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ESPN ANALYSTS FIND OBVIOUS TRENDS AMONGST KNICKS

image ESPN’s top NBA analysts Ric Buecher and John Hollinger combined their skills, tools and observations to find trends within the Knicks. The analysis is tucked away in the Insider which requires a subscription for this “insider information.”  Unfortunately in this case, it seems that their combined effort is no more than common sense.

First they determine that the player “trending up” is Wilson Chandler.  Hollinger expects Wilson’s player efficiency rating to increase slightly but not drastically.   He writes:

Chandler will start at small forward again and has a good chance to build on last season’s numbers since he’s only 22. It’s unlikely his playing time will increase much this season, especially if Danilo Gallinari is healthy, so any uptick in Chandler’s numbers will have to come from either finding more shots or converting more of the ones he takes. Either is possible, but we’re talking about incremental shifts here with a gradual build. He’ll probably lift his percentages a bit and average around 15 points per game, which is solid. Just don’t expect the moon based on a superficial reading of last season’s numbers.

The player thought to be trending downward is Darko Milicic.  He believes that Milicic is little more than good trade bait around playoff time:

What? You thought Darko would be reborn in Gotham? Let’s curb the enthusiasm. The Grizzlies traded Milicic to New York for Quentin Richardson, and Milicic will serve as the backup center and provide one of the few sources of defense in the basket area for New York. He’s a good option to bring off the bench for 20 minutes a night for that reason, but he may get lost in the Knicks’ run-and-gun approach. Additionally, he doesn’t have the skill level to finish pick-and-roll plays, the bread-and-butter of New York’s half-court game.

According to Bucher, Jordan Hill is the “name to know” which is translated to mean that Knicks hopes may rest on his shoulders as much as Danilo Galinari’s.  However, he expects little from the raw forward.

Most rookies have an easier time if they can play a role alongside an established star. The Knicks don’t have any bona-fide stars, but their post players, Lee and Al Harrington, have strengths, meaning they won’t yield easily to the rookie. Hill is not going to outrebound Lee, and Hill showed no signs in the summer league of having a superior inside-outside game to Harrington’s. So what does he do to make his mark?

Chances are, he won’t. He’ll be just another guy in the rotation, much like Gallinari. And that won’t help Walsh that much.

As I see it, these are all safe observations and predictions that tell us little about how the Knicks will fare this year.  The key to the Knicks is how well D’Antoni will be able to institute his offense (and whether they will play any defense).  I was cracking up earlier this morning because last year I spent a little time on the Fix, where Chris Duhon was treated like a God, criticizing Duhon and Walsh because their actions dismantled D’Antoni’s offensive scheme and turned it into a half-court pick and roll offense.  The only way that changes is if the conditioning and mind-set of the bigs handling the ball on in-bounds or rebounds and the guards bringing up the ball change their mind-set and move the ball (not themselves) quickly up the court.

Consequently, D’Antoni will be looking to Danilo Galinari and his guard corp to direct the offense. As, I  will write later, Galinari is being put in an awfully difficult challenge but what you must like about him is that he has a great competitive mentality which is an important part of what makes a great player.  Still, the Knicks are probably asking too much of him, his conditioning and his understanding of the NBA game.  With so much weight on Galinari it is highly likely he will “peeter out” by the all-star break.

Regarding Chandler, we all expect him to play better and hopefully with more anger and aggression.  However, the problem regarding Chandler is that the D’Antoni staff must begin to maximize this kid’s skills.  He has the ability to have a nice inside game, but turning him into a three point shooter will ultimately hurt his game and confidence.  We can expect the local Beats to pound on his image by interpreting his laid back, deferential and youthful approach to the game as having a “low basketball IQ.”  (That term rankles me coming from the Beats who understand the game far less than most of the players and have a paper trail of prognostications and observations to prove it.)

D’Antoni’s handling of Curry and Milicic will decide how quickly he can get the team to play consistent ball with each other.  No one really expects much from Curry who will probably not be in D’Antoni game shape.  That would require D’Antoni to alter his “game” for another season. I am not very familiar with Milicic’s game although I have reviewed a lot of tape.  I haven’t seen him get the opportunity to demonstrate all those skills he supposedly has, so I reserve judgment for the moment.

As mentioned before, the key to the Knicks will be the guard corp and whether someone can step up and displace Duhon from the position of titular point guard.  All eyes are on Toney Douglas as the player who hopefully will trend up and be able to direct D’Antoni’s offense.  He showed an ability to play the up-tempo game during the summer league where almost all the games were horse races from end-to-end.  Otherwise, we may see another season with major in-season trades that can disrupt the teams’ flow.

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Although, I sorta kinda follow ESPN’s power ranking, they really don’t tell you much more than how certain analysts think a team should be ranked. Very subjective.  However, they are still decent entertainment.

This year the Knicks start off at number 26 in the power ranking, under the Nets and above the Wolves, Grizzlies, Bucks and Kings.  We’ll see.

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DON’T FORGET TO ROCK THE VOTE FOR THE DANCE-SPIRIT TEAM


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September 27, 2009 Posted by | Al Harrington, Chris Duhon, Danilo Gallinari, David Lee, Donnie Walsh, Eddie Curry, Mike D'Antoni, New York Knicks, Toney Douglas | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

NEW YORK KNICKS’ STATE OF THE MOTHER FU*KING UNION

image[A CooleyHigh Joint.  Did you think we ignored this powerful LAP (long ass post)? Naaaw, we were just waiting for the right time to elevate it for R&R. As usual, Cooley’s got a dream of his own and a powerfully edgy but positive view of his fave BBall team.  Let him know what you think.  Are you buying his dream? Let’s Go Knicks.]

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. IF IT DON’T MAKE DOLLARS IT DON’T MAKE SENSE…..

To millions of fans across the country, professional sports instills a sense of civic pride and identity. They provide a common ground for all parts of a community: black and white, old and young, rich and poor, urban and suburban.

This combination of emotion, history and entertainment makes sports a business unlike any other (Mass consumption & Multiple impressions is the name of that Flava). The suave people of New York City don’t congregate around the television or fill OUR HOUSE, or Citifield, The New Yankee Stadium, or Arthur Ashe’s Stadium, to watch the Financial Sector make transactions at Prime Time; Nor do Peeps pulling for the DEADSKINS from the District gather in great numbers to watch the Supreme Court. But rooting for our BELOVED KNICKS when they play the Boston Celtics is a natural communal activity (In OUR HOUSE, on MSG, bars, feeds beaming across state lines, even Oceans…).

This hypnotic connection between cities, fans and home-town teams is what makes it so difficult to see those teams PIMPED by conglomerates like the ultimate packaged good.

Every Fanatic posting on the thread knows Cablevision is one of the nation’s leading Media & Entertainment companies. Tapped into somewhere near a third of NYC Metro Area populace and beyond (this site is Prima Facia Evidence of their reach with the majority of fanatics posting from outside the zone; consuming their product for intel and providing your own intel as they data mine the hell out hooked BBALL junkies like US FANATICS; links pasted all over the thread acting as a distribution channel for F**KING Free; You remember how OUR TOP DAWG couldn’t even get a press pass this summer–What the F**K; purchases of merchandise; YOU KNOW YOU MOFOS HAVE A KNICK JERSEY HANGING IN YOUR CLOSET;) with their cadre of services on a myriad of platforms.

GENTS, IF IT DON”T MAKE MONEY IT DON”T MAKE SENSE… ARE YOU WITH ME SO FAR….

Now you my Brother from another Mother kicked me up to the PREMIER SUITE because my retort supplied a rosy proposition and assessment of OUR BELOVED KNICKS (KFFL). I spit smack with the best, but the GAME is fluid and we got to get down to the bear bone facts. The Lil General didn’t bolt from the bargaining table involving the REFS because he working from a position of weakness. Rather from a position of protecting the Profit Margin under the guise of hanging on to BRAND simultaneously. One loose Cannon who GAMED the system with the NBA’s major partner the Gambling Complex made this clear cost saving move possible. He’s got a group of chips that don’t really define the PACKAGED GOODS, and they slipped up because they didn’t police their own, and Mass Consumers are ambivalent about the official any GOT DAMN way… The MOFOS every Fan loves to hate. SO FU*K THEM! And, Lil general will come out smelling like a rose and this shall pass. The move indicates that Lil General has done his DUE DILIGENCE; he’s mined the data, and common sense prevails. The sport is going to see a flattening of the margins if they can contain cost. Got too. My astute BRUDDER that moves the Instruments with great flair, said it earlier, saturation has reared its ugly head, and in this current economic matrix being OVEREXPOSED has its perils….

NOW WHAT THE HELL DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH TURTLE WAX WASLH AND THE COMPOSITION OF OUR BELOVED KNICKS…YOU DAWGS STOP YELIING IN THE FANATIC CHAMBER, CAUSE THAT’S SOME IGNORANT SHYTE…LOL LOL LOL GET TO THE POINT MOFO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With Cablevision’s decision to spin-off MSG and its assets. THE SHEETS GOT TO MEET FANATICS. MSG has been sniffing around the District and other Metropolitan areas looking for land or prospective rehab facilities to create NEW ENTERTAINMENT SHOPS. What data made MSG ever consider to expand beyond the Apple. MOFOS LIKE US! The Consumption template says it is worth the risk. LIL General moved TURTLE WAX WALSH back to his origins, and the FUN, RUN AND GUN Coach, so they could run the LOAD, RINSE, SPIN STRATEGY so we POINT TO A SAVIOUR, that will keep US consuming whether by HOLDING OUT HOPE or by SHEAR ANGER AND FAN DISGUST. This a PACKAGED GOOD gents and our consumption is EMOTIONAL (Our Fanatics Posts, PRIMA FACIA EVIDENCE). The mere ILLUSION of BRON, WADE, MAMBA, or ANYBODY donning a KNICK UNI does the TRICK, don’t matter YOU GOT TO BELIEVE and you do that by SIMPLY DOING NOTHING. I Think they call it being PRUDENT. Especially when you’ve been advised you WILL WEAR A CEMENT SUIT AND END UP IN THE EAST RIVER IF YOU DON’T PLAY THIS HAND AS YOU’VE BEEN TOLD. This is Organized Business Baby… Don’t get it twisted Officials, Management that is not vested, and the tremendous product itself DON”T MEAN SHYTE. They’re nothing but a bunch of over paid punks Black, White, European, Asian, Hispanic, making THE SHORT END OF THE CHEDDAR IN THIS EQUATION AND THINK THEIR THE DEFINITION OF OPULENCE. That SHYTE is laughable!

You don’t waste cash on retreads, you don’t make moves for BULLSHYTE POINT GUARDS NAMED SESSIONS, and you don’t pay DLEE OR N8 a RAISE for what they’ve given you in return. YOU SELL THE DREAM FANATICS. It might seem trite, probably more ESOTERIC, but the SHYTE WORKS. ASK BARRY, THE POTUS!

SORRY! There will be no moves FANATICS cause YOU NEED THAT DISTRACTION, YOU WANT THAT DISTRACTION, AND IN THE END YOU DON’T CARE WHAT THEY DO YOU’RE ADDICTED TO THAT DISTRACTION… IF they make a deal! It is because it MAKES THE SHEETS MEET. IF IT DON”T MAKE MONEY IT DON”T MAKE SENSE….

So FANATICS, I prefer to SELL MY OWN MOTHER FUCKING DREAM, and that is we can win with what we got. I’m DREAMING OF career seasons for DARKO, ECURRY, BIG AL, GALLO and CREW, cause it makes me FEEL GOOD cause I AM A MOTHER FUNCIING JUNKIE LIKE THE REST OF YOU, and in a few weeks I’LL NEED MY FIX LIKE ANY OTHER GOOD KNICK/FANATIC JUNKIE WOULD. I like millions and millions of other people got that have my PACKAGED GOOD. Man I got so many JONES and NEEDLE MARKS (Yankees, Giants, Lakers, Tiger, Serena and Venus, Theatre, Museums, Movies, Dining Out, and the list goess on and on…Remind me to never let you mofos see my feet, cause that’s my secret lever for pleasure.) CAUSE IF IT DON”T MAKE MONEY IT DON”T MAKE SENSE…

HOPEFULLY FOLKS WILL CONTINUE TO BUY MY PACKAGE GOODS SO I CAN KEEP UP MY HABITS…. A Brother got to stay on his grind!

Repeat: IF IT DON’T MAKE MONEY, IT DON’T MAKE SENSE!

God Bless KnickAmerica and God Bless the New York Knicks!

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September 27, 2009 Posted by | David Stern, Donnie Walsh, Mike D'Antoni, New York Knicks | , , , | 10 Comments

Knicks Revivalism (Part I the 2010 Plan Holy Trinity)

[In keeping with Knicks’ spirit week resident blogger Orange and Blue offers his take on the divine nature of fandom and offers a positive take on the first year’s work of the new regime. Stay tuned for Part Two in which O&B questions the trajectory and moves, or lack thereof, of the new regimes. So join in and get ready to receive and  in Part 2 question the Spirit,… the Holy Spirit and Sacred Trinity of Knicks Sports Fandom!]

Fandom as Religion and Knicks Fans Messianic Dreams

Fandom is a quasi religious phenomena because of what it often entails- e.g., adoration, faith and loyalty, and zealous commitment throughout the team’s rising and waning fortunes. Examples of the quasi religious nature of fandom in general can be found in the shrines that adorn many a fanatics home, the idolization (and demonization) of players and personalities linked/associated with the team’s fortunes, and the shared and general belief amongst fans that their team, (despite their objective plight), will defy odds in any particular game, season or undertaking to carry the fanbase to the miraculous and euphoric. In the electronic age the religious experience of fandom has blossomed into different denominations as a result of the proliferation of team oriented weblogs-both corporate or private, sponsored or independent.

For the legions of Knick fans, fandom has not been an easy endeavor. With the Franchise’s last championship occurring over 35 years ago and the last championship run occurring during the 1998-99 season, the term “long suffering” has become an ever more apropos term for a fanbase whose arid plight can be likened to the Israelites march through the desert.  In the doldrums of a long championship drought, Knick fans, (and the organization as well), have searched for and sought out a Savior to lead the franchise to a championship resurrection. From the mid 1980s through the end of the century the drafting of center Patrick Ewing was supposed to usher in a return to glory but the teams at Ewing’s disposal at best came within a game of that much hoped upon return. The turn of the century then saw the Franchise pin it’s hopes, (and extend or acquire disproportionate contract offers), on the deteriorating Knees of Shooting Guard Allan Houston, and later upon the questionable character of Point Guard Stephon Marbury. Also, throughout the 1980’s into and through the turn of the century the Names of Knick adversaries such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant also figured prominently in conversations about a potential Knick messiah.

“The Knicks Holy Trinity” and Revivalist Mythology for Popular Consumption

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I. A Franchise’s Downward Spiral

As 1973 slips into the distant memory, the sole decade of championship contention during the 1990s appears ever more like an oasis in a vast wasteland of organizational ineptitude. But for many Knicks’ fans the recent decade at the turn of the century came to represent the worst era of franchise futility- or at least the most dubiously publicized period. For instance, personnel decisions made during the first decade of the turn of the century, (a veritable what not to do for the potential Arm Chair GM), mired the organization in bad contracts and coaching and managerial instability, which at best ended in buyouts and settlement agreements but at worst tarnished the organizations public image under the glaring ravenous lens of the local sports media hawks.

II. A Revival

But just as the Franchise approached an apparent nadir, and Knick fandom was on the verge of losing its religion, a new vision of redemption emerged onto the spotlight of Broadway for the popular consumption and sedation of legions of fans. The new vision of the franchise’s championship resurrection easily became monumental orthodoxy cast in the form of an unassailable holy trinity. That holy trinity has come to encompass the persons, personalities and essences of Donnie Walsh, Lebron James and Newsday’s sports blog coverage of the Knicks.  This holy trinity captures the spirit of the times and marks a turning of the tide against the organizational failings and imbalances since the turn of the century.

In the Knicks holy trininty, “[ ]”onnie Walsh represents the Father Figure.  Cast as a wise and timeless figure, sort of like the creator gods of many religions, it is “[ ]” onnie Walsh who is assigned the task of recreating the Knicks into a Championship contender.  According to popular belief, “[ ]”onnie Walsh’s mythic creational/transformational powers come from a vast well of experience that imbues his managerial decisions with an other worldly patience necessary to carry out a master plan for the franchises resurrection.

Walsh Ressurection

If “[ ]”onnie Walsh is the Father of the Trinity, then Lebron James is the incarnate personification of the long desired franchise savior. As basketball’s king on earth, King James, is considered the chosen one, the one who will carry Knicks fandom to the promised land of an NBA Championship that has alluded the Franchise for over 35 years.  King James has to date certainly matched and or exceeded the hype that surrounded his entrance into the NBA, by displaying the legendary greatness attributed to him, during dramatic playoff performances against the Pistons and Magic, and by carrying an average Cavaliers’ team to the top seeding in the 2008-09 NBA Playoffs.

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But what would the Knicks resurrection and the return of its rumored savior be if the Zeitgeist of the ever-drawing moment did not find itself in the hearts and minds of Knicks fans. To that end a trinity is nothing without it’s Holy Spirit, which is inblognated in the Cablevision bought and owned, Newsday Sports Coverage of the New York Knicks.  Newsday’s coverage of the unfolding “resurrection” is spearheaded by the highly popular reporter/blogger Alan Hahn.   Hahn’s abilities as a prolific blogger, coupled with his careful consideration to his fan base of bloggers and overall affable personality has helped Newsday’s blog the Knicks Fix become one of the more important sources for disseminating the message, spirit and belief in the inevitable return of a Knicks’ Messiah and coming of a 2010 Championship resurrection.

Alan Hahn

III. The Trilogy and “The Plan” in 2010 as a Turning of the Tide

Collectively the trinity represents a shifting of the tide for the Franchise against mistakes of prior Knick regimes at the turn of the century. For instance the hiring of “[ ]”onnie Walsh, as the Head of Basketball Operations, signaled the end of a free wheeling era that reached it’s Zenith under Isiah Thomas.  That era can be said to be marked by numerous gambles in terms of acquiring talented yet highly priced players, either: 1) who were high risk due to character issues; 2) whose statistical production did not significantly improve the organization’s opportunities to engage in and succeed in post season play; 3) whose presence resulted in roster redundancies that negated the player’s value and cut into the development of younger players. Moreover the acquisitions of several of the highly priced yet non-impact talent on the Knicks rosters came at the high cost of lost future draft picks, that were traded away in the hopes that the talent acquired would flourish under Zeke’s management and influence, where they previously had faltered or exhausted their welcomes with their prior teams. To Walsh’s credit the greater part of his first full year as Head of Basketball Operations witnessed the jettisoning of high salary, yet low value per production players such as Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford. Walsh’s first year also witnessed the jettisoning of Knicks’ team Mascot Jerome James and the eventual dismissal of Brooklyn legend turned pariah, Stephon Marbury.

The shifting of the tide away from talented yet risky players and generally low value per production players, to an objective of targeting proven Star free agents suggested the organization had quite possibly learned certain lessons prominent in the management war rooms of the teams that had dumped their undesirables onto the Knicks roster.   To that extent the fascination with acquiring a player of Lebron James’ caliber in 2010, a/k/a “The Plan”, signals not merely a fan boy fantasy but also a partial revelation of what it might take to resurrect a moribund NBA Franchise. Thus for the Knicks Franchise a proverbial veritable lightbulb is finally turned on to illuminate the organization’s trajectory to a vision of acquiring a talent/saviour that many expect will lead the Knicks to a light at the end of the tunnel.

The Plan

Additionally, Walsh’s acquisition of Head Coach Mike “[ ]” Antoni, infused an upbeat atmosphere into the downtrodden lockeroom, while providing the players discipline and direction (on at least one side of the coaching equation). “[ ]”Antoni’s presence also signaled to the team that playing time, (with the exception of Stephon Marbury’s quarantine),  was not a given but would be earned by performance on the court and in practice. The Wally Pip Rule alluded to by Isiah Thomas, the formerly conflicted head coach and president of basketball operations, became a reality with the franchise under a separate head coach and Management. Notably, the Knicks in “[ ]”Antoni’s, first year at the helm had better balance on the line up between offensive and defensive players and youthful and veteran players on the court- e.g., the willing to utilize defensive reserve Jared Jefferies more frequently and to utilize him on opposing team’s point guards, the insertion of talented sophomore Wilson Chandler into the team’s regular rotation, the insertion of fan favorite David Lee into the starting line up.

As the franchise was steered towards an improved trajectory, Franchise ownership also directed their efforts to better controlling/combating the negative coverage of the Franchise by the local sports media outlets.  The Change in the Franchises media policy, from an iron curtain preventing reporter access to a more open approach signaling a détente with sports reporting entities was one step taken to change the Franchises image in the eyes of the local sports journals. The greater move however, involved the purchase of Newsday by Cablevision, which also owns the Knicks- and according to some even Alan Hahn. In a war for the hearts and minds of Knicks’ fans the purchase of Newsday represented the acquisition of a veritable Tokyo Rose/Axis Sally megaphone casting pro Knicks spin via Alan Hahn’s sports coverage of the Knicks as both reporter and blogger. The change in the Knicks media policy when coupled with the partisan voice cast in the Franchise’s favor by Newsday has quickly influenced other corporate Knicks’ fan blogs, which similarly disseminate the inevitability and certainty of the Knick’s Messiah’s return in 2010- see SNY’s Knicks Blog.

Tattoo

Aint “THE PLAN” Lovely?…

September 25, 2009 Posted by | 1973 Championship, David Lee, Donnie Walsh, Isiah Thomas, Jamal Crawford, James Dolan, Jared Jeffries, Lebron James., Michael Jordan, Mike D'Antoni, NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, New York Knicks, Newsday, Patrick Ewing, Scott Layden, Stephon Marbury, Trevor Ariza, Uncategorized, Zach Randolph | , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

“Walsh, Lee, Hurry Up There’s An Expiring Contract Available In Minnie.”

Everyone is reporting the imminent signing of Nate Robinson, including those who claimed Nate would notTrade For Me Please return, but David Lee remains Walsh’s problem child as Lee’s agents search feverishly for an acceptable sign and trade so that Lee can get paid starting this season.  Lo and behold, an opportunity has opened up in Minnesota where Kahn has authorized center Mark Blount to seek a trade.  Blount is in the last year of a contract which will pay him about $7.9 million this year, almost the $8-9 million Lee is expected to get in the first year of his next long-term contract.  For Lee this is a great opportunity to effectuate a sign and trade proposal, especially since the Knicks remain in flux at center.  They are set to experiment with Darko and Curry this season.  Blount’s expiring contract would fit quite well in Walsh’s plan and after screwing the Knicks all summer, Kahn could finally do a “solid” for his mentor by taking Lee.

Regarding Robinson we are awaiting the details of his contract to be revealed, but it is reported that it is laden with performance incentives. That deal heightens the drama value of the relationship between Robinson and D’Antoni.  If the incentives are attached to assists then D’Antoni might have a few sideline smiles to share.  If the incentives are attached to points scored, score one for fantasy geeks. If they are attached to wins. . . .(Knicks’ Spirit Week, remember) then hopefully he will double his salary.

Also take note that even the press has joined in on this as “Knicks Spirit Week.”  No one is negatively reporting Darko’s arrival from Serbia today, after he missed all of the voluntary training camp.  Than goodness he’s not Zach Randolph or we would already be hearing criticism about his work ethic and whether he fits as a Knick.

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Mike Wilbon refuses to buy into “Happy Week.” Forgive him, he lives in D.C. and is from Chicago:

It won’t take as long as some might think to start to get some answers to these questions. Training camps start in a week or so and the interminable NBA season is only five weeks away…Oh one more thing: stop waiting on the Knicks, who could be the most irrelevent and overhyped franchise in all of American sports. The Knicks last won in the early 1970s and since then it’s been mostly disappointments (except the two trips to the Finals in the 1990s). Only New Yorkers think the Knicks are hugely important to the NBA. They aren’t.

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DON’T FORGET TO ROCK THE VOTE FOR THE DANCE-SPIRIT TEAM

September 24, 2009 Posted by | David Lee, Donnie Walsh, Nate Robinson, New York Knicks | , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Bucks Decline To Match Sessions’ Offer Sheet

David Kahn got his man, after he tried to get his boy from Spain. The Bucks declined to match the Timberwolves $16 million offer sheet to point guard Ramon Sessions and despite, Post-Up Prince’s idea that Walsh should save the day by entering into a sign and trade with the Bucks for the guards services, Walsh revealed that he was never really in the Sessions Sweepstakes.

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September 12, 2009 Posted by | Donnie Walsh, New York Knicks | , , , | 7 Comments

A WORD FROM UP HIGH, COOLEY HIGH

(Well, Brother Cooleyhigh is back at the ranch and in rare form.  For those just stepping into our environs, welcome.  Mr. Cooley is one of our distinguished old heads from back in the day when just bloggin’ was actually just bloggin’ and not yet a family affair.  Every once in a while, we must elevate a provocative comment up here to the penthouse for some R&R (review and rebuttal). This morning courtesy of one of our shareholders, Steady (who is still waiting for his 1/42d share of one acre and a mule offered to every Fanatic by President Bush), Comment #6  by Cooleyhigh (from the previous thread) gets the master suite and the efficiency kitchen.  Walsh should be glad to have someone so faithful in the room.)

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Lives with the Classic DW line; “This ain’t checkers, we’re playing chess; I’ve been setting this up all week…”

CLASSIC! LIVES, I agree with you! Kahn is in the Drivers seat and the play is Patience and Due Diligence, a Turtle Wax Walsh trait. There are a few exceptions on his resume at Indiana, but he built a powerhouse that just never got over the hump. Your comparisons are quite astute, although Pretty Ricky does not possess the talent nor the potential of Bird nor the Admiral. Pretty Ricky will never be a top 50 Player in this league or any other for that matter. Gotta win those chips or be like EWING, Barkley, did I hear someone say Stockton and Malone and come close a few times.

There are still a few moves to be made on the NBA front and they will happen. I do agree with my Brudder that juggles the Cash for others, when he states Darko may be the sleeper in all of this. It takes big men awhile to adjust to the Pro game, and since his game is quite European, this style of play suits him well and there is a very strong chance he hits his stride in the NYC. We’ve been so disgusted with ECURRY over the years that we forget he is a low post threat and if he is in the best shape of his og career, he can be a Big Horse in the Middle for 20 to 30 minutes a night. Our swings are athletic and Gallo if right is the Sharp Shooter we’ve been missing. Darko and Hill are plugs we’ve been missing in the hole to SWAT (And I’m not talking about Strengths, Weaknesses & Tactics)away the bulllshit.

Yes, we are a little thin at Point Guard, but I am a believer that TD will develop into a solid sub, and become Mr. Distributor and Mr. Disruptive… Scoring is not an issue for this TEAM as last year indicated. Defense is the KEY for these DUDES… This TEAM has speed, with the RIGHT DARKO, CURRY, and HILL they have size, and plenty of size on the swings with Chandler, Gallo, Jeffries, Harrington, and Hughes if he doesn’t break a nail.

With those Chips stacked up on the table, there is another move in the works and we just need to let it unfold…Surely, you didn’t want those Ole Retreads named Kidd, Hill, Stackhouse; nor do you want a point guard out of the SEC, who made a name for himself while his TEAM languished in Mediocrisy… In my mind, Sessions is not the Elixir at Point Guard. Like DLEE he played for a loser so STATS are very deceiving, and for the asking price, both are TREMENDOUS RISKS, and with CBA on the horizon, NBA MGMTS moved shrewdly and cost-effectively…

Gentlemen, sometimes A woman likes it slow, and others they just want you WUP that AZZ, but a SMOOTH BRUDDER never rushes the Stroke until he know his Woman has had Sensual Eruption… Always remember Young Bucks, a True Lover is never one that has Multiple women; If you got Mulla that’s pretty simple, but a True Lover is one that can take One Woman make her Happy for a lifetime. If you can’t decipher the analogy, My Book is in stands at your nearest Bookstore entitled, “It Ain’t What You Got, Its What You Know.” Tell em you know Cooleyhigh and you’ll get a free copy….LOL LOL LOL

Just Bloggin Fellas!@

One Love! One Heart! One God!

Keep it CRACKIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

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

September 8, 2009 Posted by | Donnie Walsh, New York Knicks | , , , | 38 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.

Basketball Space Filler copy copy

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

Is Sessions Receiving An Offer From The Wolves? Updated: The Answer Is “Yes.”

Update: The Wolves and Ramon Sessions agree to a 4 year, $16 million contract. After being forsaken by Tricky Ricky Rubio, GM David Kahn quickly went to plan ‘B’ and pulled point guard Sessions out of free agency purgatory.  Sessions, widely considered the best young point guard available in the free agent market, reportedly had been courted by the Knicks and Clippers.  However, the Knicks who committed themselves to chasing free agents in 2010, clearly know that they barely have the cap space dollars to get a maximum salary free agent and a decent support staff for the likes of a LeBron James or Dwyane Wade.   The Knicks’ summer ends with rejection and dejection as they miss out on point guard after point guard in their effort to upgrade the starting PG position.  However, this leaves a great opportunity for draft pick Toney Douglas to show that he can be the Knicks’ leader of the future (if not the leader for tomorrow).

As Auggie mentioned in the comment section last night, Fanhouse and ESPN are reporting that David Kahn, after being spurned by Ricky Rubio, is prepared to tender an offer sheet to free agent Ramon Sessions.  As we know, the summer has been filled with unsubstantiated and unrealized rumors, but if Sessions winds up with the Timberwolves or the Clippers, it raises more questions regarding the effectiveness of Walsh’s 2010 Plan for Building A Contender In 20 Years.  Are you satisfied with Walsh’s summer moves?

September 4, 2009 Posted by | Donnie Walsh | , , , | 32 Comments

JARED JEFFRIES EXPECTING A GOOD YEAR WITH KNICKS

 

Even Jared Has Highlights Folks

 

One of the hardest working Knicks, Jared Jeffries, is still with the team to much chagrin outside of MSG, but Jeffries expects to have a better year this upcoming season.  While at his charity event at Twin Lakes Recreational Center in Indiana, Jeffries told a Hoosier Scoop reporter that after being plagued by a broken fibula he suffered last season, he expected this year to be better.

Last year I was hurt,” Jeffries said. “I had to deal with my injury for the whole year. I think this year’s going to be good. It’s going to be a really good opportunity for me.

Jeffries, by all accounts a nice guy, is in a very precarious position this upcoming season and he may face significant fan animosity if he and his contract are not traded prior to the February trade deadline.  Although Mike D’Antoni has praised Jeffries for his work ethic and the defensive flexibility he adds to the roster, many fans see the former Hoosier as the worst offensive player on the team and a major impediment to the Cap Space Cometh 2010 Plan. 

Unfortunately, the long but thin Jeffries has never been an offensive threat and is injury prone.  Last year he was inconsistent and often appeared to have two left feet when trying to score beneath the basket. He averaged 5.3 points in 23.4 minutes per game and played in only 56 games.  One could compile quite a blooper reel of his missed shots next to the rim.  But on a team with many scorers, Jeffries offered the best defensive presence in the paint and his length and speed allowed him to guard the 1-3 positions relatively effectively. 

Still, in this year before the Season of LeHope, Jeffries’ contract takes up $6.9 million of salary cap space next year.  With the salary cap expected to be around $50-53 million, the Knicks will need that roster spot and salary slot to be emptied or replaced with an expiring contract. The additional dollars, almost $7 million, if added to the Knicks’ salary cap space would give the Knicks a greater opportunity to get a franchise player AND an adequate support group.  While moving Eddie Curry’s contract ($11.3 million in 2010) would be more favorable to the 2010 Plan, at this point in Curry’s tumultuous career, it seems more likely that Jeffries could be moved faster.

It’s hard not to wish the best for Jeffries, who would probably be a nice piece for a good team, but a lightning rod for fan discontent for a team like the Knicks, which seems destined for another poor season while leaning on the hopes of improvement next year. 

               $$$CAP$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$PACE$$$$$$$$$$$

Hoopsworld has a little piece that purports to determine what would make the season a bust for each of the NBA teams.  For the Knicks it states: 

The New York Knicks season would be a bust if…  The Knicks squander the cap space the team has created for the summer of 2010.  New York has several talented, young players on this squad as the organization looks to the future, including first round draft pick Jordan Hill, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, David Lee and Nate Robinson.  A playoff appearance this season is almost entirely out of the question but the future is bright in the Big Apple with a young core and a proven commodity in Mike D’Antoni coaching the squad.  While 2009 is likely a wash, patience in the key for Knicks fans with cap space a plenty and a tremendous free agent class coming available next summer.

Unoriginal?  I know.  If you’re interested, the full story is here.

          $$$CAP$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$PACE$$$$$$

There is No Way Knicks Can Be Worse Than Last Year according to Liam Martin at NESN.com.  Before breaking down why Darko and Curryo will make the Knicks better, Martin opines:

At first glance, not much has changed: The core remains Chris Duhon and Al Harrington, with David Lee and Nate Robinson still negotiating new contracts or exits. Mike D’Antoni remains at the reins, meaning the club will continue to shoot first, ask questions (or play defense) later.

And the culture, by all signs (i.e., Robinson being arrested for driving with a suspended license, then tweeting about it as the arrest was ongoing), hasn’t changed much, either.

But there are pros to the cons — pros, perhaps, that suggest only the Knickerboxers will win more than 32 games, but pros nonetheless.

August 30, 2009 Posted by | Donnie Walsh, Jared Jeffries, Mike D'Antoni | , , , , | 30 Comments