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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#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.

Welcome to the Mecca

By: Will Stevenson

Sports. It’s a trying time in the sports arena these days as the NFL season has ended, the NBA hasn’t reached the all-star break, and… That’s about it. It’s not as if there aren’t interesting sports stories out there to generate decent conversation, it’s the sports athlete that has been watered down. We as a sports society have become bored with the talk of the Warriors on-court play, the passing of LeBron James or even… well that’s about it.

The NBA has had quite the year so far as the New York Knicks have basically dominated the tabloids with their Knick behavior. Draymond Green called Dolan’s behavior as, “slave mentality”. I love Draymond Green; he’s never afraid to drop a bomb in the middle of the pool and watch others squirm to swim around it. The word “slave” sends chills down the backs of most of this country, mainly because of untapped guilty and a total lack of understanding of what slavery was. When others compare slavery to modern-day basketball, everyone usually shuts it down. We as a nation learned slavery from Roots, which was in fact a fabricated story with an insufficient storyline. Many schools have stricken the word from the curriculum, replacing it with other words that aren’t so toxic to our youth.

Holy Bleep I thought this was about sports.

While listening to the Dan Lebatard Show with Stugotz last week, Dan repeatedly spoke about his surprise that Oakley was being defended everywhere, while Dolan was being crushed in the media, and with the fans. I thought about that concept: A large black man gets into it with security, gets removed from a game, and is still innocent on the majority. I’m sure Dolan thought as many in his position did, thinking he could say whatever he wanted about Oakley, and the public would have to side with Dolan, because he is rich and has the power. Dolan forgot one thing: The Black Code.

The Black Code is real. You may hear about it with “street cred” or “keeping it real” and think of “Chappelle’s Show” back in the day, but where I’m from, your name and deeds carry weight. The way you are is respected by others, even if you are a person that may slap a few people here and there. Oakley is a respected man in his community, and in the basketball community. Oakley is similar to the assassin in a movie that garners respect from his adversaries and community, even though he’s an assassin. Once your stature as a man or woman is notarized by the black community, there usually isn’t anything to take that luster off. I said usually.

None of the claims from Dolan made sense when applied to Oakley: From the drinking, the whispering, to the antagonizing. As soon as the press release came, literally while Oakley was still in the building, the world of Oakley descended upon Dolan. Dolan looked to point out the, “Angry Black Man”, “Out of Control Black Man”, and the “Alcoholic Black Man” all in one press release. To make matters worse, Sunday’s game against the Spurs was, “Look at the former Negros by my side” for Dolan. It was a complete bleep show as former Knicks were brought in for a dog and pony show as if to say, “Look at these Knicks, they like me, they’re not like Oakley”. It was an utter embarrassment as former Knicks were used for Dolan’s PR show that fell flat on its face.

Welcome to the Mecca.

Conference on the Rise?

By: Lawrence Edwards

The Eastern NBA conference has been viewed as being the weakest link in the league for some time now. It has basically been LeBron’s playground for the last few years, with the Celtics spoiling his efforts a couple of times in between. Let’s face it; the western conference has been much more competitive amongst each other, than the East has, especially in the playoffs. But I truly believe that is all coming to an end soon.  In the 2016-2017 season I think we’ll see a revitalized competitiveness coming out of the eastern conference.

 

Last season the 8 teams from the eastern conference had a combined record of 394 – 262 compared to the west record of 417 – 239. The east was only 23 games behind the west, but with a good portion of that gap coming from GSW NBA record 73 wins. Over the course of the off-season so far we have seen some major changes in the eastern conference. The Indiana Pacers have been extremely busy adding, quality players in Al Jefferson, Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young. PG13 and the Pacers are looking to supplant the Cavs as the #1 team in the east this season and I believe they actually have a legitimate shot at doing that. Paul George has always brought his best, especially against LeBron, look for some sparks in this match up.

 

We also can’t forget about the moves that Chicago, New York and Boston have made. Celtics got a much needed big presence in the front court with the addition of Al Horford. Horford is truly one the few complete bigs in the NBA. He gives you scoring and rim protection down low. Last year the Celtics and the Hawks were two of the best defensive teams in the NBA and with Celtics getting the 6’10 defensive anchor from Atlanta, Boston could easily be the best defensive team in the league this season and get to at least 53 wins.

The Chicago Bulls barely missed the playoffs last year, (their record would’ve gotten them at least the 8th seed in the west last season) getting edged out by Detroit by two games. Gone are the days of the Bulls once golden child Derrick Rose. Chicago has a completely different look now. You have the new faces of Rondo, Wade and Robin Lopez there to try and get this team back to the postseason. Sure Rondo is like one of the most hated players in the league right now but you cannot deny the potential chemistry here. Rondo has always been a pass first point guard and has blessed us with some pretty sweet passes over the years. There is no reason to think Butler and Wade will not enjoy Rondo setting them up for easy looks on a nightly basis. Lopez is a young and upcoming center that should turn out to be a nice addition for Chicago and who has game that somewhat reminds me of his brother Brook. With two premier scoring options and a PG who passes the way he does, the Bulls will definitely find themselves in the post season this year.

The Knicks have been the butt of everyone’s jokes lately as the laughing stock of the NBA (Philadelphia has been just as bad if not worse but that’s another story) but something tells me they could be having a good laugh at all the doubters this season. We laughed and clowned when NY drafted KP but we all quickly ate our words once the sneakers were laced up. The point is the Knicks made some nice upgrades at key positions this off-season. Yes Derrick Rose can be considered damaged goods but he can still ball when he is on the court healthy and the addition of Brandon Jennings and Courtney Lee are two underrated signings that give the Knicks more scoring options off the bench as well as some nice rim protection with the addition of Joakim Noah.

You add all that up with fact that Toronto, Charlotte and Detroit will be looking to improve on their respective seasons then, we have the potential to see some real fireworks in the east this season. I have reason to believe that LeBron and the Cavs will not be sweeping anyone in the playoffs this season even if they go all the way to the finals again. The western conference should also watch its back. The east is tired of being viewed as weak and it’s putting a change to all that as we speak.

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New York Knicks Welcome Derrick Rose

derrick-rose

By Tony Farina

All the New York Knicks do is over pay for players.  The Knicks had another disappointing season which led to another Knicks fans once again had a long year and the second straight for coach Phil Jackson.  They got a big break drafting Porzingis but the rest of the team needs work.

So fast forward to Wednesday, the Knicks took a minimal risk by trading for the oft-injured Derrick Rose and basically giving up nothing in return.  Rose has been dealing with injuries for the last three seasons including two knee surgeries where he missed most of the previous 2 of 3 seasons.

Phil Jackson knows the Knicks fans are impatient and so he is trying to bring in Rose at as a low risk, high reward player.  If Rose can stay healthy, with Carmelo and Prozingis being in his second season, the Knicks in the east can make some noise.

The East is very weak and the Knicks, if Rose can stay healthy, and that’s the key, will have the point guard they need to compete.  That being said,  the Knicks fans, still with Anthony, Pozingis and Rose int he picture, and the East being so bad an go from a disastrous 2015 season with one thing on their minds, the Playoffs.