Knicks Morning News (2014.06.11)

  • [New York Times] NBA-Spurs Sprint Past Heat for 2-1 Lead in NBA Finals (Wed, 11 Jun 2014 05:52:14 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs routed the Miami Heat 111-92 to seize a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven NBA Finals on Tuesday and deal the Heat their first home loss of the playoffs.

  • [New York Times] Leonard, Spurs Roll to 111-92 Victory Over Heat (Wed, 11 Jun 2014 05:28:35 GMT)

    Maybe in a video game. Possibly in the pregame layup line.

  • [New York Times] Heat Drilled in Game 3 of NBA Finals (Wed, 11 Jun 2014 04:37:32 GMT)

    History would suggest they did everything right.

  • [New York Times] Spurs 111, Heat 92: Spurs Set Blazing Pace and Hang On Late (Wed, 11 Jun 2014 04:14:58 GMT)

    San Antonio, which took a 2-1 series lead, set finals records by shooting 86.7 percent in the first quarter and 75.8 percent in the first half.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Lead Heat by 21 Points at Halftime of Game Three (Wed, 11 Jun 2014 02:52:17 GMT)

    The visiting San Antonio Spurs soared to a 21-point halftime advantage over the two-time defending champion Miami Heat, leading 71-50 in Game Three of the NBA Finals on Tuesday.

  • [New York Times] Kidd and Fisher Carve New Niche for Veterans: Coach’s Office (Wed, 11 Jun 2014 02:41:21 GMT)

    Why would any veteran player known for leadership qualities and a strong understanding of the game not at least consider the accelerated path to coaching now that Jason Kidd and Derek Fisher have landed lucrative contracts?

  • [New York Times] Sports of The Times: Coast Cleared by Others, W.N.B.A. Finally Finds Its Gay Pride (Wed, 11 Jun 2014 02:19:29 GMT)

    Now that the coast is clear, the W.N.B.A., which has been around for nearly two decades, has decided to publicly embrace its gay fans. The gesture deserves two slow claps, considering how long it took.

  • [New York Times] Sports of The Times: Knicks Coach Derek Fisher Knows Basketball but Inherits a Flawed Team (Wed, 11 Jun 2014 01:20:13 GMT)

    Derek Fisher is the best choice by far if Phil Jackson wants to coach without coaching, mentor a former player and, if all goes exceedingly well, cement a legacy as a championship coach who became a championship executive.

  • [New York Times] Knicks, in Selecting Fisher, Take a Different Approach (Wed, 11 Jun 2014 00:56:13 GMT)

    The Knicks introduced Derek Fisher as their coach Tuesday in a low-key news conference that played down concern over Fisher’s lack of coaching experience.

  • [New York Daily News] Fisher wants to restore ‘championship DNA’ with Knicks (Wed, 11 Jun 2014 04:26:29 GMT)

    Derek Fisher attacked the criticism head on, as he was the first to admit on Wednesday that, no, he has never coached before at any level. Fisher fully believes, however, that serving as a point guard and team leader in the NBA for 18 seasons — including on five championship teams for Phil Jackson with the Lakers — will offset any such inexperience as he immediately transitions from his playing career to taking over as the 26th coach in Knicks history.

  • [New York Daily News] Isola: For real Garden transformation, Fisher and Knicks will need stars (Wed, 11 Jun 2014 04:21:46 GMT)

    Derek Fisher’s presentation, much like his wardrobe, was nearly flawless. The guy knows how to work a room and look good while doing it. Phil Jackson’s second choice to coach the Knicks appears to be, on so many levels, the perfect choice. Fisher has a championship pedigree, he’s a born leader and he works well with superstars, which will come in handy if the Knicks ever get one to pair with Carmelo Anthony.

  • [New York Daily News] Lupica: Fisher talks like a real champ (Wed, 11 Jun 2014 04:01:32 GMT)

    We heard plenty Tuesday about championships and championship cultures as Derek Fisher was introduced as the new coach of the Knicks, Fisher becoming the face of another new era for the Knicks in basketball, one of so many since the last time they won a championship 41 years ago.

  • [New York Daily News] Seven years later, Knick coach Fisher’s daughter soaring (Wed, 11 Jun 2014 03:05:29 GMT)

    In his rollout press conference Tuesday, the new Knicks coach said all the right things about embracing the challenge, and coming to New York for the same reason people have been coming for hundreds of years: to pursue opportunity.

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    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).

    47 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2014.06.11)”

    1. Shout out to Hubert …. It looks like if both Melo and Lebron opt in there is a good chance they could end up in NY. I take it with a huge grain of salt because Stephen A is reporting it … but a shumpert, hardaway, lebron, melo and chandler/other defensive center starting 5 plus a couple of midlevel guys is a championship roster especially if fisher can coach up shumpert and hardaway.

    2. Don’t want to rain on your parade, but I think it is much more probable they end up both in LA. Unless… big unless… Phil and Fish show there is a solid and unshakable foundation, untainted by Dolan’s meddling hands, I don’t see how LeBron and Melo unite forces here. Also, if the Heat lose in the Finals (I still have them in 6), are we really sure LeBron doesn’t get tempted by going back to Cleveland?

    3. I appreciate it, airkent, but I still think it’s as much of a pipedream as when I imagined it.

    4. IMHO, based on how I read the tea leaves:

      Utterly impossible: LeBron goes back to Cleveland

      Unlikely but remotely possible: PhilFish & Melo convince LeBron to join them in NY

      Possible: LeBron joins Paul & his new billionaire owner in LA (Clippers)

      Most likely: Melo replaces Wade as LeBron’s sidekick in Miami.

    5. LeBron is Not coming to NY any time soon, so please give up on that pipe dream already and move on. It is a complete waste of time to contemplate that. If he ever does come it will be when he’s a broken down 34 year old that they massively over pay for.

      Meanwhile how about Kawhi Leonard? He is playing Lebron as good as you can and last night poured in 29, fantastic game. Pride of the Aztecs!
      Go Spurs, I hope they win so badly. The Heatles need some humility in the worst way and if they win again, we’ll never hear the end of it.

    6. Utterly impossible: LeBron goes back to Cleveland

      I wouldn’t count the Cavs out, but only if Miami loses and they hire Fizdale.

    7. I see nothing in Cleveland that wasn’t there when he left them. Maybe if some of Cleveland’s recent high picks perform like high picks; but that’s a big if.

      As for reading Melo’s mind, where is ruruland when we need him?

    8. @ airkent. That’s essentially the same as saying having lebron on a team is a championship roster

    9. I love how Stephen A. says there’s a “95 percent chance” LeBron and Melo play together in 2015 IF both opt in. He throws out the 95 percent like it’s some scientific sort of number and still leaves himself 5 percent of weasel room if it doesn’t pan out. Thanks for the useless information, Guy That Shouts All The Time.

    10. Yeah, I mean, rape us for every asset we have and a max contract, then turn around and give the Heat a big discount to go be the fourth banana over there. Melo would be justifiably hated in New York if that’s how it goes down.

    11. I don’t know what Melo is thinking. Sorry. My connection into his camp is currently cut off, out doing a basketball camp in a foreign land.

      But as I said last summer, Melo is far more legacy conscious than he’s been credited for on this board, which means that he’s very sensitive to the idea of leaving NY without a major accomplishment.

      He’s going to take whatever pay cut is necessary to win and win in a way that best serves his legacy, which is not going to Miami to be the 4th wheel.

      There’s plenty of reasons to believe Lebron would come to NY, and the idea of bringing Melo to Miami is clearly a way for Riley to pre-empt it.

    12. In other words, do you really think Riley pursues Melo (and all of the re-calibrating and headaches of making it work salary wise) if Lebron wasn’t interested in joining him, and elsewhere if need be?

      Riley has a lot of respect for Melo, once saying a young Melo (who was more of an open floor player) reminded him of James Worthy, but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense on its face unless Lebron is serious about leaving.

    13. I definitely think Melo is legacy conscious and why I don’t view Miami as a serious option for his services. Then again I’m an idiot so who knows.

    14. Why do people think Melo signed his first max to expire a year after the other colluders?

      Yeah, Melo might overestimate his abilities, but his stubborn self-belief has served him pretty well overall.

      He wants to etch out his own legacy.

    15. He wants to etch out his own legacy.

      Frankly, his legacy’s not so great, and he’d be smart to go to Miami if he wants to win rings before there’s a fork in him.

    16. Why do people think Melo signed his first max to expire a year after the other colluders?

      Stupidity? ;)

      I don’t seriously mean stupidity, but I do think it was a mistake. As whether he wanted to carve out his own legacy or not, it really didn’t make sense to become a free agent later than those other guys, as the free agent market was incredible that year – so many good teams with cap room for Lebron that would have been great spots for Melo otherwise.

    17. But yeah, I still believe Melo stays here for a discount. How big of a discount is the only thing I am unsure about.

      As for his legacy, though, I think Riley can make a compelling case that they are going through all of these cap manipulations just to get Melo, which is a nice boost to the ego and I think that does okay for his legacy. The notion is that he wouldn’t be the fourth wheel, he’d be the new second wheel, and second wheel to just the greatest player in the entire league, so I don’t think that that is much of a shot to his legacy.

    18. I think if Melo opts out he is as good as gone. If he opts in and so does Lebron than I will let myself dream they have talked and both opt-in to keep the possibility of Lebron going to NY in 2015 alive.

    19. I can’t imagine the Players Association would be too happy about 4 guys taking extreme under market contracts to team up together. I’d also just stop taking the NBA seriously at that point.

    20. I can’t imagine the Players Association would be too happy about 4 guys taking extreme under market contracts to team up together. I’d also just stop taking the NBA seriously at that point.

      In other leagues, yes, they’d be adamantly against it. But here, you have four players whose maximum salaries are already capped, so it is less of a big deal for them to take pay cuts.

    21. Oh yeah also I forgot to add fuck Miami. I’ll be so pissed if Melo leaves to go extend their run and bring even more titles to Pat Riley and the Heat.

    22. I know they’re capped, but correct me if I’m wrong to make this work Melo, Lebron, Wade and Bosh would all have to sign on for deals worth approximately $15.5m in the first season to start off with. Wouldn’t that be something like $6-8m less than each of them could get as the max? Wade wouldn’t command a max on the open market and I don’t think Melo would get the super max he’s eligible for but something closer to $20m AAV. Lebron definitely would and Bosh would probably at least get really damn close. Idk my head hurts thinking about all this. It just seems like they’d all have to take fairly drastic paycuts, far greater than merely “signing for a discount”. That seems like it’d piss of the NBPA a little bit. Then again the NBPA is a shit show and horribly organized.

    23. I know they’re capped, but correct me if I’m wrong to make this work Melo, Lebron, Wade and Bosh would all have to sign on for deals worth approximately $15.5m in the first season to start off with.

      I believe they’d actually have to go even lower than that for it to work (with all of the cap holds and the like). My guess is that it’d be something like the current three guys would all take significant pay cuts and then Melo would take a smaller pay cut as he’s the guy doing them the favor, ya know? So something like $12 million apiece for the three guys and then $16 million for Melo, bringing it to roughly $52 miillion, giving them room to re-sign Haslem, Anderson and Chalmers under the cap.

      Then again the NBPA is a shit show and horribly organized.

      And the Knicks’ head coach was the last guy to organize it. Sounds about right, right? :)

    24. Then again the NBPA is a shit show and horribly organized.

      Doesn’t Coach Fisher have his fingerprints on that? (He went to war with Billy Hunter and they’ve been without an executive director ever since)

    25. In other annoying news, a fan tweeted that JR Smith would win the 6th Man of the Year Award next season and JR replied to him by noting, “Nope no more bench for me!!”

      Good to know that this has already been decided over Twitter in early June.

    26. Blaming Fisher for the state of the dysfunction is short sighted. Obviously he has to bear some responsibility for losing ground in the last CBA negotiations, but their isn’t any unity in the players association. The superstars only cared about protecting max salaries and once that was kept relatively similar to the previous CBA everything went, because the other guys don’t have the backbone (and financial flexibility) to miss a ton of games.

      Also if I remember correctly Fisher had major beef with Billy Hunter, who was ousted as soon as the negotiations concluded. I’d argue that sounds more like Fisher lost a power struggle between the 2 and that while Hunter won that battle he lost the war once the CBA talks concluded and the players got spanked by the owners on almost every piece of the negotiations. This would jive better with the fact that Fisher still has a great reputation among the players, while Hunter does not.

      I had an 8 hour interview today so and I’m in one of those “too tired to fall asleep so pathetically refreshing KB to discuss Knicks stuff in mid-June at 1:30 AM” kind of moods so forgive me if I got all my facts wrong.

    27. I’m just joking about Fisher (although he did do a bad job). I wouldn’t actually negatively judge any player over their role in the union, as so much of it is beyond their wheelhouse. Ewing, for instance, is a smart guy but he did an awful job as the President back in 1999. It’s expecting too much to think that these players would be good enough to negotiate with people who are as good at negotiating union deals as the NBA players are at playing professional basketball.

      Billy Hunter, on the other hand, he you can negatively judge.

    28. Lavor– Hunter couldn’t do the job well, so he needed to go. He was the one that actually went on the offensive against Fisher, I think. So I was being kind of glib. But the NBAPA is, as you described, not highly functional, and Fisher was a major player in it. (Kind of like Isiah having to answer for the folding of the old CBA?…)

    29. BC– I should just turn this convo over to you– you’re several minutes ahead of me in it!

    30. Oh cool. I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover but how the fuck could they have looked at Billy Hunter and thought this guy was going to be an awesome executive director? The one good thing they did was hire that economist, but they got him involved way too late in the process to make a real difference. The way they are going now it seems increasingly likely they’re going to get rocked even worse in the next round of CBA negotiations.

    31. “We’re losing too much money, we have to cut salaries down further!”

      “You just sold the Milwaukee freakin’ Bucks for $550 million! And the Clippers for $2 billion!”

      “Uhmmmmmmmmmm……..uhmmmmmmmmmmm…………No, no we didn’t.”

      “Oh, okay, sure, we’ll take paycuts then.”

    32. So who to believe. Stephen A. Smith and the opt in theory as referenced above. The opt out hook up from the ESPH article. Ruru referencing Melo wanting to carve out his own legacy. Kevin Durant coming to the Knicks. So many theories in the last few days it makes the head spin. This being the internet I doubt any of them come to pass.

    33. it’s a very fair point to wonder what’s going to happen to Lebron after this season regardless of whether or not the Heat win the title this year. there’s no doubt they are more reliant on him than ever before — Wade is a shell of himself except for random spurts, Bosh comes and goes, Battier and Allen probably will retire, and they really don’t have any talent on that team otherwise. Their 4th best player might be Chris Anderson, who was an unsigned FA just last year.

      If Riley was the cold, calculating SOB we know he is, I might quietly explore trading Bosh and/or even Lebron this offseason (either as a straight trade if they opt in or as a S&T if they opt out) and get a ransom of picks and young players before one or both eventually walk.

    34. I’d be very curious to see what Bosh and Wade could get on the open market. Wade is still super effective when he’s healthy, but he’s almost never healthy. Bosh is sort of the Horace Grant of this team. He’s good, and the Heat don’t have a replacement for him, but he wouldn’t be as valuable for a lot of other teams in the league and he’s definitely not worth 20 million dollars a year.

    35. I don’t think Wade will ever leave Miami until he’s completely broken in body and spirit, and this is not the case (yet). But I could see one of the lesser teams in lesser markets offering him the max or near that (Charlotte jumps to mind). No way he will accept, though.

      Bosh, on the other hand, is in a very nice situation. If he goes to another team where someone know how to maximize his talents, you can bet he’ll throw a pair of 20+10 seasons after all the dirty work he’s done in Miami. Are we sure, for example, that Morey isn’t on the phone with Riley once a day and twice on Sunday? What if Phoenix makes him a max offer (Bosh would kill it there)?

      Anyway, I think if they threepeat all three of them will just opt in… unless Melo opts out. If Melo opts out and those three opt out, you know shit’s gonna happen.

    36. Wade is done. I wouldn’t give him more than $6m AAV over 2 years. He played 54 games this year so that he was rested for the playoffs and in the playoffs while he’s been efficient he’s no longer able to carry Miami when Lebron is resting. That was his major value and if he’s not able to do that after being rested for 1/3 of the season when he has at least one day off between games, I have real doubts over how much longer he’ll be able to play. Watching his decline makes me really appreciate how impressive Kobe’s longevity and sustained level of play have been.

    37. holy @$#% can you imagine if Melo, Wade, Lebron, and Bosh all hit the open market this summer? it’s not going to happen but Twitter (and sports media) would literally explode.

      meanwhile i’d put Melo re-signing in NYC at a 90% possibility unless he gets both blown away by another team’s presentation AND gets paid in the process (ie. not taking a massive pay cut to play 4th banana to Wade/Lebron/Bosh, never mind destroying his own brand in the process). And honestly, if he wants to go to Miami and do that, then f*ck him. good riddance.

      But that’s not what’s going to happen. he’s staying – question is for how much.

    38. Re: Wade – what’s struck me about him is the degree of difficulty of all his shots unless it’s in transition or off a cut getting the ball from Lebron’s action. Everything else seems like a step back, runner, midrange garbage shot. How much longer can those shots keep going in?

    39. @43

      Yeah exactly. He almost never gets an easy shot on his own anymore and those step backs and mid-range shots are line drives with no margin for error. He looks like he could be headed for an absolute cliff in production very soon and unless he can completely alter his game and add a solid three point stroke like Kidd, I wouldn’t touch the guy even if I had a ton of cap space.

    40. Even a year ago the Heat occasionally won games where Lebron struggled(by his standards) because Wade could carry them for long stretches. I don’t think he has shown that gear once in this year’s playoffs, and it doesn’t seem like it’s coming now. It’s almost impossible to conceive of the Heat winning a game in this series in which Lebron doesn’t flat out dominate. Wade’s basically a 15-18 point a night guy now, and while he does it efficiently, those are more 6th man numbers than 2nd option numbers unless you have a very balanced attack, and the complete cratering of first Battier and now, mysteriously, Chalmers have sapped a lot of the balance from Miami’s attack. I think it’s safe to say Lebron is going to be looking for a new sidekick, either in Miami or elsewhere in the near future.

    41. @45

      Yes. And that is why it is possible that Melo really goes to Miami. If he goes there, he’ll play second fiddle, and not 4th banana, to LeBron. My wild guess, if really Melo goes there, is that Wade will be their 6th man a-la Ginobili, and the starting five will be Cole-?(really can’t say right now)-LeBron-Melo-Bosh. In that scenario, why don’t the Heat try to grab Bazemore to play SG? Anyway, I’m not sure that team could defend like Spoelstra wants to (unless Bazemore or someone like him goes there).

    42. Why do people think Melo signed his first max to expire a year after the other colluders?

      Because they wanted flexibility and freedom and he wanted the most money, guaranteed, right away, like every athlete ever before LeBron.

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