I’m So Mad

It’s Monday morning and I’m fuming.

My anger has little to do with the Knicks losing to Toronto on Sunday night. Instead it’s my other winter team that has drawn my ire.

The New York Jets.

And yes, the Jets actually won this week. The problem is they beat the wrong team at the wrong time. The Jets played the Titans, and both teams had identical 2-11 records before the game. A loss would have put the Jets in position to have the third overall pick in the draft. But with their victory, they slide down to 6th.

Let me tell you what the problem is with the New York Jets. They have no QB. And in the NFL, when you don’t have a decent QB you have huge problems. Go look at the franchise index, and their winning seasons align with good play from under the center. And more importantly, their bad seasons come with bad quarterbacks.

Look around the NFL and it’s unmistakeable that winning teams get good or great production from the passing game. This year the top teams are the Patriots, Broncos, Packers, Colts, Lions, Cowboys, Seahawks, and Cardinals. With the exception of Arizona, you can probably name the QB of each team.

So why am I so mad? With the third overall pick the New York Jets had a very good chance at landing one of the two premier quarterbacks available in the draft. Now I’m not a college football expert to declare that either Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston is going to be a great professional. However it’s likely that this opportunity is closed for New York with the 6th pick, and they’ll have to roll the dice in a latter round (or overreach with their lottery pick) to get a replacement at QB.

Deep down this isn’t really why I’m mad. I know it’s unrealistic to expect paid athletes to lose a game. It’s not in their makeup, because they didn’t make to the .0001% of their profession without a boatload of confidence that they are among the best at their craft. For them, the desire to succeed is so great that it defines them. And that’s true for the coaching staff as well.

Deep down I know the real reason I’m mad is that the Jets put themselves in this position to begin with. New York took the wrong QB in the 2013 draft, after trading up to take the wrong QB in the 2009 draft. And the problem isn’t so much that they’ve struck out in the draft at a critical position twice in a row. Can I fault them for not grabbing Josh Freeman or Mike Glennon? Not exactly, but in some ways yes. They don’t need to be perfect in the draft, but clearly they had better options. The draft is designed to allow teams to replenish themselves at positions of need. And the Jets failed twice in 4 years to do so.

Freeman and Glennon weren’t their only options at respectability. The Jets had Drew Stanton, who was Arizona’s QB before getting injured, on their roster a few years back and dumped him for Tim Tebow. They’ve traded away draft picks, and squandered them. Look at their last 3 drafts and you’ll find lots of busts at high picks: Calvin Pryor, Jace Amaro, Dexter McDougle, Dee Milliner, Geno Smith, and Stephen Hill. Pryor could have been Teddy Bridgewater, and Hill could have been Russell Wilson or Nick Foles.

Deep down I’m mad because the Jets have been a badly run team. And now their chances of turning things around quickly are slim. They’ve forced themselves into a small window for success, because of their mismanagement. And deep down I’m mad, because on a day they win I have to be upset that they didn’t lose. Because losing that one game hurt them in the one small way they could theoretically get better quickly. Ultimately I was so excited by the prospects of them losing that game, because I have so little faith that they can develop a QB the more difficult way. What the heck kind of sports fan have they turned me into?

And why am I talking about this on my basketball blog? Because the similarities are there between the Jets and the Knicks. In the NBA winning a championship without great players is impossible. Much like not having a good QB, not having two or three great players means you’re sitting out come playoff time (certainly by the second round). The Knicks have one player that could fit this role: Carmelo Anthony. But they need another. And another after that.

They’ll have a good amount of cap space this summer, and they’ll have a potentially high draft pick. And to be honest, they can’t afford to screw either one up. Because much like the Jets, they have given themselves a small window in which to succeed. Anthony’s contract blows up substantially after next year and of course they don’t have next year’s first round pick, which makes acquiring another star much more difficult. Much like the Jets, the Knicks don’t make the difficult happen. (Well not in a positive way.)

So I’m sure there will be a March or April game that the Knicks win against a team they’re jostling for position in the draft. And I’ll be mad at them for it. But really I’ll be mad that they’re just a another poorly run franchise with one narrow path to being a great team.

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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).

41 thoughts to “I’m So Mad”

  1. Hey Mike….I think alot of teams wrongly are down on Jameis. I think he will still be there at 6 so theres that. I think he will be better than Mariotta.

    Frowns for Towns is still in full effect for the Bockers too.

  2. @1
    Here is something I said to a fellow Jets fan last week about Jameis:

    “Do you think the Giants, if they needed a QB, would draft Jameis Winston with their top 10 pick?”

    And that tells you everything you need to know about the Jets getting Winston. Here is a guy with 4 sections on his wikipedia page under “controversies.” I don’t think the Giants go with a headcase like that. Heck they passed on Phil Rivers, and he’s half the headcase Winston is. And you know if the Giants drafted Winston, they would be 100% sure his shady stuff is in the past. It would give a lit bit of respectability to Winston, that the Giants chose him.

    On the other hand if the Jets get him, the tail would be wagging the dog. The Jets aren’t a strong enough organization to mold Winston. They would need him more than the other way around. Unless they hired a strong coach like Pete Carroll (*sigh*), it’s more likely to end ugly.

    I know I included Winston in my Jets lament, but I could have worded that better. Winston to me is Carmelo Anthony, with JR Smith’s brain.

  3. Winston will present a strange issue. Are people going to wind up picketing and protesting if he gets drafted. In effect, trying to deny him the right to work in his chosen profession. At any rate I feel your pain Mike and drafting Winston would be a Jetsy thing to do. Maybe Manziel after he flames out with Cleveland @ 2017.

  4. @3

    That’s not Jetsy enough.

    They’ll trade up to draft Everett Golson in the 2nd round. Then they’ll grab E.J. Manuel as a backup when the Bills dump him. Golson will start, have one spectacular game, and suck the rest of the year, but the Jets will stick with him even though they have EJ on the sidelines. Then the next year the Browns cut Manziel. The Jets rush to pick up Manziel, and dump Manuel. Manuel goes to NE, and wins the QB job outright (Brady had retired). EJ is pretty good for a decade. His record against the Jets is 9-1 in December.

  5. C’mon, this is the knicks. There’s no wondering. Of course they’re going to go on a run down the stretch, or win some meaningless game that will put them in a definitively less advantageous position for the ping pong balls.
    Just salt in the wound of making a completely wasted season by the fifth game, screaming to you to go away. Far far away. Like that girl that you were madly in love with that wanted nothing to do with you. Regardless of the fact that she was really a loser, you just couldn’t get her off your mind. You were mad for her.
    Well, maybe, on some level, we like feeling that angst. Relish in it. Crave it.
    Such, is the knicks, telling us they just don’t care about us, telling us to “Go away”.

  6. As bad last season was, the knicks had the hope of making the playoffs (for no good reason – they would have been summarily dismissed), but at least there was a reason to watch the games. . . and some shred of hope.

    How the hell do you get excited to watch a game hoping your team loses? . . . because they are playing for absolutely no reason other than contractual obligations. Same a Jets and Giants.

  7. @5 God forbid! Last draft, with 11 or 12 picks the Jets traded nobody. Had they bundled picks to trade up to the 2nd/3rd round they might have saved this year with a WR or CB. Personally I would have traded 6 or 7 of the picks (not all were tradeable) to get 2 players. Instead they got shut out of the WR bonanza.

    The Jets make me feel good about the Knicks. Nuf said.

    @7 +1 Amen to that brother!

  8. To bring it back to the NBA, does anyone think the Knicks are not in a similar situation? From as far as I can see, the only chance New York is to hit it big in free agency & the draft this year. Everything else is such a remote possibility, I don’t think it’s possible. Multiply by the fact that New York has been a poorly run team, and it makes it even more remote that they’ll unearth a gem going forward.

  9. the only chance New York is to hit it big in free agency & the draft this year.

    Yea this is the goal. Thats why the tank is rolling along. Good pick plus 1-3 solid free agent pickups. Also Tim could keep developing into a solid player which is why he needs to be playing more.

  10. When did Tim start developing into a solid player?

    LOL you are right my bad. Hes literally the only player on the team who can drive to the rack and it has definitely affected my judgement. But hey one can hope.

  11. Hardaway is the kind of player who’s upside from the time he leaves college to the time he heads to China. Doesn’t rebound, doesn’t pass, doesn’t play defense and doesn’t score efficiently.

    The Knicks will offer him the full MLE in a few seasons.

  12. As bad as this season has been for the NY Giants man Beckham’s future looks amazing. Pray he stays healthy the next few years.

  13. Praying for football players to stay healthy is a good way to end up with your faith in god shaken.

  14. Timmy has been terrible this year You Sound Corny Bro Stop Hating, but he has almost doubled his assist output. Now he’s just below average at dishing instead of really terrible. Passing is definitely something players can and do improve on in the NBA. Now, rebounding. . .

  15. The Kings appear to be owned by someone dumber (basketballwise) and more meddling than Jimmy Guitar, so I hope Phil is on the phone with them every day.

  16. The Kings management soured on Malone when he objected to the proposed Josh Smith to Sacrmanto deal, and has been going downhill ever since…

    Maybe he can team up with Glen Grunwald for an owner that shuts up and lets them do their jobs. A team of all castaways by meddling owners who are proved to be insane.

  17. I’ll be the first to admit that the odds of this happening are close to zero. Logic doesn’t matter in the world of the NBA.

    I noticed on HoopsHype that the Nets are shopping their studs, trying to get out from under the cap. They’ll never make this trade but what do you think?

    Deron Williams (3 yrs / $19.7M ) and Brook Lopez (2 yrs / 15.7M)
    for
    Amar’e Stoudemire (1 yr / $23.4M ) and Andrea Bargnani (1 yr / 11.5M)

  18. Deron Williams (3 yrs / $19.7M ) and Brook Lopez (2 yrs / 15.7M)
    for
    Amar’e Stoudemire (1 yr / $23.4M ) and Andrea Bargnani (1 yr / 11.5M)

    I say no. STAT and Bargs blessedly come off the books at the end of the season. Let’s not replace their expiring contracts with other, grossly overpaid/highly injury prone longer contracts.

    If we can dupe some hapless team (I’m looking at you Sacramento, which pains me to say as I became quite the fan when living there during the Webber/Divac years) for actual assets (good players, or picks + expirings) then you make that trade yesterday. But to give up two expiring contracts for more bloat…no thanks.

  19. Yeah that basically locks you into a Melo, Deron, Brook core. You can resign Shump, add a lotto pick this year and maybe flip Calderon for something, but the reality is that making any kind of bet on Brook’s health at this point is a little crazy I think. The guy can’t stay on the court. And even when he’s healthy I don’t think that team is much more than a low level playoff team, even in the East. With the amount of games he’s likely to miss it’s another overpaid lottery team. Pass.

  20. Seriously though, wtf are the Kings doing?

    I think the 5-on-4 could be brilliant. The only reasonable way to defend against a long outlet pass is to have your fastest player camping at about 30 feet out, near center court. Otherwise you’re giving up a 90%+ layup for every defensive rebound that Sacramento gets. It could be revolutionary (although I think they’d end up with a rule change before it turns into a thing).

    It also could be terrible. My guess is that they’re going to test it in practice long before they bring it into a game.

  21. So know that Lance “the 8th grader” Stephenson is on the block, how do we feel about a bargnani lance + 2nd round pick swap? I think this would be a good move for both teams. If the Knicks do this, they would have to unload Shumpert and Calderon this season.

  22. The owner of the Kings was featured by gladwell in his David and Goliath book. I am sure you have all heard the story, used the press to take a group of mediocre early teen girls to national championship finals or something like that….

    I am all for experimentation, especially if someone wants to experiment with taking Jr or Statgnani off our hands….

  23. Logged in this evening expecting to see some spirited debate on the pros and cons of acquiring Lance Stephenson. Charlotte is reportedly being forced to include a #1 pick in discussions with Indiana to take him off their hands.

    Leaving aside the ethics of acquiting a seemingly terrible human being aside (like we did when we acquired Jason Kidd), I would be all over acquiring Lance Stephenson if I were Phil Jackson. He’s on a good contract. He actually plays defense and plays hard. And you’re Phil Jackson, you’re supposed to be able to get through to knuckleheads.

    Make them take back JR and throw in Jason Smith to make the salaries match (I would prefer this 2-for-1 to trading away Barngnani because JR has the extra year and giving Jason Smith’s minutes to AB will help us land a better pick this year) (And because the idea of Lance and JR on the same team is frightening) and be done with it. We should even be able to extract a few 2nd round picks for our trouble.

    To me this is worth the risk. We are desperate for players and this is a real buy-low opportunity.

  24. (I would prefer this 2-for-1 to trading away Barngnani because JR has the extra year and giving Jason Smith’s minutes to AB will help us land a better pick this year) (And because the idea of Lance and JR on the same team is frightening)

    LOL. i secretly want Lance and Earl on the floor at the same time to see the trainwreck, but your other points are pretty good.

  25. Hardaway has been a disappointment so far this year. I thought he showed enough as a rookie to think if he improved his play making or efficiency and got a little better on defense he could turn into a solid 6th man. He seemed like he had a terrific work ethic and good enough basketball IQ to do all that and maybe even more. Unfortunately, IMO he has regressed (so far). I’m willing to give him a little more time to get used to the system and up the sample size for the season, but he was a wildcard for us along with Shump and Early. So far we are coming up all jokers.

  26. Jahlil Okafor, on his 19th birthday (today), has 23 points, 20 rebounds, and 3 blocks. I am totally fine with the Knicks’ being terrible as long as we get to draft this kid with the 1st pick in the draft. He’s the franchise player that comes around about once every three drafts.

    In terms of Lance Stephenson, I’d like to see it happen. I’m sure a lot of people hate him, but he’s a player that you love to have on your team and he’s from Brooklyn. But my ideal off-season is still Jahlil Okafor in the draft and Jimmy Butler in free agency.

  27. Please please no Lance Stephenson. I know we can joke around and say it would be a laugh riot having him and JR on the same team, but the guy is a flat out knucklehead who can’t go more than a game or two without doing something really dumb (remember the LeBron ear blow?) I personally want no part of him, no matter how talented he is.

    And I’d be shocked if Phil Jackson goes anywhere near him, given all his talk about character guys (although I guess Lance is a character)

  28. I loved the ear blow. The NBA needs fewer players with zero personality. I could do without him beating up women, though.

  29. Unibrow seems like a pretty boring guy (a la Tim Duncan) but I’ll take boring over stupid any day of the week.

  30. Please please no Lance Stephenson. I know we can joke around and say it would be a laugh riot having him and JR on the same team, but the guy is a flat out knucklehead who can’t go more than a game or two without doing something really dumb (remember the LeBron ear blow?) I personally want no part of him, no matter how talented he is.

    +1

    Unibrow seems like a pretty boring guy (a la Tim Duncan) but I’ll take boring over stupid any day of the week.

    +1,000

    I could not agree with you more. More high character guys, not less please.

  31. I wonder what Jackson would say if Denver called and offered something like Javale McGee, Gallinari and their 2016 pick (which is actually the best of NY’s Toronto-owned pick and their own) for Stoudemire and Hardaway Jr.

  32. I’d prefer the knicks bring back Starbury and Isiah rather than Lance Stephonson. He’s a jerk.

  33. The Giants beat the Titans too, and then the Redskins. I’d rather they get better drafting position too, but then again, they don’t need a QB.

    Phil said he’s looking for high-caliber guys. He also said the team is on a talent hunt. Lance Stephenson has talent on both ends of the court. And didn’t we also once trade for some coach-choker named Sprewell once upon a time? I can see both sides of the argument though; I’d worry about his personal discipline being back home just like a lot of you would. And the organization was better off (at least better teammates) when Spree was acquired.

    Put a gun to my head, and I’d say go get Lance if it’s a good deal. The guy’s got tools that we really need.

  34. late to the party… @ 33… Elon?… they were 32 pt. dogs… if only we’d all taken them!!! i thought okafor looked slowish and against a slowish team… but maybe thats exactly why… he is quick off his feet, however…

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