Brook Lopez

Knicks’ surprisingly good F Shawne Williams (above).

Not that we think the guy is even a remotely good player, but in poring over his stats we did find something about the 15 pt/4 rb a night 6’10 Italian virtual shooting guard who can’t shoot straight–the Knicks have a more than plus 8 margin when Danilo Gallinari is on the court.  And he’s on the court a lot for our Knickerbockers.  The Italian, who the Knicks clearly grabbed way too soon at #6 overall in 2008, over standouts like Eric Gordon and Brook Lopez, and who we figure they must trade in order to pull off a mega deal such as the one being discussed for Carmelo Anthony, has played better of late, putting the ball on the court way more than usual, and aggressively making his way to the rim.

With a paired down rotation that already sees the Knicks sitting much discussed Russian center Timofey Mozgov, Anthony Randolph (the centerpiece of the David Lee signing trade), and Roger Mason (beaten out for minutes by rookie 2nd round pick out of Stanford Landry Fields who leads all guards in rebounds with 7.5 per game), the Knicks will look to Shawne Williams, a former 1st round pick of Donnie Wheelchair’s in Indiana whose slick shooting has resurrected his career in NY, and heart and guts but no talent big man Ronny Turiaf (who currently sports the league’s worst facial hair and who is quite possibly basketball’s ugliest man) to fill in the gap.

No doubt, this bare bones squad will miss Gallinari for the next few weeks, as they are currently constituted.  The Knicks supposdely have an interest in former Knicks’ 7 footer, a guy we liked, Earl Barron, and may have no choice but to go small and give explosive but erratic Bill Walker some minutes, who is probably better than Roger Mason.

Crack (,

In a stunning and perhaps undeserved show of loyalty, billionaire Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has tapped Rod Thorn, the one time Nets general manager, to return to that position.  Thorn is also president of the New Jersey Nets.  We said yesterday that with the draft approaching, the Nets would need to resolve their vacant GM position quickly, and we also thought Prokhorov might cast Thorn aside, who hasn’t exactly done wonders with the team since former GM Ed Stefanski left for the same position in Philadelphia.  But Prokhorov told the press yesterday that Thorn would be retained, and today it was announced that he will have the dual responsibilities once again.

Prokhorov has high aspirations for his new club.  At a brunch yesterday, he told reporters the Nets will make the playoffs next year, and will win a championship within 5 years.  It’s the right thing to say for a man in his position, and at the same time delusional.  Even more delusional is this gem:

“We’re going to turn Knick fans into Net fans,” Prokhorov threatened Wednesday, at his introductory press conference. “It’s part of success.”

Prokhorov obviously doesn’t understand he purchased one of the area’s booby prizes.  The Nets went to the NBA finals a few times not too long ago, and hardly anyone took notice.

But if the wealthy Russian wants to throw some money at me, I’ll gladly sport a Brook Lopez jersey.

–Crack (

John Wall (above), University of Kentucky.

The New Jersey Nets will send Russian billionaire and their new owner, Mikhail Prokhorov to the NBA’s draft lottery, where he will sit on the dais in hopes of coming away with the first pick overall, with which they would select Kentucky guard John Wall, who is by far the best amateur player in basketball.

Without the lottery, Wall to the Nets would be easier than the ease with which the 6’1 Wall dunks the basketball, based on their league worst record.  But due to the lottery system, even though the Nets were by far the worst team in basketball, they have only a 25 % chance of putting Wall on the court with center Brook Lopez, and the free agents they hope to attract with the virtual tour of their new complex in Brooklyn.

For the immediate future however, the Nets will be playing at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, and will be the only team in the NBA that shares a building with an NHL team, but is not the primary tenant.  Despite the arena issue, the Nets have the ability to greatly improve themselves this off-season, but it all starts with Wall–they hope.

The Nets must also select a new head coach, after having fired longtime coach Lawrence Frank.  Then they will turn to free agency, with rumors linking them to free agents from Lebron James (longshot) to David Lee (very realistic).

This page hopes that Lee and the Knicks will find away to agree to terms, but will be happy for DLee if he were to sign with the Nets, because he has expressed a desire to stay in the area.

–Crack (

David Lee, pictured above, has in all likelihood played his last game as a New York Knickerbocker.  After the Knicks ended their season with a 131-113 loss to Toronto on Wednesday, Knicks coach Mike D’antoni said he was excited about the future of the team, and mentioned by name Danillo Galinari, Toney Douglass, Wilson Chandler, and Bill Walker.  He did not mention Lee until asked, and when he did, he failed to offer a ringing endorsement.

Despite that and despite some chants about re-signing Lee, last night’s crowd seemed to understand that this was the end of the line for Lee in New York. Oh, there’s a chance he’ll be back with the team, but not in the same role and not with the same importance. Lee can’t be the best player on a team that’s going to the playoffs, something Mike D’Antoni admitted when asked if he’d like Lee back on the team next season.

“He just needs a long athletic guy besides him.”

It’s hard to wax nostalgic about Lee and the Knicks era he was a part of, even though Lee was not a function of the Knicks woes.  Since Lee has joined the team, the Knicks have a 140-270 record, despite Lee’s career averages of 13.0 ppg and 9.6 rpg.  In fact, Lee has some of the finest individual stats in franchise history:

Career Season Averages
05-06 NYK 67 14 16.9 0.598 0.000 0.577 1.6 2.9 4.5 0.6 0.4 0.3 0.76 1.85 5.1
06-07 NYK 58 12 29.8 0.600 0.000 0.815 3.4 7.0 10.4 1.8 0.8 0.4 1.59 2.67 10.7
07-08 NYK 81 29 29.1 0.552 0.000 0.819 3.0 6.0 8.9 1.2 0.7 0.4 1.20 2.59 10.8
08-09 NYK 81 74 34.9 0.549 0.000 0.755 3.2 8.6 11.7 2.1 1.0 0.3 1.85 3.21 16.0
09-10 NYK 81 81 37.3 0.545 0.000 0.812 2.8 8.9 11.7 3.6 1.0 0.5 2.33 3.17 20.2
Career 368 210 30.0 0.557 0.000 0.774 2.8 6.8 9.6 1.9 0.8 0.4 1.57 2.73 13.0

Lee has set Knicks rookie field goal percentage and regular season Knick field goal % records, shooting .596 in 2005-06 and .600 in 2006-07.  He has also averaged double digits in both rebounds and points in 3 out of his 5 seasons in New York.

More than that.  Lee has improved every year.  He got here as a guy who had no offensive game except for layups and put backs.  He added a 15′ jumper to his repertoire and then added even more range to that shot, to the point where the pick and roll where Lee shoots from the perimeter was one of the few successful plays the Knicks could run.  And Lee, proving that he is an all-around player, averaged 3.6 assists per game this year, which led all players at his position.

Lee has also become as true a Knick as he could, despite the losing.  He has made no secret of his desire to remain in New York.  Lee dates model Sabina Gadecki, pictured below.

Those are some of the best shots we’ve seen this side of Brooklyn Decker.  Gadecki is New York based, giving Lee further incentive to remain in the area.

But let’s be honest.  What do we really have Lee to thank for?  When Kobe dropped 60-plus on us?

I’d thank him for playing hard in an impossible situation with no hope in sight and with no relief on the way.  For playing hard for incompetent coaches and for playing hard while everyone has you written off and somewhere else–a living Knicks ghost this season, that averaged 20 and almost 12.

The memories might suck, but the player did not.  He always did his best.  If he can’t be a Knick anymore, maybe he can still remain in the area.  We have heard speculation that the Nets and their new billionaire owner would love to put Lee next to Brook Lopez–someone long and athletic.


Crack (