"If you are going to die in battle then you should do so with the utmost respectability and dignity. It is a terrible shame to die in battle with your sword undrawn or yourself unable to use it correctly." (Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of the Five Rings)
To date I have begrudgingly paid my respects to the personnel and methods responsible for the Knicks climb towards respectability. I've pointed to the importance of the defiant leadership brought to the Garden by Amar'e Stoudemire. I've discussed the lethal dynamic of the Mike D'Antoni Pick and Roll in the context of the Seven Seconds or Less offense. I've pointed out SSOL's influence on a short list of current contending teams. I've even discussed the artful maneuverings of Donnie Walsh leading up to the summer of 2010, all the while comparing his methodology to that of an apex predator.
Prior to the precipitous decline from mid December through January, the Knicks stood seven games above .500 at 16-9. At that time they held respectable aspirations for mid tier playoff positioning. While the Carmelo Anthony "Melodrama" wrecked havoc with the cross Hudson New Jersey Nets, the Knicks played on, aloof and distant with a hand of leverage to boot. The arranged marriage of Anthony to the Nets seemed to be just more Denver bluster in the face of Anthony's apparent tunnel vision towards Manhattan. At that time Walsh was able to play off his hand of leverage as a gulf the span of the Hudson river appeared to distance the Knicks from their recently moribund past.
Despite the much deserved praise directed at them, the Knicks are now teetering on losing their forward momentum. The long string of back to back winning streaks that surged the Knicks towards relevance in mid November through December are far gone. What has replaced that forward momentum has been short and long losing streaks mixed in with some good wins followed by bad losses to teams the Knicks "should beat." While the Knicks playoff positioning has yet to change (they are currently at the 6th spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race).The Knicks now cling to a tenuous grip on an above .500 winning percentage.
Statements from from key figures in the Knicks organization have punctuated the Knicks slide in momentum. Recently there was the contented statement by D'Antoni to merely accept a slot in the playoff's . Then there were the statements by Walsh, which suggest that he may have accepted not obtaining Anthony's Star talents to pair with those of Stoudemire. In conjunction these statements suggest that the organization may be reverting towards acquiescence while the Knicks stumble towards mediocrity. All while the moribund ghost of season past lie in waiting.
Sure the Nuggets hit the bluff and Melo appears to be blinking in his stand off but the Knicks appear to have built part of a bridge to a nowhere bleaker than Gnome Alaska. Phrases like, half hearted, half stepping, half assed are appropriate to describe the organization's tepid character. Since these phrases refer to lukewarm actions when the time or situation warrants decisive actions, firm stands and conviction.
There's not doubt the Knicks are in a conundrum, as they must acknowledge Anthony's recently fickle statements about reconsidering the Nuggets extension if he is not dealt. Perhaps the Nuggets Star is weary of peering down the big bad (and perhaps overstated) abyss without the calvary of a reasonable offer from the Knicks for his services. Sure the Nuggets are going to insist on more for surrendering a Star Scoring forward. Certainly they should bluff and insist on getting more back on a player of Anthony's caliber. And that is where the Knicks must be firm but decisive in maneuvering for Anthony.
Ultimately the conundrum for the Knicks is that they must strike a balance. A critical balance between preserving a semblance of the supporting talent to make the acquisition of Anthony's services a move towards contention. Surrendering more than that critical amount of supporting talent for Anthony's services may lock them out of maneuvering for further star talent or even retaining capable role players down the line. The "Sterner" landscape of a potentially more onerous CBA makes that a consideration that must be taken into account. Yet, regardless of the rock and hard place, Anthony's statements may have raised, The Knicks need to figure out that balanced package between an upgrade and threading water in the high ocean. Missing that mark may result in the Stoudemire era being a walk down the painful memory lane of the Ewing Era Knicks teams of the 1990's
Thus on the night "The Griffin" stepped onto the Garden, the Knicks yet again backed off on the court. An unassertive trend that paralleled the luke warm statements from the organization's coaching staff and management. As a result while, Denver Bluffed and Melo blinked the Knicks have one downed them both with statements that indicate that the culture of acquiescence and losing over at 2 Penn Plaza is once again resurfacing. Perhaps not even Stoudemire's defiance, D'Antoni's recent admonishments or calls for support of the team on the court or the Glacial pace of the old shark can turn back that tide.
Step back and look at the big picture, my bros.Do you think agents don't talk to each other, players?Do you think they don't learn from their own history?Carmelo has Denver by the nuts and he is slowly squeezing.Jabbar did it in Milwaukee.Shaq ti Orlando's object lesson and so on.They'll ultimately take what they can get.Forget that rental didly squat, that's a fool's game without assurances.Cuban can't be that stupid.Carmelo has had years to think about this.All he has to do is hold his cards close, just like Walsh, and sit tight for a few more days.Denver might be trying to sweeten the pot a little, but Stern's plan to strengthen the value of a NY franchise for the sake of an international mega-buck will not allow Denver to walk away empty.Everyone has to play nice and everyone's cut will appreciate.Remember this is not about asses in seats anymore, it's about selling cable and product in a billion Chinese homes, and eventually a billion Indian homes, South America homes, etc.Sure, we get excited about individual matchups and such, so do some people when they talk about criquet.Carmelo and family want NYC lifestyle and money, stars get paid, period.It is the middle guys who'll take the brunt of the new contract's decrease for players, maybe rooks will take a small hit.But big guys get paid, or they get even by leavin'.Carmelo has had a plan, just like theBron had one.Bron left money on the table, that surprised me, but it was his choice.Carmelo has made his choice plain, he wants the big stage, not Newark, not Dallas, not Houston.LA certainly is a big enough stage, and that could be a possibility if he wants to wait for the summer.If the C's whip some Angelino ass and Jackson departs, trading Bynum might be a possibility for restructuring.After all the C's would be a year older and speed might work better.Today the Lackeys need Bynum's size and D to fight off the C's.So ultimately, Donnie needs to throw Denver a bone (Rautins, or maybe swap points) and sit tight.If Melo ever had a plan it's about to bear fruit, unless he turns after punching from behind and runs like a little bitch.He wouldn't do that would he?Seriously, it's just business.He's coming and Knick life will be a little more interesting.Oh shyte, is that Zeke sneaking through the back door?LGK
@Tman At a boy Mr. T! Sensei I really liked the following line!
"If Melo ever had a plan it's about to bear fruit, unless he turns after punching from behind and runs like a little bitch.He wouldn't do that would he?Seriously, it's just business.He's coming and Knick life will be a little more interesting.Oh shyte, is that Zeke sneaking through the back door?LGK"
I'm glad to read that also sense that Stern will not want to hurt the major market Knicks product (heck even exand it and make it better) for projecting onto the international sports market.
That's why a franchise tage in the first or 2nd year of a new CBA or to quick o a hard cap w/o some phasing in doesn't make that much sense to me. Sure, in year 3 onward of a 5-6 year new CBA the three um ego's alignment and the sweetheart deals between LA and Memphi and Boston and Minny will be way tougher to do next time out!
Go get em Mr. T!
I've been a Knicks fan since 1978, and this has to be the worst defense I've ever seen by a Knicks team, Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni need to realize that NO DEFENSE = NO WINS, NO WINS = NO PLAYOFFS, you can get Melo and try to outscore the whole league but that will not help you come playoff time you have to know how to stop teams in crunch time or else you or rolling the dice and hoping you can get lucky. I don't know if getting rid of the coach is the answer, but D'Antoni needs to take a good hard look at his team and somehow incorporate DEFENSE into his system.
We need to get Melo that is the bottom line, the draft that Melo came out of was one of the best draft class, we missed on getting Lebron and now we have Melo who wants to be in New York and all we have to do is wake up and realize that Galo, Chandler, Field all put together don't even come close to Melo, I know it's alot to give up, but just know that once you get Melo here with Amare other player will want to come to New York, and you can build on those two, just look at Cleveland last year all they had was Lebron and the were the top team and to think if we get Melo we'll have two Allstars who can take over a game when it's crunch time.
If we pass on Melo I just don't see this team recovering, we've had
two great players in our team history who dominated the game Bernard King, Patrick Ewing, Melo is that type of player, with Bernard King if not for his injury we would have won a title, and with Ewing we never got a superstar to go along side him, now we have that chance we need to get it done!!! If Donnie can't get it done than we need to have someone who can get it done, don't get me wrong Donnie has done alot of our team and I
give him all the credit it the world, but if you basically handed a great player like Melo and you can't trade one of you young assets who will never come close to the talent of Melo why not do it.
I am going to the game tonight to see the Knicks and Nets I am really not looking forward to it because once again we'll give up 115-120 points and might lose this game, but I am a die hard knick fan I regardless of who is in charge I will support my Knicks!!!
O & B: You are asking me for a longer think piece regarding NBA consolidation and restribution of players by perhaps a 2nd draft and/or lottery method. I have thoughts on this, but no time now tp respond in depth. I will prepare, however, a post down the road. I will catch you at the LBE tonight. LGK
@Post_up_Prince @erock9600 Post Up I think it's starting to dawn on many people that D'antoni s not the right coach for the Knicks to go forward as a contender. He was ok as a gimmick a one trick Phony. But if the Knicks add a player like Melo and balance enough of the roster to be a legit conference threat, then in order to become contenders a balanced coach will be needed.
What say you on Lives and my debate on the possible new landscape of the next CBA? A phase in or all at once? What's most equitable for the Knicks and the rest of the league and the group of 2011 free agents?
Shouldn't the 2011 free agent class be grandfathered in under the rules of the current game. Afterwards go hard, cap, etc etc!
Your opinion Sifu Prince?
@erock9600 Welcome erock9600. great to e-see another diehard in the house.
@erock9600 Welcome to the blog. We have been preaching and beseeching DEFENSE on this site for the past two years. Most of us agree that getting Melo should be Walsh's first priority. Melo's D is at best average, but he often saves his energy on D in order to score points for a team that lacks offensive punch. With Amare and another perimeter shooter--which the Knicks either have or can acquire, Melo can focus more on D. Given Melo's athleticism, he should have no problem enhancing his defensive skills and consciousness of defense. Having a coach or even an assistant coach that stresses D is another matter and D'Antoni (or rathe "D'Adamantoni") is too fixated on his 7 seconds or les system and 3 ball offense to alter his ways.
@erock9600 Very well put Erock9600. Knicks need to make a legit offer to the Nuggetts for Melo's services. I think that is one of Fields, Gallo and Chandler, plus a Knicks first rounder and another one they can obtain from flipping Randolph with a 3rd party team. Walker could be throw into the mix and the contracts of Aubuike and Curry should be considered in exchange to provide the Nuggets cap relief or make the deal go through.
Chime in again sometime and welcome aboard!
Also I think it’s time to reconsider D’antoni and his aw shucks “we just didn’t have enough energy” demeanor. That’s just my take of course.
I couldn’t agree with you more at this time. If Denver is acting like bullies trying to both punk Melo and the Knicks, what the Knicks need to do is make a firm but reasonable offer. Do that and draw that Marginot line in the and. Toe that line and don’t back down. Whatever happens. I like the group of young kids and growing bigs in the Mecca. They deserve better than to have the Melo drama virus destroy all they’ve struggled for to achieve. Make the firm and reasonable offer state is publicly. If the Nuggets shoot for the Moon then they will but in their own faces. Jerks!
Next off season Marc Gasol and Possibly Carmelo may be able to test the waters. I just can’t conceive of Stern creating such an onerous CBA to contain teams like the Heat and the Collusion between teams like Memphis and La and Minny and Boston without phasing in the anvil while allowing teams like the Knicks (who are doing it right under Sterns buddy Walsh) to not be allowed to match Miami’s firepower. That cannot be good for the league to have two fading superteams (Boston and LA) and a young one standing for about a decade going forward. It’s plainly lopsided and rewards the CHeat for their misdeeds. To that end I believe (and have to) that if Stern cracks down on teams like the CHeat, Boston and LA it will be phased in with about 1-2 years window for the Knicks to build up to being a Challenger to the throne. after those 1-2 years then the harsher portions of a New CBA that strikes balance between revenue sharing, maintaining a one to two start competitive league can be phased in. It shouldn’t take a franchise tag to do so. It just take’s a much harder cap and restrictions on how max salaries a team can hand out (two max) so we can go to being back to the thrilling days when we weren’t dealing with those asswholes in Miami. OBTW a franchise tag would hurt the revenue that could be had if a player does migrate to a big market – where the revenue via large broadcast/TV empires are generated. Why would the NBA prevent one or two ONLY stars to join up in a town like NY or Chi or La (with reasonable limits) where such stars draw ticket goers and cable subscriptions that generate the revenue that will likely be distributed throughout the league in a more balanced CBA. Sure more incentives to stay in a small or mid markets but no Franchise tag. If that happens the Players should fight HARD.
I vociferously co-sign! Build off what we have now if the price for Melo is way too high!
@Lives Now that's funny. We are sort of like a chorus with some nuancs here and there that seperate us. But you know the deal I pined on the plan and the D and even while point out some others are running some speedball, they are also bounding and playing hard ass D.
You and I know what's good! Yes sir sensei!
Shout out to Post Up, Mr T and Lives!
"As usual I respect your opinion, I just have one of my own.' LOL. I would have never guessed that you have one too. I thought you were just offering up indisputable facts and I was just being a contrarian. Ha Ha.
@Lives If it happens it should be phased in to balance the league. See my comments to KD, that's a reasonable balance. Less the Heat run unabated and unchecked. Phase such a restriction in the 2nd or 3rd year of a six year CBA. But to short change the eventual free agency of Melo, Gasol and others is also inequitable and if the league strives for checks balances and equity amongst its franchises then a phasing in of such a tag will happen not all at once. Also, Garden tickets were handed out prior to the "resurgence" of this year. Meaning tickets were available a year ago and aren't not, you have to skim and overpay in the 2ndary ticket market to get inflated seats. That money is the Knicks moeny, suscriptions to cablevision for the "revival" is cablevision's and MSG's money. Do you think they'll roll over for an instant franchise tag in the Next CBA when it's to their benefit to argue for a phasing in of such a corrective measure? Again I don't believe the owners are united but Stern is a task master and I don't know where he stands. If he's for recreating the equitable balance and strength of the league overall then he won't go for the jugular on the Hard Cap or Franchise tag all at once. I've read to that end as well.
As usual I respect your opinion, I just have one of my own. Who blinks in the divide between owners and players may be just as important as the divide between small and large markets. I believe that.
@Orange_and_Blue Why would a franchise tag hurt the league revenues any more than the current situation? The Knicks were without a marquee player for several years over the last ten and that had nothing to do with a franchise tag and everything to do with poor GMing.
This is an Owner's league and the players are just squirrels trying to get a nut from some nuts. As an owner, you want to be able to hold onto some of your money and not face such a dramatic drop in the quality of your franchise after investing years and resources in a player. For Melo, Bosh and LeBron to leave their respective teams and former teams without compensation sets the league back because the big markets don't just play themselves, they compete against smaller market teams which need to be competitive to sustain revenues. (Green Bay and Pittsburgh in the NFL are not big market teams; the value of the Knicks continues to increase despite years of ineptitude).
The players may be willing to surrender the mobility of superstars in favor of more revenue sharing for all players and a raise in the age limit so players can hold their jobs longer. I wouldn't count a franchise tag out just yet.
Very nice read, man. That's a special talent right there.
Now as to the essence of your piece, I have not shared your penchant for kindness about what Walsh has done here. He has been so patient and so wrong in the vast majority of his manueverings that he is unable to take advantage of the "luck" that falls into his lap. In order to take advantage of "luck," like the desire of LeBron and Carmelo, you must be prepared. He failed to prepare from the very beginning when he wasted his two most valuable assets from the get go -- Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford. If only he had truly been patient and allowed those assets to regain their value and made subsequent transactions that created a team instead of a rent-a-center, he would have had assets in July which would make the Knicks attractive to a free agent (LeBron) or a GM (Masui).
Walsh failed miserably and now he is on the verge of losing Carmelo, because he does not have the assets to make a trade with Denver without going significantly backwards. Carmelo and Stoudemire do not make a strong team without a lot of help. Losing more than one of Fields, Felton and Chandler pushes us backwards or allows us an incremental step forward which leaves us on our heels.
Sure, you guys keep suggesting that Melo has all the power. He does not. He simply has the power to make a choice about his life. That is not a bad thing, but that is not a guarantee that he will chose location and his wife's wishes over more money in the face of CBA uncertianty. If the owners wind up with a franchise tag, which would make a heck of lot of sense if they want to dilute player power to gut a team, then Carmelo loses at least one choice -- and losing the power to chose is like dying without unsheathing a sharp sword.
@Lives We agree on the point about the Knicks terrible defensive performance, lack thereof and lack of fundamental coaching. I've never been on board with the D'Antoni hire so you are arguing against yourself there. I won't blink to that straw man argument. Now regarding the quick sell of ZBo and Crawford you are on point, Walsh may have had to clear cap space to lure Lebron, but there is no reason he needed to do so so desperately for pennies on the dollar. D'Antoni should have been allowed to coach the team Zeke assembled. They were playing well prior to being yanked for trade purposes. No argument there.
No argument that Lebron was carrying the Cavs and you know as well as I do that I was critical of the plan from the get go. You know I wrote threads critical of the coaching hire the quick pennies on the dollars desperate trades and the failure to build through the staples of good coaching,defense reboudning and player development - not the D'Antoni one trick system marketing pony. You know that as well so another of your straw man arguments won't work with me. Still and even you have to acknowledge and have done so, the three Um egos phenomena has thrown the league off in terms of the competitive balance (with the aging Lakers and Celtics) and also has add more fuel to the inferno incinerating small markets and mid market clubs.
That as much as the economic woes of the league need to be addressed. There is no reason more stringent measures shouldn't be implemented in the next CBA. Should it be done all at once? If it is then no other team will be able to be assembled to confront the CHeat.
Aslo were the Heat as impressive sans Wade. It's great to sell a product and a dream w/ a huge attraction and cap space in place to do so. The Knicks if they can get over themselves and D'antoni's coaching ineptitude may still make the playoffs as a 6th seed make a little noise and make Melo's decision a little easire. Same scenario as Lebron's but the hammer mustn't fall on the 2011 free agents so readily if that is to happen.
We'll see and were both speculating. You also know that you are aguing against part of the choir. LOL!
@Orange_and_Blue O&B< I respect your desire to speculate that LeBron, Wade and Bosh were a done deal ages ago, but there is nothing to suggest that it was going to happen with 100% certainty. And even if they had made promises to each other from day one, a lot of things would have had to fall into place to make that promise a reality. Given the amount of time between this "100% covenant" Walsh had the time and resources to make LeBron's choice less likely. LeBron made it clear that he would go where he could compete immediately. He obviously knew what everyone now knows, he was carrying the Cavs, a team that could barely win without him. For two years, the Knicks sucked like the Cavs suck now. Why in the hell, would someone who wants to win now, come into that situation? Why would he want to follow Stoudemire, who only came ot New York and got the max contract because of New York's desperation not to be empty handed? Don't you think players and players agents know the same thing that the Suns know about the life span of that repaired knee? Why woule LeBron chose to come to a team that doesn't play defense when he and any other idiot knows that every team that has won a championship in recent history (like since Naismith dumped peaches on the floor so he could use the container) won because of defense? Why should you be mad at LeBron for being smarter than you might have been in choosing New York if you were in that position.
Walsh's job wasn't to guarantee that LeBron would come to New York, it was to make intelligent enough decisions to make it a viable option. In that he failed miserably and the proof is in the pudding.
@Lives Lives Thanks my friend.
I agree that Walsh pulled the trigger two soonon Zach and Crawford - actually read Steady's comment on drawing one's sword too soon (also a Musashi point). I agree that there is a credible argument that Walsh could have done better manuevering on some pieces (not trading them too soon). Then again, I just get the feeling the whole Miami big three collussion was in the works for a while and Walsh and the rest of the League were flying blind. What could Donnie do w/o the forsight of that despicable act by those three scumbag. I respect you but how can you defend Miami at times and the plan in play for years with those big three w/o acknowledging Walsh was flying blind.
Again I will say Zbo and Crawford going to soon was a big mistake. A good showing by those two in the first year fo D'Antoni's tenure (recall Knicks were at one time 7-2 with them) would have imensly increased their market value in a trade. A couple of first rounders might have been had that could now be used to put an end to the Melo Drama.
But the Knicks can't go backwards now. They can't pay the ransom that Denver is posturing for. Sure make a reasonable offer - two of Fields Gallo and Chandler, a Knicks 1st round draft pick and flip Randolph for another draft pick. Maybe throw in Bill Walker. But the rest of the roster especially a mix of Mozzy, T with one of Fields, Chandler or Gallo must remain to balance out the team. If a reasonable offer won't be accpeted by Denver then move on. There is free agency in 2011, Tyson Chandler is a UFA and Marc Gasol is an RFA.
See above my thoughts on the next CBA. I still think that even if it becomes onerous to check LA, Beantown and Miami super collusion it wone be all at once and the franchise tag is a double edged sword one that can be onerous to the teams surrendering revenue from their big market broadcast empires while not having the option or ability to draw the big stars that fans pay for in ticket prices and cable subscriptions. Sure no doubt more incentives to stay or a tougher cap to restrict players like the Three Um Egos on the Miami CHeat.
Read my comments above in Convo w/ KD.
That Denver/LA was all bullsh** anyways. Anyone who follows sports could see that a mile away. The deal made no sense to either team.
@slapdoghoops JTS, welcome to KFB where we use beaucoup abbreviations and provide a dictionary to help the newbies. So yes, Denver/LA was ABS and WWW (Wes for short) used his boy Broussard to wiki-leak IT. It is a gift for having used him to confirm that LBJ was going to Miami though Stephen A had already told the world months before Broussard.
@slapdoghoops We agree JTS, but with Melo blinking, the Knicks need to show an honest hand to obtain Melo. Of course keep a core of solid support guys to make the acquisition one that makes sense for Knicks contention.
That is some top $#elf $#!+ O&B. Useful; very useful. Steady sees the statement quoted from The Book of Five Rings. Either in that book or in The Art of War, there's a reference to the merits of the artful and well timed strike. It's one thing to die with your sword tied in a nifty bow by your thigh. It;s another thing to run out with your sword raised to the heavens at just the wrong time--like on the same day of an LBE. This strike would have been best delivered after the Lord of the Rings delivers his blow. You know what's good. Rack them up O&B, Mecca needs more soldiers like you.
H20 DOC IT 12
@Steady Hey Steady, check out Lives' excellent reference to Walsh having pulled the button to soon on the Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford trades. That is like drawing your sword to soon. I tend to see why the cap space was targeted to be clear and Walsh was flying blind given the CHeat's big three collusion. But if ZBo and Crawford had been allowed at least one season, maybe one and a half, and been part of a breakthrough first season wtih D'Antoni (let me remind everyone they were 7-2 at one point) then those two talents could have gotten us more in return. A great point by Lives. Still no one knew Wade, James and Bosh had the triumvirate planned all along and that no one could save the league from it.
@Steady Thanks much Steady does IT! Hope to see you at the LBE in a few. Got to do a chore or two. Geez!