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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David Kahn is less a fool than fans with short memories or no historical reference.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.

Basketball Space Filler copy copy

 

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

Al Harrington Believes He Is Part of 2010 Plan And Is Looking To Make Playoffs This Season

One cannot fault Al Harrington for having a positive attitude.  Recently Dime Magazine caught up with him and asked him questions about the future, the 2009-2010 season and beyond. (I also note that several of the players have already be playing at the training facility, countering any fears that the failure to sign Nate and Lee has slowed down the team’s ability to work together over the summer and close to training camp.  As we all know, it is as important for the players to start working together as soon as possible before training camp in order to develop chemistry and some unity.)

Dime: This year is a contract year for you. How important is it for you to perform?
AH: It’s big for me but not only for a contract. Not only am I a player for the Knicks, I’m a Knicks fan. From day one, since I was little I was a fan because my mother was. So I just want us to do well man. I want us to find a way to make it back to the playoffs and that’s all I’m focusing on.

Dime: A lot of people look at guys like you and Larry Hughes as space fillers until 2010. Does that bother you?
AH: No I don’t look at it like that. My whole thing is that if our team wants to sign two max players, you still need a team you know what I’m saying? I know I’ll be a great fit no matter who they bring in because I’m a great basketball player. I can play the game in every aspect. Whatever coach needs me to do, I feel like I can do. So I’m going to be there, I’m not worried about it.

Dime: Do you think Nate Robinson and David Lee will be back?
AH: We need both of them back you know what I’m saying? Obviously they can’t get the years they want to get. But I feel if they come back and we have a great year, I think they’ll be taken care of. So we’ll see what happens.

Dime: What is your take on the two rookies Jordan Hill and Toney Douglas?
AH: I really don’t know that much about them. I played with the first time the other day at pickup at the practice facility. Douglas is very good young player with a lot of energy defensively and he can score the ball. Jordan Hill is a great athlete. He’s going to help block shots and clog up the middle for us. It’s going to take time with them, but I think they’re going to be good.

Dime: Are the Knicks going to make the playoffs?
AH: As of right now, I would say yes. I mean anything can happen. The way we play and the way that we score the basketball and looking at the guys we have now. If we can get some stops we could be a playoff team. I think we have to work on our defense and keep following coach’s philosophy on offense, I think we can be in the playoffs.

September 2, 2009 Posted by | Al Harrington | , , , , , | 5 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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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