Why Would Anyone Be A Knick Fan?

Lately the continued poor performance of the Knicks combined with the statements made by Isiah Thomas has me wondering why people would continue to be fans of the team? The franchise has had 6 consecutive losing seasons, and this year will most certainly be number 7. Additionally team president Isiah Thomas has twice insulted the fan base. The first comment was revealed during the sexual harassment trial where Thomas allegedly voices his disdain for season ticket holders (“I don’t give a fuck about these white people”). The second just last week when a fan claimed that coach Isiah blamed the team’s woes on the sixth man, referring not to David Lee but to the crowd (“We need a sixth man to be a good team”).

With the organization in disarray, wouldn’t it be easier for fans to find a different team to root for? The Nets are better off, as they still have 2 franchise players in Kidd and Carter. There’s a likable young team in the Orlando Magic who feature the NBA’s best young center in Dwight Howard and are attempting to become one of the Eastern powerhouses. Cleveland will be good for as long as LeBron James is wearing a Cavs jersey. For those that find Eastern rivals to be too close to home, a team like Golden State or Phoenix provides plenty of excitement. For every Knick fan, one of the 29 other teams is likely to be a better fit than their current choice.

Yet it seems that few fans are willing to leave the blue & orange despite the organization’s failures. The explanation for this irrational behavior is “commitment bias” (sometimes known as “irrational escalation of commitment”). In his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, Robert Cialdini details how important it is for people to look consistent with their actions. Hence when people make a small investment in something, they are more likely to stay consistent with that principle, even if that goes against their normal beliefs. Getting the tiniest commitment can cause people to “throw good money after bad.” There are hosts of examples of commitment bias from the Vietnam War to NASA’s International Space Station. There’s even a pedagogical tool called the dollar auction where you can get people to bid more than $1 for a single dollar bill.

This principle can be applied to sports fans. Growing up in an area where there is only one local team will inevitably result in a majority of its inhabitants to root for that team. This is because the inhabitants have made their investment (with their home), and wish to stay consistent with that investment by bonding with their area. So the commitment bias trickles down from your home all the way to your sports teams, forcing most people into a relationship that they cannot easily terminate. Even when people move to a new location, they tend to take their sports allegiances with them.

You have to imagine every NBA front office knows that getting people to become fans creates a nearly unbreakable bond. No wonder sport franchises are increasing in worth by the hour. And no wonder so many sports try to cater to youngsters. How many other industries can be complete failures for years and still gain the adoration of millions of people? For proof of this you only have to look at which team tops Forbes list of most valuable NBA franchises. It’s not the Spurs who have been a top tier franchise for a decade. It’s not the Mavs, Suns, or Pistons all of which have been among the league’s best over the last few years. The NBA’s most valuable franchise is the New York Knicks. The franchise that is on their way to their 7th straight losing season. The franchise that has repeatedly insulted their fan base. The current Knick regime benefits not from being a model organization, but from monopolizing one of the largest fan bases, the success of previous generations, and of course the commitment bias.

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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).

112 thoughts to “Why Would Anyone Be A Knick Fan?”

  1. What a great world it would be if one could flit from team to team. I’d be rooting for the Patriots and Red Sox! Continuing to the pretending to be from Boston theme, I could go for the Celtics. But alas, like baby ducklings, we imprint on the teams of our youth. Now you mention the Nets (although they’re on the way down with Kidd pushing 36), those of us of a certain age don’t play that mess. We rather say, “my dream is that an airplane carrying the Mets collides with one carrying the Jets and the wreckage falls on the Islanders.” It’s like Groundhog Day. We be Trapped.

  2. The phenomenon of commitment bias certainly must play a role in sports allegiance, but it is not the whole story.

    As a die-hard Met fan, I have in the past found myself saying “I wish I were a Yankee fan, I’d be so much happier, things would be so easy, etc.” But fact of the matter is, I can’t just become a Yankee fan. Even if I were to get over the fact that I viscerally hate the team, and also intellectually despise their way of doing things and carrying themselves; even if these issues were nonfactors, I can’t just up and root for them.

    This shows that, for me at least, the connection that a fan feels with his team is not the result of a rational decision; as Bob alluded to it is an emotional act, a turn of events whereby a team imprints on the fan’s soul.

    With specific regard to the Knicks, I feel like it is for this reason (that the team has for one reason or another left its mark on us and brought us to unconditionally love them) why MSG will violently and frequently call for Isiah’s head. Among the truest Knick fans right now, there has got to be a deep personal conflict going on inside: We love this team, but our head coach has repeatedly said he hates us. We idolize our players, but they look like they could give a sh!t. What’s a fan to do? Change teams? Impossible. Demand change! Boo! Protest! LET’S TAKE BACK THE KNICKS!

  3. what I’ve done since the Lyden years is simply become an NBA fan. with League Pass it’s easy to pick one or two of the most attractive teams, and watch most of their games. I watched the Clippers when Darius Miles was a superfreak rookie, the Suns the first year they had Nash (starters of Stoudemire/Marion/Q/Joe Johnson/Nash), Denver when Earl Boykins was playing great, Golden State last year and this, and Portland some this year. I think it’s crucial to not let the Knicks kill one’s love for the NBA totally, so that’s how I’ve dealt with it during the recent ugly years.

  4. I have progressed to the point where I actually root for the Knicks to lose. I am actually disappointed on the rare occasions when I look at the evening’s NBA scores and the Knicks have won. As much as I love the franchise, and as much as I crave a winning Knicks squad, I know things are doomed as long as Isiah is running the team.

    This team does not deserve success; it deserves to fail. This isn’t a bunch of good guys who just can’t catch a break. The owner and GM are two of the most despicable people in sports and most of the players aren’t too fun to root for either. Curry, Randolph, Marbury, Q, Crawford, Nate… Not a lot of fun.

    In a perverse way, I’ll enjoy this season, because there is nowhere for Isiah to run and hide. It’s going to be a long and miserable season in the Garden and Isiah will have to suffer through intense humiliation. If you’re gonna be bad, you might as well be REALLY bad. Pass the popcorn.

  5. It’s more of a HomeTown Thang, like the college you went to you still have a strong support for them.
    We all have favorite players that are on the next team that we wish were on our team.

    I’m interested now in when will Marbury return.

    Reports say Marbury may come back for the Pacers game.

    Is this Knick Team ready for Marbury return? Hell NO!
    Marbury is not the only BIG-Problem on this Knick Team that need to be straighten out.

    This Knick Team BIGGEST Problem starts with the Head Coach and his coaching staff not being on the same-page.
    Four years and still counting on the Knicks to have a sufficient 8-Man Rotation that could keep the team in the .500 zone after their first 15 games of the season.
    And Players like Q.Richardson & Crawford acting like they are NBA Starters which they are not (their NBA career proves that). The two players are outspoken only on this Knick Team their previous teams seen them as Lockerroom cancers towards their teammates performance (another Marbury, they dont enhance their teammates perfomance).

    Having not one, but two 30 or more MPG Frontcourt Players that cant play defense of any kind as your BIGMEN (Curry & Zach) without getting into early foul trouble gives the Knicks oposition the edge at the start of every game.
    And if the Knicks oposition have scoring BIG-MEN put your money on the Knicks getting blown out.

    These Knick Players live on EXCUSES, so it would be in the best interest of the Knick-Team for Marbury to stay away from the team for the next Seven(7) games to see just how much “Team-Ball” and “Team-Play” that “Crawford, Q.Richardson, Zach, and Curry,” can co-exist together as “Starters”, and with their younger athletic teammates vs the NBA teams in this league.

  6. I will never forget the good years. People can say what they want about Ewing, Starks, Oakley and even Houston and Sprewell. But, at least on Knickerblogger, we know how much fun we had rooting for these guys.

    I’m stuck watching the games that come on my cable, and that’s the Knicks, Nets, and Celtics. The Nets are a wretched choice. I’ve been to their empty arena, and I’ve witnessed their soul-less team. Vince Carter? Are you kidding me? I respect Kidd a great deal, but I’ve never wanted to root for him. Marv, please come home when Dolan finally lets go.

    Boston presents the more attractive option, obviously. But anyone who has actually watched a Tommy Heinsohn broadcast knows this isn’t possible. And, really, do you think they’ll stay good all season? One injury and you’re watching a lot of Scalabrine minutes.

    But the Knicks have really done it now. I saw last year as a significant increase in watchability. Though the record was lousy, most of the games (until the last 15 or so) were close and full of strong moments. Eddy, Lee, Marbury, and even Q had their moments. This year, however, has been a return to the Larry Brown abyss. I can no longer hold Larry responsible for any of it, because this is the SAME style of loser basketball despite the changes in the players and of course the coach. We’d all be interested in watching a struggling team with heart and some creativity. This is just a BAD team, bored even by losing.

    I will continue to be a Knicks fan, but I might have to take a year or two off. I need to have something to hope for, and, believe me, Zach Randolph chucking jumpers ain’t what I have in mind. (I know, I know: unlike Crawford or Q, he actually makes a fair number of those shots, but still….)

  7. I’ve been asking myself why I’m still a fan of this miserable team, and the only reasonable answer I have is: It’s the building and the memories. It’s a lifetime of emotional investment. And, I still love walking through the city and making my way to MSG – even if it’s to watch them loose to the pitiful Sonics.

    But, honestly, it’s been so bad this year that I’ve actually considered becoming a Nets fan. I’ve watched some games (listening to Marv again is an added bonus). I live in Brooklyn, too. On a rational level it makes so much sense. But, I just can’t seem to make the switch. I am what I am – a Knicks fan.

    Someone once explained how the word “fan” comes from “fanatical” which, in turn implies “irrational.” It’s never been more true.

  8. “I?ve actually considered becoming a Nets fan.”

    If you are going to abandon the Knicks for the Nets you need to seriously re-evaluate your exit strategy…

    The only thing that hurts worse than rooting for the Knicks must be rooting for a team that loses to the Knicks.

  9. Rooting for a winning team is only fun if you rooted for them when they were down and out. Who do you suppose got more enjoyment when the Yankees won in 1996, a new fan or a fan who hadn’t experienced that level of success in decades?

    Root for another team if you’re so horrified by the things Isiah (allegedly) said to Sanders in private or that he said he would prefer that the fans were more supportive (who wouldn’t?). Loyalty has its rewards though. Critical loyalty, yes, but loyalty nonetheless.

  10. I think that you can make a good argument that there is no team in the NBA who is worse off, for both the short and long term, than the Knicks. It would be so wise to jump ship and root for someone else, but it seems that once you choose a team to support, you can’t leave.

    I first started getting into sports in 92 or 93. I was in elementary school and just by watching national games could pick the teams that excited me the most but weren’t so good that they would completely destroy everyone they played, because where’s the fun in that (e.g. the Cowboys and Bulls of the time)? I believe you would call my 2nd or 3rd grade self a pseudo-front runner.

    A decade and a half later, 2 out of the 3 teams are bottom-feeders, yet I still continue to follow them. It’s completely irrational, based on whatever team looked good to a kid who didn’t even know very much about sports anyway.

    It’s so easy to make a decision and say, “this is the team I like.” For most of us, it’s impossible to un-make that decision.

  11. Marc’s right — emotional investments matter. Also, it’s simultaneously harder and easier to keep with the Knicks if you grew up in one of their heydays (in my case the peak of the Ewing era). Harder because you remember how much better they’ve been and how far they’ve fallen, but easier because you know how great it will be when they finally get it together.

  12. A few months ago I visited this topic and for me it came down to a connection forged as a child. It’s hard to become a fan for a team as an adult in the same innocent way one did as a child. There are child-like feelings tied to it that make it very, very difficult.
    Having said that, I have paid less attention to the Knicks this year as compared to the past. I go through phases where I am watching and posting more to this blog. But in general I’m less interested in this team.
    I see talented young players being marginalized and favoritism being shown to players who cannot start anywhere else in the NBA.
    The fact that Jones has gotten more time than Balkman should be stunning.
    That Isiah had one of the best young power forwards in basketball on his team and yet traded for Randolph should be stunning.
    The fact that Curry still starts should be stunning.
    The fact that Marbury actually played 33 minutes after deserting his team should be stunning.
    The fact that some people still sound hopeful after the Knicks beat a horrible team should be stunning.
    The fact that Crawford is shooting barely 40 percent and playing no defense and still starting should be stunning.

    The idea that a general manager and coach loses a sex harassment lawsuit worth $11.6 million, a full two-thirds more than if the team had settled, and hasn’t lost his job should be stunning.

    It goes on and on and, yet, we’re utterly numb to it.

    The Knicks are 5-15 since Nov. 9. More often than not, they are losing by big margins. During this run, they have beaten one good team, Utah.

    It is very much like watching a building fire. You’re appalled and fascinated to see the outcome.
    That’s pretty much where I’m at.

  13. You can rationalize it like this, you were a fan before the current nonsense that has happened and you’ll be a fan well after it ends whenever that is. In other words, you were a fan before Isiah Thomas, Jim Dolan showed up and you’ll be a fan after they’re gone.

  14. “I think that you can make a good argument that there is no team in the NBA who is worse off, for both the short and long term, than the Knicks.”

    This is a good discussion thread. Maybe it can cheer us up!

    I would say there are a few teams with even more depressing rosters..

    Even worse:
    – Miami. Dwyane Wade, sure, but the rest… no hope for the foreseeable future.

    – Clippers. Complain all you want about Dolan, he’s not a bigger jerk than Don Sterling. Plus, hiring judgment aside – Dolan takes a hands-off approach and doesn’t mind spending $$. That makes the Knicks job reasonably attractive, providing hope long-term.

    Pretty much just as bad:
    – Jersey.

    – Cleveland. Sure, there’s LeBron, and they’re decent right now. But when (not if) he goes…

    – Sonics. Sure, Kevin Durant – but does anyone trust that organization to build a team around him? In OKC?

    – TWolves. Asylum still full of bad contracts, McHale still running the place.

    – Milwaukee. Terrible now, and a cap mess just like ours. Do you think Redd is superstar? I don’t.

    Assuming Isiah doesn’t do something like trade David Lee for Artest, we could emerge all right. We have the roster for a 35- or 40- win team right now, if IT would play his best players. Add a high lottery pick, and next year we could see .500… and then the contracts start expiring.

    I know, it’s aiming low. But if we bring in a new GM, I don’t think we’re that far away from respectability.

  15. Caleb– now that you have presented the competition for “darkest future award” I have to say:

    The Knicks still win.

    “Miami. Dwyane Wade, sure, but the rest? no hope for the foreseeable future.”

    But they have Wade, a superstar that has led a team to the championship. Like the Lakers with Kobe, they are one good transaction away from another title. The Knicks are an overhauled roster away.

    As for Cleveland, Jersey, and Milwaukee– Jersey has guys on their roster people would actually trade for, and that helps rebuild a team quickly; Cleveland has three years to watch LeBron rip through the Eastern Conference playoff tree; Milwaukee has had a #1 pick in the last few years. All these are resons to feel good about the respective teams’ futures. The Knicks can look forward to finally having a high draft pick after years of sucking, and to see the contracts that we thought would never end finally sunset. We’ve seen what Dolan’s willingness to spend has brought, and that is the one competetive advantage the Knicks enjoy over all these other teams.

    “Clippers. Complain all you want about Dolan, he?s not a bigger jerk than Don Sterling…”

    But no one cares about the Clippers. Not even in their own home town. That’s like saying the Devil Rays future is darker than the Yankees. If having a better future than the Clippers is our only solace, then we still lose. (Plus, the Clips have tasted the second round of the playoffs recently. Ouch!)

  16. Z, ya gotta look on the bright side! Schadenfreude and all that.

    I guess I’d agree with you about Cleveland. At least they have the next few years. But Miami’s ring, Milwaukee’s #1 pick – those glories are in the rear-view mirror. Wade is headed for Garnett-land (or NYK in 2010).

    And I think you’re overestimating the Jersey Boys. Kidd is worth an expiring contract or two. Carter is almost Randolph-like untradeable. Expect him to be shipped across the river next month, for Balkman, Lee & Marbury.

  17. Hey, don’t bash the concept of commitment bias. That’s the only thing keeping my wife around.

    Speaking of my lovely wife, I was trying to explain to her why I just can’t leave the Knicks.

    “Sure, they stink out loud right now but i just cant see myself rooting for anyone else. No matter how bad it gets, I still see a silver lining, a glimmer of hope. Even though we stink out loud, we are just one draft pick away from a title run. Miami made the run it, the Cavs had a shot, why not us? The moment I give up on them is when they will be back and everyone will call me a fair weather fan. Well not me!! I love them and I am going to stick with them.” Then she kissed me.

    Funny, that happend Saturday while we were dining with friends. I got home expecting a big loss, but lo and behold Knicks beat the Nets. And right there was the hope I needed to go on for another week.

    Everytime I think I’m gone they pull me back in.

  18. For the record, I root for the Knicks to lose also. I see no point in being an 8 seed for the playoffs and getting blown out in the 1st round. I think if there is no shot at winning a title, then the best thing would be to get the best draft pick possible. To be considered to have a shot to win the title, you have to be able to at least make it a game with Dallas, Boston, San Antonio, and Phoenix, and I think we all know that in a 7 game series against any of these teams, with the Knicks (as currently constructed) playing at their best, we’d be lucky/ecstatic to win one game. So what’s the point?

    Sad as it is to say, the only player on this team who has a chance of really improving the team is one Eddy Curry. Unfortunately, he really is the only guy on the team that is not playing up to his potential — everyone else is playing pretty much as expected for their athletic talent. Eddy, though, is a guy who is a very efficient scorer in the post, commands a double team every time he has the ball against most teams, has the ability (but not mindset) to hit 70% of his FT, and who has the athletic ability and body to be a reasonable defender and rebounder (But not the mindset). If Curry could become a force on the defensive end — as he has shown the ability to do on rare occasions — our win total would go up by 10 immediately. Alas, asking him to do that is a hopeless dream.

    He really needs to lose about 20-25 lbs — he’d be so much lighter on his feet. We need to put him on the Biggest Loser — I’d love to see what the trainers there would be able to do with him.

  19. “Z, ya gotta look on the bright side! Schadenfreude and all that.”

    That’s easier for you to say. You haven’t been watching these games! My eyes are set to bleed again tonight (and I can’t look away).

    Miami also has $20 million in expiring contracts this year which, even if they chose to take the Isiah Thomas approach and deal them for long term malcontents still have Dwayne Wade. The expiring contract for expensive vet strategy works when you have a certifiable superstar to pair it with.

    The bright side for the Knicks that I see is that when they do get their franchise under control they will be good again, not just for a season or two, but for a long time. But first, the big trick, is getting the franchise under control.

    And there is light in the near future! The Savior himself is almost healed and is ready to take over the starting center position, as he was originally envisioned to when Isiah signed him to his 5 year $30 million deal…

  20. I keep waiting for Isiah’s firing to come over the wire.
    I have to think the only thing holding it up is the Knicks would want to line up his replacements before they do it.
    The fact that people were chatting up Chris Mullins would indicate the Knicks are already quietly casting about for a new coach and GM.
    The question is, who would want to come into this mess with the kind of rep Dolan has built?

  21. I think the Knicks GM job still has to be one of the best GM jobs in the league — Dolan is an idiot but at least he’s got deep pockets and obviously gives a lot of wiggle room in terms of moves.

    I’d love Kiki Vandeweghe to come in — he really cleaned house in Denver, and other than drafting Skita, I thought really remade that team with the drafting of Carmelo (which really was a nobrainer after the great Joe Dumars drafted Darko ahead of him), trading for Camby, and getting solid players such as Andre Miller. I think he got sort of unlucky with Kenyon Martin’s injury– Martin was an all-star level player with the Nets and might have been a good fit there without the knee problem. He’s also got ties to the Knicks — I think his dad played for them and of course he did too.

    And the guy shot 52% from the field for his career — not bad.

    Would LOVE to see them bring in Kiki, fire Isiah, let Herb coach out the season, then do a concerted search for a long-term coach (not ruling out Herb) in the offseason.

  22. i have the perfect answer to the knicks problems..
    on every play whether its offense and defense do your job.
    fight for position
    set screens
    make fakes
    move with out the ball
    eddy curry just stands there while others are moving around fighting for position
    i cant just stand around at work and put my hands in my pocket in front of customers
    Because i am at work

    great job by the fans tonight chanting we want paint. maybe they heard it and maybe just maybe
    the knicks can start being a more agressive mean team
    good luck isiah

    ps curry is so bad how old is he now 22
    just sit home and watch the video of your self tonight right after that pop in a video of patrick back in the day and see what he brought to the table

  23. Was that MDjr. or Larry Legend wearing a wig?
    Wait a minute, actually EVERYBODY plays like a hall of famer vs. the Knicks.
    As bad as Curry and Randolph are on D, there is nobody in the Knicks backcourt that can play D (except Marbury when he feels like it.) Q, Crawford, F. Jones, Mardy… they are all terrible. And I’m sorry, Nate’s to short to guard anybody on the floor. This team makes me sick to watch.
    No heart.

  24. Frank Said:

    “I think the Knicks GM job still has to be one of the best GM jobs in the league ? Dolan is an idiot but at least he?s got deep pockets and obviously gives a lot of wiggle room in terms of moves.”

    All things being equal, you’re absolutely right. Deep pockets + a great city is a GM’s dream. But in their current state, I don’t honestly believe that there is a bigger rebuilding job in the league right now.

    Which of the high paid players are truly a building block that is even close to being worth his contract? And since the answer to that is nobody (give or take a player), none of them are tradeable either. So that leaves the team with no cap space in the near future and no young studs to build around (on either small or large contracts) and those are 2 of the biggest keys to rebuilding. They do have their annual draft picks coming but every rebuilding team gets those.

    This is why people are saying that the next GM has 4 years minimum to get this thing back on track. And they’re going to have to be both very inventive and very persuasive in order to speed up the process.

  25. The heading of this thread “Why Would Anyone Be A Knick Fan” came into my head this evening as Zach Randolph turned around to talk to the ref while his man waited for the ball, caught the pass, and drained a w i d e o p e n three.

    Randolph was having his best half of the season, at both ends, yet still found a way to make Knick fans boo him.

    “Why would Anyone Be A Knick Fan”?

    Who can root for a player that stops playing mid-possession? Especially on a team that is widely critisized for not playing with any heart?

    Jeff Van Gundy would have sat Randolph down and not put him back in until Wednesday. And the players that actually give a shit about playing would have responded and not lost by 27 points.

    Marcus Camby, when he first came to the Knicks and was an underachiever asked Van Gundy to take him out of a game for breather. Van Gundy granted his wish, then didn’t put him back in for a week. Camby never asked for a breather again, and became one of the toughest Knicks, drawing charges, hustling like Oakley, and always playing with heart. He responded to a coach who cared by caring himself.

    It’s one thing to lose by 27 points at home to the Mike Dunleavy Jr. Show. But to turn your back on Troy Murphy to have a chat with the ref is the real embarrassment of the game. In the box score its the same as Troy Murphy hitting a fade away three with Randolph’s hand in his face. But on the court, it was the most shameful moment of a shameful season…

    Zach Randolph has been everything we thought he’d be in Portland. Someone who can shoot 9-11 in the first half and still find a way to be hated by the fans.

  26. Individual Stats:

    Jamal: 4-14 FG
    Curry: 2 REB, 7 TO
    Fred Jones: 29 minutes, 2 Pts, 3 AST, 2 REB
    Q: 2-8 FG
    Steph: 30 minutes, 2 AST

    Team Stats:

    IND 58.3% FG
    NYK 38.0% FG

    The Knicks also had only one block, which is par for the course. The Knicks, as a team, are averaging 2.7 blocks per game, which is the same number that Chris Kaman manages all by himself.

    The Knicks are dead last in the NBA in FG% allowed. They’re 27th out of 30 in FG% made. It’s hard to believe, but the 2007-2008 Knicks may be the worst team Isiah has ever assembled. Zach Randolph is the cherry on top– the perfect me-first, no-defense playing, non-hustling ball hog to complement the rest of the selfish, non-hustling, no-defense playing ball hogs. He’s a “perfect fit” for this team, even more perfect because he’s cutting into the minutes of one of the team’s few passable players, David Lee.

    In a league where 6’6″ swingmen grow on trees, we are investing 31 minutes a night into Quentin Richardson and his .319 FG%. Stick with that, Zeke– maybe Q will turn it around!

    But hey, we’re only 3 1/2 games out of that last playoff slot! What we need is another guy who doesn’t play defense, shoots all the time and has a crappy FG%, preferably with a horrible max contract with several years remaining.

  27. “In a league where 6?6? swingmen grow on trees, we are investing 31 minutes a night into Quentin Richardson and his .319 FG%. Stick with that, Zeke? maybe Q will turn it around!”

    Balkman had 9 rebounds in the 12 minutes Q didn’t play.

  28. what did you want isiah to do over this off season
    if he didnt make any moves you would be saying how can the knicks be that bad and you didnt even try to improve
    randolph is a baller a much better baller than frye will ever be.
    get rid of curry, and Quentin and the rest of the ballers will florish

  29. what did you want isiah to do over this off season
    if he didnt make any moves you would be saying how can the knicks be that bad and you didnt even try to improve
    randolph is a baller a much better baller than frye will ever be.
    get rid of curry, and Quentin and the rest of the ballers will florish

    There it is, all problems solved.

    1. Get rid of Curry and Q.
    2. ????????
    3. Championship!

    “Randolph is a baller.” That made me laugh. Yeah, he’s awesome. The Blazers are really missing Zach and his .450 FG% and his one block every ten games. They’re practically lost without him… Oh wait, what’s that, they’re one of the most improved teams in the NBA? Even though they traded away the great “baller” Zach Randolph? Funny how that works.

  30. I think Isiah the coach is even worse than Isiah the GM. It’s almost as if he’s rewarding guys for playing poorly.

    Minutes per game:

    Crawford 40.3
    Randolph 33.9
    Marbury 32.1
    Q-Rich 31.0
    Curry 29.6

    Lee 25.1
    Jones 24.9
    Robinson 16.8
    Jeffries 14.6
    Balkman 13.3

    Zeke is riding the starters like mules. Ironically, this team would probably benefit from an injury or two, as we could at least find out if Balkman, Chandler and Morris can play at the NBA level. These guys can’t crack the lineup, yet we get a combined 39.5 minutes from Fred Jones and Jared Jeffries, who are the virtual definition of “roster filler.”

  31. With the way the season is going, if Isiah, trades this year’s #1 pick (which will definitely be top 5, or better yet top 3) for another head case like Artest, I would undoubtly bail on them and become a full-time Warriors fan. Baron Davis: (THAT’S A TRUE BALLER). College might be the best alternative for Knicks fans. You got O.J. Mayo at USC, Derrick Rose at Memphis, and Big Roy Hibbert at G-Town (Ewing’s alma-mater). So watch The College Kids, you never know they might be wearing blue and orange at the Garden next year and for years to come.

  32. JK47,

    Thanks for posting the minutes numbers. I wish Isiah would return to the first team/second team rotation of last year. Where is that spark that the “second team” provided? Nostalgia…

  33. I just hope we can get back to the days the Knicks were a hard working team, guys with an all out all the time win or die attitude. Workers like Charles Oakley, John Starks and Patrick Ewing. Guys who loved to play this game. Guys who would play this game for free if they had to. Guys who always thought they could win and ALWAYS busted thier *ss trying to get a win.

    Blood, sweat and tears thats what this horrible team doesn’t have. These guys do not love to play this beutiful game, these guys do not know how to win. These guys don’t sacrifice their overpaid overrated bodies to get a win for the city. These guys flat out do not care about the city, these guys flat out do not care about winning, these guys flat out do not care about the game.

    Buy out and cut 1/2 of these idiots(because they are untradeable)!! Trade the 1/4th that is tradeable!! And sign a bunch of minor leaguers who love to play and have something to prove. Fill the roster with guys like Starks and Anthony Mason guys who have nothing and have nothing to lose and so they bust thier *ss 24/7.


    Ohh man I miss the 90’s. I’ll take 5 Anthony Bonners any day of the week over any combination of 5 players from this roster.

    When is this misery going to end?

  34. As a Portland bred blazer boy, all I can say is the one game I saw at MSG was magical. The fans there cannot be surpassed in knowledge of the game. What is happening to you guys is a travesty.

  35. Many Knicks fans find themselves rooting for this team to lose — to get rid of the coach, the point guard, basically start from scratch.

    When the Knicks were competitive, being in the Garden for a play-off game felt like you were in the center of the universe, the most exciting place anybody could possibly be at that moment.

    The older the get, the more I find myself rooting for individual players to do well vs. teams…always hated the Celtics, but love KG…always hated Georgetown (college rival), grew to like Patrick…always hated Zeke…still do!!!

  36. hey Z — Balkman had 9 rebounds…you forgot to mention he missed all five shots…Q sucks but Balkman is hardly a savior…he’s become the most over-rated Knick now because everybody has finally figured out how bad the rest of these guys are…

  37. Even with his bad shooting, Balkman should be getting more minutes. Those minutes are currently going to Mr. 31 Per Cent, AKA Quentin Richardson, who has been one of the worst starters in the NBA so far this season.

  38. That Randolph play where he was yapping at the ref and ignored Murphy was infuriating. More infuriating? Isiah not holding him accountable! I couldn’t believe it. Bobby Knight would’ve slapped Zach Randolph in the face after that, and Isiah leave him in the game? Sickening. Isiah’s too concerned about being liked, and afraid to confront these guys one on one. Guess what Isiah? You’ve already lost the team! No one likes you!

    Also: the Knicks are down by 25 in the fourth with 7 minutes left. Would it hurt to give Chandler, Morris and Collins some time? Or at least give the starting unit (Curry/Randolph) the indiginity of finishing the blowout loss. It makes me feel terrible when I see Lee, Balkman and Nate (our effort guys) out there in garbage time.

  39. I think the team played better with Marbury. There were stretches with Marbury on the floor in which the team looked good. I like the way Marbury and Lee play together. There was one fast break where Lee ran the floor and Marbury sent a perfect bounce pass to Lee between two defenders. Lee got fouled but the look he gave marbury was classic. The look said it all “How in the world did you make that pass?”. Lee has missed that.

    I do like the way Marbury played. He really attacked the basket. Maybe losing his father will rededicate Marbury to playing better basketball.


    I think Randolph is talented but it seems that he is playing for himself. He took a number of bad shots but feels justified in taking them because a few of them go in. He almost always shoots once he has the ball without concern for the flow of offense or the quality of the shot. Sound familiar? It should, because Z-Ran is JC minus the diet.


    Speaking of offense. The 20 consective misses show the big problem on this team. There is no set plan as to how to approach the game. I think this shows Isiah’s failings as a coach. I think he is a great talent evaluator, but I dont think he is good Xs and Os guy. I think Dolan should consider keeping Isiah with the Garden but Isiah really should step down as coach.

    I think Paul Silas would be a great coach for this team. Silas has always coached big men well. I think he could set up some offensive plans to get the most out of Curry and Randolph.

  40. I have to say, if Isiah trades our lottery pick, I may abandon the Knicks.

    I’ve done this once before in my sports fan career. I abandoned the New York Jets. It was the Dan Marino “clock play” game. After that, I just decided it was an abusive relationship and I needed to get out. I was living in the Bay Area, and the Raiders had just moved back to Oakland, so I became (and remain) a Raider fan.

    Turns out that being a Raider fan is a lot like being a Jet fan.

  41. Why Would Anyone Be A Knick Fan?

    In order to talk about it at Knickerblogger. That’s the only reason I can see right now.

  42. The answer to the question is masochism, plain and simple.

    I guess Patrick Ewing, John Starks and Charles Oakley aren’t gonna walk through that door but apparently I keep hoping it’s gonna happen.

    I’m a Knick fan and I’m always gonna be a Knick fan, that’s just the way it is, but it’s so hard to even care about this team, outside of a few guys they show no heart or passion for the game.

    I see no semblance of team defense out there, which drives me up the wall because that’s what the Knicks do, they play D, well at least they used to.

    That’s what I used to admire so much about the Knicks (even though everybody else’s fans despised them) the desire, the hustle, the never-back-down nature of guys like Starks, Mason, Oakley etc who were never the most talented guys out there but they were all heart.

    It was never the most aesthetically pleasing basketball to watch, but if you were a Knick fan you adored it, and it was always dramatic, because you knew the defense would keep them in it until the very end.

    It seemed like every 4th quarter at the Garden, they would start the quarter trailing and then suffocate their opponents, hit the big shots and leave the Garden rocking. That’s why I’m still a Knick fan, because I remember those games, and know that maybe, even if it takes some act of divine intervention, that those days can happen again, but mainly I’m a Knick fan because (as Peyton Manning would say) it’s in my DNA.

    Now I can’t even watch these guys without wanting to blind myself, in fact I barely even follow the team anymore, and I hardly watch any regular season NBA games, preferring college ball which is somewhat less of a circus.

    I would gladly watch the Knicks lose 50 games in a “rebuilding” season or two with no-name players who at least try hard, knowing that maybe with the high draft picks they could acquire a true franchise player to build a contender around, but instead we get this mish-mash of guys who are “name” players but have never won a damn thing and lack any manner of chemistry on the court.

    It’s just troubling, and I see no light at the end of this tunnel but I hope…man do I hope.

  43. I think he is a great talent evaluator, but I dont think he is good Xs and Os guy.

    Great talent evaluator?!?!? The guy who brought you Jerome James and Jared Jeffries is a great talent evaluator?!?!? Have you seen this team? It’s comprised of the most overrated players in the NBA. Half of the players on this roster flat-out stink.

    Sure, Zach Randolph is talented. He can run and jump and is probably a decent fantasy basketball player because of his PPG and rebounds. But his ability to run and jump is useless because he has no idea how to play the game of basketball, and doesn’t seem to be interested in learning. He’s useless on the defensive end, and a siphon on the offensive end.

    Marbury is a decent PG, Curry could be a useful piece in the right context, and I like Balkman and Lee. Pretty much everyone else on the team sucks. I don’t understand why Isiah has the “great talent evaluator” tag.

  44. LOL Owen, you may be right.

    I will concur with Mr. Black about Marbury — he played well and that pass to Lee was terrific. He looks quicker out there. My Knicks fantasy is that somehow Marbury develops a whole new sense of self after his dad’s passing and becomes the take no prisoners leader that pulls this team up by its bootstraps…the only problem is if he does, Zeke will take credit for it…and I really want Zeke out of NYC in the worst way. He’s poison.

  45. This is bad, really bad. I am one of the many fans who watches every game and hopes they lose so the idiot will be replaced. But it’s not just him. I don’t like anyone on the team. I can’t root for anybody except for maybe Lee or to see Chandler and Morris. The Idiot is so bad he doesn’t even bench Randolph after what he did? Are you kidding me?

    “There has to be individual professional pride. Tonight we didn’t have that.”

    This is what the Idiot said after the game last night? Do you think he takes “professional pride” when he goes out sexually harassing women. heck yeah! Or spreading his racism heck yeah! In any business this guy would have been fired a long long time ago. I am almost ashamed to call myself a knicks fan. This rebuilding once Isiah is gone is going to take a long time and I don’t even know how to begin.

    It’s really sad

  46. “Randolph was caught complaining to a referee about an over-the-back non-call on a rebound, letting Troy Murphy set up at the 3-point line. Murphy drained the open shot with Randolph’s head turned to the official.”


  47. The core of this team is essentially the same as last season, and everybody is more or less healthy, and yet they’re even worse than last year. If these guys haven’t learned to play together by now, it ain’t gonna happen.

    We’re 29th out of 30 in the ESPN power rankings.
    29th out of 30 in assist-turnover ratio.
    Dead last in point differential.
    Dead last in FG% allowed.
    Dead last in blocks.
    Dead last in assists.

    Not only are we dead last in blocks, we also lead the league in having our own shots blocked. That is a pretty amazing accomplishment.

  48. Everthing I have ever said one this site is wrong.

    I said Blazers had less talent than the Hawks, wrong.

    I said Zach would help this team win 10-15 more games, wrong.

    I said the Knicks would win 43 games, wrong.

    I said Holligger’s playoff predictir was idiotic, wrong.

    I said Isiah has never drafted a bust, wrong. Case in point: Mardy Collins

    I present Mr. Collins’ stats for this season:


    5-25 0-4 6-8 5 8 13 12 5 0 12 16

    He has played 112 minutes and is shooting .200 from the floor. He averages less than one assit per game with one rebound.

    How in the world do you spend your majority of your life with a basketball inyour hands without learning how to shoot the darned ball? I dont get it, Fred Jones has an awful looking release and yet he is a much better offensive threat than Collins.

    Sometimes watch Collins trying to create a shot is just painful. Say what you want about Blakman and Jeffies on offense, but they are Wilt Chamberlin compared to Collins.

    Does anyone know what the lowest FG% for a season is? I’m looking for meaningful numbers of a person that played in at least 40 games. It doesnt help to see a guy shoot 0-1 in his only NBA game.

    Collins’ career stats now rival Jason “Sweet Money” McDaniels

  49. Knickerblogger,

    Any chance you can spring for a “spellcheck” feature on this site? I cauld reelly use thet rieght now.

  50. Mardy stinks and should have been released instead of Nichols, but you can’t blame Isiah for drafting him. There was nothing left on the board by the time Collins was drafted with the 29th pick.

    The Channing Frye pick was kind of questionable. I wanted Andrew Bynum. Bynum is 20 years old and already a better player than Eddy Curry. He’s averaging 11 pts, 10 REB and 2 blocks on .596 shooting. Instead we got Frye, who was spun into Zach Randolph. Sigh.

    Instead of LeMarcus Aldridge, Andrew Bynum and Joakim Noah, we have Eddy Curry and Zach Randolph. Awesome.

  51. miik – I totally agree about that Randolph play, I couldn’t believe it that Isiah didn’t take a timeout and destroy Randolph right there on the sideline. It would have if nothing else actually scored Isiah some points with the fans because it would look like he cared. I hate Randolph, he does that at least once a game, usually it is not as blatant, but he is always argueing with the refs after he misses a shot as his man runs down the floor and creates a 4 on 5 situation.

    Randolph is like Crawford on offense and even worse than Curry on defense and to top it off he takes plays off to argue calls. He is perhaps the most argravating player I have ever had the displeasure to cheer for. We need to trade him while his value is still fairly high. The first half is what makes Randolph such a problem, he goes 6 for 8 while taking some very bad shots and now will feel justified to continue to take those bad shots even when they are not falling.

    The thing that really scares me is that I see Randolph’s selfishness starting to rub off onto other players. Curry is forcing things even more than last year because if he gets the ball in the post and gives it up it might be four or five possessions before he gets it again. Richardson and Jones two players who when the season started were very good about ball movement now force things more than they should and even Lee is forcing things more than usual because he is not getting the ball when he is open like he did last year.

    Our whole team has devolved into a one on one basketball team and that is becasue our two leading shot takers, Randolph and Crawford excel at going one on one and are selfish with the ball. Crawford at least has the decency to wait until the offense stagnates before becoming selfish, Randolph is selfish out of the gate.

    I live in Portland and would love to be able to shed my alliegence to the Knicks and root for a fun team like the Blazers but alas I am stuck being a Knick fan for life.

  52. fire isaiah fire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiahfire isaiah

  53. I wonder if NBA GMs and coaches read any of what is posted online about them. Aside from all the ‘Fire Isiah’ banter going on her, do you think Isiah has ever considered any of the more constructive coaching suggestions posted here or on other sites? Has he ever read an article about the values of Lee or Balkman and wondered, even for a second, maybe there’s some merit in what these people are saying?

    Given how bad the team is, what does he have to lose? What is so bad about taking the input of others who closely watch the Knicks?

  54. The New York Bricks.
    That’s the new name. I was watching the ESPN highlights – sorry, couldn’t bring myself to watch the games. Absolutely knew they were going to crash after the “big” win against a failing team. It was unbelievable to watch the “low”lights.
    The Bricks seems to be an appropriate name. What kills me is that Isiah keeps loading minutes on Crawford, Randolph, Curry, and Q. They are pathetic. Teams that shoot poorly utterly destroy the Bricks.
    Q so needs to sit, and he needs to shut up. No one shooting 31 percent should be allowed to speak, period.
    I agree with the several folks that were appalled that Randolph didn’t get pulled for turning his back on his assignment.

    Was this rock bottom?
    How long before Isiah opts to pull these losers? If Q is shooting 31 percent, how much different would it be to run Balkman out there and let him go nuts?
    At least Lee will give you more effort on both sides of the ball than Randolph and Morris certainly can provide more than Curry.
    How is it that Chandler can’t even get on the floor?
    How is it that Isiah can’t see the trend with Crawford? That he simply cannot play consistently. How is he starting with his up and down offense and absolutely no defense?

    Damn it! I am so sick of this…

  55. I became a Knicks fan around 1990 or so. I grew up in the NYC area, and adored the team for many years, through all the ups and downs. However, I started growing increasinly weary of one questionable move after another, starting around the time of the Ewing trade, and the subsequent first-round playoff loss to the Raptors.

    When Isiah came in, I was frightened. I wasn’t a fan of him AT ALL, even before he came to NY. However, I gave him a chance, under the premise that “anyone is better than Scott Layden.” I was even excited when Stephon was brought to the team.

    My premise, however, has proved to be incorrect. Isiah has been worse than Layden. In fact, I decided about a month ago, that I can’t stand to be a Knicks fan anymore. I just can’t. It’s maddening, frustrating, enraging, and ultimately depressing. I renounced my fandom. It’s official.

  56. JK47 – You can have some fun with these stats, its pretty comical stuff actually if you scroll down aand look at the Knicks. The disjunction between what the Knicks are being paid and what they are worth is, well, amazing….


    As for Bynum, well, he has been playing amazing basketball. Quite a bargain on a rookie contract. Going to be some interesting salary negotiations there.

    Mr Black – I think Caleb and i concluded that Anthony Carter has the worst ts% of any player in the NBA who has played 1000 minutes, at least in the last thirty years, 35.9% in 01-02.

    BenR – No one will fault you for picking up a second team. BTW, how awesome is the Vanilla Gorilla Joel Pryzbilla?

  57. isiah is the problem plain and simple…he cannot coach and is to stubborn to realize that! if you have a player (q rich) shooting bricks for three quarters..EVERY GAME….then he should be on the bench period! if you have playerS who plays absolutely NO DEFENSE (CRAWFORD,CURRY) they should NOT be starters! knick fans know that we are in some sort of rebuilding phase and we would be more happy watching the younger guys at least compete(ie nate,chandler,morris,balkman,lee)…i would love to watch those guys out on the floor in a knick uniform than to keep watching crawford, richardson and curry get all those minutes and produce pure garbage every night!
    unfortunately im still a knick fan..sigh…hoping that maybe one day don nelson comes back to new york…….

  58. I can’t rip the non-Bynum pick too much… hindsight is 20/20, and #10 seemed high at the time. (although I’m always in favor of picking very young players, with big upside… IMO it’s better to have a lot of picks and gamble big, than bet it all on the “safe” pick).

    I actually think IT’s a good drafter… but anyone who thinks he’s god-like in that dept. should remember not just Bynum but also that he took Channing Frye and Nate Robinson ahead of David Lee.

    But forget GM’ing. The coaching job this year takes the cake. This is Larry Brown ’06-level bad… maybe worse. It’s not so much Xs and Os… just like the chorus says, put your best players on the floor and see what happens.

  59. If you go onto ESPN and see Bill Simmons’ new article, please note that 5 of the top 25 worst contracts in the NBA belong to the Knicks. If you go back and read lasts years, we have two more different players. This is why I moved to DC and have Bullet season tickets

  60. “note that 5 of the top 25 worst contracts in the NBA belong to the Knicks.”

    Of course the contracts are maddening but what’s worse is that we actually have better players on the roster right now… sitting on the bench!

    I mean, the roster is a mess but there’s no way this should be anywhere near the worst team in the league, which is exactly what it is right now.

  61. And the idea that he separates himself from the Briks’ performance is appalling.
    He actually tried to make it about the players and not himself.
    He brought these no defense playing misfits together as the modern day Bricks. How the hell else is responsible.
    Every one of the starters is a me first guy. Curry, Randolph, Crawford and Marbury are selfish one-dimensional players that had reputations for playing lackluster if not outright poor defense.
    Q is so ready for retirement, it’s sad he’s even playing.

    But for Isiah to act as if this isn’t on him is stupid. For him to bash the players for doing what everyone expected them to do, is amazing.
    He is the GM. His comments utterly fail to show that he has any understanding of the core problems of the team.
    You can have amazing pieces, but poorly used, you lose. He doesn’t put the best players or the best mix of players consistently on the floor.
    As the Knicks have gotten worse, Crawford’s minutes have increased, as have Randolph’s.
    It ridiculous.

  62. This is why I moved to DC and have Bullet season tickets

    I wish I could get in a time machine too and DeBusschere hit corner jays against Loughery…Me thinks you mean Wizards though, and that you don’t actually have this time machine, but if I’m wrong — hey, don’t bogart that thing!

  63. Zach Randolph: 4 years, $63.3M

    It hurts my eyeballs to look at that. He’ll be a Knick until 2011. Hopefully the next coach will have the good sense to stick Zach’s sorry ass on the bench.

  64. Over/Under how many years Nate Robinson is in the league? I bet he would be out after his rookie contact but i think im gonna lose. To me he brings nothing to the table at all.

  65. Paul Davis, Craig Smith, Daniel Gibson and Paul Millsap were all picked AFTER Mardy Collins (all of them in the second round, no less).

    So yeah, Collins is Isiah’s one total draft bust.

    He likely would have had more if he had second round picks in Toronto, but he did not.

  66. Sorry no time machine, but since DC is still the murder capital, I refer to them as the Bullets. And if I did, I’d go back to when IT was with the Raps and force mangement to resign IT to a life long contract.

  67. Alec, while you are in that thing, go back a little further and cut Chuck Dolan’s gonads off while he’s sleeping…then we wouldn’t have Jimmy leading us on the road to nowhere either…

  68. “Over/Under how many years Nate Robinson is in the league? I bet he would be out after his rookie contact but i think im gonna lose. To me he brings nothing to the table at all.”

    As the resident Nate Robinson defender I feel required to jump in and say the correct over/under number is 12. If we’re too stupid to re-sign him, in two years we’ll be reading stories about how he’s propelled Cleveland or someone to the Finals with his great 6th man scoring punch. He’s in sort of a shooting slump right now but is easily somewhere in the Daniel Gibson, Ben Gordon value range. (And in awesome shape – I see longevity)

  69. anybody else get the impression that the knicks fanbase is caught up in the middle of a hughe elaborate dare?

    isiah is daring dolan to fire him by making idiotic signings and acting less like an executive and more like a thug.

    dolan is daring isiah to behave like that by paying off his sexual harassment settlement and absolving isiah of any wrongdoing.

    so isiah dares dolan further by not playing the most effective players on his roster.

    so then dolan sees that and dares isiah again to act even more like an idiot by making his standards for a firing to be impossible to reach.

    so isiah raises the bar by daring dolan to fire him by kicking marbury off the team, learning that his team doesn’t want him back and then plays him 33 minutes in a return.

    what dare will dolan do next?

    the knick fandom holds their breath and gags in unison.

  70. dolan put zeke on the firing line by making him coach…I have a love/hate relationship with that decision

    dolan rewarded him with a multi-year deal after Zeke had a stretch of mediocrity (rather than stench)…oops!!!! that was stupid then, it still is…

    dolan won’t fire him any time soon, zeke is going to earn every minute of dough on the front line…may drive the fans crazy, but in Dolan’s shoes, I’d probably make Zeke work for the money now too…a public humiliation of a guy who has earned it, and brought it on himself…

    imagine if somebody else was coach and zeke was president…he would be blasting the coach for this performance…in some ways it is great to see zeke’s persona as an operations guy just blistered by his ineptitude as a coach…everybody sees through the b.s. now…

    if you’re dolan, you still have the keys to the kingdom, and you still sell the seats…team won’t make play-offs now, so why change coaches and spend all that money?

    what a mess.

  71. Yeah, the extension is the key.

    I can’t imagine ANYone would want to throw away that much money just to let Herb Williams coach the team.

    Maybe in the offseason, when an actual GOOD coach might be available. But not now.

    And that pisses me off, because Herb Williams would look like a genius if he was given the interim job.

  72. While we’re examining motives:
    Isiah is Dolan’s buffer.
    Once Isiah is gone there is no one else to find fault with other than Dolan himself.

    A little food for thought.

    This could take a while…

  73. Two cents from Hollinger’s chat today:

    Laird (NYC): If you were the new GM of the Knicks, would you keep any pieces currently on the team? I think other than David Lee and Renaldo Balkman, get rid of them all!

    John Hollinger: (3:23 PM ET ) I might be tempted to keep Zach Randolph, if I could put the right players around him. And I’d hang on to Wilson Chandler and Randolph Morris. But otherwise, hard to argue with that strategy.


    Jason (Santa Monica, CA): Suppose the Knicks were willing to part with Randolph, Curry, Crawford, Richardson and Jeffries and they wanted nothing back except expiring contracts. Are there any other teams willing to pay these guys even if acquiring them costs literally nothing?

    John Hollinger: (3:29 PM ET ) I doubt it. Maybe on Crawford or Randolph, but no way on the other guys — Curry and Richardson don’t have insurable contracts, which makes them radioactive for a lot of the league’s teams, Jeffries is grossly overpaid for what he provides, and Zach makes too much and has a questionable attitude.

  74. re: spell checker, grab Firefox. It has one built in for text fields. What, you guys think I can spell?

    re: Nate – I’ll take that bet, and if we call it a push for injury, you can name your price and odds. I don’t care what they are, because I’m going to win anyway.

    Since people are feeling bad about the Knicks (and it’s depressing) did anyone check out the dollar bill auction referenced above? I’m curious if anyone has seen it in practice? Seems like a good thing to try after a few hours at the local pub. I think you would have to either have people that you know won’t give up bidding or those that will drink enough to get to that stage. Hmmmm New Years???

  75. Caleb,

    IT taking Nate Robinson ahead of Lee. Technically IT didnt pick Nate. Was Nate not picked by the Suns and then included in the Q trade?

    Now if you mean that the Suns picked Nate for IT as part of the trade, then yeah, maybe he should have taken Lee. But 29 other teams passed on Lee too.

  76. I think the Suns picked Nate for us by prior agreement; I think that’s usually how it works with those draft-day trades.

    Which is fine… I’m just saying, when we talk about how brilliant IT was to draft Lee….

    I’d say Nate is a perfectly good value for #21… a solid role player, if we hang onto him.

  77. Nate was not good value at #21 when Jarrett Jack was available and went #22. Jack is 5 times teh player that Nate is.

  78. John Starks and Charles Oakleys #3 and #34 should be retired and raised to the rafters of MSG, they should hang right next to Patricks #33.

    Steph and Curry should be stripped of their jerseys they are a disgrace to the franchise and are a disgrace to the men who wore those numbers before them. McDyess never looked good in #34 either.

    But seriously retire John and Oaks jerseys it would be the highlight of this season. Give us something to be happy about for at least 1 night.

  79. the answer to the knicks is plain and simple .

    They need an enforcer and a leader , a modern day oakley, lambeeer or even a a mahorn, some1 who doesn’t mind hitting people, playing defense and grabbing boards , a guy who relishes in the dirty work and standing up for his teammates .it would be nice if the guy(s) has a good head for the game and a decent J to space out the floor and plays the 4/5 spots.

    what the knicks players themselves would call a soldier .

    I was watching a nets game about 2 weeks ago and mark jackson was talking about what having Oakley to back him up meant to him , it gave him confidence , let him puff his chest out and felt that if he wanted to he could start stuff,

    the other announcer mentioned that jackson never started anything ,

    but jackson said the important thing was that he could if he wanted to because he knew Oak had his back.

    the knicks need that .

    they are a low post power team that no one fears or even has apprehension about , Paul Pierce was grabbing Jamal Crawford’s chin in the preseason and the only guy who came to his aid was wilson chandler ….wilson chandler !!!!

    and when play resumed the celts took advantage of the refs calling touch fouls and got to the line the next few possesions.

    an enforcer would likely prevent them from getting pyhsical with the knicks and if by some chance they did , they wouldn’t be getting touch fouls when play resumed , those fouls would be real fouls, hard fouls because right now there is no reason for the Celts not to try it again

    all they did was punk the knicks and then the refs rewarded them for it with free throws.

    seeing the way the knicks often wilt in games like the pacers they need players with confidence when games get tough and when they get rough , they need players with characters to embolded the players lacking in that area.

    there a few of those guys running around the league at various prices that may be available like Nene , or kurt thomas , chris wilcox or nick collison , magliore , or maybe take a flyer on a guy who has the tools for all this but maybe not the opportunity like shelden williams .

    but a gelling force needs to be brought in .

  80. Draft hindsight is 20/20… you can’t say IT (or 25 other GMs) are fools just because there was a better player left over in one draft or another… you have to look at the body of work, and whether you got decent value for who you did pick.

    IMO IT is an overrated drafter but still pretty good.

  81. “Draft hindsight is 20/20”

    Seriously, you can’t hold it against Isiah that he let a few slip by. KB a few weeks ago declared Isiah one of the best drafters ever. For as much as I dislike him, it’s difficult to find somebody who I think finds more talent consistently while others are passing it by. Not that I pay extremely close attention to what other GMs are doing, but no one jumps to mind as someone who does a better job in late June than Isiah.

    Unfortunately, the NBA season isn’t played in late June…

    and the other 364 days of the year, Isiah sucks.

  82. One of the best drafters ever? Other than David Lee is a pretty good but not a great player who has Isiah found?

  83. Oh yeah, I think Isiah IS a really good drafter.

    Someone just noted that Mardy Collins being a bad pick was excused by the fact that there was no one good behind him, which was particularly false that year’s draft, which had a number of good second rounders.

  84. http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/basketball/knicks/blo…0Knick%20Protest.mht

    12/30/2007 NY Knick ?FIRE ISIAH? Protest at MSG 11:00 AM

    December 17, 2007 by joeyvworks
    Dear Die Hard Knick Fans,

    First, Thank You for visiting. The state of this team has reached a new low.

    Why should we have to suffer for the doings of amateur, inexperienced, immature and uneducated ownership and management. All the while being blatantly conceited and arrogant about it!

    The time has come to stand and unite. Power in numbers!

    On Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 11:00 AM in front of MSG, we will be staging a ?Fire Isiah!? Protest & Boycott. This also happens to be the day the Knicks have a home game against the Bulls which will most likely end up being another pitiful Knick lost. An ironic punctuation to an already pathetic season.

    Driving by or waiting to see coverage via newspaper, web or television will not do. In order to make our point, attendance by all disgusted Knick fans is needed. Please support the efforts and message of this protest.

    Although this protest has been initiated virally via blogs, podcasts, webcasts, various media outlets and personalities have already expressed interest and support for this protest. Their identity will come on the days prior to and the day of the protest.

    We?re not pompous or foolish to believe this protest will be the fix to end all problems with our NY Knicks. As die-hard fans that have suffered tremendous anguish watching this ownership and management dismantle and ruin this proud franchise and everything it stands for, our Knicks. The laughing stock of the NBA. WE MUST BE HEARD!

  85. One of the best drafters ever? Other than David Lee is a pretty good but not a great player who has Isiah found?

    Isiah may have a knack for finding a gem late in the draft, but to call him “the best drafter ever” is pretty silly.

    He’s drafted Channing Frye, David Lee, Renaldo Balkman, Nate Robinson, Mardy Collins and Wilson Chandler since coming here. Lee, of course was a great pick. Balkman has a useful skill set but hasn’t been able to crack the rotation… jury’s out on that one. Frye was a questionable pick considering Andrew Bynum was on the board. I know I really wanted Bynum at the time… Bynum has turned into exactly what I thought he would, and so has Frye. So, that was a bad pick in my opinion. Nate is a marginal NBA player and Mardy doesn’t belong in the league. We haven’t seen much of Wilson Chandler, so we’ll call that one an incomplete.

    Is that draft history really that stellar? If the guy was such a genius of spotting basketball talent, he wouldn’t have brought in Eddy Curry, Zach Randolph and the rest of the stiffs that populate our roster. We had a chance to make an impact through the draft and Zeke frittered it away.

  86. I must admit…I’m surprised to see what looks like a lack of passion and pride from this team. I say that because of how gritty/passionate/competitive Isiah was as a player.

    Losing is one thing, not having enough talent to compete aginst the top teams is another, but given the player I remember, I have to think Isiah’s borderline suicidal watching this team play with no fight whatsoever.

    Ironically, this team desperately needs someone on the team to be the emotional Isiah from his playing days, but none of the starters have it in them. I’m actually curious to see the team’s body language in the next few games with Marbury back (presumably for good now).

    At some point, doesn’t something kick in (even its buried deep inside) that makes at least one guy wake up one day, show up to the locker room in a bad mood and vow to take it out on a teammate if they aren’t playing hard.

  87. He had three draft picks in Toronto. One was easy (Marcus Camby was the clear choice), but the other two were late single digits, and they both became very good players, with the latter, McGrady, being an EXCELLENT player.

    So no, I wouldn’t say he was one of the greatest drafters ever or whatever, but he’s still a really good drafter.

    Besides Duncan (who was a total no-brainer) at #1, look at the players chosen ahead of T-Mac:

    Keith Van Horn
    Chauncey Billups
    Antonio Daniels
    Tony Battie
    Ron Mercer
    Tim Thomas
    Adonal Foyle

    Billups is the only one of the bunch who is the same vicinity at T-Mac.

    That said, yeah, I would have preferred Bynum at the time over Frye, but Frye had a great rookie year and Thomas looked like a genius, no? Heck, I also was pulling for Gerald Green, so who knows about this stuff? :)

  88. “One of the best drafters ever? Other than David Lee is a pretty good but not a great player who has Isiah found?”

    I don’t know if he’s the best drafter ever. Of the people I have intimate knowledge of, he’s the best. (Yes, even better than Ed Tapscott).

    If one is going to argue he’s not the best drafter ever, that can certainly be done, but the name of somebody better should probably be included in the conversation.

  89. hmmm..

    RC Buford – Spurs
    Don/Donnie Nelson – Mavericks GM
    Bryan Colangelo – Suns GM
    Jerry West – I will excuse the Memphis era draft picks
    Kevin O’Connor – Jazz

    That’s just off the top of my head without really looking into it. Isiah is a good drafter, better than Ed Tapscott, but to call him the best drafter ever is just wild hyperbole. McGrady was a great pick, Camby, like previously mentioned, was obvious, Stoudamire was ok, and Lee was pretty good. Everyone else has been fair to middling at best.

    Think about the Spurs drafts – Tony Parker, late first round, Ginobili 2nd round. Just those two picks alone (ie. 2 integral pieces of a basketball dynasty) completely outweight anyone Isiah has ever picked. That they came so late in the draft makes it even more amazing. To be honest, no one Isiah has ever drafted has really smashed all expectations — McGrady was good but has he really been that great a player? David Lee is a very good role player, exactly who you should get in the late 1st round. Nate is plus/minus, Balkman is a very limited role player, and Mardy Collins is unplayable. Channing Frye is a disaster especially considering that most fans probably were hoping for Bynum, Danny Granger, or Gerald Green, all of whom clearly have more upside than Frye. Maybe the best value pick he’s made other than Lee is Trevor Ariza, and then he traded him. If he’s such an amazing drafter, where are our Gilbert Arenas, Manu Ginobili, Nick Van Exel, Carlos Boozer, or even Paul Millsap, Monta Ellis, Mehmet Okur, or Michael Redd — gems in the 2nd round that other teams have found? I know you can say this is all hindsight, but someone called “one of the best drafters ever” should have at least been responsible for unearthing _one_ true gem.

  90. sorry – just to expand on the previous

    Spurs picks have been mentioned.

    Mavericks – Don Nelson picked Nowitzki when no one else thought he could play, and got him Tractor Traylor of all people. They also picked Josh Howard at #29.

    Bryan Colangelo picked Amare Stoudemire way earlier than anyone else would have. He gets extra points for hiring D’Antoni, signing Nash, trading for Diaw and Barbosa, and I believe he picked Shawn Marion as well.

    Jerry West – ’nuff said. Kobe for Vlade Divac has to be one of the best (and balls-iest) trades made given high school players were not a norm back then.

  91. “McGrady was good but has he really been that great a player?”

    Well, yes. And at #8.

    “David Lee is a very good role player,”

    c’mon… haven’t we been through this before?

    “Nate is plus/minus,”


    “Balkman is a very limited role player,”

    In the limited minutes of his career he looks like he’s already an above-average NBA starter – terrific defender, limited but efficient on offense and the best rebounder of any small forward in the league. But I’ll shut up until we get a coach smart enough to put him on the floor.

    “Mardy Collins is unplayable.”

    True dat – and bust was all over him from the start.

    “Channing Frye is a disaster especially considering that most fans probably were hoping for Bynum, Danny Granger, or Gerald Green”

    Yeah, Frye was a bad pick but defensible at the time. Bynum… I mean, a month before the draft, he hadn’t even declared… a week before, he was pegged for the 20s. #8 looked like a stretch… Much credit to the Laker dudes, but I don’t remember a lot of people calling for Bynum over Frye.

    As for other picks… don’t forget Marcus Camby. A lot of GMs blow the layups – he didn’t.

    “Jerry West – I will excuse the Memphis era draft picks.”

    Why? He didn’t pick a decent player for four years… that doesn’t count? Hey, I like Jerry West, but a lot of the draft analysis here is kind of silly – no one in the league has a perfect record, but everyone points to that one example here or there… they coulda had Amare Stoudemire! or Shawn Marion!

    For my money, Bryan Colangelo and RC Buford have the most consistent records… picking up good players late, that no one else was looking at.

    Even then… how could they take Ian Mahinmi! Or Beno Udrih! Didn’t they know they coulda had Varejao or Chris Duhon or Trevor ARiza?!

    Or look at 2003… O’Connor took Sasha Pavlovic and Colangelo took Zarko Caparbarka… ahead of David West, Boris Diaw, Travis Outlaw, Josh Howard, Leandro Barbosa, Kendrick Perkins, Mo Williams, Zaza Pachulia, Luke Walton and Jason Kapono.

    O’Connor also has Pavel Podkolzin and Ryan Humphrey on the resume.

    You can always cherry pick bad examples – Isiah’s draft record holds up pretty well. (But it’s not like he’s irreplaceable either – we could find someone else to handle the lottery pick)

  92. p.s. re-reading all those draft histories, is a reminder that young players – high-schoolers, freshmen, etc. – have been a great investment over the years. Basketball talent is a lot easier to spot than, say, baseball talent.

    Unless you’re a contender, looking to fill a role… I think you’re always better off with the high-risk, high-reward player — the young guys.

    That’s one reason I like the Wilson Chandler pick. Don’t know that he’ll be a superstar, but when the numbers-crunchers looked at his college career, they had him in the 10-15 range… and he looked good over the summer. So I think he’ll be excellent value at #23.

    YOu can also see how international players have been undervalued… almost all the stars picked in the 20s came from overseas, and on a lower tier, guys like Anthony Parker.

    It’s the Moneyball theory… you have to stay ahead of the curve. West did with Kobe, Isiah did with McGrady. Eventually the rest of the league figures it out… but the smart GMs shift their sights overseas, for value.

    What do you think is the next undervalued frontier? I nominate China, or college seniors.

  93. “To be honest, no one Isiah has ever drafted has really smashed all expectations ? McGrady was good but has he really been that great a player?”

    He’s almost guaranteed a spot in the hall of fame even with his shortcomings in the playoffs.

  94. Before people start a new round of Artest rade talk, this from ESPN and SI.com:

    Advance scouts chart every play call of their opponents. They see the team’s hand signal, and then they know where everyone should go. And then they watch. Sometimes what they see is that some players are breaking plays. Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated: “‘When Theus calls the play and it isn’t for [Ron] Artest, he’s so reluctant to let them get into a play he’s not involved with,” said an NBA advance scout who has been studying Artest recently. ‘He’ll be running down the floor and he should go through to the opposite corner, but instead he’ll turn and post up. He might be open and he definitely is good enough that he can be effective in a quick post-up, but that’s not the play. I can’t tell you how many times that happened. He is playing like a very selfish player right now. Maybe he doesn’t like the team, or he doesn’t think the team is good and so he has to put up numbers to make up for it. I knew he was a time bomb in the past, but I always respected his game. But he has gone down a notch or two because of the selfish attitude.'”

  95. He is playing like a very selfish player right now. Maybe he doesn?t like the team, or he doesn?t think the team is good and so he has to put up numbers to make up for it. I knew he was a time bomb in the past, but I always respected his game. But he has gone down a notch or two because of the selfish attitude.

    Sounds like a perfect fit for our Knicks. I’m sure Isiah’s on the phone right now offering David Lee and next year’s lottery pick.

  96. you think Tracy McGrady’s making the hall of fame? He’s Vince Carter (in fact they’re cousins, arent’ they?) Is VC making the hall of fame? if so, they need to stop putting every schmoe who can score 25 ppg in the Hall. I like McGrady but he’s no hall of famer.

    ?David Lee is a very good role player,?

    c?mon? haven?t we been through this before?

    For all his statistics I have yet to see anything from David Lee that defines him as anything more than a good role player. Remember, your same stats have projected Mike Sweetney, Stromile Swift, and others into great players and clearly they are not. He’s a limited player that might not even be as good as Reggie Evans, except he is a much better free throw shooter. So to call that a “great” pick might be a stretch.

    ?Nate is plus/minus,?

    plus minus meaning not great not bad.

  97. You know why you fire Isiah? Because, unbelievable as it might seem, he still has the power to make things worse.”

    I couldn’t agree more. That we even have to worry he might trade a good player for Artest, a guy for whom there is NO trade market… it’s like we have to stay awake all night because we’re living with a madman with his finger on the button (to mix metaphors). Who needs the aggravation?

    And Frank, no one’s projecting” David Lee to be an excellent player, we’re pointing out that he already is an excellent player, the best player on the team (granted, being the best player on the Knicks might not be something to write home about).

    A Sweetney comparison is unfair because:
    a) DL is a much better player than Sweets ever was
    b) It was pretty weird that Sweetney fell off the map; there’s no reason to think DL will get worse.
    c) there was a reason Sweets got worse – he was incredibly fat and even when he was at his skinniest he couldn’t play enough D to stay on the floor

    Don’t know where you came up with Stromile Swift…

    As for Tracy McGrady, I don’t know if he’s in the hall of fame but he’s been a lot better than Vince Carter. He’s not a great 3-point shooter and is only an average defender but he’s carried a bunch of 50+ win teams.

  98. “you think Tracy McGrady?s making the hall of fame? He?s Vince Carter (in fact they?re cousins, arent? they?) Is VC making the hall of fame? if so, they need to stop putting every schmoe who can score 25 ppg in the Hall. I like McGrady but he?s no hall of famer.”

    Here is how I look at it: There are zero hall of fame eligible players who have made 6 all-NBA teams and not made the HOF. McGrady is at 6 right now, and will likely make one or two more before he retires. Love him or hate him, he is likely going to end up there. The same goes for Iverson.

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