J.R. Smith: Once a Knick, Always a Goddamn Knick

As a fan, I’m definitely a member of the Jerry Seinfeld Laundry School. That is, I do tend to root for the team more than getting attached to any individual player. The goal of winning a championship (ha!) remains paramount, even if that can seem somewhat cold when a player to which I formerly wed my widdle heart is sent packing. And yes, sometimes a cold, pragmatic analysis gets bumfuzzled by feels. Sometimes, you just like certain dudes no matter how much your head tells you that that is not. A. Good. Idea.

Which brings us to J.R. Smith. Call me crazy, but he was my favorite Knick since Allan Houston and Chris Childs. Why? Well, a part of it has to do with the fact that like myself, he spent much of his late teenage years and 20s being a serious fuck up. Empathy requires understanding, y’all. I’m also a big fan of people, who let their guard down. In this wholly mediated and branded sporting world we live in, that’s a rare thing. And whether you agreed or disagreed with what Smith said he was always himself. I truly dig that.

J.R.’s time with the Knicks had a slew of good, more-than-we’d-like moats of bad and, most importantly, a shit ton of fun. Over the past 15 years there hasn’t been much of that.

So come with me for a brief stroll down memory lane. This is your J.R. Smith memorial post, Knicker-backers.

2011-2012 

February 9th
J.R. Smith’s Debut in Knicks-Mavericks on ABC. New York won 104-97

Smith scored 15 points in 30 minutes and even helped out defensively getting time defending Dirk Nowitzki.

March 14th
This was Mike Woodson’s first game as head coach after Mike D’Antoni was fired. The Knicks crushed Blazers 121-79 .

The start of arguably the best Knicks tradition during the J.R. Smith era — the Steve Novak-J.R. three-point barrage in blowouts. They combined for 13, seven from Smith and six from Novak, and I believe all seven from J.R. were in the second half.

April 17th
The Knicks beat the Celtics 118-108 in a nationally televised game on TNT. Round two of the Smith and Novak show.

This time they combined for 15.  Novak led the way with eight including a dagger late in the fourth quarter and Smith followed closely with seven.

May 3rd
Game Three of the Knicks-Heat first round playoff series. The outcome of this series from some reason escapes my mind. LALALALALA NOPE NOT ACKNOWLEDGING IT.

What I will choose to recall from my selective memory is this fantastic J.R. Smith dunk. BOOM.

2012-2013

December 5th
The Knicks knocked off the Bobcats 100-98 with Melo having to leave game with some sort of finger injury I believe.

Jason Kidd tries to lick J.R. Smith’s ear. A great moment in Knicks history.

December 26th
The Knicks pulled past the Suns 99-97 in Phoenix with no Carmelo Anthony, Ray Felton or Iman Shumpert.

Everyone remembers the J.R. Smith buzzer beater, but I’m putting in video with full game highlights because the shot he hit to tie the game at 97 might have been even more absurd. I was supposed to go to this game and no one I worked with would switch shifts with me. I hate all of you forever.

January 3rd
The Knicks romped the Spurs 100-83. New York swept San Antonio this season. The Knicks were good enough to win not one, but two games against the Spurs. This was less than three years ago. I’m not mad or anything. I loved this god damn team so much fuck I’m getting sad.

J.R. SMITH AND PABLO PRIGIONI MAKING BEAUTIFUL THINGS HAPPEN

February 1st through February 4th — J.R. Smith takes all of the three pointers

96-86 win against Bucks — 13 of Smith’s 14 shot attempts were threes. He made five of them.

120-81 win against Kings — 14 of Smith’s 16 shot attempts were threes. He made seven of them.

99-85 win against the Pistons — 13 of Smith’s 15 shot attempts were threes. He made five of them.

In a three-game stretch J.R. took 45 shots and 89% of them were three pointers. J.R. Smith is the motherfucking GOAT.

February 21st J.R. Smith and Pipe

You trying to get the pipe?

March 7th
The Knicks fall to the Thunder 95-94 in a valiant effort without Carmelo Anthony

Thabo, how’d it feel to get shook bad by J.R. Smith. You might have won the game, but you lost — you lost so very very badly.

March 9th
J.R. just showing off

That’s an ass. 

JR’s March and April to close the regular season

During the final two months J.R. Smith became a rim attacking maniac. He played some of the best basketball of his entire career. The numbers: 22 points on 45% shooting with 6.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.3 steals. This stretch clinched the the Sixth Man of the Year Award and was Smith’s peak as a Knicks player.

April 23rd
The Knicks dumped Celtics 87-71 in Game Two of their first round playoff series.

GUITAR DANCE CELEBRATION GUITAR DANCE CELEBRATION GUITAR DANCE CELEBRATION

April 31st
I want to ride my bike. I want to ride my bicycle. I want to ride it where I like.

How do you not love this man?

Not exactly sure which Pistons game this was at, but it was awesome. 

J.R. Smith played with kids at halftime. It was adorable.

2013-2014

November 14th
J.R. Smith defends Chris Smith

Watch your damn mouth Brandon Jennings

March 26th
The Knicks knocked off the Kings 107-99 behind a franchise-record tying nine three pointers from J.R. Smith

April 6th
The Knicks lost to the Heat 102-91, but J.R. Smith broke an NBA record attempting 22 threes and the franchise record he co-owned with 10 three pointers.

For context in this you have to go back to the previous two games. Coming in Smith had made 14-28 threes — so in a three-game stretch he made 24-50 threes. 24 of 50 threes in THREE GAMES. Bow down to J.R. Smith tha god.

The horror of untying sneakers

God forbid you have fun while playing basketball. J.R. Smith got destroyed for untying players’ sneakers. I laughed a lot.

Thanks for the memories J.R. You will be missed.

Liked it? Take a second to support bgibberman on Patreon!

bgibberman

Representing all Knicks fans of Arizona. This is unfortunate for all of them. Unabashed lover of J.R. Smith.

55 thoughts to “J.R. Smith: Once a Knick, Always a Goddamn Knick”

  1. JR officially lost me when he went out partying during the playoffs. I thought the elbow to Terry was stupid but I also think it wasn’t intentional. But when those photos emerged of him partying till 4 or 5 in the morning during the playoffs I was livid. That team was our best shot at The Finals and it was inexcusable of him to do that. He wasn’t the only reason we lost to The Pacers (Woodson not playing Pablo more or Copeland at all were big factors too), but JR should have been focused.

    I was weary of the contract we gave him especially when his brother joined the team. I never understood this whole we gotta be loyal to JR thing that the team seemed to have. Maybe cause he was Melo’s boy from Denver?

    I think without Kidd, Thomas, etc…Woodson was no longer the JR whisperer (especially after he got paid) and while I thought maybe he’d bounce back this year, I’m glad he’s gone.

    But it was fun for one glorious season and a half. I was excited when he joined our team and him and Novak were great when they were on. Those buzzer beaters were great and he deserved the 6th man of the year award.

  2. People always seem to blame the player for not living up to their contract. JR was JR before he got that three-year deal. The Knicks took a flyer on him when he and they were both desperate. His sixth man award was based on a run of 20 games that was a complete anomaly for him and probably linked somehow to steroids (the only obvious explanation for the “contract year phenomenon”). So the Knicks, being the Knicks, paid up for a brief spate of high performance when there was no external market. JR, naturally, then reverts to being the same JR he’s been his whole career, except now his body is breaking down too. His fault? Nah, except maybe the PEDs contributed to the injuries.

    Knicks management was, and maybe still is, the worst I’ve ever seen in sports, after maybe the Ted Stepien Cavs and the early Sterling Clippers. JR is more victim than villain.

    Good riddance to him. He has no chance of success on an elite team.

    Now, trade Melo.

  3. @2 JR was one reason we lost to the Pacers, but the biggest reason was that Tyson Chandler made Roy Hibbert look like Hakeem Olajuwon. Never seen Hibbert at that level since.

  4. Great post. i will second that good riddance. I am extremely happy the JR Smith era is over.

  5. JR was a main symbol of the worst management period in Knicks history. Worse than Isiah. Worse than Layden. 3-4 year contracts (Felton, Novak, JR) for no reason that now we’ve had to give away Tyson and Shump just to be rid of. The Bargnani trade, perhaps the worst trade in the history of the NBA given the clear expectation that it would make us better. Bidding against ourselves in just about every contract and trade negotation. Signing JR’s brother to a contract.

    It was a freaking joke. From an emotional standpoint I hate that we lost Shump (even though I think he’s terribly overrated by us) but I am so so so happy to be rid of JR.

  6. Tbf the Brooklyn trade for Pierce and Garnett may actually go down as the worst trade in NBA history and the Knicks trade for Curry was much worse than the Bargs trade.

  7. The Knicks have a remarkable ability to just pile mistakes on top of mistakes. For instance: Bargs was brought in to replace Copeland. We wouldn’t have needed to replace Copeland if there had been a team option on Copeland’s contract. We should have been GETTING a draft pick to take Bargs, but instead we had to give one, because we insisted on moving the unnecessarily long Novak and Camby contracts.

    Making more mistakes to “fix” the previous mistakes is the classic hallmark of Knicks management. Phil Jackson seems to have gotten the memo and is continuing in this vein. It won’t be long until we’re trading away the 2018 pick so we can move Calderon.

  8. Okay, here’s the tally so far:

    Gets it: JK47, Stratomatic, Brian Cronin, Hubert, partially Frank

    Doesn’t get it: everybody else

    Yes, Shumpert is not very good. Yes JR Smith had to go. Yes it makes sense on the surface to package them together, but it is ultimately myopic and impatient. It wasn’t necessary. It is more of the same from a franchise that has gone from bad to worse over the past decade and a half.

  9. @10 more of the same? That’s just the NYC negative mentality ie same old jets. Give it a chance. Phil wasn’t here to maximize shumps worth. They cleared only 2 million. But it cleared spots for us to get a look at the dleague guys and maybe help us find some gems. And when we go into free agency a 10 mil a year contract looks better than 8 in expensive ass NYC. It’s an ok move. I don’t know how it’s more of the same. We gained assets instead of losing them which was actually what was Happening.

    Phil may have gotten less than he could have for Chandler that I agree with but we got a good deal of assets for a guy who was gonna walk.

    If Phil could get Calderon s money off the books we will be in an even greater position. If we are fielding a team with Melo Okafor and a mix of talented two way players there is great potential for success. But we just want to shit on every thing

  10. I’ve been quiet because I certainly don’t get it and I can’t see where all this is going.

  11. The old Knicks would have moved Jr and shump for Dion Waiters and then given him an extension. Phil has been far from my ideal boss, but its not the same old shit yet.

  12. We gained assets instead of losing them which was actually what was Happening.

    No, see, this is the problem. We didn’t gain a single meaningful asset. We gained a couple million of cap space, which is better than nothing, but every single piece that came back to the Knicks is end-of-roster garbage. I mean, it’s a “whatever” trade, but we did not get assets.

    If Phil could get Calderon s money off the books we will be in an even greater position.

    Phil JUST TRADED FOR CALDERON. The guy he traded for Calderon currently has a .703 TS% and is fifth in the league in WS48. Meanwhile, the guy we got, Calderon, is 24 games into his Knick career and we’re talking about how great it would be if we could get rid of him, and his contract runs through 2017. Knicksy!

  13. Maybe we sign better players with the cap space we saved. At some future point we can flip those players for picks. Cap space can be a flexible asset.

    He has yet to give away a first round pick. Ergo, Phil Jackson is the best Knicks GM of this millenia.

  14. Drummond with 20 points on 10 shots and 17 boards v spurs. That kid is such a low key monster. Nobody does that to Tim Duncan.

  15. Maybe I’m alone on this, but my patience is beginning to run out on Phil Jackson. After a series of stupid moves, it’s got to the point when he makes a deal that’s not horrible, it looks good.

    I hear the excuses for him already, “He’s only been here a little more than half a season. Give him more time” Since when is that an excuse for fucking up. More time looks like more mistakes.
    After months of posturing, the Melo contract was a colossal screw-up. “F”
    Derek Fisher. Maybe one day he’ll be a good coach. But so far, not. “F”
    Tyson Chandler trade. “F”
    Now, he’s unloading guys cheap. This has all the signs of a quick, win-now, rebuild.

    Take away his rings and give him another name, and we’d all be calling for his firing.
    I’m not saying to fire him now, but let’s stop making believe he’s a genius until he makes a good deal.

  16. In the grand scheme of things, I agree with every move Phil made except the Jason Smith signing (a move I hated from day 1). Trading Tyson Chandler was necessary for us to bottom out and get a top 3 pick. Getting rid of Shump and JR gives us cap space. If we get rid of Calderon, then we’d be in the same position as the 07 Celtics were before their historic summer of adding Ray Allen and KG. The Knicks are in a good position right now, no matter how you feel. A player perceived as a star, Cole Aldrich (he could be our Rondo to keep the ’07 Celtics reference going) the biggest media market on the planet, a top 3 pick and $30+ million in cap space. I’m not complaining about anything right now. The moves we made get us closer to contention. This is the full blown tank a lot of people wanted, but when we get it there’s complaints everywhere. Be thankful the Knicks have Cole Aldrich and Carmelo Anthony. It could be worse. Like no Cole Aldrich.

  17. As long as Melo is top dog, this team is going nowhere.
    Melo is a role player that’s an MJ wanna-be, both in his ability and grand branding of himself.

    His arrival was a disaster, and his re-signing was a bigger disaster.
    The notion that top tier free agents are going to want to come here to play with him is absurd. Why would anyone want to join this shipwreck to play with a guy that hogs the ball on every play, while Phil Jackson’s lustre is rapidly tarnishing?

    After giving away JR and Shump, this looks like the worst knicks roster I’ve ever seen!

  18. 1). b Tyson Chandler was necessary for us to bottom out and get a top 3 pick.

    That wasn’t the reason for the trade. TC wanted out of this train wreck, and he and Melo didn’t want to play with each other. Now, he’s the center piece for Dallas making another run at the title.

    If we get rid of Calderon,

    Is that a joke. PJ just traded for Calderon. Funny stuff.

    A player perceived as a star, Cole Aldrich

    That’s rich. Really. You should do stand-up.

    The Knicks are in a good position right now, no matter how you feel.

    More jokes? The knicks are in terrible position. They can’t be a elite team for several years.

  19. The Melo trade was not a disaster. The Amar’e Stoudemire signing was a disaster, the Ray Felton re-signing was a disaster, and the Bargnani trade was a disaster. The David Lee trade was a disaster. The Melo re-signing may prove to be a disaster but it’s too soon. I don’t think it’s fair to say the Melo signing was bad when it was honestly just a bunch of dysfunction around him that brought him down.

  20. When you suck, it’s best to suck with no cap killing contracts, young players, and draft picks. The Knicks have all of their 1st round picks except for the 2016 pick, they have Quincy Acy, Cleanthony Early, Cole Aldrich, Tim Hardaway Jr, a top 3 pick coming in and they have $30 million in cap space. We suck, but it’s the good kind of suck that gives a team room for improvement unlike the Brooklyn Nets suck with no draft picks, no young players outside of Mason Plumlee, and no cap space.

    I stand by my statement; the Knicks are in a good position right now.

  21. In the end, this move like the moves during dismantling of the Knicks pre-2010 cannot be judged by itself. If the Knicks had gotten LeBron and Bosh in 2010, the Jefferies trade would’ve quickly been forgotten. And if the Knicks get Marc Gasol and another secondary FA, this trade would be hailed as a brilliant Phil Jackson maneuver. I don’t like the Knicks odds of striking gold in 2015 FA. But ultimately that’s what it comes down to.

    The Knicks are stuck between a rock and a hard place though. They’re not good enough to content, but they’ve traded away so many future 1st rounders that they can’t just fully tank either. They have a superstar, but that superstar is getting older and breaking down. As much as I want to say it’s the same ole Knicks, it’s possible they really have no better options than to pray for something good this offseason.

  22. They have a superstar

    based on what standards?
    Melo is a great scorer who needs to see himself as more of a role player, instead of a ball dominant, low efficiency, black hole.
    That won’t happen till his contract with the knicks expires.

  23. @8 – There are many candidates for “Worst Knick trade ever”. In addition to Bargs and Curry what about Marbury? McDyess? Stevie Francis?

    I think the Curry trade is definitely the worst. That was just some insane shit right there. One of the worst GMing I’ve ever seen.

  24. Difference with 2007 Boston: we have no Al Jefferson or anybody who could be the premium item of a package to send elsewhere for a good-to-great player (not to mention that, right at the moment, there’s no clear cut disgruntled superstar toiling in NBA obscurity… unless you want to say that Kobe is that one guy, but come on). So we will not get our KG to Melo-Pierce. You could theoretically try to trade the top 4 pick we (hopefully) will get for DeMarcus Cousins – very unlikely, but never underestimate the power of crazy owners – and shoot for the moon for one between Dragic, Millsap, Matthews, Knight or Afflalo. You would then have a starting five of Player X (selected between the ones I said)-THJ-Early or Calderon, depending on whom you signed-Melo-Cousins. Hardly a world-beater (a full starting five in the Dragic scenario: Dragic-THJ-Early-Melo-Cousins. This works only if Early develops into a 3-and-D player, which now seems a very long shot).

    That’s why we have to trade Melo. Our best asset is the top 4 pick, and we have to carefully manage it. It seems more and more clear that the real blunder in signing Melo was made when Phil said ok (or even proposed, who knows) to the no-trade clause, otherwise we could have already traded him to Sacto for Derrick Williams and Rudy Gay, who comes on a much more cap-friendly contract and can do 75% of the things this version of Melo does.

  25. Rightly or wrongly (hint – it’s the second one), Jackson believes that a 33-year-old Melo can still be the centerpiece (or at least a key piece) on a championship contender, so he’s not trading Melo unless Melo asks to be dealt, and I don’t think Melo is anywhere close to asking to be traded.

  26. I think so as much, BC. That’s why I’m really, really skeptical on this JR and Shump trade (which is not bad, but it’s kinda meh): there doesn’t seem to be a coherent plan in what Phil is doing.

  27. Zach Lowe on the trade:

    The Knicks did not get enough for Shumpert in the end. They balked at taking a low first-rounder for him last season, and now they’ve lost him for tax relief and some flexibility they might not have needed. Yes, Shump’s appeal allowed them to offload Smith, but they got next to nothing for a solid young player, and they could have had $20 million in space this summer even with Smith around. That’s poor asset management, even if Shumpert had worn out his welcome in New York.

  28. @31 — I agree. Cleanthony Early has now played a total of 120 minutes. That’s more than enough for us to conclude that it is now very unlikely that he’ ll ever develop into a 3 and D guy. I can’t believe that they wasted a second round pick on that stiff. He clearly stinks. Let’s cut him NOW! And as far as Galloway goes, he’s been on the team for at least two hours already and hasn’t done a damn thing. Cut him too. And trade Melo NOW, because teams will give up a ton for a guy who might have to sit out the rest of the year.
    Signed,
    The patient fan base that would be happily willing to sit through a five year rebuild .

  29. So you agree that they should trade Melo, just not now? I’m taking that as a minor victory. ;)

  30. What they should do with Melo depends on what happens this summer. If they draft Okafor or Towns and sign, say Dragic and Millsap, they should keep him. If they strike out in the FA market, they should shop him.

  31. to think if only we were willing to take back Boozer’s expiring we could’ve S&T’ed Melo for picks, Boozer, (Gibson?) and the .200 W/S rookie (!!) Mirotic and still be on our way to being an historically bad team.

    Now Melo is going to start demanding a trade late in year 3 when Chicago and LA are going to have us over a barrel. Fuck a no trade clause.

  32. I think it’s debatable whether Mirotic was ever on the table. Heck, I’m not even positive Gibson was ever on the table. The only thing the Knicks definitely could have gotten was Boozer and the Bulls’ two #1 picks (#16 and 19). Players picked from #16-30:

    Jusuf Nurkic, James Young, Tyler Ennis, Gary Harris, Bruno Caboclo, Mitch McGary, Jordan Adams, Rodney Hood, Shabazz Napier, Clint Capela, P. J. Hairston, Bogdan Bogdanovic, C. J. Wilcox, Josh Huestis and Kyle Anderson

    I’d still have done it, but it definitely wasn’t the most enticing of offers.

  33. Same here. But the very reasons we want Mirotic are the same reasons that the Bulls did not want to let him go.

  34. @35

    I’m very patient. But I don’t see how being patient equates to being blind. I was very happy when Phil came here. I was slightly less happy when Kerr punted on us and we had to hire Fisher, but I talked myself into that. I was confused when we traded Chandler and Felton (but glad that we got rid of Felton – still, even at the time I was unsure about Calderon’s contract). I was befuddled when we signed MMM Melo. I was horrified when we signed Jason Smith. I was depressed when it became evident that Fisher would have needed much time to become a good coach (ok: the players are bad. But Brett Brown has bad players too, and they seem to play in a coherent way). I was mad when everyone seemed to play before Cole. That is how I am and how I was. I want the Knicks to succeed, and I want the Knicks to have a f***ing plan. I can stand a few more years of losing, I can’t stand the fact that it’s very possible that we don’t have a clear plan. That’s it. I don’t see how bad knee Melo could be a centerpiece of this franchise in 2016-17 or 2017-18, that’s all. I’m not saying we should trade Melo because I’m impatient. I’m saying we should trade him because that’s the more functional road for him and for us. Also, I didn’t say Early is a bad player. I said Early needs time to develop, and we don’t know what we have, and at the moment he doesn’t have the look of a 3-and-D guy.

  35. The reason the trade went down is to get rid of dead salary. To PJ, Shump and JR are dead salary. Both of them are just not good players. Furthermore, I’ve been reading about PJ trying to shop JR and Shump for months now, and I believe this was the best we were gonna get (…in the future. I agree with PJ waiting to see how Shump develops through the summer and his excellent few games in the beginning of the year.)

    I don’t see how people can judge past “trade offers” which are purely based on rumors and speculation. Give me good sources on ANY of the above trade offers and I’ll listen. For all we know, all of them involved future draft picks as well.

    I agree with Johnno. Patience is necessary on our end. Sure, Jax planned on the playoffs this year and that was the reason he built this team this way, but give the guy some space to do whatever it is he needs to do until Fall ’15. And even then, we don’t know what his plan is.

    But one thing I’ve changed my mind on: If Shump is a STARTER for Cleveland, then obviously THEY think highly enough of him to give us more than a 2nd rounder+JR-dump.

    (If it was me, I wouldn’t think he’s more than a meh defender who risks too many steals, and horrible offensively)

  36. “I was very happy when Phil came here. I was slightly less happy when Kerr punted on us and we had to hire Fisher, but I talked myself into that. I was confused when we traded Chandler and Felton (but glad that we got rid of Felton – still, even at the time I was unsure about Calderon’s contract). I was befuddled when we signed MMM Melo. I was horrified when we signed Jason Smith. I was depressed when it became evident that Fisher would have needed much time to become a good coach (ok: the players are bad. But Brett Brown has bad players too, and they seem to play in a coherent way). I was mad when everyone seemed to play before Cole. That is how I am and how I was.”

    1. Kerr punted us for more money, living near his family, and a winning team.
    2. Chandler wanted out bad. He’s older than Melo, and oft-injured. He was going to go this summer anyway. We should have gotten more out of him, but trading him WAS necessary.
    3. Mega max Melo was gonna happen no matter what. He is a top player according to most metrics, we wouldn’t land an FA without him, and we have done him wrong by never surrounding him with appropriate players. He has played well (except when injured/this year) so far. In the future the cap with rise and his contract will seem more appropriate.
    4. Fisher is learning, and his players are behind him. These are shitty, shitty, shitty players. He has good assistant coaches. I don’t think this level of play is mostly on him. But he is learning, and hasn’t played Cole enough until recently, and has bad rotations. Maybe he is in on the tank too. I don’t know, but he has enough of my respect to earn him time.
    5. We don’t know the plan because in changed 2-3 months ago, and it takes years to figure out what GMs are trying to do. Let’s please be patient.

  37. Hm. You might want to reconsider again: Blatt was starting Shawn Marion (this Shawn Marion), Joe Harris or Matthew Dellavedova at the 2. So pretty much any 24 year old NBA player not named Dion Waiters could be Cleveland starting 2-guard.

  38. But one thing I’ve changed my mind on: If Shump is a STARTER for Cleveland, then obviously THEY think highly enough of him to give us more than a 2nd rounder+JR-dump.

    Shump is clearly going to start for the Cavs, so, well, do with that as you will. :)

  39. Mega max Melo was gonna happen no matter what.

    Was it destiny? We could have let him walk away. Or could have worked on that sign and trade, whatever that would have brought here.

    Fisher is learning, and his players are behind him. These are shitty, shitty, shitty players. He has good assistant coaches.

    Well. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Kurt Rambis and Jim Cleamons are good assistant coaches. They were Phil’s assistant coaches, but as you can see (eg: Brian Shaw right now, Kurt Rambis in LA and Minneapolis, Jim Cleamons at Dallas) Phil’s assistants don’t seem to be good coaches when left alone. This is not the Popovich’s tree. Also, why pay 5 mln dollars per year to a guy who’s learning? Shouldn’t Steve Kerr be learning too? It doesn’t seem that Kerr and Fisher are learning at the same speed (not saying we should fire Fisher; but come on, he’s being awful).

    We don’t know the plan because in changed 2-3 months ago

    We don’t know the plan because things didn’t go as Phil thought, and now we’re scrambling around. That said, I like the fact that we’re in good position for the draft. But it is out of necessity, not out of bad luck.

  40. Yeah, the best thing about the Knicks’ future is something that Phil Jackson specifically planned to avoid, which is get a top five pick this year. He thought the Knicks making the playoffs (or at least contending for a playoff spot) would be more beneficial in recruiting free agents than having a top three draft pick. His plan has always been to build through free agency. Very few teams have ever been able to do that, but I do think it is fair enough to see if Jackson might be one of the few to pull it off. He is Phil Jackson. I’m willing to see what he can do during free agency. The closest guy out there to Phil Jackson is Pat Riley, and he’s one of the only other guys to pull off building through free agency.

  41. @ BC, Farfa:

    Bad head coaches =/= bad assistant coaches. They did a good job with PJ, and some of them have good pedigrees since then (e.g., OKC assistant coaching and developmental coaching that led to really good all-star talent).

    And I agree that Fisher was overpaid, but to PJ it’s not his money, and he didn’t like what he saw next in line.

    And I agree that Jackson should NOT have given Melo the only max+no-trade in nba history.

    Sigh, other than that, I’m good (I’m gonna go cry now)

  42. I think we need to try to lure jimmy butler out of Chicago…looking at their cap situation if they don’t want to pay luxury tax they won’t be resigning him. http://hoopshype.com/salaries/chicago.htm

    Side note: it seriously is just incredible how well run the spurs are, as of now they have more cap space than us going into next year, probably own their pick, and will resign the players they want all for good deals. while we sit here and make a big deal about having cap space and a 1st rd pick every once a decade or so. We also happen to be the worst team in the league which has forced us into this situation.

  43. Looking to the future, we are (A) amassing picks, (B) without bad long-term contracts (talking Bargs/STAT, not Melo), so if we have few well-chosen FA’s, or players via trade, we are OK in the future, I think.

    It all quite literally depends on the next 6-7 months. We can amass horrible players, or end up with a great rotation. We really have no idea.

  44. Calderon looked a lot better last year when he played on a team with real NBA players. I don’t think he’ll ever be worth his contract, but offensively he’s like old man Kidd in that he needs to play with others that can dribble penetrate and he’ll spot up outside for 3’s and make smart swing passes. This team is going to make everybody look bad, because everybody is a minus defender and offensively there is nobody that can consistently penetrate and create.

    I’d be fine with dumping Calderon if possible, but I don’t think he’s hot garbage and I definitely don’t want to attach Hardaway to do it.

    For those saying we should have at least got a first round pick for Chandler, well we basically did. The No. 34 pick in last year’s draft was more valuable than a late first rounder. We also acquired Larking (No. 17 in 2013 NBA Draft) and the No. 51 in last year’s second round (Thanasis). That’s a good haul considering we attached Felton’s fat ass too him and Chandler was an expiring.

    Phil may have well wanted to tank this year and seemingly he made it clear to Melo that this was a process that could take some time. Melo hasn’t pouted, vociferously denied the bullshit rumor he was looking to be traded and then went out of his way to defend Fisher. Doesn’t seem like a guy necessarily caught unawares by the team’s struggles this year.
    Maybe they didn’t think they would suck this bad, but Phil Jackson saying he wanted to make the playoffs doesn’t mean shit. What was he going to say? “Yeah this team sucks so we’re just gonna bite the bullet this year and suck ass”?

    People are assuming Phil is just going to max out Monroe and Harris and be done with the summer and that really doesn’t need to be the case. He can easily look for smaller contracts for role players instead of blowing his load on a big name. Additionally the trade exceptions he has created can be used to help facilitate trades and bring back picks. Just seems like…

  45. Phil may have well wanted to tank this year

    There is absolutely no way he wanted to tank this year. The Calderon acquisition makes no sense if that was his intent. Clearly he felt that being competitive for a playoff spot would help him with free agents (not to mention that not wanting to tank matches exactly what he has outright said on the subject, like when he said he was worried that their 4-18 start would hurt them with free agents).

  46. There is absolutely no way he wanted to tank this year. The Calderon acquisition makes no sense if that was his intent. Clearly he felt that being competitive for a playoff spot would help him with free agents (not to mention that not wanting to tank matches exactly what he has outright said on the subject, like when he said he was worried that their 4-18 start would hurt them with free agents).

    He didn’t want to tank, but he hasn’t exactly fought to stop it. I think he probably thought this team could make the playoffs, but he was okay with the possibility they’d miss. Like I said I don’t think they really expected us to be as bad as we’ve been, but since we have sucked he hasn’t panicked in trying to temporarily arrest the decline by trading for some long-term flotsam better than the jetsam on the roster.

    Masai Ujiri didn’t expect the Raptors to become a near 50-win team last year after dumping Rudy Gay and he didn’t expect Lowry to develop into a franchise player but it happened and he rolled with and adjusted accordingly. Expectations often don’t meet reality, but how you adjust to it is what matters. So far Phil hasn’t done anything to hurt us long-term and in the short-term the cap flex is a good thing even if everybody wants to assume he’s a fucking idiot and he’s going to start maxing out Tobias Harris.

    Also the trade exceptions we’ve created can easily be used to facilitate a trade and acquire a pick in the process if the situation arises.

  47. He didn’t want to tank, but he hasn’t exactly fought to stop it. I think he probably thought this team could make the playoffs, but he was okay with the possibility they’d miss. Like I said I don’t think they really expected us to be as bad as we’ve been, but since we have sucked he hasn’t panicked in trying to temporarily arrest the decline by trading for some long-term flotsam better than the jetsam on the roster.

    Sure, totally agreed. I just wanted to make sure we don’t start to give Jackson credit for the team tanking this year. That was not his plan for the year. But when it all fell apart, I agree that he embraced the reality of the situation and figured it made more sense to turn into the swerve.

    Also the trade exceptions we’ve created can easily be used to facilitate a trade and acquire a pick in the process if the situation arises.

    I dunno about easily, but sure, I certainly hope that’s how he plans to use the trade exceptions and not, as I fear, to use them to add players to the team during the offseason. Honestly, Donnie Walsh (our Donnie, that is) is likely correct that the best way to rebuild this team is to not go for free agents this offseason at all and just use this newfound cap room to facilitate deals with other teams for a year or two and then start to spend. The problem is that that plan conflicts with having Melo on a mega max deal, so that route is pretty much cut off.

Comments are closed.