Knicks Morning News (2015.02.16)

  • [New York Times] Klay Thompson Gives a Glimpse of All-Star Life in New York (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 08:21:56 GMT)

    Klay Thompson walked off the elevator on the fifth floor of the Sheraton Times Square Hotel wearing a white-collared shirt with thin red checkers, dark denim jeans and a tired face.

  • [New York Times] Report: Knicks, Stoudemire Agree to Contract Buyout (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 06:46:01 GMT)

    The New York Daily News is reporting that the New York Knicks have agreed to a buyout with Amare Stoudemire.

  • [New York Times] Knicks, Stoudemire Agree on Buyout (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 06:27:48 GMT)

    The New York Knicks took another step in the deconstruction of the struggling team by agreeing to buy out six-time NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire, according to multiple reports on Sunday.

  • [New York Times] Russell Westbrook, Tight-Lipped Before Game, Makes a Statement as the M.V.P. (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 06:11:35 GMT)

    Westbrook scored a record 27 points in the first half and finished with 41, just missing Wilt Chamberlain’s record of 42, set in the 1962 All-Star Game.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Notebook: Amar’e Stoudemire and Knicks Said to Be Parting Ways With Contract Buyout (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 05:56:57 GMT)

    Stoudemire, a Knick since 2010, will be free to join another N.B.A. team, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

  • [New York Times] West 163, East 158: In N.B.A. All-Star Game, Pizazz Returns to Garden, and West Stars Shoot Their Way to a Win (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 05:50:09 GMT)

    In a leisurely game that grew mildly competitive only in the final minutes, the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference, 163-158, in front of a well-dressed, sellout crowd.

  • [New York Times] Westbrook Scores 41 Points, Selected All-Star Game MVP (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 05:30:55 GMT)

    Russell Westbrook was the brightest All-Star in the Big Apple.

  • [New York Times] Westbrook Leads West to All-Star Victory (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 05:24:50 GMT)

    Russell Westbrook exploded for 41 points to lead the Western Conference to a 163-158 victory over the East in the 64th NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.

  • [New York Times] Westbrook Has 41, West Edges East in NBA All-Star Game (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 05:09:57 GMT)

    Mixing Broadway and basketball, this NBA All-Star Game was a West Side Story.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Baseball: Yankees Set to Retire Andy Pettitte’s Jersey (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 05:06:06 GMT)

    The Yankees are set to retire Andy Pettitte’s No. 46 jersey and honor him with a plaque in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park in a ceremony on Aug. 23.

  • [New York Times] Westbrook Leads West to All-Star Victory (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 04:33:48 GMT)

    Russell Westbrook exploded for 41 points to lead the Western Conference to a 163-158 victory over the East in the 64th NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Notebook: Adam Silver Plans to Adjust Draft Lottery System to Ease Fans’ Minds (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 04:00:38 GMT)

    In an interesting concession, Silver said one of the goals of his second year as N.B.A. commissioner would be to reassure fans by adjusting the system to more clearly show that there was little incentive to lose games.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: A Lineup of New York Icons, With Carmelo Anthony on the Bench (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 03:23:57 GMT)

    Anthony was the informal host of an All-Star weekend brunch at the Javits Center, where his star paled in comparison with those of past New York basketball greats.

  • [New York Times] As N.B.A.’s D-League Celebrates the Future, Older Players Savor Their Invitations (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 02:06:05 GMT)

    The N.B.A. Development League staged its annual All-Star Game at Barclays Center on Sunday afternoon, celebrating young players but also featuring a number of older journeymen.

  • [New York Post] The ugly numbers from Carmelo’s controversial All-Star start (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 01:53:53 -0500)

    If this is how Carmelo Anthony is going to shoot, it might be best if he does shut it down now. Anthony, however, may decide this isn't the way he…

  • [New York Post] Why Stephen Curry’s night was pleasure and pain for MSG fans (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 01:47:49 -0500)

    Chris Duhon, Toney Douglas, Nate Robinson, Sergio Rodriguez, Raymond Felton, Chauncey Billups, Anthony Carter, Mike Bibby, Baron Davis, Jeremy Lin, Iman Shumpert, Jason Kidd, Pablo Prigioni, Toure' Murry, Chris Smith,…

  • [New York Post] Goodbye to Amar’e Stoudemire, who made Knicks matter again (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 01:45:47 -0500)

    This morning, it is important to remember those first few weeks and months, to remember what it was like to watch Amar'e Stoudemire in his opening act as a Knick,…

  • [New York Daily News] Bondy: LeBron James still biggest flirt at Garden (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 06:53:36 GMT)

    Humility can be a problem for LeBron James. He is the best player in the NBA and knows he’s the best player in the NBA.

  • [New York Daily News] With stars out at Garden, Kerr looks smart again (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 06:42:05 GMT)

    As the clock ticked and the West held on for a 163-158 victory Sunday night’s, Steve Kerr again looked like the smartest guy in the room.

  • [New York Daily News] All-Star Insider: Ex-Knicks say Jackson will turn it around (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 06:32:00 GMT)

    Willis Reed, Bill Bradley and Earl Monroe remain confident that their former teammate, Phil Jackson, will return the Knicks to prominence.

  • [New York Daily News] West wins NBA All-Star Game, Melo struggles, Westbrook MVP (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 04:34:14 GMT)

    Carmelo Anthony at least came through on his promise as New York’s self-proclaimed host and ambassador this weekend.

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks agree to buyout with Amar’e Stoudemire: source (Mon, 16 Feb 2015 04:07:58 GMT)

    Amar’e Stoudemire’s days in New York are over but he could find a new home by the end of the week.

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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).

    82 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.02.16)”

    1. I may be crazy, but I think that Larry Sanders is worth a deal when the Bucks conclude his buyout. Knicks could only offer the vet’s minimum, but he is going to be getting paid by the Bucks. Phil Jackson is probably the executive in the NBA best equipped to deal with Larry Sanders’ particular issues.

    2. Ephus — I know that you’ve been pushing for Sanders for awhile and I always thought that, for $11 million/yr, he was way too much of a risk. However, for the vet minimum, I couldn’t agree with you more. That would be the ultimate low risk potential high reward gamble.

    3. It is worth the risk at the minimum but I am not sure NY is the town for Sanders. Also, why wouldn’t a contending team take a risk on sanders for the minimum?

    4. I think that Phil Jackson can rationally talk to Larry Sanders about his marijuana usage and his desire to be a complete human being making a difference off of the basketball court. I think that sort of bond would be worth more to Sanders than joining a winning team this year. I may be wrong.

    5. Phil Jackson was admittedly a MAJOR user of marijuana and hallucinogens during the 1970s. He was able to bring that part of his life under control. He is not judgmental of those who use, but he does ask them to recognize the consequences of their choices.

      I do not think he has “magic.” I think that getting clean and sober is hard work. I merely believe that he is likely to have a good perspective on the issues. I would think the same thing if John Lucas was coaching a team, and he has not had nearly the coaching/FO success that Big Chief Triangle has.

    6. I feel we sometimes grossly overestimate Phil Jackson’s skills/aura. Until today, there is zero evidence he can work his magic on ‘demand’. Yes, he was able to handle Dennis Rodman (but we don’t really know much about Rodman’s working habits), but he couldn’t manage the Kobe-Shaquille conflict. He couldn’t deal with Kobe, whome he called “uncoachable. He couldn’t straighten Andrew Bynum. And he couldn’t help Lamar Odom. Lately, he couldn’t make a dent on the JR problem.

      He “couldn’t manage” Shaq and Kobe but won three titles with them. Then Kobe was “uncoachable” as he coached him to two more titles. I wish someone would fail like that for the Knicks!

    7. A guy like Larry Sanders at the minimum or close to it is just the kind of calculated risk a team in our position should take if they want any chance of being good in the somewhat near future. He’s 26 and to my knowledge his problems are more so in the mind than the body. That’s fixable.

    8. On an unrelated note, I don’t mind Kevin Durant’s recent outbursts, but at the same time, it looks kind of silly, as he comes off like Scrappy Doo. “Don’t treat me like a cute little puppy! I’m scrappy!” Sure you are, Kevin, suuuuure you are.

    9. As for Larry Sanders, sure, he would be a great signing. I imagine a better team would be more attractive to him, though. Lots of Western Conference teams need help in the frontcourt.

    10. Lots of coaches see themselves as being able to get into touch with loose cannons. Doc Rivers, in particular, seems like someone who’d see himself as being able to turn Sanders around. And the Clippers could really use a big man.

    11. Amare ….. I’m done. I can’t watch this team anymore. We’re idiots for having supported this franchise. Not because they’re bad but because the owner is just so removed from reality and basic morals. The email fiasco highlights complete delusion. I simply cannot believe that I supported Ghaddafi for all these years.

    12. Larry Sanders is in the middle of taking a buy out for a $44 million contract because (1) he will not stop using marijuana and (2) he wants to make his mark off the court in helping people. He is reportedly going to take $20 million and leave $24 million on the table. This is not a man merely having issues with basketball, this is a man at a cross-roads in his life. It is different from getting Kobe Bryant to buy into the Triangle (which Phil Jackson did (more or less) when he returned to the Lakers after calling Kobe “uncoachable” in one of his books).

      I may be right and I may be wrong in thinking that Phil Jackson has a better chance to reach Larry Sanders than most other NBA people. But this is not a situation of someone who has “previously heard dozens of times whatever Jackson (or any other person) has to say.”

    13. @ 18. So are you made they paid out STAT? I’m not sure I get what your anger is about in regard to STAT. The signing was 5 years ago. It was a bad one (still love the dude though and he did make us relevant again).

      Buying him out is the smart thing to do at this point. We were never gonna be able to trade him nor would we want to. Now we can bring up the Greek kid from the D-League.

      I still maintain optimism going forward. The cap space and draft pick are gonna make it possible to field a competitive team next year. If Jackson can find a taker for Calderon, the only older player we’re gonna have on this team next year is Melo. As long as Jackson rebuilds with the goal of not trying to win a championship with Melo but build a sustainable team for the future, we’ll be fine. I know that’s a big if and call me crazy, but I think Melo knew what he was getting into with resigning and that while he wants to win a championship, he might see himself more as the guy who helps bring respectability back to The Knicks.

      Phil’s gotta be smart though. Get Towns. Pick up younger FAs on reasonable deals. Get 2 ways players. Keep scouting the D-League and overseas for diamonds in the rough. The modern NBA has proven that you can find talent outside of the first round. You just have to keep looking. The great thing about basketball is that one really good find/signing can completely change a team because there are only 15 roster spots total and usually you only play 8 or 9 players a night.

    14. I’m not optimistic about this team’s future at all, but things clearly are going to get better. I mean, come on, they’re in good shape to get one of the two best big men prospects we’ve seen since Anthony Davis (depends on your thoughts on Embiid – he was also really, really good)! That, in and of itself, is cause to be at least somewhat excited about the future.

      When’s the last time we actually got to root for a top shelf prospect? Kind of sort of Camby, but really all the way back to Mark Jackson! And really, it’s more like since Patrick Ewing! Remember how awesome it was to have young Patrick Ewing? Okafor and Towns are unlikely going to be as good as Patrick Ewing, but they at least have the chance to be in the same ballpark! And that, by itself, is reason to look forward to next season.

      Of course, this being the Knicks, they’ll somehow manage to fall out of the first two picks at the lottery.

    15. Do you honestly believe Larry Sanders has never heard from people close to him (family, friends, agents, lawyers, coaches) on the subject of his drug use and how it affects his career?

      Yes, I believe that Larry Sanders has never heard straight talk from a person who has been acknowledged as the best in his field of all time and has serious personal experience in the substances that Larry Sanders will not cease using.

      I do not understand the reluctance to bring in Larry Sanders this year. This Knicks team is not going to achieve anything, other than a high lottery pick. If Sanders is reclaimed, he would be worth the negative consequences of possibly winning a few extra games. If Sanders is not reclaimed, he can be easily jettisoned in the off-season.

      I would offer Sanders a two-year deal at the vet’s minimum with the second year being non-guaranteed until the end of training camp.

    16. I don’t think there’s any chance in heck that Sanders takes anything more than a deal covering the rest of this season. But I do think that the Knicks would at least have a shot at him.

    17. I was a big believer in Phil Jackson. I mistakenly believed he would quickly change the culture here, and system basketball would trump the shortfall in talent.
      And I think the knicks started the season with a lot more talent than people recognize. Strictly from an athletic perspective, they had Melo, one of the leagues best scorers; Amare, who has been a beast this season and is one of the best scorers in the NBA within five feet of the basket; JR – say what you want about him and you may be right, but he’s one of the top 25 most athletic guys in the NBA; Tyson Chandler, one of the best centers, who was shipped out for players they now want to unload; Shump, Prigs, . . .

      Phil’s great talents presumably were to meld egos, get players to play a winning style, instill a superior system of offense, and create a winning culture.

      Well, he has been with the knicks for about a year now and really hasn’t done anything well. Even if you think it was good to get rid of JR and Shump for almost nothing, that’s a deal my little niece could have made. The knicks have a first year coach that owns the worst record in team history, and not a single player of real value or exceptional talent except for Melo, who is a selfish player with a horrible contract that can’t be traded.
      The knicks have the potential to turn things around in the near future. Phil’s on the clock now.

    18. “Of course, this being the Knicks, they’ll somehow manage to fall out of the first two picks at the lottery.”
      Does anyone else remember Red Auerbach’s comment after the Knicks won the Ewing lottery? “Knowing them, they’ll take Tisdale.”

    19. Amare was one of my favorite knicks of all time….even going back to the glory days. His first forty five games here he played like an MVP with a bunch of young, scrappy guys. It was the most exciting knicks basketball we’d seen in a long, long time.
      He persevered though injuries, came off the bench without complaining, and was always a team guy. And he continues to work on his game. I think he’s stronger around the basket now than he’s ever been. I wish him all the luck in the world.

    20. I hope you are right and I’m wrong in our perspectives, though. He is a talented player. I also hope Phil Jackson decides not to find out: no more reclamation projects for our damaged franchise. Let other places be the NBA’s dumpster.

      What’s the downside to seeing if he can be the guy who was 2nd in the NBA in blocks per game (first in percentage) just two years ago? If he can’t, then cut him (and I would only want him on a contract in which this is perfectly feasible). If he can, then we’re one step closer to not being awful.

    21. @29 I’m not so rosy eyed about the future either, but you do seem to be forgetting about the possible top 2 pick we should be getting.

    22. I agree with the rest of the post, but I think the Knicks are truly a good 5 years (perhaps more) from fielding a team with a realistic shot at the ECF (forget an NBA ring).

      Absolutely agree. I have no expectation of the knicks competing for a championship during Phil’s tenure, but they can build a roster and culture that is a foundation for becoming an elite team.

      About every five years we come to this crossroad. The decisions that are made in next nine months are going to have a long term impact.

    23. What’s the downside to seeing if he can be the guy who was 2nd in the NBA in blocks per game (first in percentage) just two years ago?

      I know nothing about Larry Sanders as a player or person, but the downsides are:
      1 – In the infancy of building a new team culture, you don’t want to be derailed with a bad locker room guy.
      2 – winning more games than necessary this season may negatively impact the knicks for a decade.

    24. I know nothing about Larry Sanders as a player or person, but the downsides are:
      1 – In the infancy of building a new team culture, you don’t want to be derailed with a bad locker room guy.
      2 – winning more games than necessary this season may negatively impact the knicks for a decade.

      Right, so the second he starts acting up, he’s gone. Make an example out of him, as it were.

      The second point is well taken but with Melo gone (not that he was winning us many games but as a high-usage, high-variance player there was always the risk that he’d get hot for a night) I really don’t think we have to worry about that.

    25. I don’t think Sanders would make a huge difference on the win totals, but if he does, then hell, you’ve got yourself a guy to bring back next year! Plus, this draft is good enough that while don’t get me wrong, I absolutely do not want to fall out of the top two, if they fell out of the top two because Sanders was playing out of his mind, I could live with that. Russell is an extremely attractive fall back option.

    26. … but i see a Knicks team led by the Carmelo we saw playing at the All Star game last night. Hard to be excited about the future.”

      Sadly, that’s the bottom line. Melo is a selfish player with a schoolyard game that doesn’t understand how to win at the NBA level. Throw him into the scrap heap of players that were able to beat up on their inferior college competition, but won nothing in the NBA.

      As beastly as he is, Lebron’s greatest strength is his mental approach to the game. Transplant his brain with Melo’s, and the knicks would be good for +20 wins and a rosey future.

      For some reason, Melo doesn’t understand that it’s better to set up the easiest shot for the team than forcing a shot while being triple teamed. If I coached the team, in practice I’d make Melo play PG and not allow him to take any shots, and told him he’s being judged by assists. . . . and I’d spend hours going over tape of Lebron’s (on court) decisions.

    27. I just don’t agree with that knock on Melo. The year we won 54 games the ball moved very well. Novak, JR, Kidd, Chandler pick and roll with Felton, Copeland….all of them got their shots. They just happened to make it. Maybe its fair to say that when Melo doesn’t fully trust his teammates he tends to play hero ball, but remember when Kidd hit the game winning shot against The Nets? Or when JR hit it against Charlotte. Melo didn’t demand the ball in the final play of those games. He had teammates that had the confidence to take big shots and make them.

      Last year Felton was beyond horrible. Novak was a reliable 3 point shooter and he was gone, replaced by Bargnani. Chandler broke his leg early on. Shump couldn’t hit anything. JR was awful to start the season. I don’t agree with Melo hero ball but on that team what exactly was he supposed to do? This year its been largely the same.

      I get the knock people have on Melo but lets remember. Melo didn’t force Dolan to throw Mozgov into the trade for him (or the trade at all). Melo didn’t sign STAT to a 5 year deal (I love STAT but come on, when you have one player eating up 20 million in cap space and contributing next to nothing it hurts your chances). Melo didn’t pick up Billups option and then use the amnesty on him. Melo didn’t cause Donnie to make lopsided trades in the pursuit of Lebron.

    28. Wait, Sanders’s issue is that he smokes Marijuana and wants to help people? That’s awesome.

      Regarding whether the Knicks should sign him or not, I think it’s obvious that if he wants to play in NY for the minimum, then of course, sign him up.

      But I wouldn’t expect him to be any different in NY than he was in Milwaukee. Whatever his problems are, they won’t disappear, Phil or no Phil. (Remember when Dolan thought Vin Baker would have a resurgence in NY because he too was a recovering alcoholic?) (Oh yeah, Qyntel Woods was also going to get it figured out under Dolan’s forgiving wing.) (Oh, and Lamar Odom was gonna get off the crack because of Zen magic).

    29. I get the knock people have on Melo but lets remember. Melo didn’t force Dolan to throw Mozgov into the trade for him (or the trade at all).

      Actually, Melo largely contributed to forcing the deal. He was threatening to sign with the Nets if the knicks didn’t get it done asap. Of course, the knicks buckled and gave away the house.

      I just don’t agree with that knock on Melo. The year we won 54 games the ball moved very well.

      That season, they had the good fortune of Kidd as an on-the-floor coach.

    30. Even a motivated Larry Sanders will not extinguish this dumpster fire. We must remember that this is a James Dolan-owned team we’re talking about. There will be no success until he and everything associated with him are gone.

      Also, this gem:

      NY NY what a beautiful city
      A place where you can hang out with Anna, JayZ & Diddy
      Its a place absent of excuses and patience
      If your smart, you can meet leaders of every nation
      NY NY big city of dreams
      Everything in NY isnt always what it seems
      In the land where the jungle is concrete
      The money flows Dow Jones and Wall Street
      Home of #STATcity and the #Knickstape Orginator,
      Shalom to all my fans, Salute to all my haters.

      Peace and Love Amar’e Carsares Stoudemire Sr.

      Wow, what a likable player! The money flows, you can hang out with Jay-Z and Diddy!

    31. Wait, wait. I’m no Melo fanboy, but I don’t think his problem is the ballhoggery. I think his problem is he has some trouble being a leader. That’s what having Kidd on the floor/on the team solved. The damage has been done by the management, since you don’t pay a second banana max money unless 1) you have already a certified first violin or 2) the second banana is a young guy. That said, I think it’s time we put things in perspective. I’m okay with buying out Amar’e, since he was useless here. I’d be okay with signing Sanders to a minimum contract. If he’s good and finds some sort of balance here, maybe we’ll be able to sign him to a 16mln/2yrs contract, which would be an okay bargain if we need rim protection after the draft. He’s still young and he’s a low risk/high payoff bet.

      An aside: how funny is it that the two guys over whom Kidd had that rift with Billy King (he allegedly lobbied hard to bring Ilyasova and Sanders to Brooklyn) ended up being almost useless in Milwaukee once he coached them?

    32. For a moment I thought that was an original rap of yours, Jowles.

      Ps: how come you mellowed (Meloed?) so much? Is it Rip City’s atmosphere?

    33. Was it Kidd’s idea to play Melo at the 4 and to shoot and make an extremely high rate of 3 pointers as a team?

    34. Should LeBron pass to an open Waiters?

      Jokes aside, it’s useless comparing Melo (or anyone) to LeBron. They’re wired differently, and it’s no use hoping Melo learns at 31 years old to play point forward. If I have an issue with the Triangle, is that forces Melo to play mostly at the 3 while he’s evidently better at the 4.

    35. My mellowing happened I think two years ago. Not sure.

      Last year I read The Metaphysical Club and realized that I wasn’t living up to my pragmatic best on this site. I’ve since tried to take a more Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. approach to basketball analysis and it’s been a good place, mentally. As in: maybe the evidence doesn’t create a conclusion, but we create or gather relevant evidence based on the initial presumptions we enter the situation with. Or evidence only exists in relation to some supposed “impression” that we immediately experience upon entering a “situation.” I see a triple-teamed Carmelo fadeaway; jon abbey sees a Kobe Assist. It’s all about framing.

    36. Yeah, but what if his coaches tell him to shoot?

      Anyway I obviously agree that passing the ball to open men is always the right thing to do unless they’re Charles Smith or John Starks in crucial playoff games.

    37. I actually looked back at the Amare signing thread… People were actually more positive about it at first than I remembered. I think the insurance issue hadn’t really penetrated until a bit later.

      For anyone who wishes to relive it, here is the thread:

      http://knickerblogger.net/knicks-sign-amare/

      Caleb’s take in #74 and Ted’s comments in #92 say it pretty well.

      Seems like most people thought that the move, on it’s own, wasn’t great, but that if Amar’e signing in NY meant that LeBron or Wade would follow, then it was worth the risk.

      The uninsured aspect of the contract was a risk, but it was actually a risk that the Knicks were given a get-out-of-jail free card for. When they were granted an amnesty provision from the basketball gods, they used it on a guy that the team held an option on! Meanwhile, Amar’e spent the next 4 years living up to everyone’s fears.

      Yes, amnestying Billups allowed for Chandler to be signed, which was good. But the Knicks, in typical Knicksy fashion, looked at the Amnesty card in their hand and said “what can we do with this right now that will make us instantly better”, instead of holding onto it and saying “we may really need this someday, especially with Amar’e’s contract being unsinsured and all”.

    38. Amar’e is every bit the selfish, one-dimensional, low-IQ player Melo is, and is even worse on defense and as an added bonus is hurt all the time, yet he seems to get a pass from Knick fans while Melo gets all the vitriol. Well, whatever. He’s gone now. Yay.

    39. Hey the Billups amnesty is one of the worst knee jerk moves ever made. Think about it. Chandler was a great knick but look at the opportunity cost.

      The Knicks could have completely rebuilt the team. The year after billups expired.

    40. Yeah, at the time our complaints were mostly on picking up Billups’ option only to then amnesty him (which I didn’t think was a fair criticism, as clearly picking up his option was a condition of the Melo deal – you can criticize them for making it a condition of the Melo trade, but not them actually following through on it) but looking back, boy would it have been better to have Billups over STAT that year, even considering Billups’ game was just about to go right into the toilet.

    41. Regardless of team, situation or standing, you make the correct play. LeBron is a master of that. If the right move is to pass, you pass. If the right move is to score, you score. Melo’s hero ball alienates teammates and stops ball and player movement. Why get open when Melo or Amare get the ball? Why be ready to catch and shoot when Melo gets the ball? Why even bother when the team is down 7 points with 2.5 minutes left? You know Camelo will start hoisting desperation 3’s while triple-teamed, missing most of them. The lead ballons to 11 and game is over.We have seen that movie for 5 years and we saw it last night at the end of the All Star game.

      Carmelo’s play is very disrespectful toward teammates. Should LeBron not pass to an open JR or Shumpert because they sucked big time as recently as 3 weeks ago or because they are not within 100 miles of his own scoring skills?

      Exactly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Wow – it’s good to have you here! It seems so obvious, but so few people get it.

    42. why do people keep trying to make melo into something he is clearly not and clearly never was?

      it’s akin to the ewing criticisms and he would not be as beloved if we never got harper, houston and LJ… ewing was never as good as robinson/hakeem or shaq…

      melo is just the SF version of ewing… and there’s nothing wrong with that… he just needs more help than lebron or durant does in order to win consistently…

    43. and for the record… i give the amare trying for a silly dunk during warmups of the celtics series as second on the all-time knick what-if moments… i was convinced we could win or take the series to 7 without that happening and he was really taking it to kg in game 1…

      #1 being of course … pj f’ing brown…

    44. melo is just the SF version of ewing… and there’s nothing wrong with that

      If you take away the whole amazing defensive player thing, then sure, but that’s a lot to take away.

    45. ….. it’s no use hoping Melo learns at 31 years old to play point forward.

      No one’s asking him to play point forward. Just pass the ball to the open man or to break down the defense. How’s the hero ball working out?

      . . . Melo gets all the vitriol

      Poor Melo. He’s done nothing to deserve it.

    46. i am just comparing their levels of play relative to their peers….

      i mean ewing was also a center… and melo is a sf…. so yes despite how i’m comparing them… they are going to be a tad different…

    47. Poor Melo. He’s done nothing to deserve it.

      Why the free pass for Stat? Because he’s a “cool guy” or something?

    48. I mean, talk about a crap “team player,” Stat is your guy. Worst help defender this side of Bargs, never passes the freakin’ ball, has the basketball IQ of a newt. Plus he missed two playoff series because of doing showoff dunks during practice and punching glass panes because he didn’t get to take the last shot of a game.

      I just found Stat to be quite lame. I don’t really understand the love.

    49. I think Amare’s a great team player and would do whatever was asked of him to help them win.
      He started passing less when Melo came on board and froze him out. Also, it’s been reported that in team meetings, when he suggested more ball movement, Woodson shot him down.
      Amare’s shooting percentage was the highest on the team, by a lot. Melo is nowhere near the top.

      His help side defense was good, which is why he had a lot of blocks. Overall, his defense may have benn sub par, but it’s been exaggerated here in this forum.

      And yeah, it’s a lot easier to root for a good guy that works hard than a selfish player that is more interested in his brand than the team he plays for. Honestly, I care a lot about the knicks, but don’t give fuck about Melo’s brand.

    50. Team player my ass. Amar’e is a one-dimensional volume scorer. He kind of sucks at everything else. If you think Amar’e was not a godawful defensive player you are kidding yourself.

    51. i am just comparing their levels of play relative to their peers….

      Except Ewing was much, much better relative to his peers. Ewing had six top five finishes in the MVP race. Melo has had one. Ewing was a two-way superstar, great on offense and defense. He just happened to play in an era defined by other, greater centers like The Admiral, The Dream and Shaq. Ewing is likely the second (or possibly third, depending on your view on Reed) best Knick of all-time. Melo just doesn’t compare well to him.

    52. While Shaq and Hakeem certainly take the #1 and #2 spots for best centers of the 80’s and 90’s (and 00’s for Shaq), I have to put Ewing at a solid #3 ahead of Robinson.

      What am I basing that on? Nuttin’. Just good ol’ fashioned homerism. Hakeem and Shaq were just too good to be that much of a homer though.

    53. @68 again I think you are taking it too. Literally. Hes just saying that there are better players. Not comparing Melo to Pat in their overall greatness. Of course Pat was greater

    54. oh geez… ewing was better…. clearly…. but the difference between him and melo is much much closer than him and shaq or jordan or hakeem or anybody… it’s not perfect.. he’s a center that played outstanding defense, great on the boards and decent offense.. that’s a very high bar for any-non center to pass… melo has his issues too but he’s been very good in his own right…

      what i was mainly comparing was that ewing was just below the elite tiers… same as melo maybe you have him a little further down… meaning ewing needed a lot of good pieces around him in order for his teams to compete at a high level… he was actually better in the 80s than on the 90s but everyone remembers his 90s contributions mainly because of the riley-van gundy years… why? because he had great teams behind him… and if anyone remembers the ny media and fans back then.. even when they won.. they never really backed ewing… as soon as houston’s second year people were clamoring for him to take a step back on offense…. it really was only until we witnessed the layden and thomas years that he was unanimously beloved….

      i’m not melo’s biggest fan either … but i don’t clamor for him to be something that he’s never been… those are unrealistic expectations and and unrealistic expectations are the reasons why these guys keep getting villified here… i would argue the same happened to marbury also… he was a fine pg pegged to be a transformational pg and he clearly wasn’t…

    55. I don’t know if it has an entry in the OED, but a volume scorer is a guy who scores a lot by taking a high volume of shots. Amare gave a lot of value back by being a defensive sieve, but he was an exceptionally efficient scoring machine in his prime.

    56. In his prime, sure, great scorer. As a Knick, he lost 50 points of TS% immediately, then another 20 the following season. After that he was hurt all the time.

    57. maybe stats will help you guys see what i’m talking about… i’m not a big fan of PER but:

      ewing 28-30 avg PER: 22.43
      melo 28-30 avg PER: 23.6

      AGAIN… not saying he was better… or even that he was that close… ewing just the fact that he was top 3 defensive center every year which PER doesn’t account for adds MASSIVE value that any non-center would have a tough time matching…

      that said… yes… they are in the same ballpark…

    58. Has anyone seen what Khem Birch is doing in the D-League? He’s tearing it up. Draft models loved this guy and I’d love to see him take Stoudemire’s roster spot.

    59. AGAIN… not saying he was better… or even that he was that close

      and

      that said… yes… they are in the same ballpark…

      contradict each other.

      But sure, if we’re all agreed that Melo is not that close to Ewing, then I’m good.

    60. @77 yeah, agreed on all fronts. I just don’t get it sometimes, man. The dude was awesome in college, awesome in the D League, is 22 years old, has a skill set every team could use…and yet Andrea Bargnani and, I don’t know, Jannero Pargo, are employed and he isn’t. Obviously nothing is guaranteed but what does someone have to lose to see if this guy can continue to be awesome?

    61. peak Oak > peak Ewing

      I loved Oak (he gave me a long, full page interview about his workouts for a sports rag I used to publish)
      . . . . but you’re crazy.

    62. @78 — usually you have some obscure stat to back up your statements. On what are you relying to support this one (or did you just throw that out there to stir things up)?

    63. Well Stat to the Mavs. Kind of irritates me that he just gets to waltz over to a playoff team, mainly because his contract was so egregious that it was impossible to work out a remotely fair trade.
      +1 on Khem Birch.

    64. I am not going to get into it. They’re two of my favorite Knicks, just behind Landry Fields and Renaldo Balkman.

    65. Well Stat to the Mavs. Kind of irritates me that he just gets to waltz over to a playoff team, mainly because his contract was so egregious that it was impossible to work out a remotely fair trade.

      Yeah, like the boat load of talent we’d get for Melo.

    66. While Shaq and Hakeem certainly take the #1 and #2 spots for best centers of the 80’s and 90’s (and 00’s for Shaq), I have to put Ewing at a solid #3 ahead of Robinson…

      peak Oak > peak Ewing

      Honestly, Ewing is a lot closer to peak Oakley than he was to peak Robinson (or any Robinson for that matter).

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&y1=2000&p1=ewingpa01&y2=2003&p2=robinda01&y3=2000&p3=olajuha01&p4=&p5=&p6=

      (You’ll see that Robinson was actually better than Olajuwon in most of the important statistical categories, too).

    67. David Robinson is about as underrated as a hall of fame player can be. He played in a shit city (I spent 4 years living in the SA, so I say that with love) in the last days when that matered, and was a huge dork. Duncan has been an all star caliber player for much longer, but if I had to win one game I’d take prime admiral over Timmy.

    68. it’s at least semi-interesting to me that so many of the past few years’ Knicks were coveted by contending teams. JR/Shump to cleveland, Felton (ok maybe not “coveted”), Tyson, Amare in Dallas. It seems so reminiscent of the Z-Bo Crawford days.

      So “talent” discovery has not been the problem here – it’s either “team construction” or finding the right roles for people.

      Lots of people are killing Phil for how he hasn’t gotten enough for these players, and I guess it’s true for the Tyson trade, which I think most people thought was an ok deal for the knicks at the time. I still don’t think JR/Shump were worth much more than a 2nd round pick or 2 given that JR has a big cap # next year and Shump is basically a rental.

      But I am happy that we’ve finally cleared the decks. I’m assuming we’ll hold onto Jose and so we’ll need to find 2-3 new starters for next year (say 2 FAs and one of Okafor/Towns/Russell/Mudiay?). I think what we’re figuring out now is who the rest of the rotation will be. I have to say that I think Jason Smith and Amundsen are reasonable 3rd and 4th bigs (although I doubt Smith is back), that Wear, Early, Antetokounmpo, and Galloway are reasonable developmental prospects (ie. if 1 of them turns into a solid rotation player that’d be a win), and that Timmy is an ok 3rd guard as well. Best part is finally the salaries of these players finally match their roles.

      So if we add up all these reserve-type guys we have 7 roster spots – add Melo (8), Calderon (9), two FAs (10-11), and the draft pick (12), we still have room to buy a 2nd rounder to take a flyer on and some UDFAs.

      I think the plan should be to try and steal Jimmy Butler and Draymond Green with Chandler Parsons-like contracts (with Monroe+Matthews/Dragic as backup plans) and draft Towns/Okafor.

      Imagine a starting lineup of Galloway, Butler, Melo, Green, and Okafor/Towns. How do you not get excited for that? It’s possible.

    69. Is it actually possible given that in order to wrest Butler and Draymond away from their respective teams we’d have to offer them the max? I don’t think we have the cap space for that but I’m no Ephus.

    70. Is it actually possible given that in order to wrest Butler and Draymond away from their respective teams we’d have to offer them the max? I don’t think we have the cap space for that but I’m no Ephus.

      it’d be pretty close. since they both have <6 years service their max is less than above 6 years (25% of cap rather than 30% of cap). What's also interesting is this nugget from Larry Coon's cbafaq:

      They use a different cap calculation to determine the maximum salaries, which is based on 42.14% of projected BRI rather than 44.74%. In 2005 the sides negotiated a different formula for setting the salary cap but not maximum salaries, so the two became decoupled, and this continued in the 2011 agreement. For this reason the maximum salaries are not actually 25%, 30% or 35% of the cap, and instead are a slightly lower amount.

      So Coon indicates that the max salary for a 0-6 years of service player in 2014-15 was 14.746MM and the cap this year was 63.2MM. That was actually 23.3% of what we thought of as the 2014-15 salary cap as opposed to 25% of the cap. The projection for the 2015-16 cap is currently $66.5MM (which will probably be adjusted upward like it has been seemingly every year). If the 23.3% holds that means the max would be ~$15.5MM, which x2 = $31MM.

      So unfortunately you’re right – we couldn’t offer 2 maxes even to 0-6 players unless we move Calderon and/or we move our 1st round pick for no salary. Blah.

      well, maybe Dragic could be had for $12-13MM instead of Butler. I’d love Wes Matthews but his comments this weekend re: NYC were not exactly promising :

      “It is definitely busy here and it’s just different compared to what I’m used to. I’m from the Midwest, so I’m used to grass and driving through open areas.”

    71. Knicks are not getting Butler and GSW will do their best to keep Green. I wonder if they would offer the knicks a 1st to take on D. Lee though.

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