Knicks Morning News (2015.08.11)

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Melo to Knicks fan: 'You are stuck with me, buddy' (Tue, 11 Aug 2015 06:00:08 EST)

    Melo to Knicks fan: 'You are stuck with me, buddy'

  • [New York Times] Rebuilding Around Tina Charles Puts Liberty in Playoff Hunt (Tue, 11 Aug 2015 05:15:48 GMT)

    The W.N.B.A.’s Liberty are in first place with a 13-6 record after finishing last season 15-19 and missing the playoffs. So what has changed?

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball: Ex-Clippers Owner Sues Over Tapes (Tue, 11 Aug 2015 03:56:29 GMT)

    Donald Sterling sued the celebrity website TMZ and his former girlfriend V. Stiviano over the recording of his remarks on race that cost him ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.

  • [New York Times] Donald Sterling Sues TMZ and V. Stiviano Over Loss of Clippers (Tue, 11 Aug 2015 01:46:58 GMT)

    Sterling accused the website and his ex-girlfriend of violating his privacy and causing damage on a “scale of unparalleled and unprecedented magnitude.”

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks prez Jackson takes digs at Nets’ Bargnani, Larkin (Tue, 11 Aug 2015 02:59:29 GMT)

    Phil Jackson continued to verbally ambush current Nets Andrea Bargnani and Shane Larkin in his latest “Phil Files” report on ESPN.com.

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    Mike Kurylo

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

    76 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2015.08.11)”

    1. Good for Melo. I am a little leery of all this sudden back an forth with fans on social media. He has been saying the right things, however. But I think that right now, I’d rather for him to put his head down, grind, and stay quiet until preseason. Let Phil do all the yappin. And I’m not sure if I want him doing anything with Team USA this offseason coming off surgery. Without him they’ve still got enough talent from the coaches down.

    2. My favorite line “Staying in NY shows that I do care.”

      About what? Winning? The Knicks? Keeping Lala happy? Money?

      Also, am I the only one that had to google “FOH?” Way to keep it classy Melo.

    3. You are stuck with me buddy. Deal with it. If you want me gone, I’ll personally walk you into the front office so you can plead your case of the Knicks trading me.

      Oh rly?

    4. Phil sometimes uses strange vocabulary to describe Knicks’ players, but I think he nailed it with Bargs when he referred to him as a “malingerer”, defined by Webster’s as ” one who pretends or exaggerates incapacity or illness (as to avoid duty or work)”

      Perfect.

    5. It is remarkable that because of the way melo came here and the Knicks trading away their precious gallinari there is unrelenting hatred. So much so that Melo is also attributed to losing their precious Lin and the reason the Knicks have been a bad franchise.

      People here and fans in general have consistently maintained that melo took the money and will be without a shadow of a doubt be seeking a trade. Frequently looking for reasons to sell his game or short or speculate with an air on negativity. I truly don’t think I’ve seen another athlete like this. Maybe iverson?

    6. Who has consistently maintained that he will no doubt seek a trade? The dude has a no-trade clause. If anything, the consistent complaint has been that he won’t agree to a trade. Most of us have long given up any hope of Melo ever leaving the Knicks. It hurts his three biggest guiding principles:

      1. His family (his wife likes being here and Melo doesn’t want to move his kids because he remembers how traumatic moving was to him as a kid)
      2. His brand (it doesn’t look good for him to leave New York because of losing)
      3. His desire to get the most possible money he can get (nowhere else could he get paid as much as he could get paid here)

      Melo is never leaving.

      So we might as well just hope for the best from him! I sure hope he returns to his level of play from 2012-2014.

    7. Who has consistently maintained that he will no doubt seek a trade?

      People hope for him to seek one and infer that if the Knicks arent good he will bitch and moan and seek a way out. Numerous people

    8. Your very response states the opposite of what you are trying to claim. People hope that he will request a trade. They sure as heck are not “maintaining that he will no doubt seek a trade.”

    9. Okay, so you agree that no one has consistently maintained that he will no doubt seek a trade?

    10. I don’t know if Melo will or won’t ever ask for a trade out of NY. For now we’re stuck with each other. The sense I get is that he’s protecting his brand and trying to look good by making believe he’s a team player that is dedicated to playing for the Knicks. There’s nothing concrete about it, it’s just a sense. The proof will be in his attitude.

    11. Okay, so you agree that no one has consistently maintained that he will no doubt seek a trade?

      Yeah, like i said. That wasnt me.

    12. The sense I get is that he’s protecting his brand and trying to look good by making believe he’s a team player that is dedicated to playing for the Knicks

      What? Thats some Psycho babble. The man gets no benefit of doubt lol. Its truly amazing.

    13. Yeah, like i said. That wasnt me.

      Cool. I was confused by your response, but glad we agree. :)

    14. A friend of a friend who works for the Knicks says that back in Feb. Melo requested a trade and Phil said no, but they would revisit again if this season goes south.

      I can’t say for sure this is true as it’s secondhand, but it would belie the notion that Melo has no intention of waiving his no trade clause.

    15. I’m more inclined to believe those first stories that indicated Melo’s displeasure with the Knicks draft approach and their lack of consultation.
      To play with this team, he must publicly say he supports the leadership. He was ‘supportive’ of D’Antoni right up until he wasn’t.

      But from a human standpoint, he’s a 31 year old guy, who got his max contract, and with his window closing, it may make sense – if he wants to win a championship – to force a trade or approve a trade at mid-season because he will still get paid a max salary AND he can compete for a championship rather than suffer through a rebuilding effort.

      I really don’t think anyone can fault the guy for that.

      I also think it might be good for a rebuilding team to use Melo to bring in more future chips. By the time the Knicks are in a position to truly compete for a championship, all things going well, Melo will be 33 or 34.

      All this loyalty stuff with regards to athletes or any human interaction with a company, team or other financial entity is bullshit. If his usefulness were to come into question, the financial entity wouldn’t be loyal. This is a business.

    16. I wouldn’t fault Melo at all for wanting to leave (heck, I haven’t faulted him for any of this – this is all on the Knick front office). He is better off, from a basketball standpoint, playing somewhere else where he could realistically win a title in the next few years. I just don’t think he is willing to leave unless one very specific thing happens, which is for the Knicks to be terrible this year. Not just bad, but terrible. In that scenario, I could realistically see him requesting a trade. But I think that that is unlikely to happen. The Knicks added enough decent players (plus two intriguing rookies) that they are unlikely to be godawful.

    17. I’m just as comfortable with Melo as our best player as I am with him asking out if things go terribly wrong. There is not a single player in the league that doesn’t have flaws. While Melo’s a Knick, fans should spend more time appreciating the fact we actually have a star level player than bemoaning the fact he’s a Knick. He’s really talented and we haven’t had consistent talent to cheer for as a fan base in a while, at least none of that magnitude. So maybe we all should appreciate and support him until he’s gone. Phil as well. For better or worse, this is what we have. If this team does well this season and Phill manages to get the team back in contention, that’s great. If he has to make a few more moves, develop younger players, and take an extra year to put an exciting product on the floor, fine. I’m ok cheering for either variation because things don’t feel so dismal anymore. There’s a plan and some hope. A plan that doesn’t include fucking your future by adding overpriced big name vets that don’t really fit together. We have one overpriced big name vet who Phil has a chance to build around. He’s not overpaying an Eddy Curry just to slot him next to a Z Bo (who was worth the money IMO), an overpriced Jamal Crawford, and a roster that is low on hoop IQ and doesn’t play D. He’s also not backing down to an owner who wants to throw in players in a trade to get another big name because he doesn’t have the patience to keep his poker face up for an inevitable outcome. And he’s also not throwing around premium draft choices for worthless players. All of that is definitely worth my trust and patience. And by the way, I think Melo will be great in the triangle now that he is surrounded by players with higher hoop IQ and play more team oriented ball. I’m willing to wait and see. Let’s just all hope Fish is the coach Phil thinks he can be.

    18. @19

      Honestly just curious, Why are you more inclined to believe he was displeased w the draft despite the mounting evidence to the contrary? Zinger said melo texted him after the pick, melo publically stated he was excited that zinger would space the floor for him and they are reported to have been working out together. We literally have an article of melo saying has happy and staying w the Knicks…

      I truly astonished. Do you really put that much credibility into Steven a smith?

    19. What? Thats some Psycho babble. The man gets no benefit of doubt lol. Its truly amazing.

      It’s just a belief. I am not easily convinced he’s being genuine. I’m inclined to agree with Frank O @19.

    20. Honestly just curious, Why are you more inclined to believe he was displeased w the draft despite the mounting evidence to the contrary?

      Glew,

      Fair question. My feeling is based on a few circumstantial, but I think substantive points:

      1. Melo is 31 and his window is closing, so I believe a guy like that wants a quick rebuild. I believe he resigned with the Knicks because he believed they had a lot of cap space and had great potential to sign a top tier star, which they could not do, although they tried.
      2. I believe he has an American basketball bias, as do most American basketball players, and the signing of Porzingis causes trepidation. European players still are stigmatized by and large for being ‘soft,’ generally. Porzingis is 7’3 and very skinny. We just had another 7′ foot plus European who indeed was soft, but has made a career off of ‘upside.’ Porzingis was viewed as the draftee with the greatest upside potential.
      3. Melo would benefit from a very capable point guard. There was a point guard available at 4. Regardless of whether he got along with Calderon, who is older and was never a top tier guard, I think Melo would have seen a point guard at 4 as more attractive.
      4. Melo was excluded from the draft and trade process.
      5. Melo has been prone to saying knee-jerky things to the press in the past. It has been widely documented. Stephen Smith is a cad, but I think his story probably reflected the first blush of how Melo felt after the draft.

    21. I just did a bit of research on Jerian Grant. How the hell did we get him for TH2? He seems tailor-made for playing the point in today’s NBA.

    22. Melo’s writing gives you an indication of the level he’s on intellectually. He’s just not really a scholar athlete. John McPhee isn’t writing any articles on him. He’s a flat out assassin on the basketball court in a pure sense. People take issue with the depth of his understanding of the game. You can see his lack of depth in his comments to the press. Him and Phil are an odd match. Kobe, with his Italian roots, was a little more cosmopolitan, if not exactly a deep thinker.

      I think he’s a good piece going forward. If someone wants to give us a first round pick, prospects, and cap relief I’d take it depending on the trajectory we’re on. If KP and Grant surprise, maybe we have the squad right now. If not, sure, “know when to fold ’em” maybe he gets us future value. Seems like he’s a pretty good asset in any case.

    23. @ 25

      1. Conjecture as far as what you think Melo is thinking. Also, I can name plenty of Hall of Famers (Paul Pierce, Jason Kidd and David Robinson) who won titles later in their careers. Paul Pierce and Robinson both won them with the team that drafted them and stayed loyal to that team even when their title hopes seemed bleak (Robinson’s teams were always good but not great. Pierce was on some horrible Celtics teams before they contended).

      2. Pure conjecture. You really think Melo has an American basketball bias? Based on what evidence? One of his best friends in the NBA is Kobe. Kobe won two titles with Gasol (and Phil). Bargnani and Zinger are completely different players. Just because both are tall, white and European doesn’t mean Melo is going to think “oh they’re the same player and Bargnani sucks!”

      3. Phil also drafted a PG in the draft, remember?

      4. Not true.

      5. SAS has also been known to flat out lie for a story. And there was no direct quote from Melo about the draft at all. Melo has said stuff in the past but in this instance he didn’t say anything. SAS said he said something off the record and it was later proven to be false.

      2.

    24. All that being said I think Melo is easily up for being traded to a good playoff team if things don’t seem to be going in the right direction. And I think we’ll know about half way through this season if that’s going to happen. I don’t think it will be Melo drama. I think its totally reasonable to think that him and Phil talked about all this before he resigned. Phil said look resign, we’ll rebuild and if in a few seasons we aren’t close to contending, we’ll figure out a good place to trade you. He does have a no trade clause but Phil still has to approve a trade. So while Melo has some leverage, Phil still has a lot. If Melo wants out, it will be in his interest to facilitate a trade where The Knicks get something decent back in return.

    25. So, imagining that D-mar’s source is accurate, and presuming that at best we’re a mediocre team, where SHOULD we trade Melo mid-year? Knowing that he’d want to go to a contender, knowing that we’re going all in on the rebuild and aren’t likely to get lots of good players back?

    26. Jet fans….what to make of this?

      I don’t believe in most conspiracies. I believe in the moon landing. I don’t believe aliens have visited this planet. I don’t know if Trump paid Breitbart to run favorable articles toward him. I don’t know if Hillary is behind the BLM attacks on Bernie Sanders.

      But I have to wonder if some Jet fans paid this roster fringe player to do this.

    27. Ok more seriously, the Jets should hire Enemkpali as head coach. As he’s made the best starting QB decision the team has had in a decade.

      I’ll be here all week.

    28. Whoa, Mike, that was pretty unkind. I’m a big Jets fan since pre-Namath and Smith has certainly been putrid, but no one deserves that. And by all accounts, Smith was having a very good camp. He may not have panned out, but at least he wasn’t a malingerer.

      Anyway, now what? Freakin’ Ryan Fitzpatrick? Bryce Petty? Yeeesh.

    29. Yes, people have a tendency to make things personal whenever they are emotional. But I think the heart of the Melo issue is about as simple as simple can be:

      1) Older star who is not among the super-elite of the NBA

      2) Bad team with little prospect of becoming great in the short term

      If instead of Melo, we had Bosh or Aldridge or even Dwight Howard, I think you’d get the same reactions.

      All the personal stuff about Melo is just blowing off steam about the fact that the team isn’t doing what you see as the only sensible thing. The “we gave up everything for you” or “you only want money” angles are just the weakest points of attack.

    30. swiftandabundant,

      I said my comments were based on circumstantial evidence. You call it conjecture. Conjecture means you have formed an opinion on incomplete information. Circumstantial does not conclusively prove anything largely because it is based on incomplete information. Not sure what point you are making there. Our opinions differ. Fine.

      As for Melo being excluded, Phil flat out said Melo was not consulted with prior to the draft. Period. That’s factually accurate.
      I cited circumstantial evidence for why I believe Melo was unhappy. You get a max contract. You are considered the star and centerpiece of the team…I feel okay suggesting he was unhappy not being consulted with.

      And, yes, I believe their is a well-documented bias in American basketball toward European players. The style of play in Europe is very different. Even in early interviews Porzingis said he understood the American game was more physical. I feel comfortable suggesting Melo would have preferred a player honed in American-style basketball.

      Last, we got Grant, and I like Grant. But we got him at 19. There were other more highly respected guards who went sooner.

      BTW, your evidence to the contrary is based in as much circumstantial evidence or conjecture.
      I just find your reasoning uncompelling. But I will defend your right to be wrong-headed about this. :)

    31. I know this is a Knicks blog so I won’t dwell on it, but as a general sports commentary, I believe that a punch in the face by a pro athlete is assault with a deadly weapon – a felony crime. Same goes for trying to bean a batter. Same goes for fights like the Pacer-Piston brawl in 2004. It’s time for arrests and trials. Anyone that raises a hand to make his point in any scenario is wrong and should be punished. There is no excuse.

    32. I confess one of my first thoughts after reading Geno got his jaw busted was, how many Jets fans out there wish they had delivered that punch? I’m not proud of it, I wouldn’t want to hit him, but Geno was putrid and just destroyed that team’s morale.
      Of course, I was four when the Jets won their only superbowl…

    33. @frank o

      I hate to say it but I think you are falling into the traps set by media people such as isola. If you look at the full quote Phil says he didn’t take input from Carmelo because they were signing lower tier guys but would have if it was a top tier guy. Also Steve mills said he kept melo in the loop all summer. Affalo has also recently stated that melo put in the good word for him and that he likely wouldn’t be here without melo.

    34. In all likelihood Geno Smith did not deserved to be punched in the face (qualifying because I wasn’t there). For the most part that he’s a good or bad person doesn’t factor into the decision on whether I want him as the Jets QB. Sports is a hard business where the rules are different from normal human behavior. If Tom Brady left the Pats and led the Jets to 3 straight Super Bowls, I’d sure enough be a fan of his. Otherwise I hate his s***-grinning face. He might be a nice guy (I’ve actually run into him on the street), but my attachment is to the Jets. So similarly if I view Geno as the detriment to the team I’ll be rooting against him until he’s removed.

      But you’re right. I don’t cheer when a player gets hurt, even if it were Brady, so to be mocking him is probably in poor taste.

      Funny thing is, part of this disfunction is the team. I just had to sit through the Sanchez-era where the team was committed to him, despite he was obviously one of the worst starting QBs in the league. And now it seems that the Jets are ready to do it again with Geno. Why not challenge him with Fitz? If Smith can’t handle the pressure of competition from a teammate, then NFL QB is not the profession from him.

      Heck for those that think I’m a hater here, I have the same feelings for the Knicks. For 15 years I’ve had to root for a team that made the same mistakes over & over again. I want the team to be successful like the 90s. But to see them overspend, send away draft picks, ignore stats, and come up with the same results and not change — it’s made me come up with a self-defense mechanism. And until they start showing they’ve identified and corrected those mistakes, I’ll be all over them for it.

    35. Glew,

      I’m not an Isola guy…
      Direct Phil quote from NBC Sports:

      “Well, you know, we’re a team sport,” Jackson said when asked why he had not consulted with the team’s top player. “When we’re putting a team together that’s our first priority; how do we make a team that works together? That’s the important aspect. How this all comes together is still a mystery for us. We’ve got five months to kind of get into it here. Hopefully we’ll be able to step on the court and play a little bit. Carmelo is a guy who’s a premier player, [but] it’s a team game.’’

      another, this from Newsday:

      Al Iannazzone ?@Al_Iannazzone Jul 14

      Phil hasn’t spoken to Melo since adding new players and isn’t concerned whether he likes the moves or not: http://www.newsday.com/sports/basketball/knicks/phil-jackson-trying-to-mold-his-new-players-into-a-team-1.10639671 … #knicks

      I’m open to the idea that these are not the most articulate people in the world and we’re poring over their quotes like the CIA used to examine the seating plan of the Soviet politburo. Further, I happen to know there are a lot of very poor sports reporters out there.

      So, there is a fair to middling chance that we both have misinterpreted what we are seeing and reading about the Knicks.

    36. I once tried to leave a note under his pillow telling Tom Brady that I hoped he got gangrene and the docs had to amputate his leg. But I couldn’t find a pen in Giselle’s apartment. True story.

    37. I once tried to leave a note under his pillow telling Tom Brady that I hoped he got gangrene and the docs had to amputate his leg. But I couldn’t find a pen in Giselle’s apartment. True story.

      What were you doing in her apt? Were you a bellman or something?

    38. there aren’t many attractive landing spots for melo… but here’s a rough guess…

      3)grizzlies – jordan adams and a couple of picks
      2)hawks – they have their own pick plus the twolves pick in 2018…
      1)washington – this is more of a 2016 deal… if it becomes clear that durant is going elsewhere or staying in okc they could decide to go the melo route…

    39. Mike, I hear ya. If it were the likes of Tom Brady, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, I’d be doing a happy dance! Geno? I kinda give him a pass, since he at least is working his ass off and trying to improve. He’s not an underachieving big money a-hole (Bargnani) or a #1 pick prima donna (e.g. Johnny Football). He’s a blue-collar guy who just doesn’t have it. It’s to his credit that he was outperforming Fitz and Petty in camp, and as such, what was Bowles supposed to do?

      Quarterback is so freakin’ unpredictable. We trade up to get Sanchez and the team promptly gets to 2 straight conf finals with him at the helm and then the bottom drops out. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson comes out of nowhere and takes the league by storm.

      If anything, it was Rex Ryan that blew all the hot air and was given too much rope. It was pretty clear from the start that he had no clue on offense. Tannenbaum and Idzik were no great shakes either.

      The irony is, things were looking very promising just a month ago, until Sheldon implodes and now this.

    40. As to the Knicks, are you really not feeling that the light at the end of the tunnel is more visible than it has been in 15 years, since the Ewing trade started it all? Not that a championship is on the horizon, but don’t you like this team’s current trajectory?

    41. As a Giants fan I think I can safely say that I dont have to worry about Eli Manning getting punched in the face by a teammate.

    42. And I don’t get the point of debating landing spots for Melo at this juncture. Why not wait until at least midway through the preseason before entertaining those thoughts? Whatever was said by Melo last year or in the aftermath of the draft doesn’t matter any more, especially when it was at best third-hand info to begin with. He’s showing no signs of wanting to get out of town at present. He’s making nice to all the new players and seems like he’s on the road to being healthy for training camp.

      The team is actually in a great position right now. No one expects them to do anything, so they can lay low and let people think what they want. I think they might surprise some folks.

    43. @50 had no idea you were a Giants fan.

      It’s to his credit that he was outperforming Fitz and Petty in camp, and as such, what was Bowles supposed to do?

      Well they handed him the starting job before camp, and gave Fitz zero reps with the first teamers. How about announce that every position is up for grabs and let Geno earn it (or give him the chance to fail)? The problem was this is exactly how they handled Sanchez. His competition was Mark Brunell? Kellen Clemens? I though with Fizpatrick they’d force Geno to sink or swim. Guess not.

      As to the Knicks, are you really not feeling that the light at the end of the tunnel is more visible than it has been in 15 years, since the Ewing trade started it all? Not that a championship is on the horizon, but don’t you like this team’s current trajectory?

      It’s maybe the 3rd brightest, after Donnie Walsh and that Melo playoff season. I like some of what they’ve done. I like Porzingis. I like Lopez. I’m happy with getting anything for Hardaway. But I’m unhappy that they seem to still fall into some of the same mistakes. Still a glaring hole in the stat dept (Derrick Williams?). Still a bit green with dealing with FAs (Melo non-trade, Ndour mistake). Still unsure about the coaching staff (Fisher?).

      Look at it this way: there was a lot to hope for in 2013. And then they Bargnani’d it all away. It can happen in an instant.

    44. Melo would have to be bat shit crazy to not have given some serious thought to leaving the Knicks. He’s at the age where he’s likely to begin declining. The Knicks are a couple of years away from being a contender under the most optimistic scenario. The only thing that’s preventing him from leaving is that he WANTS to play in NY for all the non basketball issues (money, brand, family, reputation if he should bail out etc..) He is weighing his legacy as a basketball player vs. those other factors. So far, he’s coming down on the side of money and family etc… But as the clock keeps ticking the weight of a career without much playoff success will move him in the other direction. I think Clyde nailed it. He can’t be happy with where the Knicks are right now. He just can’t say anything along those lines. He’s going to play it by ear and see what happens.

    45. All fair points Mike. To counter, I would offer the following:

      In a highly fluid business, rookie GM are likely to get burned a few times. The real test for me is whether they make the BIG mistake, or whether they continue to repeat the same mistakes. Ndour was a mistake, no question, but hopefully one to be learned from.

      I don’t consider re-signing Melo to a near-max deal a BIG mistake, just a debatable choice with some significant (but recoverable) downside, given a reasonable look forward at market conditions. If Melo plays well the next 3 years, or winds up getting traded for assets, it will be a decent deal in hindsight. If his knee goes the way of Amar’e’s, or he whines to the point that Jax has to sell low, it will not be. With the increase in the cap, though, there was much less opportunity cost than there was with the Amar’e deal.

      As to DW, he did some good stuff and some not-so-good stuff. We cheered when he unloaded Zach and Jamal, but they both proved to be market-value players in better situations. He blew valuable draft picks unloading Tracy McGrady, blew the LeBron negotiations, signed Amar’e to an ill-fated max deal, and didn’t say a word when we traded the kitchen sink for Melo (like Jerry West apparently did when GS mgmt was considering the Thompson for Love deal.) So that optimism was a bit jaded.

      As to the 2012-13 playoff run, that was jaded by the fact that it was built on the brittle old bones of Kidd, Wallace, Thomas and Camby; the mercurial play of JR, the false promise of Amar’e and Shump, the one-trick pony-ism of Novak and Copeland, and the generalship of Felton and (at least) Prigioni. So I disagree that there was hope in 2013. In retrospect, that team had zero promise grounded in realism beyond that year, and the Bargnani trade only greased the skids of the inevitable decline.

    46. Adam Schefter is reporting Geno Smith was punched in the face cause he owed whatever his name is 600 bucks.

    47. So Mike, I get the PTSD over the past 15 years, but under closer analysis, doesn’t this seem pretty different? Hasn’t Phil done enough to show that he isn’t Dolan’s puppet? Is it fair to say that the old “Keep your mouth shut to the media, or else!” culture is no longer in effect, at least for now? That, in and of itself, is reason to be optimistic. I mean, can you even imagine one of his predecessors doing “The Phil Files”?!!

      He hasn’t given in to temptation and squandered additional first round picks (e.g signing Lowry for Shump and a #1 pick). He took a risk by hastily unloading Chandler to get into the 2014 draft and came up short, but made up for it this year by essentially turning Shump, JR, TH2 and Prigioni into O’Quinn, Williams (oops!), Grant and Hernangomez. The Zinger pick, for better or worse, was a pure upside pick.

      Even if you don’t drink the Phil Kool-aid, at least he has a plan that is pretty darn far-removed from his predecessors. He clearly values IQ, character, youth and chemistry. Yeah, he took an ill-advised but small flyer on DWill, but at least not the ill-advised cap-killing, asset-squandering all-in crap shoots on guys like Steph, Eddy, Bargnani and even the Amare signing and the Melo trade.

    48. (Sorry for the rants, but I am literally watching paint dry!)

      As to using advanced stats, I don’t see any compelling evidence that he doesn’t consider them. However, I recall Jowles saying a while back that there are only 2 coaches that had a significant positive impact on individual advanced stats: Pop and Phil.

    49. In a highly fluid business, rookie GM are likely to get burned a few times.

      @56 – Well he’s had his second draft and second free agent period so Phil’s no longer a rookie.

      But to your point, it’s not always easy to succeed in this business. I remain optimistic about the team’s outlook. (For absolutely no good reason. Is it the Knicks turn to do something idiotic?) I would argue that he didn’t get back enough for the trades he made. I think Shumpert and JR were worth a #1 pick. But I do think that some of the new, young pieces have hope. Essentially there’s a starting lineup (Melo, Rolo, Calderon, Zinger, Afflalo) and 10 guys competing for 5 rotation roles. Players like DWill have the talent but also have a lot to prove.

    50. GNYGNYG, I agree that it would have been nice to get more for JR and Shump, but at that time, Shump was a RFA, was injured, and was playing badly, JR was playing horribly, and the trade deadline was not far away. Maybe he could have gotten more earlier, but once the team was tanking and they were playing badly, he lost all leverage. But that’s what I mean, it probably takes experience to get a feel for timing…when is the ideal time to pull the trigger. And even then, you can get burned. If he waits w/ Chandler and then Chandler goes down with a serious injury, he gets nothing for him.

      In many ways, Phil was still a rookie going into this off-season. He didn’t have a pick at all last year until after the Chandler trade, and that was only for second rounders, who are low-probability players. He had zero cap space for FA moves in 2014.

    51. I like pretty much like everything Phil is doing except the triangle. I see the triangle as an anti advanced stats system that has its only success tied to some of the greatest players of all time. The concepts of moving the ball and keeping players in motion are fine, but the rest of it goes against what the stats suggest.

      I don’t think we got a good deal on Chandler, but I can understand why he wanted to trade him and why he thought the trade was reasonable at the time.

      I have mixed feelings about the JR/Shumpert deal. We could have traded Shumpert alone and gotten a decent pick for him. That probably would have necessitated keeping JR for another year, but I wonder how much downside there was to that given that we aren’t a contender now anyway. If we were willing to suffer with JR for 1 more year, we could have gotten some value for Shumpert and got the JR cap space next year instead.

      I think he overpaid for Williams, but I think he has enough athletic talent to stake a short term flyer on and hope he’ll be a late developer in a stable environment.

      N’Dour was interesting, but I don’t think it was a significant error given they were still thinking about how to fill out the rest of the roster and I doubt he’s going to be a major rotation player anyway.

      Other than that, I love almost everything about the overall direction and the type of high IQ/high character players we are bringing in.

    52. strat, even if what you say about Shump is true, I think concerns about JR’s influence on team culture were reason enough to bail from a low-level first to a second to dump his contract. I wouldn’t want JR anywhere near the young guys, especially since the team doesn’t have a strong, vocal superstar leader. As leaders go, Melo is, well, too mellow.

    53. Knicks open on my birthday this year if anyone wants to fly me to Milwaukee and give me tickets I would appreciate it

    54. So Mike, I get the PTSD over the past 15 years, but under closer analysis, doesn’t this seem pretty different? Hasn’t Phil done enough to show that he isn’t Dolan’s puppet? Is it fair to say that the old “Keep your mouth shut to the media, or else!” culture is no longer in effect, at least for now? That, in and of itself, is reason to be optimistic. I mean, can you even imagine one of his predecessors doing “The Phil Files”?!!

      Even if you don’t drink the Phil Kool-aid, at least he has a plan that is pretty darn far-removed from his predecessors. He clearly values IQ, character, youth and chemistry.

      I don’t know if this is a clear difference from Walsh. I can’t say that Walsh didn’t value those three same things. Before he was forced to take on Melo the Knicks roster could have been described that way as well.

      Yes Jackson apparently has more power than Donnie did. However Dolan can wipe that all away with one blow from his harmonica hole. And much like Walsh, I don’t see Jackson sticking around when Jimmy D starts forcing moves.

      Yeah it’s possible it works out this time. But I’ve never been a person of faith.

    55. Is there any chance Dolan is just a slow learner? He has to turn a corner eventually, right?

    56. I’m just saying, if I had a piece of the highly lucrative Knicks stat nerd pie, and one of my most annoyingly frequent posters had a birthday on opening day, well I’d get him a ticket to Milwaukee

    57. I like some of what the Knicks are doing. I still don’t like the triangle, though it seems as if fish is moving away from it a little bit. I do think they could do a bit more on the advanced stats side.

      That said, I like that they’re getting younger players. I like that they’re building for now and the future. I like the draft picks. I like the emphasis on character, length, and iq.

      If this was 10 years ago I think Phil would grade as one of the better GMs I’m the league.

    58. I think concerns about JR’s influence on team culture were reason enough to bail from a low-level first to a second to dump his contract. I wouldn’t want JR anywhere near the young guys

      The Knicks had other options with Smith: like to waive him and eat his contract. Personally, I think the cap flexibility Phil got turned out to not be worth the price of dumping Smith.

    59. The price of dumping Smith was including an oft-injured underachieving player who would surely not be re-signed or matched as a RFA. If Jax waived Smith, he still probably gets nothing more than a second rounder for Shump.

    60. I don’t know if this is a clear difference from Walsh. I can’t say that Walsh didn’t value those three same things. Before he was forced to take on Melo the Knicks roster could have been described that way as well.

      Yes Jackson apparently has more power than Donnie did. However Dolan can wipe that all away with one blow from his harmonica hole. And much like Walsh, I don’t see Jackson sticking around when Jimmy D starts forcing moves.

      Yeah it’s possible it works out this time. But I’ve never been a person of faith.

      I think that during Walsh’s tenure, it was pretty much assumed that the team would be built around max players, and that young, promising talent and draft picks was the price of getting those players. There is no indication that this is currently the case.

    61. I’m just saying, if I had a piece of the highly lucrative Knicks stat nerd pie, and one of my most annoyingly frequent posters had a birthday on opening day, well I’d get him a ticket to Milwaukee

      Sorry, I’m saving my vast fortune to buy the Knicks. Well what’s left after my expensive cable addiction. If you’re not spending $1,000 per cable, then I don’t know how you watch television.

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