As a huge New York Jets, Mets and Knicks fan, Monday was a very trying day for me. Even though everything that could go wrong went wrong , I have taken more of an optimistic view over my three teams. Yesterday, the New York Jets proved the world correct by finally ending what I consider to be the most pathetic and embarrassing season for a franchise that has been a joke for most of its existence. The New York Mets became the first team since 1998 to trade away the past year’s Cy Young Award winner by dealing fan favorite RA Dickey to the Blue Jays (1998-Blue Jays traded Roger Clemens to the Yankees). The New York Knicks had a visit from the most popular player in the league a year ago, Jeremy Lin, and got shellacked by him for the second time this season. If you are a fan of any of these teams, or all three like myself, then Monday looked like and extremely rough day. I am going to explain why I feel there is a silver lining for each of these tumultuous events.
Let’s start with J-E-T-S (Just End The Season); Thank God they did! I have never in my life rooted for one of my teams to lose…except for last night. The Jets have been an absolute CIRCUS since the end of last season. The acquisition of Tim Tebow was a mistake from the get-go and not once did the Jets and their coaching staff try to rectify that situation. The pathetic Offensive Coordinator, Brian Schottenheimer, was fired only to be replaced by an even worse one, Tony Sparano. Mark Sanchez’s ability as a QB receded worse that Lebron James’ hair line. The Jets had arguably the worst receiving core in NFL history and couldn’t develop a running attack against any formidable opponents. So why was I rooting against the Jets yesterday, even with their playoff chances still intact if they had won? Because it would have all been the same shit again next year if the Jets showed even the slightest bit of success. With this mortifying loss on Monday Night Football last night no Jets fans will ever have to watch Mark Sanchez at the QB position ever again! Ii has been announced that Greg McElroy will start Sunday against the Chargers. The Jets GM, Mike Tannenbaum, is either going to be replaced or he is going to be put on such a hot seat that he will have no choice but to fix this never-ending pile of issues. The Jets need to be completely revamped and there is no way that would have happened without them losing last night so there is the silver lining.
My New York Knicks have not given their fans much to complain about this season. They have the best record in the Eastern Conference and have looked like a title contender the whole year. They have really only hit one speed bump this season and their name is the Houston Rockets. The last time the Knicks had to worry about the Rockets was in 1994 when they met in the NBA Finals and went to an exhilarating game 7 which the Knicks inevitably ended up losing. Ever since Jeremy Lin left the Knicks for a more than generous contract with the Rockets, there has been a target on his back. Unfortunately for the Knickerbockers, that target was too small to see because for the second time this season, Jeremy Lin and the Rockets manhandled them. I never had any ill will towards Lin once he left, especially because I knew what the Knicks overall plan was and he just wasn’t the right fit for Woodson’s game plan. So what’s the upside to the Knicks losing twice to a supposedly inferior team? First, the Rockets most likely won’t make the playoffs this year so the Knicks won’t be playing them again until next year. Secondly, there was no way the Knicks were going to go 77-5 so we were bound to lose eventually. Finally, the real silver lining behind this most recent loss at the Garden to the slightly above average Houston Rockets is that we now know exactly what we need Iman Shumpert and Amare Stoudemire for. Shumpert wasn’t really an issue but everyone was questioning where Amare would fit in and the truth of the matter is that STAT is an extremely talented player and in situations where Melo or even Tyson or Kidd or Felton are out with injury, STAT can be a viable option that can help earn that W.
The New York Mets are very good at being very bad. Outside of a handful of years that Mike Piazza was destroying anything in his way, the Mets have been completely irrelevant for nearly a quarter century. Last year the Mets let one of their franchise’s greatest players ever, Jose Reyes, leave to their divisional foe, the Miami Marlins, due to their money issues. Worst part about that was that Reyes was coming off of his best ever year and the National League Batting Title. Yesterday, the Mets completed a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays which ended with the reigning CY Young Winner and Mets fan favorite RA Dickey leaving after one of the greatest pitching seasons in NY Mets history. So how can losing your best pitcher and biggest ticket attraction have any positives behind it? Well, I’ll start by saying that with or without Dickey, the Mets were not going anywhere any time soon. Having said that, the Mets have no money and they need to figure out new ways to rebuild a franchise that does not have much going for it right now. I feel that they did the right thing by signing David Wright for pretty much the rest of his career. Now they have to figure out who will hit around him and what direction they want their franchise to go. Between Wheeler and Harvey the Mets have some talented pitching coming up soon. In the trade for Dickey, the Mets acquired arguably one of the best young talents in the Minors, catcher Travis d’Arnaud. On top of that they saved a butt load of money and have positioned themselves to be a formidable opponent within a few years. I see some bright things in the Mets future and I think it starts with Travis d’Arnaud.
So even if you are still having a hard time recovering from yesterday’s exhausting and trying events, just know that each of them have a silver lining and everything should be okay soon enough.
Houston, we have a prob’lin’! The past 24 hours has been an absolute roller coaster ride for the New York Knicks organization. Just one day after Jeremy Lin signed an offer from the Houston Rockets, which he heard from multiple sources in the Knicks organization that they would match, the Knicks went out and made an impressive sign-and-trade that brought former PG, Raymond Felton, back to the Garden. This surprising turn of events came as a shock to everyone, including Jeremy, who has stated multiple times that he wanted to return to the Big Apple and prove he wasn’t a fluke. Well, after the acquisition of Raymond Felton, it looks like the Knicks and the NBA’s biggest story from last season are going to part ways. Whether you were a huge fan of Jeremy Lin, like myself, or you thought he was a one-hit-wonder, the decision by the Knicks to let him leave was a smart one.
No one can deny the positive impact that Lin made not only for the Knicks organization but for the entire NBA last season, but the offer the Houston made to him was way more than he was worth. Even the Knicks, who spend money without thinking all the time, was able to see that it did not make sense, monetarily speaking, to retain Lin and his massive contract. The deal was for nearly $25 million over a 3 year span, but $15 million of that would be paid in the 2014-15 season. The problem with that deal is that the Knicks would be so far over the cap that the luxury tax would make Lin’s deal in his final season worth upwards of $30 million. That number is absolutely astronomical and no PG in the NBA is worth it.
I loved the Lin story in New York and I would have enjoyed seeing it come to fruition over the next couple of years, but I have to admit that I am very happy the Knicks are finally making winning decisions rather than publicity building ones. No one can say whether or not Jeremy will be a better player than Raymond Felton or not, but what I can guarantee is that no matter how well Lin plays he will never be worth what Houston is paying him. Lin can be great, but with Felton you know exactly what you are getting.
Felton was the Knicks starting PG for half of the 2010-11 season before he was one of the four players traded to Denver for the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony. While Raymond was with the Knicks, they were an above .500 team and Amare Stoudemire was playing his best basketball EVER! Felton was one of the main reasons that Amare was able to go on his franchise best 8-games with 30 points or more streak. No one wanted to see Felton leave, but no one could dispute the pick up of Anthony as the right decision. The two are now united in what is coming together as one of the better and more experienced teams in the NBA.
The Knicks recent offseason acquisitions should draw much different sponsors, like AARP, Depends and Viagra, because their roster is filled with a bunch of aged veterans. Kurt Thomas, turning 40 in October and currently the oldest player in the NBA, Jason Kidd (39), and Marcus Camby (38), represent some of the new, but very old, Free Agent pickups during this offseason. On top of those dinosaurs, the Knicks are the front runner’s to acquire the second oldest player in the NBA, Grant Hill. With Lin out and Felton in, this group of veteran’s look poised to compete with the best-of-the-best.
Coach Woodson, who just 3 days ago guaranteed Lin would return to the Knicks, says that they have built a win now team. That hasn’t been the thought since their 99-00 team that went to the NBA Finals, coincidentally featuring Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby in their primes. Maybe the Knicks can convince their assistant GM, Allan Houston, to suit back up and make a call to former teammate Latrell Spreewell, so they can have a 99-00 reunion.
There is no denying that the Knicks have made some unconventional but possibly great moves this offseason. Without question, the Knicks have one of the deeper teams in the entire NBA and they now have the proper championship experience that is required to win. Let’s just hope that they work on their player’s not making bonehead moves during their free time like Jason Kidd did last night while getting into a car accident and then arrested on a DWI in the Hamptons.
Farewell to Jeremy Lin and hello to a new Knicks look that can hopefully bring winning back to NY.
Let’s get something straight, I understand that the New York Knicks have not made it easy on their fans over the past 12 years but all the whining is getting old. There are two types of Knicks fans in the world, one that bleeds orange and blue while keeping faith and supporting their team all the time, and the other is a pouting little bitch that complains about any move the organization makes and pulls their vintage Starks jersey out of the closet once the team starts winning again. I understand the Knicks have been awful in recent years and they have been the comedic punching bag of the NBA for over 10 years, but unless you are blind you can’t deny the organization has been working their asses off to turn things around.
It seems that all of these bootleg Knicks fan’s minds have been permanently tainted by the horrid dark years that the moron Isiah Thomas was responsible for in the early 2000’s. The fact of the matter is that the Knicks are not far off from becoming a contender once again in the Eastern Conference. Sure in the last two season’s, the Knicks have been eliminated embarrassingly from the first round of the playoffs but there were outstanding circumstances that definitely were not in their favor. Between Stoudemire’s stupidity and an endless array of injuries, the Knicks really didn’t have a chance in either of those series.
In the Knicks most recent attempt to bring success back to the world’s most famous arena, they came to terms with Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks. The second I heard this news I knew that every Knicks “fan” that has been drinking their ‘Hater’ade on a daily basis was going to come out of their shell to criticize this signing without thinking the move over. What they see is a washed up point guard at the end of his career, what I see is one of the greatest point guards that the NBA has ever seen who is only 2 years removed from winning the NBA Championship as the starting PG. I understand Kidd is not the player he once was, but if you honestly don’t think he can help improve the Knicks than you should take your head out of your ass.
Let’s put it into perspective. The Knicks have one of the most talented scorer’s in the world in Carmelo Anthony. They have the second best defensive Center in the NBA in Tyson Chandler, who just won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year by the way. They have a highly talented and young Iman Shumpert, who definitely proved he can play with the big boys last season, and they are most likely going to retain the young phenomenon, Jeremy Lin. Now I can mention Amare as a formidable player, but he has given me no reason to do so.
With all that being said, I have a few reason’s why this Jason Kidd acquisition will work in the Knicks favor. If nothing else, Jeremy Lin will be able to play out his most impressionable years in the NBA under the tutelage of one of the smartest players to ever step foot on the hardwood. Kidd also has proven chemistry with Tyson Chandler, as they were both integral parts around Dirk Nowitzki during the Mavericks championship run just two years ago. Another positive that comes with Kidd is that he demands absolutely no offensive possessions, and in the isolation style of basketball that the Knicks play, that is very good news. Those should be enough reason’s to get some of these haters to shut up for a moment.
Now I am sure some of you will come at me with rubbish like, “well Melo and Amare can’t play together,” or “Lin was a flash in the pan and will suck now,” or even “Kidd is just going to be another Baron Davis.” All I can say to that is that you should just wait and see because nobody knows for sure what’s going to happen. I’m not an idiot, of course I would have rather had Steve Nash at the point, but once he was scooped up by the Lakers, Kidd was the next best choice and not such a bad one at that. Unless you wanted the Knicks to resign Raymond Felton, they went with the right choice. Mike Woodson will now have a complete off-season to get his team together and maybe build some chemistry that has been nonexistent for the past two years and if everyone can stay healthy the Knicks will be a team to fear. Will the Knicks be on the same level as the Miami Heat? Of course not, but no one will. So all I ask is that all of you crybaby supposed Knicks fan’s just shut up and roll with the punches because I see good things ahead.
What a ride! Whether you were happy or sad, the Knicks gave us all a lot to follow this season. In what I can only describe as the craziest season I have ever witnessed in my 28 years of being a Knicks fan, New York was the headline of many sports news stories both good and bad. It was a strike-shortened season filled with free agent signings, an array of injuries, coaching changes, upsets and disappointments all wrapped around a once unknown Asian-American Harvard graduate that sparked a worldwide phenomenon known as “Linsanity.” With their season ending Wednesday night in Miami, in yet another first round playoff disappointment, the Knicks put their fans through a whirlwind of emotions and brought a spotlight to New York that has been missing since the days of Patrick Ewing and company. Although another losing season, Knicks fans can tell you that there is a lot to look forward to for the 2012-13 season. But before we get into that let’s talk about how this season unfolded.
As the summer rolled around I was struck with heart-breaking news that there might not be an NBA season due to a lockout. The players and owners were stuck in heated contract negotiation battles that played out through October and pinned the idea of a lost season in every fans minds. Luckily towards the end of November negotiations came to an end and a strike-shortened NBA season was slated to begin on Christmas weekend. Every owner in the league scrambled frantically to sign any available free agents to help solidify their respective teams, knowing full well that there would not be any time to truly develop chemistry. Some can argue that the Knicks acquired the most coveted free agent by signing the newly crowned world champion center, Tyson Chandler.Already starting two all-stars in Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, the Knicks looked like they added that final piece to complete their “Big 3” that seems to be essential towards making a playoff run (i.e. Boston’s Allen, Pierce, Garnett and Miami’s James, Wade and Bosh.) Unfortunately for the Knicks, it does not come that easily. Forgetting to address the immediate need for a PG proved to be detrimental to the Knicks early season. To end last season the Knicks had a veteran point guard in Chauncy Billups but they had to release him to open enough salary cap room for the Chandler signing. The Knicks scurried to find help for their newly appointed starting PG Toney Douglas and picked up veterans Mike Bibby and Baron Davis, whom was still rehabbing his back injury from the prior season.
The Knicks opening day starting lineup was Douglas and Fields in the back court and Anthony, Stoudemire and Chandler filling out what was considered the best front court coming into the NBA season. The Knicks came out of their Christmas Day opener with a victory over their division rival Boston Celtics, but after that, all seemed to go haywire. In the opener, the Knicks saw huge potential in their rookie Iman Shumpert, but he was the first to be bitten by the injury bug that seemed to set up camp in the Knicks locker room this season. Having to fill the voids left by injury and incompetency, Knicks management brought in a couple of guys who had been waived by their teams to open the season. Steve Novak and Jeremy Lin were supposed to be bench fillers as they were relatively unknown among NBA fans. But on the day Novak was signed, New York’s former coach as well as Novak’s coach in Houston for a season, Jeff Van Gundy claimed that the Knicks just signed the best shooter in the NBA. It was a bold statement about someone who was now playing for his fifth team in as many years, but Van Gundy is a smart man and you will hear why as you read on.
This season was considered Mike D’Antoni’s last chance to have a successful season if he wanted to remain the Knicks head coach. It turns out that he was willing to try and do anything to find camaraderie among his team that would prove to be successful.
After an 8-15 start, D’Antoni’s “hot-seat” was scorching so he looked to the end of his bench for some answers.Enter “Linsanity!” He was a day away from being cut by his third team of the season and he had absolutely nothing to lose. He took advantage of that mentality by completely abusing the former New Jersey Nets by putting up a then career high 25 points. From that day on, Jeremy Lin became a household name and he took the NBA by storm. Jeremy and the Knicks assembled a 7 game winning streak a quickly became relevant once again. For the time being, D’Anotni’s job seemed secure and the Knicks looked to make a playoff push with their newly found PG.
Off his extremely auspicious season across seas in China, J.R Smith came to the Knicks with the hope to solidify their bench. As “Linsanity” grew to be the topic among every sports medium, the Knicks quickly compiled a new popular look on their bench that became known as “Mobb Deep.” With 3-point specialist Steve Novak, the entertaining but often erratic Smith, the defensive stud Jared Jeffries, the high energy Iman Shumpert, and the newly healthy veteran Baron Davis, the Knicks bench looked better than a lot of NBA team starting lineups. After injuries to Anthony and Stoudemire during this new and exciting stretch, some of Mobb Deep had to step up and fill in voids in the starting lineup. Everything seemed to be working just fine until the two superstars returned. Bill Nye would have been furious with the lack of chemistry from there because nothing seemed to work no matter what D’Antoni tried. They dropped 6 games in a row and D’Antoni couldn’t take it any more, so he handed in his resignation forms and said adios to the Knicks.
The Knicks had a back up plan and his name was Mike Woodson. The once noteworthy coach of the Atlanta Hawks, Woodson was brought in at the beginning of the season to help improve the Knicks defense. He did that and more. Once he took over the reigns of a slowly dissipating Knicks team, a new found effort seemed to be shown between the players. They went on a quick 6-game winning streak becoming a .500 team once again and they didn’t stop there. During this hot streak for the Knicks, Jeremy Lin suffered a devastating knee injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Once again the roll players were called upon to salvage their roller-coaster season.
The Knicks defense went from being a much improved defense from a year ago to the best defense in the NBA from the point that Woodson took over. Chandler showed why he was the most coveted free agent by completely shutting down the middle and making everyone around him play better. His tenacious defense led Chandler to become the first New York Knicks player to ever win Defensive Player of the Year. Chandler also finished the season with the best field goal percentage, not only in the NBA for the season but the third best of all time behind Wilt Chamberlain two separate times. Steve Novak was the other Knicks stand out roll player. Novak finished the regular season with an NBA best 47% from 3-point range. Steve Novak added a bolt of electricity through the Madison Square Garden faithful every time he touched the ball. It was really exciting to watch him perform his best “discount-double check” when he hit the big 3’s.
With these two star performers and Carmelo Anthony playing his best basketball ever as a member of the Knicks, all seemed to be looking alright.
With the team fighting off a late season injury to Amare Stoudemire they slowly prepared themselves for the playoffs. Late in the regular season, the Knicks were in a heated push to the playoffs with only two seeds left and three teams battling. The Knicks showed their heart and tenacity under Woodson by finishing the season with an 18-6 record and a 7th seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Regrettably, that put them face-to-face with their long time rival and NBA hated, Miami Heat.
This was the first time that long time friends and former High School opponents Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony ever faced each other in the postseason. To make a long story short, the Knicks got their asses handed to them in game 1, where they not only lost their rookie phenom Iman Shumpert to injury, but they lost any hope of winning the series. Game 2 followed with the same frustrations and then Amare thought it would be wise to use glass as a punching bag. Game 3 came and went with no change in the outcome. As the fourth game approached, the Knicks grew some cojones and won a tight match-up which only delayed the inevitable and possibly ended Baron Davis’ career with a devastating knee injury. Does anyone see a common theme throughout this article? After losing game five, the Knicks were eliminated and left to think about their future.
A Future with many questions. Who will be the coach next season? Did Woodson do enough to keep his job, or will the Knicks recruit Phil Jackson? Will Jeremy Lin be the starting PG next year or will the Knicks try to bring in Steve Nash? All I know is that New York has all off-season to get healthy and regroup. Address the issues that require addressing and focus on becoming the Knicks team they should be. My emotions as a Knicks fan were played with all season but I never gave up hope.
There’s always next year!
One quick question…
If you have certain individuals in a basketball game getting their ass kicked (Knicks Starting Line-Up), then you put in the subs and they go on a 15-0 run to take the lead…WHY PUT THE STARTERS BACK IN????
Don’t get me wrong, Carmelo Anthony and Jeremy Lin are ballers, who are better than their counterparts on the bench on most given days, but as a coach you need to understand the chemistry of your team in the middle of a game. The Knicks had the Spurs on the ropes, as soon as Carmelo and Lin came back, Mavs go on a game winning run.
After Sunday in which D’Antoni doesn’t foul Pierce and lets the Celtics roll the ball down the court to Rondo, it’s safe to say the Knicks will not win a championship with this coach. Phil Jackson, strap em up!