30 Teams, 30 Days
New York Knicks Season Preview.
We continue previewing the Atlantic Division with the New York Knicks. You can read past previews here.
by Sam Rubenstein
Let the summer free agent feast begin! Oh but of course there’s this season to get out of the way first. (Shudder)
Everyone knows about the sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, most likely because it inspired the title 2007: A Vegas Odyssey. Truly my finest hour at SLAM. But there is a sequel to the Stanley Kubrick classic, called 2010: The Year We Make Contact.
The premise of this movie is that the Americans have to work together with the Soviets. How did you know when you wrote the book back in 1968 Arthur C. Clarke?!? The Knicks are about to sell the team to a nice Russian businessman and all shall be saved!
What’s that you say? The Nets? Oh no…
Well, the movie 2010 ends when the planet Jupiter implodes and becomes a star, and a second sun for the earth. It is going to take that kind of miracle to save the NY Knicks, and that miracle could arrive in the summer of 2010. For the time being, there is an upcoming disaster flick called 2012, which is about the end of days, apocalypse, global holocaust with death and horrors for all. It’s the story of the Knicks in the 21st century.
So the Nets got a legitimate Russian businessman making Eastern Promises to LeBron. Oh well, that sucks… the Knicks should turn their attention to the Wade/Amare or Wade/Bosh combo. (Come on D-Wade… you’re so much more than a basketball player. Stab the oily one in his back. Give us the revenge we seek!)
The good news is that the Knicks performance this year has nothing to do with lottery positioning (somebody traded a LOT of picks away), so they might as well try to win some games this year. Excellent. No excuses for you, D’Antoni!
Now, for the current team. Franchise savior Donnie Walsh didn’t accomplish much in the player acquisition department, but he did not add $800 million in long-term guaranteed contracts, which makes this the greatest Knicks off-season since before the dark days of Scott Layden and the other guy who will not be mentioned by name in this preview, because he is gone forever. Forever!!! Knicks fans have but one date in 2009 circled on their calendar: November 9th, UNC vs. Florida International. We will be cheering for goliath to squeeze the last breath out of little squirming David, and wipe that stupid delusional smile off his smug little face. I have never cheered for a #1 seed to beat a #16 seed by 50 points, but that is what I will be doing.
Eddy Curry lost 40 pounds, now that’s addition by subtraction! The Knicks brought in Darko for comic relief, which you need to keep the audience awake sometimes.
The big off-season splash if you can call it that, was re-signing two fan favorites, polar opposite brothers from another mother David Lee and KrpytoNate, who would be filming buddy cop movies full-time, if Nate hadn’t thrown that away by tweeting as he was sitting there in his car pulled over, waiting for the cops to run his license and registration. David Lee is scrappy, gritty, hard-working, smart, the kind of guy you want to marry your daughter, and other clichés to describe white athletes. He also happens to be a legitimately good player, a double-double guy who would be an awesome complimentary piece on a good team, not that we have any track record of him being on a good team to base that on. Nate is an 180 pound ball of FUN!!!!!, an incredible athlete who can be both the most electrifying and unwatchable player in the NBA. We sometimes make connections between a person’s life off the court and their game on the court, like how since Allen Iverson lives life his way without compromise, and is true to himself, then that is why his game is played without compromise and true to itself. On and off the court… NATE ROBINSON MAKES BAD DECISIONS.
The Knicks did not sign Allen Iverson or Andre Miller, but retained a point guard who had a 22 assist game. So for all you stats-terbators, Chris Duhon is your man. He is a pure point guard in the sense that since he can’t really score, he doesn’t force it. Much appreciated!
Jordan Hill was their first round pick, giving the team some more big man size, youthful exuberance and toughness inside, or in the case of the D’Antoni system, another three-point shooter. Jared Jeffries is still around, making $6 mill this season. Whatever.
Wilson Chandler had a good year, shows potential as one of those no conscience guys that can put the ball in the hole, and Danilo Gallinari had his moments of sharp shooting from the outside. These are your building blocks for the future. Get those shots and numbers (and trade value!) up this year fellas, cause you will be deferring to a superstar’s whims soon enough.
Larry Hughes was explosive, inconsistent, and Larry Hughes.
The Knicks got Cat Mobley in a trade, found out he was damaged goods and were like “We’ll take him anyways.” Shrewd. Tim Thomas is gone, but without the “You lazy piece of …!” tirades from fans of the past. He’s just gone, as is Q Rich, and other fun characters from the past, such as the guy who eats Vaseline in whiteface make-up while dancing like a male stripper to “I’m a Barbie Girl” and the guy who puts up big points and rebound and BAC numbers.
It’s important to mention that this will be the Knicks first full season after releasing the aforementioned weed smoking, emotionally “open” car crash survivor. Following NBA historical trends that guarantees them +10 wins this upcoming season. However, the same can be said for the Celtics, so it won’t really help them in the division. I know what you’re thinking, what team is he going to go to next and destroy? Well… think about it people. What “team” is he on right now? The unemployed. And is this not the worst period of unemployment in 70 years? He did it again! When he gets his next job, the economy will finally recover. Trust me, it’s a legitimate marketplace indicator.
Today’s Knicks fan is fairly apathetic, waiting for LeBron to take some time out of his busy schedule to swing by and bring MSG back into relevancy with a championship that he seems to feel is his birthright. This upcoming season, the general view is that the Knicks have to prove to Him that they are worthy of his holiness to deliver them from evil. But no, the Dolans are not selling.
Ah Jimmy Dolan… Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy. What can I say about this man? One the one hand, you’ve got LeBron James, who rose up out of poverty with no father, and is on his way to becoming a billionaire, bringing his family up into the good life with him. On the other hand, you’ve got James Dolan, who grew up wealthy, whose father has given him the world’s most famous arena as a shiny toy to play with, and he seems to be determined to throw billions of dollars away and un-become a billionaire. LeBron likes to learn the tricks of the trade from mentors he actually respects, such as Jay-Z, Warren Buffet, and Dan Gilbert I suppose. Maybe I’m being mean, but I just don’t see James Dolan as one of those guys.
Oh, the Knicks best player is Al Harrington. He was a twenty-point scorer for the first time in his career. Doesn’t this description of the best player on an NBA team just floor you with its intensity? Regarding any statistical evaluation of last year’s Knicks, understand this… Mike D’Antoni skews numbers worse than HGH.
Many basketball fans, or former fans, complain that the 90’s Knicks ruined the game by slowing it down, sacrificing artistry for brutality, refusing to kiss Michael Jordan’s rings (until he mushed them in their face). Well, this team is the opposite of that. A superstar used to come to the Garden, knowing they had a 50/50 chance of walking without crutches the next day if they dared drive down the lane passed the Pillars of Hurtcales (Oak and Mase). Today, MSG is the place where stars go to see what preposterous numbers they can put up. A sixty point game? Sure. A 50-10-10 triple double? Hey, why not? Bouncing the ball off Steve Schrippa’s face while ripping Wills Reed’s retired jersey down from the rafters? Go for it!
There was a time when the Knicks would get into wild brawls on MLK’s birthday and people would lament how thuggish and horrible they all were as people, and that they were disrespecting a great man’s legacy of pacifism.
God, I miss those days.
Some fans still seem to have a glimmer of hope, like this guy.
Um… good luck with all that.
For now, it’s D’Antoni’s circus, which should be entertaining, as the scoring numbers continue to raise eyebrows, and as always it’s not about this year. Maybe the Knicks can make a run at the 8th seed and LeBron and Shaq or Dwight and Vince or Derrick Rose or the Hawks or the Celtics can put on a two-night show at MSG at the back end of a sweep. Expectations are low!
2010: The Year We Make ContRact. Heheheheheheh. No seriously this team is not very good. Going .500 would be great.