Knicks Fanatics

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Our Little Big Man, Nate Robinson placed third in the voting for 6th Man Of The Year, well behind the winner Jason Terry, of Dallas, who won with 576 voting points. Despite the landslide loss, the recognition is significant for Robinson (who had two first place votes out of 121) as it is a continuation of his increased marketing stature in the league.  Each year he has been in the league, Robinson’s starlight has shined a little brighter despite efforts by the New York press to caricaturize him and minimize or trivialize his b-ball skills and acumen

Relative to how much the Knicks reeked this year, Robinson had a decent season and performed at a high level consistently.  His most notable difficulties during the year came right after the trade of his home-buddy, Jamal Crawford, and his towel-in-his-face-tossing friend, Zach Randolph.  Robinson actually started the year off with a good performance in the Las Vegas summer league where his jersey was retired and ceremoniously hung on the wall (until they took it down).  During the season Robinson averaged 17.2 points per game. He posted 4.2 assists and 3.9 rebounds per while averaging 30 minutes per game.  Nate Robinson ranked second in scoring among players who have come off the bench in at least half of their team’s games. He also tied Bob McAdoo’s franchise record for most points off the bench with 41 on Feb. 23.  Nate also led the team in scoring 19 times.

Press coverage of Nate’s recognition as a top sixth man was negligable.  Interestingly, it is not featured on the Knicks website.  Some may say that this is another sign that Dolan intends to let Robinson go to another team.  Yet, Robinson was featured with Gallinari as they appeared at the Garden together for a Rangers game which seems to be an annual post-season marketing responsibility for at least one Knick.  (Last year, I believe it was David Lee’s responsibility to shout-out MSG’s other product). Alan Hahn of Newsday devoted a blog post to the accomplishment, but could not help but reference the fight three years ago involving Nate Robinson and J.R. Smith.   Marc Berman did not mention Nate’s performance recognition, but did report in an earlier blog post that the Knicks were clearly looking to lose Robinson in favor of a cheaper playmaking guard, perhaps from Europe.    In the same post, he also noted that Nate was “shot happy,” which is odd since D’Antoni depended on him as the only player on the Knicks who could dictate the tempo and style of a game.  The Daily News did not mention it at all either.  At least the coverage was not as bad as when press members were blaming Nate for Gallinari’s lack of playing time and shooting opportunities instead of accpeting that the kids back was killing him and that all he ever did was stand on the perimeter initially swinging the ball and then later taking shots which he shorted before he found his range.

I’ve got to believe that Walsh will resign both Nate and Lee.  I know he wants to do it and resigning them does not mean they will be Knicks next year.  The combination of their new salaries and some of that salary cap room can set the Knicks up for a nice sign and trade if the right player is available.  (That could be Bosh, but he is not the right player.)  Nate should be easier to sign and keep because he would greatly benefit from remaining in the east coast market where he could make a pretty penny outside the inbounds lines.  Despite the tension between his emotional style and the false moral code of the New York press, Nate remains a crowd favorite and is wonderful with kids.  Nate is a marketing dream and if he gets on a winning New York team before he wears down his wheels, he can really capitalize on his uniqueness.  A Wheaties pic is not implausible.

Additionally, while D’Antoni has shown exasperation with Nate and they are looking for a new playmaking guard, that does not necessarily spell the demise of Nate.  Nate would thrive more than Duhon with a playmaker.  The Knicks know that they really need to replace Duhon and I expect D’Antoni wants to reduce Duhon’s control over his offense as soon as possible.  A Robinson-Rubio backcourt is far more palatable than a Rubio-Duhon backcourt in which the deliberate Duhon would be practically useless.




2008-09 NBA Sixth Man Award presented by Kia Motors Voting
Player, Team 1st 2nd 3rd Pts
Jason Terry, Dallas 111 6 3 576
J.R. Smith, Denver 3 36 32 155
Nate Robinson, New York 2 27 22 113
Lamar Odom, L.A. Lakers 2 17 17 78
Travis Outlaw, Portland 1 17 19 75
Manu Ginobili, San Antonio 1 3 3 17
Ronald Murray, Atlanta 1 2 5 16
Chris Andersen, Denver 3 4 13
Andrei Kirilenko, Utah 2 1 7
Corey Maggette, Golden State 2 1 6
Louis Williams, Philadelphia 1 3 6
Leandro Barbosa, Phoenix 1 3 6
Eddie House, Boston 1 2 5
Kirk Hinrich, Chicago 1 1 4
Jason Kapono, Toronto 1 3
James Posey, New Orleans 2 2
Trevor Ariza, L.A. Lakers 1 1
Michael Beasley, Miami 1 1
Hakeem Warrick, Memphis 1 1
Paul Millsap, Utah 1 1

All-time winners

1982-83 Bobby Jones, Philadelphia 76ers
1983-84 Kevin McHale, Boston Celtics
1984-85 Kevin McHale, Boston Celtics
1985-86 Bill Walton, Boston Celtics
1986-87 Ricky Pierce, Milwaukee Bucks
1987-88 Roy Tarpley, Dallas Mavericks
1988-89 Eddie Johnson, Phoenix Suns
1989-90 Ricky Pierce, Milwaukee Bucks
1990-91 Detlef Schrempf, Indiana Pacers
1991-92 Detlef Schrempf, Indiana Pacers
1992-93 Clifford Robinson, Portland Trail Blazers
1993-94 Dell Curry, Charlotte Hornets
1994-95 Anthony Mason, New York Knicks
1995-96 Toni Kukoc, Chicago Bulls
1996-97 John Starks, New York Knicks
1997-98 Danny Manning, Phoenix Suns
1998-99 Darrell Armstrong, Orlando Magic
1999-00 Rodney Rogers, Phoenix Suns
2000-01 Aaron McKie, Philadelphia 76ers
2001-02 Corliss Williamson, Detroit Pistons
2002-03 Bobby Jackson, Sacramento Kings
2003-04 Antawn Jamison, Dallas Mavericks
2004-05 Ben Gordon, Chicago Bulls
2005-06 Mike Miller, Memphis Grizzlies
2006-07 Leandro Barbosa, Phoenix Suns
2007-08 Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs
2008-09 Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks




April 25, 2009 - Posted by | Donnie Walsh, Mike D'Antoni, Nate Robinson |


  1. For the NBA Draftnatics (or Draftniks), I have updated the IGM Resource page with a number of NBA draft websites. There are many mock drafts out there with little consensus on the Knicks likely pick at the 8th spot.

    No one is really addressing the most important question which is “What type of team are the Knicks building?” The Knicks are too far back in the draft to build around a franchise player. They need to be clear on what type of team they are building and then find the pieces to fit.

    Unfortunately, we are stuck with this D’Antoni Offensive-focused team, which will set us back years. Right now, we don’t have the major functional pieces (save Nate Robinson and Wilson Chandler)for the traditional D’Antoni team. If that is true then what pieces do we need to build his type of team.

    Last year, the answer to that question led us away from Robin Lopez which is very unfortunate.

    This year the answer to that question should lead us to a quality PG to slide Duhon from the leadership spot.

    I like what I see in Rubio. His handle is awesome although 90% of his passes come from his right. He has speed and he plays defense.

    Comment by igmknicks | April 26, 2009 | Reply

    • IGM

      That is lives take on the & seconds finesse mess as well,… this franchise could be set back years if the building is skewed too heavily towards the D’antoni mold of play. If the playoff’s teach anything, and Statesman would agree, is that the pace is slowed a premium is placed on half court play, execution and defense as the means of dictating tempo.

      D’antoni’s type of team if realized will certainly be exciting during the regular season but some version or other of the Spurs type of D’antoni cryptonite will pose the true nemisis for the upcoming incarnation of the Knicks.

      I’ve got no beef with Euro players, I thought the Cabezas thing was a tad weak,… but with Rubio the kid is young his ill tendencies can be improved, his speed and willingness to play D make him a more viable Euro to take on, if the Knicks can get to the 2nd or 3rd pick in the draft. But that is an unlikely scenario.

      Comment by orangeandblue1 | April 26, 2009 | Reply

  2. Lives

    The spin control that has Nate’s flamboyance caraciturized as out of control and the failure to report and comment upon his overall improved play and overall good fit for speed ball is,… as I think you should know, a function of contract negotiations.

    Can’t blow the kid up in public, then the organization,… and it’s PR Paper would be the doing Nate’s agent’s job for them.

    Let the Agent drop them pears as the Knicks organization and media spin machine work to check his value in order to either resign or resign and trade.

    Lets go Knicks!

    Comment by orangeandblue1 | April 26, 2009 | Reply

  3. Yes O&B, I subscribe to the notion that a GM is doing a good job when he knows how to fit pieces together. Dumping salary happens all the time for a variety of reasons, but making salary cap room is not the only or most effective way to build a winner because the CBA allows teams above the cap to maneuver fairly effectively. It’s what you do with the cap space and all the other building blocks (draft, mid-level exception, and other salary cap exceptions). At some point, I will write something on how being under the salary cap actually reduces options.

    Comment by igmknicks | April 27, 2009 | Reply

  4. What direction should we go in the Draft???
    Curry or Teague will do. Rubio? Double Hell No!
    Why? The guy can’t throw a rock in the Ocean
    when it comes to a jumper. What happens in the
    draft is only rebuilding. We are FOUR starters away
    from contending for the ECC, let alone the Chip itself!
    2010 we have only two 2nd round picks! So a Teague
    or Curry would be a good start. Either will be
    a Star in this League, however Teague may have more upside
    in that he can play D as good as he can drop 30 on you!
    He is a slightly smaller version of KOBE! We need to pluck a Center in the 2010 pipe dream instead of living the LIE
    of LBJ is comming! Fanatics…NYC awaits you on Draft night!

    Comment by Peaceman1 | April 27, 2009 | Reply

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