The Knicks love a good circus. For one, that is what their seasons are like–part comedic, part greusome, with a lot of ‘how did they manage to do that?’ moments. Not in a good way. Circus’s love their sideshows to keep the people entertained. Knicks’ owner Jim Dolan could have settled with Anucha Browne Sanders, but instead opted for a long, public trial in which Isiah Thomas and then Knicks’ star Stephon Marbury got on the stand and anhilated the team’s flagging image. Do you remember the married Marbury brag in open court about pressuring a 20 year old girl for sex in his Bentley outside the garden? The farther we go back, we can recall Patrick Ewing in open court, admitting to the world that the Knicks’ legend would have oral sex arranged for him with the dancers when he went into Scores by the Gambino Crime Family.
Since the Knicks had no first round pick last year, there was no benefit to them not doing anything and everything they could to have a good record, especially when selling the proposition/fantasy that they’d be signing Lebron James.
The Knicks should have been doing everything and anything possible to win games. And they opt to sit Nate Robinson, perhaps the team’s best scorer, for 5 weeks and 14 games. The Knicks who can not score and on whom Robinson stars. Did they really teach Nate Robinson a lesson? Did they improve their season in any way when the coaching staff banished Nate Robinson, and soured the team’s and player’s relationship, to the point where a scoring machine is traded?
These young players who the Knicks hope to attract have probably all taken note of the Nate Robinson situation, and must have reservations about Mike D’antoni, who was chosen for the job over Mark Jackson, who would have been the far more likely candidate to get along with his players, as he did with his teammates in his excellent career as a point guard in the NBA. Speaking of point guards and fantasy sells, the Knicks latest pipedream is landing Chris Paul in a trade somehow, despite denials by Paul yesterday that he wishes to stay in New Orleans. Paul devalued himself by publicly speaking about a trade, and his denial needed to happen. He’s got to be the good soldier until the Hornets can get him out of there.
But why would they trade him to the Knicks? This is still a very thin ball club with a bare cupboard when it comes to ammo for a major trade. The Knicks need to do whatever they can to improve their roster, and keeping improving it, if they are to have any chance at Paul, who when one thinks about it, can imagine ten or more teams putting together a better package for Paul than the Knicks. Recently Knicks President Donnie Walsh was pandering in the press about Amar’e Stoudemire being the only untouchable player on the team. Even so, I’m not sure that other teams view the Toney Douglasses and Danillo Galinaris as these great young players, the way the Knicks do.
This summer, we heard a lot about D’antoni wanting guys who were right for his up tempo system. But what about when he has a guy like that, like say, Nate Robinson, and he’s unable to get along with him. Make no mistake–Stoudemire and D’antoni did not see eye to eye when they were together in Phoenix, and Stoudemire was vocally critical of D’antoni. It shows a major a flaw–the inability to make relationships work with top players.
The best things the Knicks can do to attract top players, is to keep adding young talent and have a coach with a good reputation with the players. If D’antoni is not that guy, let’s pray the Knicks can get Mark Jackson in there next. He deserves a chance, and after so much shenanigans and scandals, would be a great face for the franchise.