Tag Archives: new york knicks

Nashville Has To Keep Weber

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You lose Ryan Suter your second best defenseman and arguably one of the top 5 defenders in the league, you can get over that.

You lose Jordin Tootoo a resident tough guy and fan favorite, that’s ok he’s replaceable. You can get over that.

Losing Shea Weber, your heart and soul, your captain, the man that represents Nashville hockey and is quite possibly the best defenseman on the planet.

That’s another story.

Yet that is what the Nashville Predators are facing right now. The Philadelphia Flyers signed Weber to a 14/ $110 million dollar offer sheet in an effort to steal Weber away from the only team he’s ever played for.

The Predators have only five more days to match and the question that’s swirling in my head is why they haven’t already matched it?

You don’t let players like Weber walk away. This isn’t like the Knicks and Jeremy Lin. You can get another guard that does the same things as he does and plug him in easily.

Weber is a different story. He’s one of if not the best defensemen in the NHL. He’s a former Norris trophy winner who will win about three more before his career is done. He’s a natural born leader as captain and with Pekka Rinne leads possibly the best defensive team in the league.

To let him leave would mean to let everything that Nashville built go to waste. Yes they would receive four first round picks, but does that really add up to what you lose in Weber?

Coming into this offseason you knew that Nashville was going to lose either Weber or Suter to free agency due to money. They can survive without Suter, but losing both he and Weber would be too much to overcome.

For Nashville’s sake I hope that they match Weber’s deal no matter the cost.
Weber is the face and leader of their franchise. Losing him would mean missing the playoffs, falling into the lottery of the draft and starting over when you were considered a possible Stanley Cup contender.

Something’s you can get over, losing Weber is most definitely not one of them.


The Knicks Have A Plan

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As I was about to throw my phone across the room in anger because the Knicks were about to let their first really good point guard since Rod Strickland (smh) walk away I saw this aura with a orange hue hover above me.

It was the ghost of Knicks coaching great Red Holtzman who prevented me from making a $250 mistake.

Enough intro, here’s what happened:

Red: what the hell is wrong with you?
Me: I’m sick of this damn team! Every year it’s the same old (bleep). Bring in older players, poor contracts, and letting go of really good players that we really need. Why?!?! Why us?!?! Did you see our draft?! Kostas Posdonous? Who the hell is that.
Red: (to the side) let me not bring up why we have no draft picks.
Me: huh?!
Red: nothing. Look, calm down Kevin it’s not the end of the world. What of I told you that the Knicks had an actual plan?
Me: is Isaiah Thomas apart of it?
Red: thank god no! It’s bigger than even his narrow- minded head could come up with. You should thank the Houston Rockets for doing you a huge favor.
Me: you’re losing me Red.
Red: have you seen that contract? It’s horrible. 5 mill over the first two seasons then 14 mill in the last season. If the Knicks agree to that then they’ll be paying $40 mill after luxury tax rapes them in the last year of that deal.
Me: … Ouch.

(side note: while everyone was dissecting Carmelo Anthony’s “ridiculous contract” statement… Um he’s right. I liked Linsanity, I like Jeremy Lin, but in two years unless he actually becomes Steve Nash 2.0 do I want to kill my luxury dollars on him? Hell no.)

Red: yup. Who knows if this kid is more than a 35 game wonder. Why kill your dollars for him?
Me: ok Red, I get that… BUT WE HAVE NO POINT GUARDS!!! We just signed Jason Kidd at 39 and the flabby wonder Raymond Felton. We’re still a crappy backcourt team especially without Iman Shumpert.
Red: but can you hold on for one more year?
Me: huh?
Red: picture next offseason Chris Paul in a Knicks uniform.
Me: I don’t get it.
Red: this is the real reason the Knicks aren’t signing Lin its CP3. Paul already rejected an extension with LA and is eyeing the Knicks. Neither team has enough firepower to make a deal happen right now so instead Paul will play out his last year and join the Knicks after the season. In order for the Knicks to have a shot at getting Paul they can’t sign Lin. It’s too much money, too much luxury tax and too much hassle.
Me: oh (bleep).
Red: next year the Knicks can also kill Amare Stoudamire’s deal as well to give them more room and sign an actual power forward who can rebound and isn’t scared of the paint.
Me: you hate Amare too?
Red: don’t get me started.

(think about this for a minute. It’s possible that next year the Knicks could have CP3, and Melo. Get rid of Amare’s horrible deal and get a real power forward or trade him for Josh Smith like I’ve been asking for 890 years, and they’ve quietly built up a decent bench with Steve Novak and Felton who works way better as a backup instead of a starter. Wait a minute, will the Knicks actually be a competitive basketball franchise that can actually function? Brain overload.)

Me: so wait a minute, we’re actually looking ahead, being patient and building this team up for something big instead of rushing?
Red: crazy isn’t it? It only took them ten years to figure it out.
Me: but I have to sit through one more crappy year.
Red: it’s the Knicks you’re used to it.
Me: true.
Red: Linsanity was fun, it was great, we all bought t-shirts and watched his highlights. But after 35 games, five turnovers a game, poor defense and that horrible contract the Rockets are giving him, is it worth it to give up something bigger for a few more dollars in merchandise?
Me: I guess you’re right.
Red: the Knicks are getting close. Brooklyn’s making noise, the Cavs may get Andrew Bynum, and the Heat and Celtics are there. However, Chris paul in NYC changes everything. The Knicks become important, they become a title contender and they become the big boys in the East. That’s real insanity. So cheer up, relax and don’t worry, the Knicks may be alright after all.
Me: thanks Red I appreciate it… Wait, why’d you say MAYBE alright?
Red: it’s the Knicks. You know if anyone can screw this up they can.

Thus is the life of a Knicks fan. Even with a plan coming together we all know that at any moment things can get jacked up.


Amare’s Story

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Whenever I used to get mad at anything back in the day I used to turn on A Tribe Called Quest’s 8 million stories.

It was a song off of their Midnight Marauders album that was the antithesis of a bad day.

Why am I telling you this? Because after Amare Stoudamire decided to kill his season and the Knicks slim playoff chances I needed a breather and this song was this the first thing I thought about.

Naturally I wondered what would happen if Amare was Phife Dog on this song.

Well, here’s what came out of those thoughts:

Went to NY to get a new deal
Dolan opened up gave me $100 mil
Openly said that the Knicks was back
Fresh blue suit with a matching hat
Hated D’antoni out in Phoenix
Now I’m the man I’m the cleanest
New York had to drop David Lee
What they don’t his game is just like me
Went to Melos wedding back in August
Told him roll here and we’d all fit
Yeah to score both of us would need the ball
And we can’t play D but no prob at all
Started ballin out fans shouting MVP
Yet couldn’t rebound or even play d
Droppin 25 a night NY lovin me
Around January up there goes my knees
Finally the Knicks bring Melo back home
Should’ve known then that trouble would soon be on
He like ISO me I like to run the floor
And in half court i probably shouldn’t play at all
Everytime I saw the paint I had to peel out
When the playoffs came around I had to deal out
Shots started droppin low like my scoring
Couldn’t play a good game against Boston
All these problems that I’m havin and I cant correct them
And to top it off the league is locked out kid

(side note if you ever have a bad day A Tribe Called Quests 8 million stories is the best song to listen to. It covers every single bad part of everyone’s day. When I lived in Maryland this song was on repeat weekly. Yeah, I’ll never get over my hatred of Maryland.)

The lockout is over less stress see
Chris is now ballin with LAC
we need a point guard since we dumped Chauncey
Can baron be the man unlikely
Mike and Melo really ain’t workin
Here comes Linsanity now I’m really hurtin
Once Melo left I thought my game was on
Instead Tyson Chandler had it goin on
Can’t get a shot with Melo or J Lin
Back sat me down now they ballin
Woodson took over talkin bout defense
Moved Melo to the four now they intense
Came back now here are down 2-0
So frustrating make me wanna hit the door
See this piece plastic taking out my frustration
Damn, here come the ambulance racing


Please End The D’antoni Era

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I didn’t watch the New York Knicks game yesterday… Didn’t need to.

I just followed the flow of the game on Twitter and filled in the blanks… Jeremy Lin and turnovers blah blah blah… Melo missing shots blah blah blah… Amare Stoudemire with only 9 & 5… Knicks not playing defense… Landry fields torched by Evan Turner… BLAH BLAH FREAKIN BLAH!!!

The Knicks are back as Amare once shouted in his news conference last year to mark his NY arrival, back to playing bad basketball that is. Linsanity was fun for awhile. The Ben & Jerry’s flavors, the t-shirts, the sheer joy and hope that maybe the Knicks were turning a corner, now after a five game losing streak the Knicks are stuck at the eighth spot in the East and stuck in neutral as a team without direction or any energy.

And it’s Mike D’antoni’s fault.

Don’t blame this on Carmelo Anthony who is being fed to the lions as we speak, don’t blame Lin for losing steam because he’s technically still a rookie… This latest stink job is solely on D’antoni and his lack of skill as a coach.

You have two capable point guards, an all world scorer, a team full of talent and you still don’t know how to make it work this late in the season?

D’antoni’s run and gun offense has been a bust in the big apple. After reading yesterday’s stat sheet and seeing Lin lead the team in shots with 18 it’s clear that D’antoni has no clue about what to do with this team.

Which means by the time I’m done with this article the New York Knicks should have told him to kick rocks with no shoes on, seriously.

I’m over the D’antoni era, the lack of defense, control in the offense, and energy from his players at times. D’antoni is not a coach, or a motivator or even a plausible human being at this point (think that’s mean? Go read what’s being said about him by fans and writers alike. It ain’t pretty.).

The Knicks need a new direction. They need someone to instill defense in them, to give them direction, to make them look like an NBA franchise and not whatever this is on the basketball court.

I don’t know if it’s Phil Jackson, or Jerry Sloan, or hell it could be Tom Coughlin for all I care, the point is that the guy currently holding down the coaches chair in Madison Square Garden isn’t getting it done and there needs to be a change.

It needs to be done fast too. The Knicks had promise just two weeks ago and were looking to move up the eastern conference playoff ladder. Now they’re in danger of missing the playoffs all together.

Things need to happen and first on that list is relieving Mike D’antoni of his duties as coach of the New York Knicks.

It’s getting to the point where I don’t have to watch the Knicks to know how pathetic they are doing. Isn’t that enough to get him out?


Consumed By Linsanity

I Believe in this man.

The Knicks are a car accident to watch. It’s such a frightening mess and I know it’s bad to look at yet I still drag myself to a television set to watch this pathetic mess almost every night.

Last year they couldn’t play defense, this year they forgot how to score.
Bill Walker is a lackadaisical mess. Toney Douglas gets too trigger happy. Amare Stoudamire is the black David Lee (I told everyone this when he was signed but no one listened to me). Carmelo Anthony has no scoring help and all Mike D’Antoni could do was sit around and watch.

I wanted D’Antoni fired last year for his constant lack of detail, I wanted him fired this offseason for a defensive coach like Mike Brown, I want him fired this year because I’m sick of seeing him and his mustache.

Yet none of this matters right now in New York because Knick fans are on cloud nine thanks to a 6-3, 200 pound, undrafted point guard from Harvard that has become an overnight sensation.

His name is Jeremy Lin, and he is a gift from the heavens above.

Ok maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but jeez not even last year’s acquisition of Melo brought this much buzz an joy to the basketball Mecca that is the NYC.

Lin’s emergence came at a time when the Knicks desperately needed some good news. At 8-15 and flirting with a disastrous season that would’ve surely ended the D’Antoni era for the Knicks, Lin has caught fire and has led the Knicks through their best stretch of the season.

He’s been the missing piece that the fast pace D’Antoni offense has needed to get going. A pick and roll point guard with excellent vision and passing skills that is able to create shots for his teammates as well as fend for himself offensively.

Funny thing was that he was almost released to make room for the return of Baron Davis, I guess that won’t be happening now.

Ever since he stepped onto the court against the New Jersey Nets Lin has created a buzz across the league and has turned skeptics into believers.

He schooled Deron Williams and ran circles around him two Saturdays ago, he treated Devin Harris like a rag doll, he embarrassed John Wall with a sick crossover and dunk that was replayed over and over on Sportscenter, his performance against the Lakers last Friday will be talked about for years, and he showed toughness and moxie in gutting out a win in Minnesota.

He’s done it all from knocking down clutch free throws, reigniting Tyson Chandler’s game and leaving Derek Fisher flat-footed as he spun by for a highlight worthy lay in.

Yeah, I’m in love with this guy. But it took me a while to get into him.

Like most people I had to actually see him to believe him. Watching highlights of Lin didn’t tell the whole story. Yeah it was nice to see him drive at will against Utah and destroy the Nets already grim confidence but I wanted more.

I wanted to know three things about Lin while everyone was already crowning him the next big thing:

1. Can he handle the mounting pressure that comes with being an athlete in New York?
2. How does he deal with failure in a game and can he still stay on point when he’s not on his A game?
3. How will he play with the return of Stat and Melo (yeah, forgot about then right?)

My first question got answered on Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The last few times the Lakers have hit The Big Apple it’s been Kobe Bryant’s town without question. He has carved his own name into Madison Square Garden lore with huge performances like scoring 61 points in a game there just years ago.

It was the perfect test for my Lin theory, play arguably the best player in the game and keep the Knicks on pace with the Lakers.

That was the first full time that I actually got to watch Lin, safe to say I was shocked by what I saw.

He didn’t just keep the Knicks in the game, he controlled it. He dominated the pace and flow of the game by continuously attacking the rim, floating lobs to Chandler, coming up steals on the defensive end and destroying Fisher and Steve Blake when the ball was in his hands.

He looked like a younger Steve Nash, honest to god. Just his style of play and the way he maneuvered around the Lakers reminded me of the two-time NBA MVP.

Every time the Knicks needed a big play or a big shot the ball found its way to Lin. He never backed down and always came through. 38 points & 7 assists later I was starting to get sold on the NBA’s Tim Tebow.

(yep I made a Tebow reference but all of the similarities and hype and mass coverage are there. The big difference? Lin can ball out, Tebow’s a bum… Just saying.)

The next test came the next night against the Timberwolves in a hyped up battle versus Ricky Rubio.

The main reason I wanted to see him fail is because I wanted to see if he was more like Eli Manning or Tony Romo.

When things don’t go Manning’s way his demeanor doesn’t change and he pressed on. For Romo he panics and loses his cool. I wanted to see if when things get too tight of Lin folds or rises to the occasion.

(yeah I fit an Eli reference in there, so what? By the way did you know that the New York Giants are Super Bowl Champions? God that makes me happy)

The T-Wolves game was a game of two halves. Lin was his usual self in the first half 7-12, 4 dimes and running the offense efficiently. In the second half Lin was totally taken out of rhythm. He only hit 1-12 shots and the Wolves forced him into bad shots and 4 turnovers.

However, I got the impression from Lin that even in tough stretches he still doesn’t get rattled.

Even with all of the turnovers and with his shots not finding the net he still continued to set up his other teammates including Steve Novak’s game tying three with less than a minute left. He also scored the winning point from the free throw line after being fouled getting to the basket.

Even without a dominant performance Lin still found a way to pull out a win for the Knicks. That was enough to make me even more of a believer.

Now the third and most interesting task is at hand… Can Lin, Melo and Stat all work together to be effective?

Carmelo Anthony has received a lot of bad press in the last week with all of the Linsanity spreading through NY.

It’s as if we forget that we wanted Melo here in the first place, it’s not his fault that the Knicks traded the farm to get him (thanks James Dolan). Melo has always needed a point guard to stabilize this offense to make more effective. Sorry Toney Douglas wasnt the answer.

With Lin’s emergence Melo and Amar’e for that matter now have a lot less pressure on their shoulders to score.

The main question is can Melo let Lin run the offense without asking for the ball too much?

As dynamic of a scorer as he is, Melo holds onto the ball for too long in too many stretches of the game. With Lin at the point now Melo will have to find his rhythm in the game and let it come to him.

Besides elevating Chandler, Landry Fields has found his game and confidence and Novak has become a reliable shooter off of the bench. The Knicks have gone from a two horse team to an actual team with a good rotation.

If Melo can stay dominant while letting this mix still cook then the Knicks will be making noise come playoff time.

If not then he’ll be the one taking most of the criticism if the Knicks go back to struggling.

The next stage of Linsanity is upon us. He won’t be throwing up 25 shots a game any more or dropping 38 on defenses, but I believe that after watching Jeremy Lin he is the answer to a lot of the Knicks woes.

Lin has dazzled America, balled out on every opponent that he’s faced and is getting better by the day.

In a city consumed by sports with the Giants winning Super Bowls, the Rangers leading the NHL and the Yankees always on the back pages, the Knicks have wiggled their way back into the minds of New Yorkers.

Linsanity is here and hopefully it’s not a flash in the pan.


An Awkward Moment For David Stern

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That awkward moment when Chris Paul walks into training camp today in New Orleans when he was supposed to be a Laker yesterday.

That awkward moment when Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol walk past Mitch Kupxhak who just tried to trade them yesterday.

That awkward moment when Luis Scola and Kevin Martin walk into Houston’s locker room and try to act like everything’s normal when it’s not.

That awkward moment when Danny Ainge gets back on the phone trying to trade for Paul with Rajon Rondo walking into his office looking for apology that Ainge would trade him in the first place.

That awkward moment when Amar’e Stoudamire tries to act like he’s not getting traded when there was mention of his name in a possible trade for Paul.

That awkward moment when any free agent or trade prospect gets nervous when they hear the Cleveland Cavaliers as a destination knowing that they have to work for Dan Gilbert. You know the guy that dissed LeBron in comic sans script. He was one of the men behind the killing of Paul trade. More on that later.

That awkward moment when the Magic start getting nervous that they won’t get anything in return for Dwight Howard since they are about to lose him.

That awkward moment when reports of Dwight Howard going to the Nets surface and both the Magic and Nets wait for rejection letters from the commish…

Way to make things uncomfortable like an Egyptian heat wave David Stern.

His veto of the Chris Paul trade to the Los Angeles Lakers has turned a solution of three teams problems to a problem for thirty teams.

Here’s the scoop: the Hornets can’t keep Paul and they know it, they work out a with the Lakers to send him there and work in the Rockets as a third party. The Lakers get a point guard that they desperately need, the Rockets get an actual center in Pau Gasol, and The Hornets get Martin, Odom and Scola to make them a deep competitive team. It works out for all party’s especially the Hornets who look like the big winners…

Except it didn’t work out that way.

Reportedly several owners despised the trade and sent E-mails to Stern expressing their dissatisfaction. The ring leader was apparently Dan Gilbert who made the point that he thought the point of the lockout was so that players could bully GM’s into getting their way and so that superteams wouldn’t be formed, which would keep the competitive balance.

Truthfully Gilbert had a point. As a fan, a Knicks fan at that, I would like a more competitive balance around the league. If there are only 6 teams worth watching then what’s the point of watching.

However, if this were Gilbert years ago and he knew LeBron James was leaving (he did though his naivety got the best of him) Gilbert would’ve done the same thing. He would’ve traded James and got as much for him as he could. So why is it a problem to him that the Hornets are trying to get the best value possible for a fleeing star?

This is going to be an issue going forward for a handful of teams that need to move players that will leave in the future. The Magic come to mind first with the Dwight Howard issue.

Reportedly they are having heated talks to send him to the Nets. Will Stern veto that trade too? What about when the T-Wolves want to move Kevin Love, or when the Clippers or Warriors are trying to get Paul again? Will he veto those deals as well?

Stern just opened up Pandora’s box by not allowing the Paul deal to go through because he has to kill those other deals. If not then the Hornets, Lakers & Rockets will be hotter than the sun and they’ll have a right to be.

There should be a more fair and balanced league, but when a trade happens and it’s fair to the teams involved it should go through. Stern should’ve realized that, now he has a mess on his hands that could and will be bigger than the three teams involved.

If you think life is awkward for the players involved in this deal just wait and watch the next few weeks. The NBA had a wild offseason but the drama of the regular season might be even bigger.

And it all started with a no from David Stern. If he doesn’t fix this problem his next few headaches will be much worse.


The Return Of Random Thoughts

Wait a minute... we're still over .500? High five!

You know what we haven’t done in a while? A random thoughts blog.

Just things I’ve thought about that maybe you have as well in the last few weeks of watching sports.

With so much going on as far as sports since March Madness I think it’s time to do some rehashing.

So without further ado… HERE WE GO!

Is Zach Greinke really worth it? I mean he is 7-3 but he’s got a 5.66 ERA.

Anybody else think Kenny Williams is lying about the Adam Dunn deal?

Josh Harrelson a year ago was buried on the bench at Kentucky with Enes Kanter coming in. A year later he was a key component in the Wildcats Final Four run and will get minutes off of the bench for the Knicks. Life.

Hopefully the Sedin Twins take boxing lessons this summer.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, please gain 20 pounds.

Even though she is six foot five how many of us would hit on Jan Vesely’s girlfriend?

Federer couldn’t beat Nadal, Nadal can’t beat Djokovic… So who’s he going to have a problem with?

Why is it that Joe Girardi is the only person who thinks Derek Jeter should lead off?

David Ortiz couldn’t hit anything for the last two years now all of a sudden he’s hitting .301 with 17 home runs and 49 RBI… hmmmm….

Lebron James dunking on a kid doesn’t help his image.

(honestly at this point LeBron could cure cancer and we’d still hate him. And yes I’m serious about that statement.)

Mario Chalmers is now my new least favorite athlete in the world.

Did any team in the NBA Draft really help itself?

Sabine Lisicki also plays tennis. We'll talk about that later.

Nicklas Lidstrom came back for his 20th season. Can we engrave his name on the Norris Trophy in 2012 already?

Lets face it, Dany Heatley will never be “the guy.”

Neither will Andy Murray.

Anybody else happy that Brian Cashman corrected Alex Rodriguez by saying that Robinson Cano is better that Jose Reyes?

Can I call Austin Rivers “Baby Doc?”

Did Jose Bautista really just score the most votes in All-Star voting history?

How awesome was it that Virginia won the lacrosse title?

(think about this for a second. In the last two years lacrosse’s two most controversial teams fought back from media hell to win a title. Last years Duke team won after three years of dealing with the ugly aftermath of a stripper rape allegation and this year Virginia won after one of it’s own murdered women’s lacrosse player Yeardley Love.

The image of the Cavs men’s team was brutally tarnished and the turmoil around both mens and women’s teams was enough make anyone not want to put on pads and a helmet and sprint out onto the field again. However, Virginia fought through it’s adversity and came out a winner. Their win over Maryland in the Memorial Day title game cast a fantastic light on the team an buried whatever demons were left from the 2011 season.

Very commendable indeed.)

Are the Pirates really a game and a half out of first place?

Who the hell is Mike Morse?

Brian Wilson needs to shave that beard… Now!

Is Jim Riggleman; a, a gangster, b, salty or c, out of his bleeping mind?

Iman Shumpert… And yes I’m still stuck on that pick.

How funny would it be if the Winnipeg Jets won the southeast division this year?

(Winnipeg is six hours north of Minneapolis.)

It’s July… NFL step on it.

(I’m serious. The New York Giants tick me off, Eli Manning makes bad throws, I’ll see 85 Coughlin faces and understand each of them… AND IF I MISS ONE FREAKING GAME I WILL HUNT ROGER GOODELL AND DEMAURICE SMITH DOWN!!!)

By the way, if the MLB locks out in November then there is a real possibility that Hockey may be the only game in town come 2012….

New theory behind the Flyers trades; maybe Paul Holmgren used Jeff Carter and Mike Richards just to get the Winter Classic in Philly and then dumped them afterwards… Nope, trade still makes no sense.

I know Brett Favre is retired, but I’m still uncertain.

Quick, 3 things about Luke Picknell. Ready and… GO!

Is Maryland football a better job than Connecticut football? Randy Edsall are you listening?

Seattle Sounders FC draws more fans than the Mariners…

Anybody else think Cam Newton will bomb?

I still have no caption for this.

No seriously are the Pirates really only a game and a half out of first place?

(why is this not a huge story? The Pirates haven’t had a winning season in almost 20 years. That’s back to the Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla days.

Ever since then they have traded every and I mean every good player that they’ve had and have been in a never ending rebuild mode. Now here there are with Andrew McCutcheon as a dark horse MVP candidate, an All-Star in Joel Hanrahan and the Brewers, Reds and Cards all looking back in disbelief.

If they make the playoffs they are the story if the year hands down.)

Sabine Lisicki… Mmmmmm.

Will Tiger Woods fade into oblivion?

Even though Roger Federer has “lost it” he’s still the third best tennis player in the world.

And lastly… Dirk, a $90,000 bottle of champagne and pictures with Birdman and Lil’ Wayne… In LeBron and D-Wade’s backyard.

Cough on that Miami.


A Night To Forget

So how does it feel to be the number one pick in the worst draft ever?

My buddy Will and I were trying to convince ourselves that the 2011 NBA Draft was going to be ok. While every expert, critic and pundit was convinced that this would be one of the worst drafts ever Will and I saw hidden gems all over the place.

We liked both Morris twins’ talents in the paint and in the post, we thought Kenneth Faried was going to be a beast of a defensive stud, I had my man crush on Kemba Walker and he had his on Marshon Brooks.

Realistically Will and I knew that there weren’t any superstars in this draft. To us this was a key role player draft. If you are building a championship contender then this is the draft where you get your bench guys, your energy guys, players like that.

So while the entire world thought that this draft would be a complete dud, Will and I tuned in just to see how things would turn out and see what good things could come from each pick (that and Will is a Cleveland fan so you knew he was geared up regardless).

What did we get?… well?…

NO.1: CLEVELAND CAVALIERS- KYRIE IRVING, PG, DUKE

It made the most sense. The Cavs need a future point guard especially when Baron Davis loses interest again real soon. Is it a slam dunk? Well Irving played 11 games and there are still doubts about his injured foot… whatever. Will was happy… for the moment.

NO.2: MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES- DERRICK WILLIAMS, F, ARIZONA

Do I like Williams? Yes, I mean did you see the Duke game in the NCAA tournament? Here’s what I don’t like; Minnesota’s forwards are currently Wes Johnson, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Williams, Anthony Randolph and Martell Webster. Plus there is the question of is Williams a 3 or a 4. Also there is Ricky Rubio… AAAAAHHHHH! HEADACHE!!!

NO. 3: UTAH JAZZ- ENES KANTER, C, TURKEY

Kanter is tall, skilled and cocky. He has a great offensive skill set (something Andrei Kirelenko doesn’t have) and can play defense (something that Al Jefferson doesn’t know the meaning of). Yet it doesn’t solve the issue at point guard there.

NO. 4: CLEVELAND CAVALIERS- TRISTAN THOMPSON, F, TEXAS

Jay Bilas says that Thompson needs to learn how to play and how to score… yet he’s the fourth best player in the draft… um?

(Will was so heated that he took a shot of Jack and stewed over the pick. I don’t know why though, they picked a game less, scoreless forward. You’d be happy about that right?)

NO. 5: TORONTO RAPTORS- JONAS VALANCIUNAS, C, LITUANIA

Hmmm, a 7’1” center that is soft, shoots jumpers and can’t play defense… don’t they have one of those already?

NO. 6: WASHINGTON WIZARDS- JAN VESELY, F, CZECH REPUBLIC

The number 6 pick in the draft, and that as your girlfriend... WINNING!!

According to the tapes the dude can ball. But who cares about that, did you see his girlfriend? Victory.

NO. 7: CHARLOTTE BOBCATS- BISMACK BIYAMBO, F, CONGO

He’s Serge Ibaka with no offensive game. However, Ibaka is a pretty good defensive player and judging from Biyambo’s tape so will he.

(Side note: did you notice that 5 of the first 7 players taken in the draft were foreign? Maybe those quotes about college basketball being at a low point were true after all.)

NO. 8: DETROIT PISTONS- BRANDON KNIGHT, G, KENTUCKY

I’ll be honest with you, I like Knight more than I like Irving. I think Knight is a clutch player who isn’t afraid of the moment (as shown versus Ohio State), and unlike Irving I saw enough of Knight to make this assumption. Getting Knight at 8 even though his jumper is sketchy is a steal for the Pistons.

NO. 9: CHARLOTTE BOBCATS- KEMBA WALKER, PG, UCONN

You doubt him, you say he’s too small, he has knee issues, can his body take a beating, after watch Kemba this season trust when I say there is not a thing that he can’t do. He’s going to kill it, just wait.

NO. 10: SACRAMENTO KINGS- JIMMER FREDETTE, G, BYU

The Kings expect him to save their franchise, is this before or after a) he and Tyreke Evans fight over who shoots the ball 30 times a game and only hit 35% of their shots, b) DeMarcus Cousins stabs him for taking too many bad shots (and not getting him the ball) and c) he gets owned by every, EVERY guard in the league? Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

NO.11: GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS- KLAY THOMPSON, G, WASHINGTON STATE

  1. I like the pick because he is so smooth offensively, but can he play defense?
  2. Um… what about not trading Monta Ellis?
  3. Don’t the Warriors have enough shooters?

(This draft just started to upset me right after this pick)

NO. 12: UTAH JAZZ- ALEC BURNS, G, COLORADO

Can’t play defense, can’t shoot, still a work in progress. You think Jerry Sloan is happy that he retired or is that just me?

(By the way… why hasn’t Kawhi Leonard been picked yet?)

NO. 13: PHOENIX SUNS- MARKIEFF MORRIS, F, KANSAS

He fits their offensive style of play and he can play defense. Plus the Suns continue their run of picking brothers. Robin Lopez in 08, Taylor Griffin in 09 and a Morris this year, maybe next year they get a Wear brother or a Plumlee.

NO. 14: HOUSTON ROCKETS- MARCUS MORRIS, F, KANSAS

Something is telling me that this won't work out for either side.

This facebook status is brought to you by my brother Kareem:

Isn’t the worst father’s day gift ever watching the kid you left 20 years ago

Get picked in the NBA draft?

NO. 15: SAN ANTONIO SPURS- KAWHI LEONARD, F, SAN DIEGO STATE

The Spurs start their rebuilding process with the super athletic forward who has hands the size of a cinderblock and a huge vertical. Plus they have someone to replace the corpse formerly known as Richard Jefferson.

NO. 16: PHILADELPHIA 76ERS- NIKOLA VUCEVIC, F, USC

The only thing I want to know is how much money he got while playing there. I’m joking… but seriously, how much?

NO. 17: NEW YORK KNICKS- IMAN SHUMPERT, G, GEORGIA TECH

So, let me show you how much everyone associated with the Knicks hated this pick:

The fans booed, loudly.

Spike Lee stared into deep space with an emotionless expression as if someone told him Denzel Washington just dissed him in a rap song.

Will sent me these texts messages:

Knicks on the clock.

Ummmmmm….ummmmmm… ummmmm… no comment

Wow. don’t talk.

Just be quiet and point to your mouth.

Wow I thought Tristan was a reach.

Carmelo Anthony tweeted: “Goodnight. I’m out.”

Now I don’t know what Carmelo was referring to, but I KNOW WHAT HE WAS REFERRING TO!

Then there was me. All I could say was IMAN “F*****” SHUMPERT!

Yep. A two guard that can’t shoot. However he apparently is a good defender. So was Corey Brewer and look what happened to him after the Knicks got him. I hate the Knicks.

NO. 18: WASHINGTON WIZARDS- CHRIS SINGLETON, F, FLORIDA STATE

NO.19: MILWAUKEE BUCKS- TOBIAS HARRIS, G, TENNESSEE

NO. 20: HOUSTON ROCKETS- DONATAS MONTIEJUNAS, PF, LITHUANIA

Honestly I had to go back to look at picks 18-20 because I blacked out in a rage after the Knicks pick. Then when I went back and saw the Singleton pick I got mad again.

I hate the Knicks.

NO. 21: PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS- NOLAN SMITH, G, DUKE

A nice pick for Portland especially with them about to show Andre Miller the door, now if they can find a consistent shooter.

NO. 22: DENVER NUGGETS- KENNETH FARIED, F, MOREHEAD STATE

So to recap; the Nuggets in the span of 4 months took the two shooters the Knicks desperately need (Danilo Galinari and Wilson Chandler) a center who could develop into a pretty good player (Timofey Mozgov) and drafted the player that I wanted the Knicks to get most in Faried. Shoot me.

NO. 23: CHICAGO BULLS- NIKOLA MIROTIC, PF, SPAIN

And this is the text that made both Will and I throw in the towel with this draft courtesy of Will himself:

This draft is awful.

Yep. We gave up. There were players going to teams in places that honestly made no sense not to mention that not many of these kids will have an immediate impact.

Valanciunas won’t be in Toronto for another year, the Kings have too many shooters, the Jazz still don’t have a reliable point guard, and the Cavs second pick was basically thrown away. This draft was pathetic. Even the biggest optimist has to admit this. Will and I tried to take this draft for what it was worth and we failed. Even the trades were bogus. Couldn’t the Lakers or Heat have traded for Dwight Howard or something to save this draft?

NO.24: OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER- REGGIE JACKSON, G, BOSTON COLLEGE

I hate the Knicks.

Insurance just in case Kevin Durant stabs Russell Westbrook in his sleep for taking too many shots.

NO. 25: NEW JERSEY NETS- MARSHON BROOKS, G, PROVIDENCE

Deron Williams just thanked god. He finally has an offensive threat to pass to.

NO. 26: DENVER NUGGETS- JORDAN HAMILTON, F, TEXAS

Wait, wasn’t he a better product at Texas than Thompson? How did he fall this far in this draft?

NO. 27: BOSTON CELTICS- JAJUAN JOHNSON, F, PURDUE

There’s that big man that Boston needed in the playoffs…

NO. 28: HOUSTON ROCKETS- NORRIS COLE, G, CLEVELAND STATE

If he cuts the flattop he should be demoted to the D League immediately.

NO. 29: SAN ANTONIO SPURS- CORY JOSEPH, G, TEXAS

Was it a reach? Yes. However, how many times have the Spurs found a diamond in the rough in the draft. just saying.

NO. 30: CHICAGO BULLS- JIMMY BUTLER, F, MARQUETTE

Feel good story and a guy that could give them an offensive lift off of the bench.

Why did I run through the last 7 picks? Well one Will and I stopped caring after no. 23 and honestly no one should blame us.

In the end the critics and analysts were right, this draft was terrible and it should be extradited from our brain cells forever and ever.

If only I could do that with the Knicks and their draft pick.


The Rangers And Knicks Are Killing Themselves

Henrik Lundquist cant believe how these playoffs have played out so far for the Rangers

Jared Jeffries’s turnover, Marian Gaborik’s tip away, Ray Allen’s three, Alex Semin’s Goal, two blown halftime leads, two blown leads late in the third period… the last week in New York playoff sports have been a nightmare (and don’t get me started on the Yankees pitching woes either.).

This has been about as depressing as it gets. Watching the Rangers and Knicks blow leads to two teams that they’re not better than, but had outplayed in the majority of the games that they played.

The Rangers should be up 3-1, the Knicks should be up 2-0, and the reasons that they’re not are maddening.

First the Rangers ills have been not being able to close out an opponent (much like how they weren’t able to close out a playoff spot in the regular season). In game 1 against the Capitals they led 1-0 late in the third thanks to great goaltending by Henrik Lundquist and the defensive work of Marc Stall and company. Then in an instant Alex Ovechkin ties the game thanks to a fluke tip in where Derek Stepan, Staal, and Lundquist all couldn’t get a stick on the puck even though it was there in front of them.

The overtime goal was even worse as Staal seemed to nonchalantly make a clearing pass out of the zone that ended up on Jason Arnott’s stick, then Semin’s, then the back of the net. Defeat from the jaws of victory.

Then came last night. Not even 24 hours after the Los Angeles Kings blew a 4-0 lead in two periods, the Rangers upped them by doing it in ten minutes. After two periods of Rangers domination where the Rangers and the crowd was bullying the Capitals (last time Bruce Boudreau ever comments about crowd noise), the crowd stood in shock as Semin knocked in a loose puck that Lundquist lost track of, then after Marcus Johansson scored on a tip-in to make it 3-2 he scored on a lucky bounce off of a Karl Alzner slap shot to make it 3 all.

The worst of all came in double OT as Jason Chimera had his shot blocked and it looked like Lundquist was going to cover it up for a faceoff in his zone. For some reason Gaborik decided to knock the puck away from Lundquist right as he reached for it and it landed right on Chimera’s stick and the comeback was complete.

Carmelo and the Knicks are on the brink thanks to lackluster play from his teammates.

Three fluke goals, three to one deficit, the Rangers have redefined the stomach punch loss.

(Side note: Marian Gaborik has been a disaster the second half of this year. That boneheaded play combined with his lackluster offensive production has me and other Rangers fans doubting where his head is right now. If he can’t score goals and is causing some to go in then why is he on the ice? Last night the Rangers went 0-7 on the power play and are 1-234 in the series. Actual stat. That is Gaborik’s bread and butter and he’s not delivering. If this keeps up then next year he’ll be with Wade Redden in Connecticut.)

If that wasn’t enough, it came after the New York Knicks snatched defeat from victory in two straight games.

The Knicks had outplayed the Celtics and were in prime position to win both games even with Carmelo Anthony playing poorly in game one and without Amar’e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups in game 2.

In game 1 the Knicks led by 12 at the half and Stoudemire was destroying Kevin Garnett and company on the inside. Then somehow in the last 5 minutes of the game he doesn’t get one touch. Yeah Melo went 1-11 in the second half but the fact that Amar’e doesn’t get the ball that late in the game when he had dominated throughout was horrible.

The shot selection by Melo, Toney Douglas and others was typical Mike D’Antoni offense. If Amar’e gets the ball the Knicks win by 10, since he didn’t, and D’Antoni didn’t stress that in the huddle, the Knicks lost.

Game 2 may have been the nail in the coffin though. After losing Amar’e to back spasms Anthony took all of New York on his back with his 42 point, 17 rebound, 6 assist performance where he was the only Knick to shoot anywhere near 50% as Bill Walker shot 0-11 and Douglas went 5-16 (two things on Douglas real quick. 1. There is no way that Douglas should ever be allowed to take 16 shots in a playoff game, EVER. 2. Douglas ‘s poor shot selection at times is the reason that the Knicks need to actively look for a point guard this offseason. He’s not capable of carrying a second unit and keeping the Knicks in front or in the game.).

Marian Gaborik hasnt been helping the Rangers much this postseason.

With 12 seconds left Melo got an inbounds past where he was immediately double-teamed and Melo through a strike to a cutting Jeffries who had a good look at the rim… if he would’ve turned in the right direction and not directly into Kevin Garnett. Melo got criticized for passing the ball in that situation but that was his best option. He couldn’t hoist a bad three over two defenders and his pass to Jeffries was on point. The real issue was that Jeffries made a bad play on the ball (really Jared Jeffries? No.) and couldn’t finish.

The Knicks main issue is there lack of reliable role players. Walker, Douglas and Jeffries aren’t able to play big in these situations and that, combined with the lack of big men, are the reason that they’re down 2-0.

With the Knicks heading home in a rut down in a series they enter the a depressed Madison Square Garden after the Rangers put themselves on the brink with a terrible game 4 loss.

After this weekend both teams will be done. Both the Rangers and Knicks are a year away from being serious contenders and it couldn’t be more apparent.

The Rangers need to learn how to close, the Knicks need the players to close. The Rangers need to get better offensively, the Knicks need to get better defensively. Both teams’ big time players need to play big, and both teams need to learn how to protect leads.

It’s been a frustrating week for New York fans in the Garden watching these two teams fall apart fortunately it’ll all be over sooner than later.


The Knicks Need More Changes

This guy has gotta go.

Fair warning… maybe I’m being a little ill tempered after watching the Knicks lose to the Cavs (again), or the fact that the Knicks play defense like Kim Kardashian makes hit records. But I’m ticked off…

THE NEW YORK KNICKS SHOULD FIRE MIKE D’ANTONI… NOW!!!!

I mean I gave you a good enough warning right?

Is it just me or does anyone else have the feeling that D’antoni isn’t the guy for this job? I know the Knicks score points, they make games exciting for the big networks and its an overall sexy product on the floor in terms of star power. However, let’s come to grips people, that ain’t a tie contender out there. Not even close.

It’s a nice 4 man kingdom with a few court jesters for show, but as far as a complete team, hell no.

Having an offensive minded team is fine as long as you have some type of defensive structure. The Denver Nuggets have Aaron Afflalo, the Phoenix Suns have Robin Lopez, even the Clippers have Deandre Jordan and Blake Griffin.

The Knicks had Corey Brewer but bought him out and he was immediately scooped up by Dallas. Now who do u count on for some level of defensive intensity, Landry Fields? Bill Walker?

Defense wins championships, period. You can chuck all of the threes in the world, run up and down the court til your heart stops and get as many dunks as possible, but without defense you’re game plan is pointless and you’ll never get over the hump.

Which brings us to D’antoni and Donnie Walsh for that matter. When D’antoni was hired it was on the basis that his system that worked well in Phoenix would carry over to the Knicks.

The long term plan was to implement that offensive system and bring in a huge piece, like LeBron James, and let it grow into a title contender. So Walsh tried to dump a ton of salary while D’antoni had a bunch of players run his scatterbrained offense with little sense for two years.

We watched Chris Duhon fail the system, watched Nate Robinson fall out of favor, watched Walsh miss out on drafting Brandon Jennings by taking Jordan Hill then send him to Houston for T-MAC’s expiring deal.

The Knicks lack of defense leads to losses like the three they've had versus Cleveland.

Then the moment came this past summit where the plan would come to fruition and James would resurrect the Knicks… yeah about that.

When James bolted the Walsh plan failed. As soon as LeBron took his talents to South Beach Walsh should’ve told D’antoni to go with him.

Sure they got Amar’e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton, however that wasn’t the big plan. You needed more players to work in D’antoni’s system. You need a pass first point guard, shooters, and a bench that goes 8-9 deep solidly. Granted the Knicks have had that, until the Carmelo deal.

Now what do they have? Shawne Williams at the 4? Anthony Carter as the backup point guard? Shelden Williams as a Center? It’s a mess.

The team acts like the Phoenix Suns yet it is a hand me down version with even worse defensive tendencies.

Tonight they allowed 119 points to the worst team in the league…119!!! The Cleveland Cavaliers had 7 players in double figures, J.J. Hickson looked like Charles Barkley and Luke Harangody was a poor man’s version of Kevin Love, they couldn’t stop Baron Davis who should be in full sulk mode. How can I take the Knicks as a serious NBA franchise when they’re 0-3 against the league’s worst team and when they’ve allowed 117 points a game in the last two meetings?

(Side note: northern Ohio is slowly becoming my least favorite opponent of New York teams. It’s like the Cavs, Browns, Indians and Blue Jackets only play hard against us and lay flat against other competitors. Think about the Browns going 4-12 yet killing the Giants on Monday Night Football. The Indians christening the new Yankee Stadium with a 22-4 beantown. These three losses to the Cavs and the Rangers letting me down the one time a year they come to Columbus. The sympathy I have for this state’s hard luck OS dwindling by the second.)

So what’s the solution? Fire Mike D’antoni and get a coach on here that preaches defense.

Donnie Walsh isn’t going to able to put the kind of team together that fits the system D’antoni runs. Just kill it now before it destroys the slight momentum the Know kd have gained from the Carmelo Anthony deal.

Hire Mike Brown. Draft a point guard or center. Get Tyson Chandler, get some defensive help for Melo and company, change the look of this team right now and make them serious.

Fact is that while Mike D’antoni will win games, he won’t win titles. If he did he would still be in Phoenix. You need a guy that will take your team to the next level and he ain’t it.

I didn’t expect much from the Knicks this season. I expect the Melo deal to be the beginning of many deals in the future to bring the Knicks back for real.

However, it can’t happen with D’antoni as the coach. The system needs to be changed in order for the Knicks to be successful and it starts on the sidelines.

I hope Walsh makes this or something happen. If there are more losses like this in the future then it won’t be just Mike D’antoni under the hot seat. It’ll be you too Donnie. I can’t take this crap anymore.