodwill and admiration of many.

    I thought the game today was encouraging. Mozgov is definitely ready for minutes this year. If he learns as quickly as the coaching staff says he does, he is going to be a factor. Next year he could be a force. I’m excited about this pickup.

    Beyond that, hard to judge from a Euro game, but this team looks to be decent on D. Our guards seemed a bit lost on offense, but man can they pressure the ball. Felton and TD together could really harass the crap out of people.

    AR really does have top level talent. He’s smooth. He’s also prone to boneheaded mistakes. D’Antoni really lit into him, which makes me worry he’ll alienate him and lose him; if anything, MD should make AR his pet project this year. his closest pal and confidant. The reward would be great. And it’s not as if D’Antoni needs to put that effort into STAT, who is indeed an man among boys, or Gallo, who despite spending most of his time shooting from outside does look quicker and more flexible this year. (He also made an effort on the glass, which we’ll need.)

    I am concerned about our guards, but maybe they’ll look better once people know the offense better and are more familiar with each others’ tendencies. Felton did look good in the picknroll with STAT, and as said, if D’Antoni wants to use them together, he should have them press the ball upcourt – they’ll get easy steals now and then and will have the other team starting deeper into the shot clock.

    I guess my conclusion (from one game!) is this: this season is entirely on D’Antoni’s shoulders. He has enough good players, enough well-rounded players, and enough complementary players, that our success or lack thereof will be a reflection of his ability to get the most out of a deep team and help them gel. If we can’t get near .500 – or reasonably above .500 – I believe it will be entirely on him, not the players. (Barring losing STAT to injury or something.) This is his season to show whether he’s an elite coach or not.

    Again, with elite meaning that we’d finish something like 44-38. We’re still a great guard away from winning 50 or more.

  35. Dee, why are you worried about Rooster’s 3s? Anytime a guy gets 24 points off 14 shots, he’s doing fine. Besides, the last three came in garbage time, essentially a gift to the Italian fans.

    Just checked out the box score and it confirms my impression of Gallo trying to crash the boards. It also confirms that we have a lot of efficient scorers. And if Mozgov gets 10/5/3 blocks in 20mpg, we should be pretty happy this year. (And of course, 4 fouls in that time will be pretty typical, too.)

    The Wolves will be an especially interesting opponent, given Love’s ability to rebound. That – not defense – is going to be our big weakness this year.

  36. I will say one thing about the Knicks D. Felton/TD is by far the best defensive duo at PG the Knicks have had since the 90’s duos of Harper/Anthony and Ward/Childs. Also this team is easily the best shot-blocking Knicks team since the 99-2000 teams with Ewing, Camby and Dudley. Also it was nice to again see a Knicks team be very physical on D too both as I mentioned with the pressure up top from the PG’s and the many big bodies challenging shots down low.

    Unfortunately though the perimeter D aside from the PG’s still looks like it will be a major problem. Also Amar’e would break all of Wilt Chamberlain’s scoring records if he played in Europe. lol

  37. I sure liked what I saw from Mosgov. He is very athletic and has surprisingly quick reflexes for a guy his size. He’s aggressive and seems to have good focus. He’s disruptive on the defensive end and is an asset on offense too. I have to say, he’s one of my favorite players on the team already.

  38. rama, I believe Love is injured. Still, they will be a better test for

    The team rebounding was actually very impressive, although Milano was a smallish team. Knicks were really going after rebounds, especially outside the paint.

    BBA, agreed, this can be a tall and physical team defensively.

    Also, AR and Gallo both look less spindly.

    Not that we want him shooting threes, but Amare’s stroke looked pretty good on the one he calmly swished.

  39. Sorry, “Still, they will be a better test for our rebounding prowess than Milan was.”

  40. rama: Dee, why are you worried about Rooster’s 3s?Anytime a guy gets 24 points off 14 shots, he’s doing fine.

    Rooster’s a good shooter..but 11 three’s worry me because I think he’s too talented to fall into Starksdom. What’s Starksdom u ask? When a player who has talent with the ball in their hand camps out around the 3 point line and launches more 3’s than 2’s (94 Finals game 7 anyone?). 11 of Roosters 14 shots were from 3!! 5 for 11’s nice…but 4 for 8 is better-IF there’s some 2’s attempted with some FT’s. Rooster got away with it becuz he did connect on 50+ % and he did get 5 FT’s. But how often did we see him just become a mad bomber last season? His line was great…don’t get me wrong. I just don’t wanna see him shoot mostly 3’s with his talent. Maybe i’m bein picky but I jus got great expectations for the kid.

  41. latke: Re: zuckerberg and LBJ.I think this is an apt comparison, and while it sounds like you observed people in the theater giving him props for his behavior, he has taken a lot of heat for being arrogant and naive.  

    I actually don’t think it is an apt comparison (even though I brought it up), which is basically my point. Zuckerberg (the character) really IS a bad person (and Zuckerberg the person hasn’t sued Aaron Sorkin for libel yet). He had one friend in the entire world– the one person who could tolerate him for more than 10 seconds– and he screwed him over, only to serve his own megalomaniacal ways. There is nothing ambiguous about his behavior. He was detestable.

    LeBron, on the other hand, really hasn’t done anything publicly for people to believe he is a bad human being. He broke convention and announced his free agency decision on TV. Why? Because there was unprecedented hubbub around it, so he could.

    I think there is a double standard. Is it racism? It can certainly be argued. What I think it probably comes down to is what Ted said: if people can relate to you, they can sympathize. It’s hard for the average American to relate to the billionaire athlete from the inner-city. They, themselves, are neither rich, good at athletics, nor from the inner-city. On the other hand they CAN relate to the middle-class white guy that got wedgies in school but grew up to conquer the world…

  42. I just saw the game live

    amare is a proven quantity and we got the best big man available this summer.

    AR has great tools: reminds me of Lamar Odom; great talent, not mentally strong enough to lead but a great follower

    Gallo is a complete player and that will show

    mozgov is really raw but he can play, better than turiaf.

    the question mark are the guards…the frontline is capable of second turn of PO (given the right matchup) but the outcome of the season stands on the little men’s shoulders

  43. Z: LeBron, on the other hand, really hasn’t done anything publicly for people to believe he is a bad human being. He broke convention and announced his free agency decision on TV. Why? Because there was unprecedented hubbub around it, so he could.

    I think you’re missing a lot of the details here. I absolutely don’t think LeBron has shown he’s a terrible person or anything, but it was more than just “breaking convention…” He acted like a total prick. He apparently will not admit that, but I think we should since it’s the #1 problem. Not what he did, but how he went about doing it. No one hates Chris Bosh for going to Miami. He’s not as big a star as LeBron, but he also did it in a more humble way and announced his decision along with his new teammate . LeBron would have taken the “leaving his hometown” flack and the “he can’t win one by himself” flack no matter what (and no matter what race he was… he’s taken over the spot owned by Art Modell a white dude in Clevelander’s hearts and other non-champs take flack no matter their race or upbringing), but he invited the “he’s a giant d-bag” flack on himself. That’s the only one I personally really care about, because I actually sort of like the Big 3’s decision to put their money where their mouths are and put winning ahead of money and personal glory. By not announcing it with his teammates and acting like an arrogant tool throughout the process… that’s the way LeBron lost a lot of my respect for him.

    Z: I think there is a double standard.

    People don’t relate to businesspeople the same way they do athletes. People might love facebook, but I still doubt they feel nearly the connection to its owner that even a casual NBA fan feels to LeBron or even to some obscure athlete.

    Z: Is it racism? It can certainly be argued.

    I would argue it is not racism, because I would argue a white, latino, or asian athlete would have been treated the same way for the same behavior. Tiger. A-Rod. Roger Clemens. Barry Bonds is hardly from the inner-city.

    Z: if people can relate to you, they can sympathize. It’s hard for the average American to relate to the billionaire athlete from the inner-city.

    My point about relating to someone was about movies and stories… it’s natural to relate to a story’s protagonist and we are trained to do it throughout our lives, LeBron on the other hand set himself up as the villain.

    First, I think your feeling for the general reaction to Zuckerberg (at least before the movie, which I don’t really intend to see anytime soon) are incorrect. He took plenty of heat for being a jerk, despite the fact that before this movie no one knew hardly anything about him (and depending on how realistic the movie is, they still might not). Yes, he’s a wild success story that everyone wishes they could emulate. Same with LeBron, though. He doesn’t have ads on national TV featuring him because people all hate him.
    Second, it is a totally different circumstance. One is a movie character who played on a computer and was a jerk in his dormroom and later boardroom, and one is among the most recognizable faces in America who is a jerk in the public eye. If someone made a movie of LeBron James’ life, depicting him as a rags to riches protagonist with an historically great work ethic and other worldy athleticism who lifted up a hurting all-American rust belt city for 7 years before going on to win titles and make history… people would go and people would relate to him. Saying that a white person can’t relate to a black person is, in my opinion, racist.
    Finally, there are plenty of black people and people from the inner city of various races who don’t like LeBron. I live outside Cleveland, and I have seen suburban white kids with LeBron Heat jerseys. Race is not nearly as big an issue here as even LeBron made it out to be with his answer to the question or certainly as others have made it out to be.

    Again, I have specifically listed examples of athletes who are not from the inner city, and are still hated. Same goes for white public figures in other areas, say politics. Say an actor like Mel Gibson who acts like a total nut-job. Even reality TV stars. I really think the racism thing is an excuse from LeBron that he can be a total jerk-off and still be the victim. I’m sure that will motivate him personally, but from an outside perspective it is irrational. If an athlete of a different race were to have done the same things in the same way… he would get a very similar or identical reaction. That means it is not, at its core, a problem of race.

    LeBron’s people messed this one up by not realizing his personality was best kept behind closed doors besides for well scripted, totally positive situations. The way other egomaniacal stars and other public figures are often handled. How in the world was this “Decision” going to be a PR hit? There was no way: He’s leaving his hometown team. He’s leaving the only team he’s played for. He’s got the hopes of people in the three biggest media markets in the country… the three most populous cities in the country… sky high. He holds the event right outside of the biggest media market in the country (probably world), where people think he might be going. He’s having a TV special that is all about him. His two new teammates have already announced that they will be playing together and done so, you know, together as teammates (which is my big problem with LeBron… should have done it with his teammates instead of sticking out like a lightning rod). He makes the announcement in a total douchebag way: “I’m taking my talents to South Beach…” with a cocky little smile that made you want to punch the guy. There was no way he could come out of that looking like anything but the villain no matter what race he was, and if he and his people didn’t realize that going into it… they’re stupid. It’s almost as if they wanted him to be the villain, or were totally out of touch with reality and though people would be happy he was going to the Heat. Sure, he raised money for charity which is a commendable thing. He could have done so in a different way, though, or made the special itself more about kids or LeBron’s efforts to help kids… and not all about LeBron and his decision to go to the 42nd biggest city in the country with a population under 500,000. He alienated millions upon millions in the largest media markets and the rust belt while making happy a few hundred thousand in a city that hardly cares about basketball. If his people didn’t see this coming, he should fire them. Perhaps they did, though, and he just didn’t believe them or wouldn’t be convinced. Who knows. Maybe he knew it was coming and just figured he’d invite in the full storm. Maybe he wants to be the villain.

  44. Basically, the only point that matters is this: if LeBron were a different race and did the exact same things in the exact same situation would the reaction be different? If you think it would be, it’s racism. If you think it wouldn’t be–and I think there’s a lot of evidence and president it wouldn’t be–it is not racism. You can argue that racism is ever present is everything we do, but if you believe a non-black athlete would be treated the same for these actions in these circumstances then racism is not at the core of this issue.

    The only compelling argument I’ve heard from Jalen Rose or Z is: they’re white and he’s black. Which, of course, is not a compelling argument at all. The only other arguments are Jalen’s ranting about how LeBron wants to win (which as far as I can tell is a race neutral thing) and Z’s analogy to one particular movie about a white non-athlete. I absolutely agree that racism is a problem and I am open to an argument that race is a big factor here, but I just haven’t heard anything resembling a convincing argument that race is anything more than a backdrop.

  45. Ted Nelson: I just haven’t heard anything resembling a convincing argument that race is anything more than a backdrop.  

    I don’t think LeBron painted it as anything more than a backdrop. The question was: “Do you think there’s a role that race plays in this?” To which he answered: “I think so, at times. It’s always, you know, a race factor.”

    He’s taken hits for this answer, as if he was blaming his decline in popularity on white people unfairly turning against him. The fact is, he *didn’t* say that, and yet the (white-owned) media allows such misinformed interpretations of what he said to run rampant. In my eyes, that is where the racism argument gets fuel.

    But even if the media is right– that LeBron did blame his decline in popularity on white people unfairly turning against him, such a statement wouldn’t be baseless. His negative Q score rose from 24% to 44% among non-blacks, but only rose from 14% to 15% among blacks. So, whether right or wrong, there is fodder for the argument that racism is more than just a backdrop in the “fall of LeBron James”.

    “I would argue it is not racism, because I would argue a white, latino, or asian athlete would have been treated the same way for the same behavior. Tiger. A-Rod. Roger Clemens. Barry Bonds is hardly from the inner-city.”

    I don’t know the flaws of the Q Ratings, but the six most unpopular athletes are: 1) Michael Vick, 2) Tiger Woods, 3) Terrell Owens, 4) Chad Ochocinco, 5) Kobe Bryant, 6) LeBron James. All these guys are black. A-Rod is behind them. So is Clemens. So is McGuire. So is Kyle Busch. So is John Daly. So is Ben Roethlisberger. Some of these guys are worse than mere “douches”, yet LeBron has a more negative perception by the general American public.

    “No one hates Chris Bosh for going to Miami. He’s not as big a star as LeBron, but he also did it in a more humble way and announced his decision along with his new teammate.”

    In keeping with the Q Rating as a statistical measure for “hate”, people apparently DO hate Chris Bosh for going to Miami. His negative rating rose from 21% to 35%. Wade’s rose too. So it can’t just be that people hate LeBron because he acted like a jerk. Part of it seems to be the decision itself– not just the sideshow surrounding it.

    And, possibly, some of it could be race. Mike Miller’s Q rating hasn’t been effected at all!

  46. Z,

    My argument has not been so much about LeBron as about guys backing up LeBron’s comments with harsher stances. I absolutely think that racism is a problem, I just don’t think it’s at the core of the LeBron issue.

    Jalen Rose, in fact, is part of the media, not white, and spreading misinformation about white season ticket holders: they are racists who hate black people. He is just one dude, but in a perfect position to intelligently discuss the issue he made little rational sense and just basically called all white people racists…

    I don’t know much about Q rating and have also never claimed that racism or a racial bias does not exist. My point is that if LeBron or anyone around him thinks race was a major factor here, they are delusional and missing the larger point.

    Certainly the Q ratings are an unsettling trend. Two thing I would say:
    -a disproportionate number of high profile athletes are black, so I would expect more to be on both this list and the All-NBA and All-Pro teams in the ultra popular and ultra high paying NFL and NBA. All 6 of the most “hated” athletes being black very well may go beyond this to racism and racial bias, but 3, 4, or even 5 might not.
    -I’m not particularly surprised that no one cares about Mike Miller, he’s just not that great. Clemens and McGwire are retired, so that doesn’t really surprise me either… Sosa didn’t make the list, either, nor even did the hated Barry Bonds… because no one cares about them anymore. John Daly is fairly amusing and not in the news much for years, so he doesn’t surprise me at all. Roethlisberger does surprise me, and A-Rod a bit. I might say that both have strong fan bases from which to draw support, but you’d think Kobe does too. Then again, I “dislike” (in a sports star sense of disliking someone) Kobe and I don’t think it has anything to do with his race. Roethlisberger’s exclusion may carry racist undertones, but also sexist. Where does he rank? Vick doesn’t surprise me, since even though a lot of people are probably forgiving and forgetting there are a lot of really passionate animal owners and animal rights people. Tiger is as non-black and black. Owens and Ochocinco are pretty obnoxious, though I have to say I don’t care enough about either to actively dislike him and I actually kind of like Ochocinco.
    So, that fact is pretty discomforting and I would definitely examine racial bias as a cause of the list, but there are some other factors at play. Certainly these are guys who have been at the top of their games or at least paid like it and treated like it. Maybe there is some racism at play in why I can’t think of many white counterparts, but it could also be that not many white athletes are as dominant/high profile. I can also think of both black and non-black athletes who are far more detestable than these guys, but they are not nearly as high profile. For everyone to hate you, they have to know you.

    It would be interesting to look at the highest earning endorsement guys, and you might see a racial bias emerging with some white guys and/or that black guys are also earning the most. I mean Tim Lincecum is not selling as many shoes as LeBron.
    In 2009, it appears only 2 of the top 10 earning US athletes were 100% white: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/more/specials/fortunate50/2009/ Golfers taking the top 2 spots, and outside Tiger there just aren’t too many American minorities on the tour. So you might even exclude Lefty and Tiger. Peyton Manning is the only white team athlete (Jeter obviously being half white) on the list and he came in #10. So, for the man who is making $28 mill annually in endorsements off his popularity to be pulling the race card is hard to swallow. People may not hate A-Rod as much, but advertisers still thought he was about 20% as marketable as LeBron in 2009. White people might love them some Peyton Manning, but he’s still less than 1/2 as marketable as Cleveland LeBron was.

    Z: people apparently DO hate Chris Bosh for going to Miami. His negative rating rose from 21% to 35%. Wade’s rose too. So it can’t just be that people hate LeBron because he acted like a jerk. Part of it seems to be the decision itself– not just the sideshow surrounding it.

    That’s not why I lost respect for LeBron, personally. I would not say this proves racism, though, and would actually say it sort of hurts the case for it. People are jealous and hate the anti-competitive nature of the move to form a free agent superpower (I am jealous, but don’t care too much about the move… though I would have rather they not made it). MJ and Magic have both come out against it, and both are black, rich, and power-brokers as far as I know. In terms of Mike Miller, how are Dampier, Z, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, Eddie House, or Joel Anthony’s Q ratings doing? Does the American public even know who Joel Anthony is? Even as an avid NBA fan I’ve completely forgotten about Mike Miller for stretches this offseason.

  47. Just listened to Jalen Rose’s comments. He didn’t go too far past the “backdrop” argument, except to highlight the racial divide between producer and consumer.

    I do agree with you, though, re: exposure. The most negatively rated athletes are the ones with the highest exposure, I guess. I’ve actually (get this) never heard of Chad Ochocinco (I hate football), so I’m not sure what he’s done or how he’s done it, but the others are all pretty much the most exposed athletes. I suppose it’s the flaw of the Q Rating, as cheaters and rapists should, realistically, rank behind hot-heads and prima donnas.

  48. Z-maybe but personality plays a role…Jeter, Peyton Manning to name two are highly exposed and not negatively viewed even Tiger Woods before Thanksgivign weekend. I think many people like, such as LeBron, prefer to seek external explanations rather than the one the obvious one facing them in the mirror.

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