Welcome to Summer: Where “Stick to Sports” has no place to hide.

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By Will Stevenson

Oh Summer, why doth thou forsake thee? If I were into baseball as I once was, then the sports calendar wouldn’t be a bottomless pit full of coach talk hypothetical lists. What I have noticed during the “off-season” is sports fans grasp for anything to talk about, and when the major sports aren’t on television, their true colors come raining down. Opinions, or reactions have used to be marred back in the day before social media. Even if your co-worker told you Wilt Chamberlain is the greatest player of all-time, you may counter with Bill Russell, and then that would be the end of it. Now, that conversation can and will be had around a million times a day, every day. The comment section has become America’s fine dining establishment where anyone can go to be heard. Never mind the fact there are hired commentators for every website and Facebook as well. Nevertheless, we are drawn to any story that can give us substance, and if it doesn’t have any, we will hypothetically make something interesting out of it.

The summer months will now be known for domestic violence allegations, NBA Free Agency, NFL Minicamps, draft stock, front office movement and League posturing for the upcoming seasons. The News Cycle comes and goes so quickly, it is hard to keep up with what is new news, and what is old news. Remember the OJ Simpson coverage? Ezekiel Elliott? The continuous Kyrie and Melo trade rumors. Remember when Phil Jackson left the Knicks? How about the Mayweather/McGregor pre-fight world tour? Lavar Ball? Almost every one of these stories has been covered in the past month or two, or even a few weeks ago, but now they are old news. The current media conversation revolves around Colin Kaepernick, Josh Rosen, NBA trade rumors and the obligatory “Top ‘insert number’ list” for the sports we love.

The ‘off-season’ sports cycle brings about something different inside the sports fan: Real Feelings. Each topic in the above paragraph brings out conversations that most are not comfortable with in an open forum. All you have to do is click on a Colin Kaepernick link to see what America thinks as a whole on the topic. No longer are “X’s and O’s” the end all be all to our sports allegiances. During the season we will all watch the Redzone Channel, pregame shows, follow fantasy leagues and forget all about what Ray Lewis and Shannon Sharpe were debating because there is now a box score to look at. During the summer months, there is no place for “Stick to Sports” to hide. Honestly, there are other things we could pay attention to, but what fun would that be? I don’t mind a conversation on any of these topics, nor do I mind to read up on the many debates of my fellow Bookers and Tweeters. I have one question: Are we evolving through these topics, or do we just want to be right? I always wonder what the agenda is of a post about Lavar Ball, or a “Kaepernick is not being blackballed” thread. I wonder if people even care what is going on, or is there only goal to ruffle feathers, and are they being paid to do it? From what I have witnessed, more people have equipped themselves with knowledge on these topics, while others continue to say the same old ignorance.

Not only have the commentators been open to the non-sports topics, the media has jumped into the pot as well. No longer do fans have to sit around and wonder if the people they see on camera feel the same way they feel. More and more commentators are freely putting their stamp on their message about topics that go on outside the realms of actual game-play. I enjoy it, even Will Cain. There can’t be a Ray Lewis without a Shannon Sharpe. There can’t be a Will Cain without a Bomani Jones. For my selfish reasons, I want all the opinions to be out there, running rampant as closeted PCers race to find a boring monologue to post in response.

It is weird how the sports world is portrayed against the entertainment world. Many of us are old enough to remember Beavis & Butthead, SouthPark and StickDeath.com, but somehow a player flipping a bat after a homerun, or a player high-stepping into the endzone is cause for uproar. More people are tuning in to politics, but do not want politics near their sports.

Maybe it will never change. Maybe those who post things will never concede to racism in sports, college athletics being a non-competitive industry, or the need to treat athletes as humans like us. Maybe people still believe marijuana should never be used, but Oxycontin is just fine. Who knows. All I know is I love the summer months, because Stick to Sports has no place to hide.

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Knicks Summer ’17: The Longest New York Minute Ever.

carmeloamareBy: Will Stevenson

“The Knicks are Tristan Thompson, and Scott Perry is Khloe Kardashian.”
… “it looks as if Scott Perry is Lane Kiffin’ing his way through the NBA management hierarchy.”

The New York Knicks have been abysmal by every stretch of the imagination for more than a decade. They went from a franchise that was neck and neck with he Chicago Bulls of the 90s, to a team that has done nothing but suffer through coaches, players and upper management since their loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the finals of the ’99 lockout season. The New York Franchise has been waiting for that one star, or stars to save them from their demise on the court, and have been searching for the right front office moves to rescue them from the incompetence of their owner, Jim Dolan. For the fanbase of the Knicks, they have been conditioned to look towards the future, and once that future arrives, they again condition themselves to look towards the future again.

So here we are, the Summer of ’17, and the Knicks have done it again. After another season of consistent disappointment and landing in the lottery, the Knicks had a golden, well golden’ish opportunity to actually get it right. Spoiler Alert: They didn’t.

  1. Get rid of Phil Jackson as soon as the season ended
  2. Trade Melo
  3. Don’t shell out money for Derrick Rose
  4. Trade up in the lottery, or draft a future point guard
  5. Do not sign any free agents that will clog up salary cap space
  6. Look for a veteran point guard on the free agent market
  7. Do not move any future first round picks
  8. Re-establish front office mindset towards building the future

Get rid of Phil Jackson:

The Knicks did part ways with Phil Jackson, but they waited until Phil had his turn in taking down the Knicks one last time. Not only did he devalue Carmelo once again, he put Kristaps Porzingis on the trade block right before the draft. He allegedly fell asleep during draft workouts, and continued to drill the notion of the Triangle as the offense for the upcoming season. The Knicks did part ways with Phil Jackson, but not before he was able to draft Ntilikina as an 18 year project instead of Dennis Smith Jr who has caught the eye of every GM during Summer League. The Knicks did part ways with Phil Jackson, but not before he was able to opt in for the final two years of his deal. Just a reminder: The Knicks did part ways with Phil Jackson.

Trade Melo

Melo is older, less explosive and still the focal point of the Knicks offense. Some want him to go, while others want him to stay. The Knicks brass has been trying to get rid of Melo for almost three years now, but nothing has come to fruition. You may notice Anthony has a NTC (no trade clause), given to him during his extension he signed. So, the Knicks decided to resign him, knowing he was aging, give him a NTC while knowing they wanted to get rid of him: Got it. The rumor mill has had Melo going to the Rockets for about a week now, but nobody wants Ryan Anderson. This is very similar to nobody wanting Kevin Love around draft night: See something similar here? None of these teams want an aging stretch-four that cannot guard his position, or any other positions to say the least. As of now it is Saturday, July 15th, and the Knicks have pulled back on their fervor to trade Melo. Go Knicks.

Don’t Shell Out Money For Derrick Rose

They didn’t, but they have done some Knickery in Free Agency.

Trade up in the lottery, or draft a future point guard

The Knicks could have traded up, but that would have cost them Prozingis or Hernangomez, to big men that have blossomed last season. The draft went as expected, but there were players on the board that seemed to give the Knicks a more immediate boost than Frank Ntilikina, notably Dennis Smith Jr. Look, we booed Phil when he drafted Porzingis, and even though he lucked into that decision, it has turned for the better. Maybe, just maybe this draft choice will be the same, in the future.

Do not sign any free agents that will clog up salary cap space

They almost made it, almost. We watched the Kings shell out money for veterans, the Knicks held tight. We watched the Nuggets and Clippers make sign and trades for 28 and over players, the Knicks held tight. We watched the Nets sign restricted free agents so other teams would bite, the Knicks held tight. We watched the Miami Heat resign their own free agents to multi-year deals, the Knicks held tight. Even as the Knicks did not have a President of Operations during Free Agency, nor could they wash their front office for David Griffin to bring in his own guys, the Knicks the did not do any Knickery as they did last offseason. The Knicks signed Tim Hardaway Jr. to a 4yr 71 million offer sheet. A player they once drafted, then traded, then traded the guy they traded for him. That’s right, Knickery. They didn’t shell out money for Derrick Rose, they didn’t give long-term deals to JJ Reddick, Shabazz Muhammed, Gallinari, or make another Noah deal. The Knicks were doing it right for a week at the least. As usual, it did not last long. The Hawks did not match, of course, and now the Knicks are back to Knickery, again.

Look for a veteran point guard on the free agent market

They didn’t. They resigned Ron Baker.

Do not move any future first round picks

They haven’t, yet. There is still time with this possible Melo trade, or if they want to get rid of the Noah contract, or the Courtney Lee contract.

Re-establish front office mindset towards building the future

The Knicks are Tristan Thompson, and Scott Perry is Khloe Kardashian. Not only was Scott Perry part of the Sacramento Kings, he was only there for a few months. He was with the Orlando Magic before he joined the Kings. Perry goes from the Magic, a lottery team in disarray, to the Kings, a lottery team in disarray, to the Knicks, a lottery team in disarray. We already know the things that you can’t turn into a housewife, and it looks as if Scott Perry is Lane Kiffin’ing his way through the NBA management hierarchy. Now that Perry has arrived, the Melo trade talks have been put on pause, but that’s because Perry has a great track record of getting deals done. For the culture, Perry will report to Steve Mills who is in charge of the Tim Hardaway Jr. signing, so don’t anything to change.

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NBA Offseason 2017 – Eastern Conference: It’s going to be a while.

NBA-Eastern-ConferencePLAYOFF TEAMS

Boston Celtics
Cleveland Cavaliers
Toronto Raptors
Washington Wizards
Atlanta Hawks
Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers
Chicago Bulls

LOTTERY TEAMS

Miami Heat
Detroit Pistons
Charlotte Hornets
New York Knicks
Orlando Magic
Brooklyn Nets
Philadelphia 76ers

Listed above are last season’s Eastern Conference playoff teams and the lottery teams that did not make the playoffs. If you have been paying attention to this year’s offseason moves, you’d notice that none of these teams has made a move to improve upon last year’s team. It’s only Day 3, I get it, but if any of these teams are looking to challenge the Warriors, and to a lesser extent the Cavaliers, then Top-Tier talent is needed to finally keep us interested. To no fault of their own, other than the Celtics, some of these East teams had All-Stars that were coming up on free agency. If we’ve learned anything from Lebron James leaving in 2010, a team cannot let th at prize walk away for nothing, even if it means becoming irrelevant for the next couple of years. But who would’ve thought those East All-Stars would be going West, and two of them would be traded to the West?

Look at those Markets!

As the “destination market” has dwindled over the past decade, more and more players are going to where the players are, not where the destination is, excluding the Miami Heat of 2010, and even then there was a sense of organizational structure. While Lebron was going back and forth between Cleveland and Miami, and then back to Cleveland, many of these East teams hovered around relevance, racking up on awful free agent signing, rookie extensions and Front Office mularkey. Anybody looking to play in Detroit, Philly, Charlotte, Orlando or Brooklyn? Pew. Even places like Toronto, Atlanta and Indiana aren’t even destinations, although the local fanbases of said teams are committed.

Front Office Turntables

As most NBA fans know, the best way to build is through the draft, developing those players on cheap contracts and then extending them so they don’t leave via free agency. As we look at these lottery teams, many of them have traded away their assets, or haven’t built up any equity in the player development category. With coaches and general managers switching teams like an Eyes Wide Shut reboot, the talent and front office both seem ordinary due to unrest in each organization. The Pistons once looked like they would climb up the East standings, but with little cap room, a Josh Smith signing that was a complete disaster, injuries, and players such as Andre Drummond and Stanley Johnson plateauing in today’s “Pace and Space” NBA. With Stan Van Gundy as coach and president, the Pistons are already pressing luxury-tax land and haven’t even signed Kentavious-Caldwell Pope yet and have used up most of their Mid-Level Exception (no apologies for the nerd talk). The Orlando Magic are in reboot mode, again. Who would’ve thought Victor Oladipo and Domantis Sabonis, both drafted by the Magic and traded to the Thunder would net Paul George? So the same two players that brought in Serge Ibaka, also brought back Paul George for the Thunder? Then they traded Ibaka to the Raptors for Terrence Ross and a draft pick that was then traded to the 76ers for a future pick? No wonder the Magic are bad at this. The Magic are on another coach, another GM, and another lottery season with free agent money wrapped up in guys that are borderline starters. The Charlotte Hornets are in the predicament the Magic are looking at now: Having to extend average/roll players, while not having enough money to sign a free agent. The most the Hornets could net is a player the caliber of Nicolas Batum, which even in the East is not consistently good enough. They have the coach, an All-Star caliber player, and even in the East it’s good enough to make the playoffs every so often, but not enough to acquire more than a Dwight Howard. The Brooklyn Nets have become the Sacramento Kings of the East: A terribly run team with cap space, but only enough to get restricted free agents paid for other teams. The Knicks are, the Knicks. I’ve done enough with the Knicks this year. Even the Pacers and Hawks have let go of their contending days. Those two teams, along with the Bulls have made some questionable front office moves that have pushed away their All-Star players. So that leaves the Miami Heat and the 76ers, two teams that have revamped their image in less than a year. The 76ers now have Jerry Colangelo at the helm, and the Heat of course have Riley, so both, even in losing have the cache to bring in a free agent or two. The 76ers have drafted high, it’s the drafted well part that is yet to be seen. The Heat have made lemonade out of fallen rain: Developing 2nd round talent, D-League talent, and fringe players on one year deals.

Some Teams said, “No more”

We’ve all watched Lebron and company go to the Finals every single year. While it’s been a constant, it’s more impressive for all the teams that have given up chase in his pursuit of greatness. We watched the last piece of Chicago go to Minnesota, Paul George is in Oklahoma City, leaving Lance Stephenson in command, and Atlanta is turning into the pre-Joe Johnson era (Shoutout to Josh Childress and Salim Stoudemire). That’s three playoff teams seemingly falling into rebuilding mode, while having All-Star talent under contract just a week ago. While those have given up, the Raptors have dug in deeper this offseason. They brought back both Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, even though neither showed face in the playoffs, and their offensive philosophy once again mimicked the 1990s. Unlike the Raptors, the Bucks and Wizards are a bit younger at their core positions, but like the Raptors, don’t have enough cap space to sign anybody knew of importance. That leaves the Celtics, a winning team, with draft picks and cap space.

The Celtics are in a horrible game of double-dutch

The Celtics are a NBA 2k17 match made in heaven. Like the Trailblazers of 2015, they over-achieved to skyrocket to the top of the East. Not only were they a one seed, they also capture the first pick in the 2017 draft via the Nets, and all was well with the Boston world. Funny thing happened, Isaiah Thomas got injured, they lost to the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals, and everybody forgot about the Celtics prowess. Let’s just go in order. Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley are free agents in 2018, and Boston has the first pick of the draft which happens to have 2! point guards. They take neither, trade down for more assets, and take Jason Tatum, OK! (in my best “Story of OJ” voice). Jimmy Butler is available, and sources say the price is too high, but he goes to Minnesota for a pick swap, Kris Dunn and an injured-extension ready Zach Lavine: OK! Paul George was available, and sources say the price was to high, but he went to OKC for Oladipo and Sabonis plus no picks: OK! Now, planning for the future is fine by me, especially in the NBA when you’re only an injury or free agent departure from moving up the rankings. The Celtics have Cavalier potential, (I’m stretching, but there’s nobody else to compare them to) with the 76ers draft stock and cap space to boot. I really hope they don’t screw this up, but if Gordon Hayward does not sign, the Celtics fanbase will watch the same team next year while they compete and rebuild on the fly.

What is next for the East?

So the East is filling with young talent, mid-level players with big/un-tradeable contracts, and destinations in which no player wants to go, other than Miami and Boston. So what can they do? For now, nothing because they can’t. They’ve already invested into their rosters, as well as their coaching staff, and with the on-court game changing, they have to roll with what they have, or attach a future 1st rounder a contract and ship that player way. These East teams must rely on player development, draft picks and consistency in the front office as well as their coaching staffs. Injuries, player surges, coaching vacancies, and player busts happen all the time in the NBA, but for the near future, the East must become precise in their efforts to regain relevancy.

NBA Free Agency 2017: So your team acquired an All-Star, I thought you hated that sort of thing.

nba-free-agency-692x360By: Will Stevenson

I would first like to start off by saying I’m sorry. I must give my most sincere apologies to the Golden State Warriors for their formation of a “SuperTeam”. I thought their swift dominance of the Regular Season and Playoffs was a terrible thing for the league, rendering all other teams useless and unwatchable. Even with the Salary Cap higher over the past few years than before, I figured most teams would stand pat and look to get younger and wait out the Warriors dominance, especially when we figured Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant would resign. I figured there was no reason to add minor pieces, knowing the end result would be a loss to the Warriors in 5 games, or 4 if you’re lucky. In my mind, I thought the Spurs would make a run for CP3, the Celtics would make a run for Jimmy Butler, Paul George, and/or Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap would sign to an irrelevant team, and Blake Griffin would take the Clippers money. Well, I was wrong. We all were wrong, and we should all apologize to the Warriors.

So: A Show of hands of all those still mad about SuperTeams? I’ll wait…

The Warriors brought something out of the rest of the GMs and owners that I thought was not possible in this day and age. We see it with players, as they don’t want to tank the season, and even win games late in the season when they should be losing. With these Front Offices, they saw the opportunity to not be embarrassed and looked as a bunch of stepping-stones by the Golden State Warriors. I always thought the luxury tax penalties and the thought of renting high-quality talent would scare off teams from going for the title, especially when a team like the Warriors would be standing in the way. I was wrong, once again. The Rockets, Timberwolves, Nuggets, Thunder are a few teams that will not go into next year begging fans to watch the same old product, but rather re-energizing their fanbase with new additions. Other teams, such as the Atlanta Hawks, who have lost two all-stars the last two years via free agency, are rebuilding on the run. We haven’t seen the Celtics make a move of any significance as of yet, and with the talent and money pool beginning to dry up, it seems as though a few Eastern Conference teams, and the Spurs may be running out of 2nd tier options (It’s 5:41pm on Monday, Gordon Hayward has yet to make a decision).

Without the Warriors running through the NBA, maybe the Rockets, Wolves, and Thunder don’t have the opportunity to make those moves. Maybe those Eastern Conference teams decide to hold on for one more year to fall to Lebron and company again. But with the rush to either get something for an All-Star, or watch him leave for free in the offseason so apparent, teams decided to sell to teams who were looking to buy.

As it stands, the Lakers, Kings, and Suns look to be in rebuilding mode while the rest of the Western Conference has launched itself into contention for NBA relevancy. I would count the Trailblazers, but they were struck by last year’s free agency-salary cap-spike swindelage. When it looked like the Warriors would yet again cruise to another title ad water-down the league, they actually built the league back up in a watchable sense. Next year’s Christmas Day games should be one to watch. Those Saturday and Sunday showcase games will be all the rage, and even the TNT games will be worth the watch. The Eastern Conference won’t be much to scream about, with the Raptors doing what the Raptors said they wouldn’t do, the Wizards being capped out, and the Celtics still trying to re-create the Celtics-Nets trade from years ago.

The teams are more marketable, more exciting, and aren’t conceding to the Warriors as champions next season. I like it this way, and whether we like it or not, acquiring all-stars isn’t so bad after all.

Now would anyone else like to join me in this apology? There’s room for many more, all are welcome.

 

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Serena Williams and Tennis: It’s Summer, So Que the Dumb Sports Hypotheticals

Serena-WilliamsBy William Stevenson

Here is legend John McEnroe commenting on how Serena Williams would fair on the men’s tennis circuit: “But Seriously,” McEnroe qualified her greatness by telling NPR that if Serena played on the men’s circuit she’d be “like No. 700 in the world.”

“That doesn’t mean I don’t think Serena is an incredible player. I do, but the reality of what would happen on a given day is Serena could beat some players, I believe, because she is so incredibly strong mentally,” McEnroe said. (per ESPN.com)

With the NBA in-between the draft and free agency, the NFL gearing up for training camps, MLB rolling into their All-Star Break, and the NHL crowning their champions, the sports world is dying for something to talk about during the summer-dreaded-force-a-topic-months.

Can women consistently compete with men?

WHO CARES!

We do this often, in which we make something a standard, then anything that is a subset of said group-standard can never be the equivalent when it comes to the standard. We did this with Pat Summit every single season she took the Vols to another title. We attempt to compare Alabama to the Cleveland Browns whenever we want to laugh at how bad the Browns are. We have these certain standards set, and then everything else other than the standard is not as important.

Why do we want women and men to compete in the same sporting structures? What is it about being Number 1 that keeps us scratching and clawing for each other. Like most things in this world, the more you ask society for respect, the less they give you.

Could Serena Williams compete on the Men’s Tour? I don’t know, but who cares? I can’t happen, it won’t happen, so what’s the point of happen semi-pc filled conversations about the topic. What’s the end game Spence? What accolades or confidence boost comes from this hypothetical question? The puzzling thing about it all is the fact that if Serena were to play the #60 ranked male tennis player and lose, we would say, “She’s not as good as we thought.”  News-flash: She is great. No qualifiers. No if’s. No maybe’s. No “in a vacuum”. Serena Williams is great. Why does her greatness have to be validated by men? Why, because that’s the way we work in the sports world. Hell, we can’t even say Lebron is great without qualifying it with Jordan or Kobe talk. An NBA player can’t just be a good player, he must be the “Best shooter”, or “he’s not the Best player, but he is the Best Scorer in the league after the All-Star Break before June 7th and only on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays between 6pm and 10pm and that’s solely based on PER 36 minutes, not PER 48 minutes and that is compared by 100 possessions with this starting 5 on a plus/minus average of +5 against Western Conference opponents at home: And only if the team is wearing away jerseys at home.” You see what I mean?

Everything is up for validation these days. If she couldn’t be the 700th ranked player, who cares? Why are we even asking this question to a former legend who doesn’t think anyone could be him anyways? Stop the mess. You can crush McEnroe if you want, or the interviewer, or the person who came up with the question and even the editor. Serena Williams has been, was, is, and will be great. Competition does something to us, we all somehow want to know who is the “best” of all time. Serena is, no matter if you file her under Tennis, or Women’s Tennis.

 

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NBA Hypocrisy 101: Fanbases scoffed at the Warriors and their Superteam, now they’re trying to be like them.

By Will Stevenson

I thought the NBA season was over with once the Golden State Warriors finally defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1: Little did we know the NBA Offseason had just begun. With the formation of the Warriors through last offseason’s free agency, they blitzed through the regular season and through the playoffs only losing 1 game to the Cavaliers in the Finals. The talk of the sports world was evident, although the we hate the reality of Superteams in theory, we could not hate enough to not tune in to what they were accomplishing. We were all a witness to the dismantling of the Cavaliers in Game 1 and 2, and even when they seems to “struggle” in Games 3 and 4, they still were able to keep the pressure on in route to another championship. So what do we want as fans? Do we hate the Warriors enough to just give up and let them have their way the next few years, or do we clamor for our perspective teams to ante up to take them down? We as fans and they as athletes aren’t hypocrites are we?

Yes. Yes we are. Yes they are. Funny how things seem to work themselves out once you seem what happens when a team dominates a season in which they acquire a top-5 player through free agency. The same fanbases that ridiculed the Warriors last offseason have now set their eyes on Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Chris Paul and others. I thought we were against “made up” teams? I thought these players didn’t have balls or whatever fortitude we’ve come up with the describe their lack of masculinity. It is wonderful to watch as fans, players, and organizations realize what is on the horizon: They can either wait and build, or go for it all and hope for some things to break their way. With the space and pace offense hitting its stride in the new NBA, teams are focusing on acquiring as much talent as possible with the salary cap inflation over the past two years. With a looming lockout on the horizon, teams want to get the players they want under the current salary cap model, as new extensions and the super-max approach.

We should be happy the Warriors won this year, and not last year. If the Warriors win last year, then maybe Durant doesn’t sign, even though signing Harrison Barnes to the max and making him the highest paid player on the Warriors wasn’t in the plans. If the Warriors win, then maybe Lebron doesn’t sign a 2 year contract and goes back to his 1 year with an opt out clause. If the Warriors win, then Lebron doesn’t have his championship while JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, Delly-Meat, and Mozgov are all on contracts that don’t put them in the 10-17 million a year range. If the Warriors win last year, then maybe this offseason teams are still going around added minor pieces, still think they can get away with an average roster.

What needed to happen happened, and the NBA will be better for it. Teams that we think to have a chance don’t have a chance the way they are constructed, so now they must push the envelope to acquire talent via trade. With offenses being more explosive, having three to four all-stars on one team won’t inhibit ball movement, especially if enough shots are being taken. For middle of the road and bottom feeder teams, now is the opportunity to fleece a contender into taking a potential 26-27 year old star off your hands. Teams like Philly (Noel to the Mavericks), Indiana (Paul George), Chicago (Butler), Brooklyn (Lopez), Suns (Bledsoe), Magic (Maybe Aaron Gordon), Knicks (Nevermind, I doesn’t matter), Lakers (Everybody), Clippers (Jordan), Thunder (Kanter) and the Pistons (Drummond) are all in to take future draft picks for guys who could make a difference on a contending team.

Hypocrites we were and hypocrites we are. We all scoffed at the notion of Superteams, but who’s trying to get a Superteam now? Enjoy.

#KnicksTape – Offseason Volume 1: Phil Jackson Could Use A Posse

By Will Stevenson

We’ve had fun clowning the Lakers and the Knicks over the past few seasons. I don’t regret to think we will still be able to make fun of the Knicks for much longer. With my previous blog, we went through the upwards hope of the Lakers. For the Knicks, well, not so much. Phil Jackson has been on a one-man rampage, even surpassing owner Jim Dolan’s stupidity during the season. Jackson has alienated his own players, front office, fans, and even free agents that won’t even consider the Knicks. Tuesday felt like the day before the trade deadline, as teams were lining up to make moves before the draft, because for some reason, the draft pick is more valuable that the actual draft pick. Until a few days ago, I didn’t even know who the Knicks’ General Manager was. Do you know? Phil has been trying to get rid of Carmelo since he arrived, but yet he signed off on Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, and Joakim Noah. Lee struggled, Noah is who we thought he was, and Rose regained his scoring prowess somewhat, but his assists were what we thought all along. Somehow, through being pitiful and injury-struck, the Knicks found Hernangomez at center, Justin Holliday as a shooter, Ron Baker as a hustle guard who can run an offense off the bench, and slummed their way to a decent lottery pick. The Knicks could go into free agency and the trade landscape with high hopes and cap money, but not Phil Jackson, he’d rather do it his own way.

I remember seeing the notification, “Knicks exploring trade options for Kristaps Porzingis.” At first I thought it was a joke, then I remember who ran the organization and thought, “Oh Phil”. Putting Porzingis is a move that puzzles everyone, especially if they are looking to bring back a star in return. I would try to make sense of this, but there is no way to make sense of it. Jackson is single-handedly Trumping the Knicks. He’s stealing the groundwork Dolan has laid down over the past decade. The Knicks could be looking at Chris Paul, Griffin, or maybe a sign and trade with Lowry or Paul Millsap, but they aren’t because the whole league knows Phil Jackson is about that Triangle Life.

Phil Jackson is what would happen to Lebron James if he were incompetent with his managerial skills. Jackson proclaimed that James and his business partners were not apt to function on the management side of the game, but it now looks as if Phil Jackson is the one who needs a posse. Jackson “left” the Lakers, Jeanie left, Magic doesn’t need him, the Knicks are terrible, it’s cold, Derek Fisher has become a lesser version of Dennis Rodman, and Steve Kerr is flourishing in Golden State with two NBA titles as head coach. I almost forgot Jeff Hornacek was the Head Coach, and Melo is still waiting on Jackson to leave the organization.

I thought the Kings and the Orlando Magic were the two organizations that were constantly doing things that never made sense. Now, Phil Jackson has arisen as the new shining magpie for the world to see.