Prologue - Working schmoe Joe and away we go!
It was a cold and gloomy day. Yet again a mix of snow and rain had hit the tri-state area. A cup of extra hot Joe in my hand and the elusive Gullible Fanatic was in my crosshairs.
The three game winning streak that put the Knicks back on track after their "dream weak" proved to be less dreamy got me plenty of leads on Gullible. During the win streak he was said to be spotted in the Garden after the Knicks wins over the Pacers and Spurs. I snapped a shot of Gullible after the Knicks had the Spur's pulling a Roberto Duran "No Mas." The Garden was ecstatic and Gullible was out and about again with many talking about the hometown Knicks as legit. Gullible was again spotted loud and proud as the Knicks walloped the Phoenix Suns.
Amidst a crowd of Knicks' fans, Gullible was back at it. Talking up a storm. Partying with a Koolaid martini in hand. I overheard him, as he appeared to be punch drunk. His bravado at its utmost. He was shouting out how Stoudemire and the current knicks team was good enough to win it all. After a near stumble and a brief pause he added, "with a few tweaks here and there." He boasted about the flexibility of D'Antoni's roster and the Knicks coach's ability to effectively interchange the stable of stretch wings and fours. He bantered about the lethal combination of Knicks guard Raymond Felton and franchise star Amar'e Stoudemire. Gullible appeared to grow bigger and louder with each win especially after the Knicks walloped the even smaller Phoenix Suns.
I promised myself I would catch Gullible in LA, even if I had to fight through the crowd of Knicks fans gathering up in an uproarious storm around him. In LA the Lakers clobbered the Knicks like a baby seal. All of a sudden Gullible disappeared, yet again. I figured that a demonstrable win against the Portland Trailblazers would be followed up by some "easy wins" against the likes of the upcoming Kings, Suns and Rockets. Perhaps that would bring Gullible back out into the lime light. Instead the Knicks followed up a loss to the Utah Jazz by getting smacked by the Kings and then getting stepped on by a Suns team seeking payback. Three more losses followed and a six game losing streak forced Gullible back into further seclusion, perhaps in an underground bunker like the one Dick Cheaney uses on the down low.
I thought to myself why would Gullible up and disappear yet again. The Knicks are still a 7th seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They are still playing above .500 basketball and having their best season in a decade. What happened to my cousin who too often is punch drunk on Knicks loving koolaid?
Towering over the land of lilliputian ball and a lilliputian in the ball court of the GIANTS
I'll tell you what happened to him. He literally took a trip through the land of his near name sake Gulliver. Yeah that Gullible the Macchiato drinking,Chai Latte sipping, organically homer grown world traveler and international man of mystery straight out of suburbia. You know that one. The one who eats meatless meat (tofu), drinks milkless milk (soy milk) and has feminized beer by connoisseuring it like wine. I've heard the one Gullible likes has a hint of naiveté that goes splendidly with Koolaid!
The guy who takes more time than most women to "get ready." The guy who wears a satchel (a purse) to work as he gets his "street cred" on by hoping the ultra safe subways to his office located in some gentrified metropole! The multicultural, metrosexual, metrolectual, not in my back yard, do as I say even if you can't afford to do so, self proclaimed wiz kid who believes that buying marketed products of a failed revolution makes the faux evolution ever more possible. Yeah that Gullible!
But what can you expect from Gullible? Like me, he's a Hopeful Knicks fan always smacked up by the sucker punch of reality. That sound of one hand clapping.
Obviously, during the three game winning streak, Gullible awoke as the biggest fan of lilliputians ball. A GIANT in a world of opposing teams playing small with his beloved Knicks. And while that wasn't even enough for the Knicks to on average out rebound, out score in the paint or out attempt at the free throw line it was enough for the Knicks to win those games. Well what would you expect from the biggest and smartest small ball team (though that's not saying much huh)? It certainly showed in how much more fluidly the Knicks controlled the ball, shot overall and from deep and blocked out line ups that attempted to play speedball with the Knicks. Gullible, rooting for the GIANT in the Land of Small Ball, pumped up that hopeful fan like a 50 foot Stay Puff Marsh-mellow man.
Obviously that wouldn't last long. The Lakers melted stay puff Gullible down to a bite sized overhyped morsel. That drubbing they gave Gullible's Knicks then became the blue print for how to smack down Gullible's favorite team. With each ensuing loss Gullible would shrink smaller and smaller like the wicked witch. But from what I've heard it was an even uglier sight. Smashed on the boards in the paint and shirking from contact to get to the foul line, Gullible's team desperately hoisted up more threes while they got denied inside and lost their cool in the Forest of bigger half court defenses. Name em Gasol, Bynum, Odom, Jefferson, Milsapp, Dalembert, Cousins, Lopez, Gortat, Warrick, Hayes, Scola, Hill, Duncan, Blair and McDyess. Big and burly front lines and platoons that outmuscled, out-hustled, out-tussled, outsized, mauled, appalled and denied the Knicks sending Gullible into seclusion to once again hide his shame.
OTP PEYOTE - Just some plain old bad Medicine
I've got to find Gullible. Bring him out of hiding. But with the whole Melo situation still all smoke and mirrors how do I pick the kid up? How do I get him feeling confident, large and in charge like when he was out and about? Maybe we need a big old juggernaut Knicks team. But how could SSoL's waifs be transformed into battling brawlers? . . .
I need to broaden my horizons. I heard that over in the South West where Gullible started disappearing there's some magic medicine that just might do the trick. I hear it's called Oghtipi (OhTeePee) Peyote a mind expanding herb that was first cultivated by the Indians of the arid Plateaus. Man this is some heavy stuff, a sea of possibilities and an endless Horizon. Now I know why Hendrix was so creative . . . .
What the heck was it that Lebron said about sending some NBA teams to the trash compactor? So what if he back-pedaled, James meant what he said! Man that sounds like a start! Condensing the league like evaporated milk. What an interesting idea. Hmmm . . . maybe. . . From what I've gathered the contraction of the league would spread more talent around. Heck, David Stern mentioned it as a possibility.
With teams like the Wolves, Pacers, Nets, Kings, Hawks, Bobcats and Bucks possibly contracted the Knicks could use their cap space on a quality big men. Maybe they'd make a run at a Marc Gasol, Kevin Love, Brook Lopez, Andrew Bogut, Roy Hibbert, Demarcus Cousins, Al Horford. With no teams to retain their contract rights, the Knicks could use their cap space to fortify the front line. Hmm . . . maybe a roll back on that new CBA might allow the Knicks to keep Chandler and get that much needed big man to boot. Oh my, OH MY! Gullible would love that!
Ugh oh! What's going on . . . man I'm not feeling well! The league's legalistic, balanced and equitably administered. Does that mean if the league gets contracted they'll lottery off players still under contract? To terrible teams to boot. Go figure! With the Knicks luck the Nets would be spared the trash compacter and land Love or Cousins in the post-contraction lottery.
Even in an altered frame of mind the Knicks can't catch a break and that won't help me bring Gullible to light.
But I'll tell you what, if small market NBA owners threatened with contraction have a big horse and some leverage to play in that event, then so do large market owners if a franchise tag is pursued too hard by the smaller market offices. Because if you're going to ask for revenue sharing off the big dollars raked in from major markets with lucrative tv and broadcast empires, then why force the issue with something like a franchise tag. A franchise tag that would slow or inhibit the free movement of Star players to major markets. Major markets where the Star player's talents and personalities would generate more revenue for those lucrative broadcast empires in the Major Market team's side pocket. Why kill that golden goose and it's flow of revenue if that will be the source from which small market grunts stay afloat! Wouldn't that be a reason for a difference of opinion on that front?
Besides . . . wasn't the League looking not to have further damage inflicted on the Knicks in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement? Wouldn't that be a get out of jail free card if Stoudemire's knees falter? Allen Houston Part Deux?
Oh man, I think I'm coming down with something. I don't feel good.
To Be Continued . . .