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Did Rubio Con A Kahn Or Was Minnie Marburied Again? Part 3 of 3

Kahn-Rubio Torn Apart

KHAN’S MOVE FOR RUBIO — A CLASSIC GAMBIT

David Kahn’s move, to draft Ricky Rubio despite his immediate inavailability, was right out of Red Auerbach’s playbook.  In 1978 on draft day, the Celtics had both the 6th and 8th first round picks.  Auerbach was widely criticized for using the 6th spot to draft Larry Bird as a “junior eligible.”  Bird had already been in college for four years but had one more year of eligibility left which meant Red had to wait a year for Bird.  He used the 8th spot to draft Division 1 star Freeman Williams, who never played for the Celtics but was involved in a major trade; the exchange included #31 1981 pick (Danny Ainge).  Owning the 8th spot allowed Auerbach to take the risk, but in order to retain Bird’s rights, Auerbach had to reach an agreement with Bird before the next draft.  Eventually and reluctantly Auerbach agreed to pay Bird  $650,000, the highest rookie salary ever at the time.  Auerbach was confident, but the success of the move was not certain.

Without such a bold move, it is highly unlikely that Bird would have been the greatest Celtic of all time.  Perhaps, he would have been a Knick.

And lest we forget, another General Manager “genius” Bob Bass was criticized for using the #1 pick in 1987 to draft David “The Admiral” Robinson although he had two years of a naval commitment to serve after graduation. The Spurs faced a special quandary which led to speculation that Robinson might not sign with San Antonio within a year and attempt to force free agency so that he could be courted by the Lakers or the Knicks.  Didn’t happen.  David Robinson became one of the greatest Spurs ever.

David Kahn is less a fool than fans with short memories or no historical reference.  Kahn was very clear when he released Kevin McHale that he was in rebuilding mode and that it would take a couple of years to bring the team back to contention.  He does not need Rubio now.  He can build his team patiently, with “all deliberate speed” and wait for Rubio to mature as a person and a baller.  The odds are greater than not that Rubio will increase in value in two years – he will add bulk and probably a jump shot. This will happen on someone else’s Euro, not his dime.  Rubio also won’t require mommy to move to the states with him. (I admit that when I moved from Chicago to Jersey at age 18, I wanted my mommy to come with me. . . .but, then I got there. . . LOL).

Immediately after the Rubio deal fell through, Kahn was still working to build his team his way.  Within two days of his heartbreak, Kahn pushed the Knicks and Clippers out of the way to sign young point guard Ramon Sessions who had been a free agent in waiting for most of the summer. With a more seasoned young guard, Kahn and Rambis will get a better idea over the next couple of  years how their high octane offense is going to work with Flynn and a guard who can shoot better than the Spaniard.

This summer, in three moves, Kahn potentially, if his dual point guard offense works, has solidified his back court for five years, very inexpensively.  Jonny Flynn has a four year contract with two consecutive team options beginning in 2011.  Rubio becomes available via buyout by 2011. The Wolves hold his NBA rights until one year after he discontinues playing pro ball for another team.  Sessions has a four year contract which carries until 2012-13. 

Every pick is a risk, but the rewards regarding Rubio are promising. Kahn has created numerous options which include using Rubio’s rights in a future trade or developing two solid points in Flynn and Sessions and eventually trading one of them for a missing piece.  For now, the Wolves may be more of a threat to enter the 2010 draft lottery than the Western Conference playoffs, but with a young core of Jonny Flynn, Al Jefferson, Ramon Sessions, Kevin Love and Wayne Ellington, their development should be exciting to watch over the next couple years.

 

WOLVES’ DEEP IMPACT ON KNICKS

Kahn has been a thorn in the Knicks behind all summer, since he traded for the fifth pick.  It was rumored that Walsh and the Knicks were trying to move up in the draft in order to secure either Rubio or Stephen Curry.  Although it was believed that Walsh would be happy with Jared Hill falling to the Knicks, everyone knew the Knicks needed a solid back-up/soon-to-be-starter to work with or replace Duhon to operate D’Antoni’s offense.  By drafting both Flynn and Rubio, the Knicks felt forced to a less satisfying option and remained in a quandary regarding how to address the point guard issue.

Nevertheless, the Knicks smartly purchased a late first round pick from the Lakers and turned it into a solid ACC guard, Toney Douglas, who many expect will be a pleasant surprise as a team leader, floor conductor and scorer.  This is a great opportunity for him to step up and fill the void that Walsh could not.

It appears that while Walsh is playing checkers, jumping over pieces without taking any, Kahn is playing chess like a GM (grandmaster or general manager, pick one).  Kahn who had touted running a two guard up-tempo offense, immediately went after free agent Ramon Sessions, who was looking for an opportunity to save him from lesser contracts with the Knicks, Clippers or Bucks.  The Knicks had been very interested in Sessions, but refused to reel him in with a multi-year deal.   Throughout the blogosphere, hyper-hopeful Knicks fans were hypothesizing that Walsh, with his patented “patience”, was waiting Sessions out.  But the truth has been revealed and it was Sessions who was being patient.  Clearly lacking confidence that they could create more cap space by eventually trading Jared Jeffries or Eddie Curry, Walsh just watched as Sessions walked out of the free agent corner he was supposedly trapped in into a 4-year, $16 million deal. (Compare that to the 2-year $13 million dollar deal Walsh gave Chris Duhon to scare away Marbury).

Kahn’s move is being interpreted by some as a sign that he has given up on Rubio and will eventually trade his rights to the Knicks.  This is not necessarily so, nor is it necessary.  In fan imaginations, New York is the penultimate venue for big time“athletepreneurs”  and the place every one wants as a home. Some Knicks fans will be pining ad nauseam for OPP Rubio for two years, longer than the lap dance they are giving OPP LeKing of Akron.   In this case, the reality is that Rubio’s only way into the NBA is through Minnesota, unless he sits out a year which makes absolutely no sense.  Consequently, the only way Rubio becomes a Knick, even with covert interference by the commissioner, is with the blessing of Kahn.

Kahn has shown that he doesn’t give a damn about how the Knicks develop their team.  He is clearly focused on building the Timberwolves. Any harm to the Knicks probably is not personal, just collateral damage from the maneuverings of a general manager who understands that to build a contender you start the team core with homegrown youth, complimentary trades and expert use of exceptions to the salary cap.

On second thought, Kahn’s moves may help Knicks fans by demonstrating how being “patient but proactive” is a better strategy than what their team is employing now.

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Previous Related Posts:

Did Rubio Con A Kahn or Was Minnie Marburied Again? Part 2 of 3

Did Rubio Con A Kahn or Was Minnie Marburied Again? Part 1 of 3

Chapter One Of Rubio Buyout Story Coming To A Close

Timberwolves GM Refutes Story Of Rubio Contract: “No Team in any league has reached a deal.”

Rubio Reportedly Will Sign Six-Year Contract With Regal Barcelona

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Ricky Rubio

IS BRANDON JENNINGS PLAYING THE MEDIA (AND US) WITH RUBIO DISS?

Brandon Jennings says F*ck the Knicks and Chris Duhon Ain’t Gettin it Done

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September 7, 2009 Posted by | Donnie Walsh, New York Knicks, Rick Rubio | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Did Rubio Con A Kahn Or Was Minnie Marburied Again? Part 2 of 3

TRICKY RICKY’S MATH MAGIC  MISCALCULATION

From a business standpoint, Rubio has brought nothing new to the world of sports. Like picky athlete’s before him – Eli Manning, Brian Bosworth, John Elway and Jay Cutler come to mind  (should Rubio be playing football instead? O.K. throw in Steve Francis.) – Rubio had big league, big market dreams shared by his parents and advisors. 

Rubio is an 18 year-old kid who thought the time was right to make a move to the bigger league.  He believed the hype and anticipated that he would go very, very high in the 2009 draft.  He had advised DKV Joventut, which launched his career at 14 with a onerous five-year contract, that he did not want to play for them anymore and that he planned to do a remake of “Coming To America,” Euroleague style.  Thus, after the draft, buyout negotiations began in earnest although Rubio always gave a sense (check his tweets) that he was outside the loop of such discussions and at the mercy of DKV Joventut. 

Now we know the buyout itself was never prohibitive, only challenging because DKV Joventut had intended to let Rubio go once he asked out.  It was just a matter of how they were getting most of their buyout figure in return for his release.

Rubio Math MagicRubio himself had stated that he would play in the NBA even if the buyout netted him $0 for a couple of years.  Sure he was just talking smack.  But it didn’t matter how disingenuous his bravado was because before the draft he and his advisors  thought he would make (or find) enough money for a buyout.

When Rubio entered the draft before the lottery selection, he thought he would go higher (2-4) than the 5th spot. His camp also indicated that it intended to exercise its leverage to urge certain small-market teams not to apply for Rubio’s services.  Rubio indicated that he did not intend to go to Memphis nor the Wizards who initially held the 5th spot.

Many of the reputable draftniks had suggested Rubio would go 2d instead of Thabeet. There were also rumors that the New York Knicks would maneuver into position to grab Rubio.  One such rumor had Wilson Chandler in a dog-sled and Rubio on top of the Empire State Building auditioning for “High School Musical 12” as Zach Effron’s understudy. It didn’t hurt that when the Wizards traded the 5th spot to Minnesota, Rubio did not embrace Minnie as a future home either.

Lucille Ball copyRubio was so confident about going in the top four that he initially refused to attend workouts with the other top guards, including his bud Brandon Jennings, who warned the world that Rubio was all-hype and no game, before he took back the honest slight.  Rubio’s refusals and his eventual workout, alone with the Kings, also heightened concern that he was not prepared for the rigors and competition of the NBA (a fact he seems to admit after the fact; some would call that a chump move. Score one for Jennings.).

After the draft, Rubio’s dad made it clear that his son was not going to play in Minnesota anytime soon. “Right now Ricky is likely staying in Europe one or two years,” the father said.  “We have to talk to the people in Minnesota and see what happens” and “we could be in Minnesota or somewhere else.”

Ricky and Team Rubio probably did not anticipate that Kahn and Minnesota would work so hard to get the fifth pick and that he would fall that far.  He also didn’t seem to believe that the Wolves would actually reach an agreement with DKV Joventut to accelerate Rubio’s transition to the NBA.  It was clearly a miscalculation on Team Rubio’s part because money was never the real problem after he bid DKV farewell.

As Chris Sheridan pointed out, even in Minnesota Rubio would be able to afford a mutually agreeable buyout: “The Timberwolves’ offer, which could include only $500,000 in cash under NBA rules, would presumably have revenue streams from Rubio’s endorsement deals and his four-year, $15.2 million NBA rookie-scale contract ($3.27 million salary in 09-10, $3.51 million in ’10-11, with team options for $3.76 million in ’11-12 and $4.76 million in ’12-13).”

Despite the financial limitations, Kahn spent the summer crafting a deal that was acceptable to all parties. Rubio agreed to the arrangement that would make him an NBA baller at 18, but then reneged on his agreement with Minnesota.  In a statement, the corporate board of DKV Joventut said,

Yesterday, after a big effort from the two parties, DKV Joventut and Minnesota Timberwolves reached an agreement which permitted to terminate the contractual relationship between the player and the Club and his integration in the NBA team.
In front of this situation and in contradiction with what he has been saying to us and to Timberwolves´ representatives from time to time, the player has announced the decision that he wants to be transferred to FC Barcelona.
From a very beginning, never at our own initiative, we have been receptive and we have negotiated with maximum respect and clarity with everybody, accepting that the player wants to leave and that we should find the best suitable solution.

Kahn knew his chances of getting Rubio this season were slim, but it was his job to make a serious effort since Rubio indicated he would be interested in joining the Wolves immediately.  In a teleconference after Rubio reneged Kahn revealed his plan and the process:

On the night of the draft, I explained that the decision to draft Ricky was not difficult – that he was 18, the youngest player in the draft, and we were a building team that could wait for him. Nothing has changed. When we received signals from Ricky this summer that he was considering accelerating his path to the NBA and joining us sooner, we threw ourselves into this process willingly and energetically, including meeting with Joventut on four separate occasions.

Kahn clearly felt emotionally burned after putting so much time and effort into bringing Rubio to the states.  Still, Kahn would not throw his asset under the front wheels of the bus. Based on Kahn’s statement alone it is difficult to tell whether he actually thought Rubio was just a kid under pressure, a business Decepticon using the Wolves or just an outright liar:

"On Saturday night, an agreement was reached between Dan Fegan, the agent for Ricky Rubio, Jordi Villacampa, the president of Joventut Badalona, and myself on behalf of the Minnesota Timberwolves to buy out the last two years of Ricky´s contract with Joventut so that he could play in the NBA next season.


While the term sheet was being finalized Monday night, Ricky informed me that, despite considering us his first option the previous weekend – and, admittedly, after some back and forth throughout the summer — he preferred to stay at home to play for FC Barcelona, which earlier this summer had made a buyout offer to Joventut. He also reaffirmed that it was his intention to join us in Minnesota two years from now when he will be 20.

Statements attributed to Rubio don’t help clarify whether his true position is to avoid the Timberwolves and the Minnesota cold at all costs or to really play for Rambis as Jonny Flynn’s and Ramon Session’s back-up in two years.  He seems to talk out of both sides of his mouth, in two languages to two different audiences.

Immediately after his change of heart, Rubio released the following statement:

"The reason leading me to take this next step is to have a period of preparation to better take the challenge of the NBA in better conditions as a player. The Minnesota Timberwolves continue to be my first option and I wish to play with them in the near future."

Later, when speaking to the spanish press, Rubio indicated that he had several reasons for not joining the Wolves, at least one of which contradicted Kahn’s and DKV Joventut’s statements:

"Going to Minnesota would have just complicated my life a lot. It was a risk and I didn’t see it so clearly," Rubio said. "My priority was the NBA and it was impossible for the Minnesota Timberwolves to pay my buyout clause, so I wanted to stay home."

Marca.com reported that Rubio really wanted to stay connected to home at this point and that he wanted to develop as a player and win trophies, which was less likely in Minnesota.  But, the American press quoted him as saying “I won’t lie, My objective has always been the NBA.”

A wise old Latina woman once said, if you must start the sentence off with “’I won’t lie,’ you’re probably hiding something.” For Knicks fans, it is easy to imagine, with the help of those who need camouflage for poor planning (i.e., the Knicks), that Rubio will find a way not to play in Minnesota in two years.  The NBA is clearly not his objective this year, nor is Minnesota.  So wisely, Walsh has immediately placed his marketing chips back on the Rubio table.

While he knows that a lot can happen in two years – like the Knicks could have a settled backcourt, Sessions could get traded to make room for Rubio, or Kahn could trade Rubio’s rights for a 2010 first rounder –  Walsh can make sure the Knicks are in a position to help Rubio help him, if that becomes an option.  For now, Walsh will have two years to monitor the situation and to constantly call his protégé with new trade proposals.

But one must remember that this is not football or futbol.  The business-game is NBA basketball shortly before an anticipated Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) fight. NBA history suggests that Kahn is in a superior position to Rubio and Walsh and that he may have played this situation perfectly. 

  

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Next: Kahn’s Move For Rubio – A Classic Gambit

Previous Related Posts:

Did Rubio Con A Kahn or Was Minnie Marburied Again? Part 1 of 3

Chapter One Of Rubio Buyout Story Coming To A Close

Timberwolves GM Refutes Story Of Rubio Contract: “No Team in any league has reached a deal.”

Rubio Reportedly Will Sign Six-Year Contract With Regal Barcelona

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Ricky Rubio

IS BRANDON JENNINGS PLAYING THE MEDIA (AND US) WITH RUBIO DISS?

Brandon Jennings says F*ck the Knicks and Chris Duhon Ain’t Gettin it Done

September 6, 2009 Posted by | Donnie Walsh, New York Knicks, Rick Rubio | , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Did Rubio Con A Kahn or Was Minnie Marburied Again? Part 1 of 3

Rubio=Marbury

In the immortal words of that famous redhead, Lucille Ball: "Ahhhhh Ricky."

Has the latest episode in the Ricky Rubio Show earned the child-star the nickname of "Tricky Ricky” for not being completely honest?  Or for Minnesota fans is he just the 2.0 European version of a young Stephon Marbury?

Shortly before the ides of March in 1999, the Minnesota Timberwolves traded a discontent Stephon Marbury to the New Jersey Nets in an eight player deal.  A few weeks earlier Marbury turned 22. The previous two years, the Wolves, with a young Marbury and a rising star in Kevin Garnett, had become a formidable and promising one-two punch.  In 96-97, Garnett, Marbury and co-star Tom Gugliotta led the Timberwolves to the playoffs for the franchise’s first post-season appearance ever.  In 97-98, with “Googs” lost for much of the season, the Wolves made the playoffs again with an even better regular season record. 

The Wolves thought their future was set until after they gave Garnett a whooping $126 million deal which peeved league owners and Commissioner Stern, helped precipitate the lockout of 1998-99 and angered star Gugliotta, who signed a six-year deal with the Suns at the end of the lock-out.  The shortened season had just started when the Wolves traded Marbury,  who rejected a $70.8 million maximum contract extension, to the Nets. At the time, Marbury refused to extend his contract with Minnesota , in significant part, because the New York City kid did not care for what he perceived as lily-mid-western-white, boring Minnesota and he preferred to be closer to home and friends. Marbury was roundly criticized for being selfish, egocentric and childish for breaking up a winning combination so he could be home with mommy.

Here we are ten years later and Minnesota gets rejected again by another young point guard who claims he would rather be around family and friends than bundled up in a mink coat battling the climate of the North Star State.  In fact, Rubio had intended to move to the U.S. with his mom, dad and sister until he found out he was bound for Minnie.  On draft night, he could not be found for the Timberwolves’ post-draft press conference and when the press caught up with him one of the first things he said was that his mom may not care much for living near Brett Favre and the Vikings, and “It’s too cold,” in Minnesota.

Unlike the maligned young Marbury, outside of Minnie, Rubio is being hailed by some as a patient young kid who knows how to wield power to get what he wants. And according to some opinion-pushers and pimps, Rubio’s sidekick, Timberwolves new President of Basketball Operations David Kahn, who he kicked to the curb in this drama, was duped and embarrassed by the man-child looking for the promised land. (See stories 1. Scores Report; 2. Fanhouse (Kahn/Failure); 3. Dime (A Summer of Discombobulation); and 4. CBS Sports (Kahn/Clown, Rubio/Good)). 

But as usual, when examined closely, little seems to match up with conventional wisdom and blogosphere opinionating.

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Next: Part 2 – Tricky Ricky’s Math Magic Miscalculation

Previous Related Posts:

Chapter One Of Rubio Buyout Story Coming To A Close

Timberwolves GM Refutes Story Of Rubio Contract: “No Team in any league has reached a deal.”

Rubio Reportedly Will Sign Six-Year Contract With Regal Barcelona

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Ricky Rubio

IS BRANDON JENNINGS PLAYING THE MEDIA (AND US) WITH RUBIO DISS?

Brandon Jennings says F*ck the Knicks and Chris Duhon Ain’t Gettin it Done

September 6, 2009 Posted by | Donnie Walsh, New York Knicks, Rick Rubio, Stephon Marbury | , , , , | 5 Comments

CHAPTER ONE OF RUBIO BUYOUT STORY COMING TO A CLOSE

ricky-rubio-of-FCBESPN is reporting that despite Timberwolves GM David Kahn’s best and most recent efforts, DKV Joventut has traded the Ricky Rubio rights to FC Barcelona. As reported, according to Rubio’s contract, he will not be able to get to the NBA until 2011 without anothr financial arrangement between the Wolves and his new team.

Does this mean that the speculation about Rubio coming to New York will end? Of course not. As unlikely as Rubio was to don Orange and Blue before at least the next two seasons, the Spanish point guard, like Lebron, is a good focal point for future dreams and a distraction from the 2009-2010 MSG product.

Now perhaps we can focus on developments relevant to the current team, a term used loosely until a roster is set.

September 1, 2009 Posted by | Rick Rubio, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

GULLIBLE’S TRAVELS: The Knicks’ 2010 Plan; Do You Believe That?

Gullible's Travels

I have been searching high and higher throughout the blogoverse (the ever expanding blogosphere) for our friend Gullible Fanatic. I wanted to ask him personally, face to face, whether he actually believed all that he had been hearing the last two years about how the Knicks would reboot their fortunes by creating cap space for the Big Spend in 2010.

In my deepest and most melodic Gil Scott Heron voice, I want to ask “Do You Believe That?” I even wrote down how I would start the conversation with Gullible who is known to get a bit irate if  you challenge what he calls “faith in Knicks management”:

Hey, in this summer of our malcontent

Where the objective is not to be underspent

and we build a team of players for rent

To fit under the cap by twenty-ten (2010)

They sell us this line w/ little dissent

“Our fortunes will change when LeBron gets in

Or Wade or Bosh is  our cap-space occupant”

Do you believe that?

Do you believe that the stars will go where they can win,

Or do you believe they will agree to start all over again?

While we commit the unoriginal sin

Of building from without (a team)  instead of from within

Do you believe that?

Well, I know Gullible will laugh at me and dismiss my concerns as impatience when I finally catch up with him.  He believes that any move is acceptable so long as the ultimate goal of cap space is achieved.  Nevermind that cap space does not take the court.  Nevermind that the Knicks are unlikely to have enough cap space to give a max contract to a franchise player and attract solid support players.  Nevermind that under the current CBA, championship contenders are not built through cap space — they are built by manipulating the cap rules, through the draft and trades.  The evidence is abundant and clear.

Do You Believe That?

Do You Believe That?

Gullible will probably ignore me and continue to insist that the Knicks will get lucky and David Kahn will help us build our team by generously forking over Slicky Ricky Rubio to run the offense.  I will ask Gullible what happened to the false belief that  Mike D’Antoni would attract free agents like Jason Kidd, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant because they liked working with him? Gullible will probably  say that Donnie Walsh didn’t really want those guys.  I’ll ask him “Do you believe that the flirtations with Stackhouse and Tinsley were smart? He’ll ignore me and tell me to focus on the draft of young potential potentates JHill and Toney Douglas.

Nevertheless, I must catch up with Gullible to help synchronize Knick fandom with reality, because only together can we begin to put pressure on our team to build a winner the right way.  Yes, I too may be Gullible (or Gullible’s cousin) to believe that Knicks management will care what I say about their strategy, but I do know that alone I have no impact. Our only chance for change is to unite with all the Gullibles to put force behind our demands for a winning strategy.

So, I continue my search of Gullible Fanatic.  Gullible moves quickly, both figuratively and actually.  We all know that he changes his opinion at warp speed so that it fits his pro-Knick management conclusions (i.e. Knicks offer Kidd a contract which invades 2010 cap space. “Great move Walsh.” Kidd rejects the offer. “Great move, Walsh didn’t want him anyway”).  Gullible also moves from one blogstation to another rapidly, but he leaves a trail of stench as wide as an asteroid tail.  I’m on it.

My first stop was the “gottaread at least once in a while” Knicksfansite Posting and Toasting where we find Lord Seth pining over the positives he found in Gallo’s 412 minutes of professional ball.  danilo website cock Gullible was definitely here and he had a crater-type impact.  Apparently, he dropped some magic dust on 84% of 514 poll voters  who stated  that they had faith in Gallo as a star player in the 2009-2010 Knicks roster.

Strangely, I understand how they can believe that Gallo will be a star this upcoming season, despite coming off major back surgery in April and not playing real ball over the summer; despite him not possibly being in D’Antoni game conditioning; despite not really having a rookie season; despite not playing with his 2009-2010 teammates for an extended period to develop chemistry, I can understand why they would have faith that Gallinari would be a star this year.  Anybody that can shoot a perfect form Wii jumper like the Rooster  should have no problem averaging 24ppg, 6rpg and 5apg in his first real NBA season.

Somehow, I think Gullible had the advantage since I was trailing him.  It occurred to me that  he was trying to make me a believer when he took me to this impressive Gallo summer league interview.

It was only an interview,  But. I thought that if Gallinari could play as good as he sounded there was a chance that Lebron would want to play with him, Chandler and whoever else the Knicks could afford with left-over cap space. How can you not cheer for Gallo, I thought?

I think I accidentally ignited  the random search engine when I thought about cheering because it lead me off course, at hypertense-warp speed, to a cheer-leading squad, that was not the Miami Heat Dance Crew. This is how they do what they do in New Jersey.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The NJ Nets Senior Citizen Hip Hop Te…“, posted with vodpod

I looked into the New Jersey crowd and I didn’t see anyone who looked like Gullible.   In fact, I didn’t really see anyone because most of the Gullible Nets fans were in Brooklyn waiting for the new stadium to be built.  Perhaps that explains why the Nets dance team looks so mature in anticipation of when the move will actually happen.

I asked the computer to take me to a more thrilling dance team, but perhaps I should have been more specific.  Somehow I ended up in a prison in the Philippines  stuck in the middle of a Michael Jackson tribute.

That was definitely a thriller, but Gullible was not there either.  Perhaps, if I go back in time, I thought, I could catch Gullible.  I told the computer to take me to the 2009 NBA draft where I knew Gullible would be, waiting for the Knicks to draft Ricky Rubio or Stephen Curry despite much evidence that it was not going to happen.    I fell right into the Green Room with Louisville swingman Terrence Williams, a good friend of recently media-convicted traffic menace Nate Robinson.

Terrence Williams, Twill, Nets #11 draft pick 6-6 Swingman

I enjoyed Twill’s guided tour through the draft where he was picked at the 11th spot by the New Jersey Nets, (I wonder how he’ll like the Dance Team), but I could not find Gullible because there were so many disappointed look-a-likes when Curry and Rubio left the board before the Knicks drafted Jared Hill.  I think Gullible snuck out through the press room where they were serving brownies, cheese and alka-seltzer water.  Still, it was amazing to see all these  young boys right before they were to become millionaires.

As Jony Flynn expressed, the draft is such a special time, a culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication.  Unfortunately, given all the accolades and good fortune these youngins are facing now, it is inevitable that someone on the bus is eventually demonized by the same media that promotes and exalts them.

From our friend RichyRich at “the best damn sports comedyblog, I found the list of most hated athletes and amazingly the top eight are either black or Latino, which led me to real world redemption for one of the most hated athletes of all-time — Jack Johnson.

It took a racially motivated conviction to defeat and destroy the career of flamboyant and culturally defiant boxer Jack Johnson, the first African-American world heavyweight champion.  Now Congress is poised to erase that defeat from the record books.  The Senate and the House passed a concurrent resolution encouraging the president to give Mr. Johnson a posthumous pardon for his conviction and one year prison sentence for violation of a law prohibiting the transportation of a woman across state lines for immoral purposes — in his case, having sex with a white woman.

Once again, I could not find Gullible, but I found redemption.  With that theme in mind, I felt a kind heart towards the Knicks.  It may take another five years, but my team will be a contender again.   There is nothing wrong with faith, but I still believe that some use faith as an excuse for rejecting  responsibility for one’s Fanaticism.   It is still my responsibility as a fan to tell my team that my faith and fanaticism deserves honest nurturing, care and love from the targets of my affection.

So, I will head back to Knicks.com and leave the following message for Gullible and Donnie Walsh.  Build my team, but I don’t want . . .

“No Scrubs”

A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me
And is also known as a buster
Always talkin’ about what he wants
And just sits on his broke no game ass
So (no)

I don’t want your low numbers (no)
I don’t want to give you mine and (no)
I don’t want to meet you nowhere (no)
I don’t want none of your time and (no)

[Chorus:]
I don’t want no scrub
A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me
Hanging out the passenger side
Of his best friend’s tryin to steal a ride
Trying to holler at me from a winning team
I don’t want no scrub
A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me
Hanging out the passenger side
Of his best friend’s

tryin to steal a free ride
Trying to holler at me from a winning team

But a scrub is checkin’ me
But his game is kinda weak

PEACE.

________________________________________________

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THE BOOK OF FANATIC PAUL ON WALSH, D’ANTONI, LOPEZ and the DOGGED DAYS OF PRESIDENT OBAMA

August 22, 2009 Posted by | Danilo Gallinari, Donnie Walsh, Jonny Flynn, Michael Jackson, Mike D'Antoni, Nate Robinson, NBA Draft, NBA Lottery, NBA Summer League, Rick Rubio, Stephen Curry, Toney Douglas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

David Lee Still Looking For Sign and Trades, One Year Deal With Knicks Still Likely

In an interview with LoHud.com, David Lee says that he is frustrated but after meeting with Walsh is very clear on the Knicks’ perspective regarding 2010.  Lee wants to remain a Knick, but understands that he is unlikely to be here more than one more year.

It’s been a little frustrating, but my agent came up a couple of weeks ago and we had a meeting with Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni and found out where we were, and the purpose behind what’s going on, and it kind of all makes sense to me now,” Lee said. “We agreed on what I thought I was worth, so it’s not a money issue. What it comes down to is they need their flexibility for the 2010 summer. Whether they can get LeBron or not, they need to have the flexibility to make a run at a guy like that. And that’s completely understandable from my standpoint. We’re going to continue to work on a few sign-and-trade possibilities; otherwise, we’ll continue to work on a one-year-deal.

“It has to be something where the Knicks can dump another salary or get another player in return they really want to have around,” Lee said. “There’s a couple of possibilities out there, and we’ll see if those come true, otherwise we’ll start talking to the Knicks about what we want to do for a one-year deal.”

Given the current unsubstantiated rumors about Kahn flying to Spain so that he can complete a deal with New York, fans may conclude that David Lee may be part of such a deal.  The only problem is that Rubio’s draft rights are not the financial equivalent of $9 million (Lee’s desired annual average).   The other problem is that Rambis may be flying to Europe too to talk to Rubio (Is he working on the Knick deal too?).

Hoopsworld’s analysis suggests that a deal would have to include Curry or Jeffrie’s contract and take into consideration the impact of the base year salary provisions of the CBA.

When the talk comes to the Knicks dumping another salary, it has to be Jared Jefferies or Eddy Curry. Plus, if Lee’s contract becomes anything near what he is looking for ($8-10 million to start) – or really anything over $2,235,041 – he becomes a Base Year Contract player, which makes working a trade more difficult because the Knicks can only take back half the value. The trade would have to be large enough so the BYC part of the trade could be absorbed in the overall total amount of the deal.

In essence, it makes a sign-and-trade pretty unlikely, but not impossible.

The most likely scenario is that Lee signs a one-year contract and Walsh tries to deal with the hard issues of building a contender next year.

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ADDENDUM: Some of you may be interested in Brendan Haywood’s half-ass apology to gays for his anti-gay sentiments in his diss of Stephon Marbury’s questionable behavior. Check it out at Yardbarker:My Apology

August 17, 2009 Posted by | David Lee, Donnie Walsh, Rick Rubio | 38 Comments

KNICKS’ SUMMER LEAGUE TEAM SET TO BALL IN VEGAS

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My How Time Flies: Knicks in the Summer of '08

The Knicks announced their summer league team which will include both draft choices, Toney Douglas and Jordan Hill.  The Knicks also invited Patrick Ewing, Jr. back.  Ewing will be returning from a knee injury he suffered in March while in the D-League.  The team also includes Utah’s Morris Almond (a Peaceman favorite) who was considered by the Knicks in the 2007 draft before they picked Wilson Chandler.

The Knicks will also continue to look at free agents Joe Crawford (SG) and Mouhamed Sene (C) who were signed at the end of the season.  Conspicuously missing is Eddie Curry who has been working out and was mentioned at the end of last season as a possible roster addition.  As expected, the Knicks will also be without Danilo Gallinari. I wonder whether he will show up for the practices.

Although, summer league icon, Nate Robinson, will not be playing, the Knicks’ games will draw special attention because UNLV guard Wink Adams will be playing for the Knicks. Adams, a 4 year college player, is a 6’1”, 190 lbs shooting guard who averaged 14.3 pts and 2.8 assists per game last season which was not considered to be a good one for him.

2009 NEW YORK KNICKS SUMMER LEAGUE ROSTER

No  Player     Pos   Ht   Wt      Born          College/Country     2008-09 Team             Yrs Pro

3 Wink Adams G 6-0  200  Mar. 9, 1985 Nevada-Las Vegas   Nevada-Las Vegas (NCAA)     R
13 Alex Acker G 6-5 185 Jan. 21, 1983 Pepperdine Detroit/L.A.Clippers (NBA) 2
11 Blake Ahearn G 6-2 190 May 27, 1984 Missouri State San Antonio (NBA) 2
30 Morris Almond G 6-6 225 Feb. 2, 1985 Rice Utah (NBA) 2
44 Warren Carter F 6-9 220 Apr. 23, 1985 Illinois Cajasol (Spain) R
5 Joe Crawford G 6-5 210 Jun. 17, 1986 Kentucky New York (NBA) 1
23 Toney Douglas G 6-1 200 Mar. 16, 1986 Florida State Florida State (NCAA) R
6 Patrick Ewing, Jr. F 6-8 240 May 20, 1984 Georgetown Reno (D-League) R
43 Jordan Hill F 6-10 235 Jul. 27, 1987 Arizona Arizona (NCAA) R
17 Ron Howard G 6-5 200 Nov. 14, 1982 Valparaiso Fort Wayne (D-League) R
47 Yaroslav Korolev F 6-10 245 May 7, 1987 Moscow, Russia Dynamo Moscow (Russia) 2
40 David Noel F 6-6 230 Feb. 27, 1984 North Carolina Reno (D-League) 1
18 Mouhamed Sene C 6-11 230 May 12, 1986 Senegal New York (NBA) 3
50 Rashaad Singleton C 7-0 270 May 22, 1987 Florida Southern Georgia (NCAA) R
55 Nikoloz Tskitishvili F 7-0 225 Apr. 13, 1983 Georgia (Europe) Fuenlabrada (ACB-Spain) 4

Head Coach: Mike D’Antoni (Marshall)
Summer League Head Coach/Assistant Coach: Phil Weber (North Carolina State)
Assistant Coaches: Herb Williams (Ohio State)
Dan D’Antoni (Marshall)
Kenny Atkinson (Richmond)
Assistant Coach/Player Development: Greg Brittenham (Nebraska at Kearney)
Head Athletic Trainer: Roger Hinds (Brooklyn College)
Assistant Athletic Trainer: Anthony Goenaga (Long Island University)

As revealed in an earlier post, the Knicks play three lottery teams, but since Washington surrendered the #5 spot to Minnie, the Knicks will face only two lottery picks during summer league competition: Hasheem Thabeet (Memphis) and Tyreke Evans (Sacto).

2009 NEW YORK KNICKS SUMMER LEAGUE SCHEDULE

Games at Cox Pavilion
Tuesday, July 14 vs. Memphis 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 15 vs. Detroit 1:00 p.m.
Friday, July 17 vs. Sacramento 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 18 vs. Chicago 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 19 vs. Washington 1:00 p.m.

* – all times are Pacific time zone

Unfortunately, the Knicks will not play the Minnesota squad.  The Timberwolves’ roster does not include their #5 pick, Rick Rubio.  However, it does include their #6 pick, Jonny Flynn and the Bobcats #12 pick, guard Gerald Henderson.  The Bobcats don’t have a summer league team this year.

The Timberwolves’ full roster is as follows:

TIMBERWOLVES SUMMER LEAGUE ROSTER

No. Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Birthdate From NBA Exp.
22 Corey Brewer F 6-9 188 3/5/86 Florida 2
1 Bobby Brown G 6-2 175 9/24/84 Cal State Fullerton 1
23 Pat Carroll G/F 6-5 190 9/10/82 St. Joseph’s R
19 Wayne Ellington G 6-4 200 11/29/87 North Carolina R
11 Jonny Flynn G 6-0 185 2/6/89 Syracuse R
17 Devin Green G 6-7 212 10/25/82 Hampton 1
12 Paul Harris G/F 6-4 230 10/15/86 Syracuse R
15 Gerald Henderson G 6-4 215 12/7/87 Duke R
51 Steven Hill C 7-0 248 11/14/85 Arkansas 1
31 Rob Kurz F 6-9 232 3/5/85 Notre Dame 1
4 Oleksiy Pecherov F 7-0 234 12/8/85 Ukraine 2
20 Garrett Siler C 6-11 305 10/25/86 Augusta State R
7 Ben Woodside G 5-11 185 7/1/85 North Dakota State R

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BUZZER BEATERS. . . .

Knicks are set to offer Jason Kidd a multi-year contract but face stiff competition from Dallas Mavericks who can offer more money. . . . Did you ever think two of the 2008-09 Knicks starters would be traded for each other? . . . Quentin Richardson, who was just traded by the Knicks to Memphis for Darko, was traded to the Clippers in exchange for Zach Randolph.  Good move for both teams.  Check out Post-Up Prince’s comments in the previous post. I like his analysis of how Zach fits, but while Zach was relatively good in New York (‘cept for tossin’ the towel in N8Gr8’s grill), Zach was suspended from the Clippers twice in part of one season. Maybe he was just acting out because he had to rent housing from Donald Sterling. . . Joe Dumars made a great move in signing Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon from free agency.  Now they need a coach and they leave us curious about the future of Rip Hamilton. The rumors suggest that Doug Collins is first in line.  I’m betting on Avery Johnson.  Sorry Fanatics, but Detroit still has a better team executive than we do. . . . What else do you expect Marbury to say about the Knicks.  They screwed him about as much as he screwed them.  Plus he’s right, why would prime free agents want to come to an environment which is understood to be toxic and treats its players the way he was treated.  Character is revealed in how you treat others in the most difficult of times.

Related Previous Posts:

Knicks Pick Up Jordan Hill at 8, Toney Douglas at 29 and Milicic at the Q

Knicks Depth Chart: Where Do We Go From Here?

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Jonny Flynn

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Tyreke Evans

Fanatics Pre-Draft Scouting Report: Ricky Rubio

July 2, 2009 Posted by | Danilo Gallinari, Eddie Curry, Jonny Flynn, Jordan Hill, NBA Draft, NBA Summer League, Patrick Ewing, Jr., Quentin Richardson, Rick Rubio, Toney Douglas, Zach Randolph | 15 Comments

Brandon Jennings says F*ck the Knicks and Chris Duhon Ain’t Gettin it Done

ROFLMAO. ……
WARNING: THE LANGUAGE IS VERY OBJECTIONABLE. . . . DO NOT PLAY THIS SHYTE AT WORK.

YouTube – Brandon Jennings says Fuck the Knicks, Fuck Rubio, Chris Duhon aint Gettin it Done.

June 30, 2009 Posted by | Brandon Jennings, Rick Rubio | 28 Comments

Knicks Pick Up Jordan Hill at 8, Toney Douglas at 29 and Milicic at the Q.

Last Night at MSG’s WaMU Theatre was filled with excitement and anticipation as days of speculation about the selection order of the NBA draft climaxed into one of the most bizzare drafts in years. The draft was highlighted by the selection of three of the best point guards, Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn and Ty Lawson, in the first round by the Timberwolves who had stockpiled the 5th, 6th 18th and 28th picks. Minnie’s maneuver left the Knicks with either selection option C or D as they picked up big man Jordan Hill with the 8th pick and found a guard in Toney Douglas with the 29th pick which they purchased from the Lakers for 3 Million or so dollars.

Jordan Hill goes to Knicks at 8th Spot

Jordan Hill goes to Knicks at 8th Spot

Jordan Hill averaged a double, double with Arizona his last year.  He is undoubtedly raw, but eventually should be a much better and more defensively imposing option than Jared Jeffries.  According to DXEpress’ situational analysis, the things that stands out about Hill are his upside, energy and size. He is working on everything else and seems to have heart:

Situational Statistics: This Year’s Power Forward Crop
April 23, 2009
Looking over the numbers of our top power forwards, we noticed a number of players who are projected as lottery picks that don’t look the part on paper. Sitting just behind Griffin in our rankings, we find  Jordan Hill, who’s overall Points Per Possession of.94 places him slightly below the mean of .98, not quite what one would expect from a potential top-5 draft pick. Looking deeper, we realize that Hill ranks right around the average in a number of areas. He surprisingly connects on just 63.87% of his finishing opportunities not including post ups, and only scores on 49.6% of his logged possessions –sitting just off the mean in both categories. Much of Hill’s lack of efficiency can be attributed to the fact that he only gets fouled on 10.4% of his possessions and gets very few touches in transition (16th at 1.1 Pos/g) and basket cut situations (15th at 1.8), two scenarios where he’s effective ( 1.33 and 1.43 PPP respectively). The other factor working against Hill is his jumper, which we’ll discuss later.

Clearly teams are valuing Hill’s upside quite a bit. He’s already a productive rebounder and has a lot of potential long-term as a defender, but his offense doesn’t stand out amongst his peers. He’s raw, but some teams see his physical profile and athleticism and assume he will be a player that develops into a bigger threat on the next level.


The Toney Douglas pick put the Knicks far down on their point guard list, but Douglas is a good selection who has the potential to be a solid role player. He is not a true point, not a great passer and does not create his own shot nearly as well as the other guards. However, he can score an he has a defensive mindset. DXExpress has this to say about Douglas:

Situational Statistics: This Year’s Point Guard Crop
May 8, 2009
Toney Douglas, was one of the most efficient players on our list, using over 20 possessions per game (20.7). His overall PPP of 1.04 was the second best of all players, while his PPP as a finisher of 1.22 was sixth best. As a jump shooter, he scored 1.41 PPP on unguarded catch and shoot attempts, and 1 PPP on pull ups. A gifted off the ball player who scores 1.23 PPP (5th) shooting off of screens and 1.14 PPP in spot up situations, Douglas is only an average shot creator (.85 Isolation PPP), but he doesn’t turn the ball over in the half court almost at all (9.7%, 2nd), has experience running the pick and roll (5.3 Pos/G, 2nd), is an excellent defender, and seems like an ideal complement to a taller ball-handling guard. His stock has risen in recent months, and will be interesting to how his limitations as a distributor (he ranks dead last in amongst all passing metrics amongst draft-eligible PGs) factor in to where he’s selected on draft day.

The Jordan Hill pick received a mixture of cheers and boos, while the Douglas pick met a slightly more disappointed chorus of boos from fans who thought either Stephen Curry of Rick Rubio would be available after Tyreke Evans was the first guard taken at 4 by the Kings. Still, the buzz around the Garden was that the Knicks were going to be involved in a trade that would bring Rubio to New York.

Knicks Going to the Darko Side

Knicks Going to the Darko Side

In addition, the Knicks picked up another big in Darko Milicic, the disappointing lottery pick turned back-up while getting rid of Quentin Richardson who has been reduced to a role player after back surgery a little over a year ago.

Overall Evaluation and Grade: Incomplete. (Chad Ford says B+) This is one of those situations where a grade is a little more inadequate than usual. The draft has limitations especially when one is relegated to the eighth spot and is outmaneuvered by the likes of the Timberwolves who picked up the 5 spot and two of the best guards in the draft. The picks the Knicks made were considered among the best on the board at the time and they addressed their need for a mobile, defensive big. They also took a stab at getting a serviceable guard with defensive capabilities. These are truly choices which must be viewed over time. On the other hand, it is a little hard to tell whether the Knicks are building a competitive team yet for 2009-2010 or an attractive team for the top free agents in 2010. In Milicic, the Knicks continue to collect other teams undesirables as in Hughes and Harrington. They failed to make a move, yet, to pick up a guard to replace Duhon to run the D’Antoni system. And the big they picked up in Hill is not going to shake up the division in the first year. I would feel comfortable giving Walsh an incomplete until we see what else he does in free agency and with trades into October or perhaps February. But I will note that other teams are clearly improving, while the Knicks not so much, yet.

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Buzzer Beaters . . .

Rest in Peace, Michael Jackson.  You were an inspiration to many.  We have a little more MJ on our fantastic playlist. . . .Check out the Fanatics Live Blog of the Draft.  It is fabulous.  The participants, lead by O&B included Peaceman, Bronx in Maryland, DLT Knicks, Post p Prince, Tman, Modi, Paula and Jay Bee.. . . I see you guys didn’t pick up my Tweets in the LBE. I’ll have to show the LBE administrator how to include me next time, but I was tweeting to 46 Twitter followers. Although, my fingers are too big for Blackberry keys and the fans around me wanted to talk shop, I did a fair job of covering the action. . . . Knicks Fanatics hits are growing rapidly — yesterday we hit a high of over 200 hits and we’ve been linked by Fanhouse and other blogs that recognize the energy and quality of the community. . . .Bronx is the man.  At 7:33pm, on the live blog he said “I think they’ll go big with the   8th pick, and get a guard at 29.”. . . I sat in the second row right in front of Mark Jackson, Jay Bilas, Mark Jackson (the camera’s blocked my view of Stuart and David Stern for the most part). . . . Then I went and hung out in the press room (Play by Play) where the press had the hook-up (courtesy of some friends with cred). They had free fruit, brownies, thirst quenchers and lots of big screen TVs, but damn I couldn’t get wifi to work. I will not be quitting my day job(s). . . . I got lousy picks of two tall guys with baseball caps as they walked by me and some security folks near the interview room. They looked like Brandon Jennings and Stephen Curry. Actually they were. I tried to tell them to look out for me at the summer league, but they were in a rush. . . . Cleveland trades for Shaq.  Cleveland still in need of more mobile big at the 4.  If Shaq comes to camp in shape, Celtics and Magic beware. . . . Oh yeah, did the Magic screw up by getting Vince Carter or what?. . . . Rubio threatening to go to Europe instead of cold-azz Minnie. . . .O.K., I’m outta pocket for a while because I need to do some real work that will feed Alpha Jr. and make Ms. Alpha not hover over me while I’m on the computer in July. . . . Thanks to IGM for the work on the draft scouting reports. . . .Peace out.

June 26, 2009 Posted by | Jordan Hill, NBA Draft, NBA Lottery, Rick Rubio, Stan Van Gundy, Toney Douglas | , , , , , | 33 Comments

2009 NBA Draft (KnicksFanatics Live Blogging Event 06/25/2009 @ 7:15pm)

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June 25, 2009 Posted by | Eric Maynor, Gerald Henderson, Jonny Flynn, Live Blogging Event, NBA Draft, NBA Lottery, New York Knicks, Rick Rubio, Ty Lawson | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments