Danillo Galinari


It’s true that Mike D’Antoni (above) is no longer a Knick, but we never counted him as one to start with.

Oh happy happy days. Our beloved Knickerbockers have dropped that tired, heartless “7 seconds or less” program, Wednesday firing coach Mike D’Antoni in what was a move long past due. Despite whatever shadowy shenanigans were reported otherwise about resignations and mutually agreed upon resignations and spontaneous, unplanned mutually contrived resignations, the Knicks did what they had to do and fired D’Antoni’s ass, at the behest of their star, Carmelo Anthony. Whether he spoke the words out loud “get this guy out of here” or not is of little consequence. He didn’t have to. We still have to thank Melo, Glen Grunwald, of course James Dolan, our major domo, and even Mike Woodson, who we do not like much better than Mike D’Antoni, but who stepped in and played one hell of a game of charades at The Garden Wednesday, and who will always play right along, making that nice Knicks assistant coaching and interim HC money, green as ever, for playing his part as house boy to the hilt.

Is that harsh? We really don’t mean it like that. We are thrilled to have Woodson as our HC. For the next 23 games. Couldn’t have been any happier unless one of the other holdover coaches, preferably Herb Williams or Kenny Atkins, had gotten the nod. But that’s okay. This Knicks rebuild is a process and a half, and in the long view, we also knew that D’Antoni was just a guy to point free agents to as being easy to play for during the recruitment part of the process, and that once the players were recruited, more or less, that a coach who is more than just a signpost would need to come aboard to do the heavy lifting, making a collection of players into a bona fide NBA squad that this city is desperate for.

So we won’t even quibble with yesterday’s grand folly at MSG, led by the major domo himself, out from behind his silk curtain, it seems, for the first time in a year. Remember the last time? After the consummation of the Anthony deal when James Dolan got up, lied through his teeth about Donnie Walsh’s pumped up but truly non existent role in the trade, and gritted out a tirade about Isiah Thomas and the foul lies of the whore media (that lives in the realm outside his own media empire). Once again, Dolan did not disappoint, aside from a tiny bone sliver we have yet to pick. First, get a little load of this press engagement:

To start it with a bang, Dolan says, “today we have mutually agreed with Mike D’Antoni that he will no longer coach the Knicks. Mike came in this morning and he met with Glen and Allan (Houston) and then they called me and I came up to the training center and met with Mike. It was not an event that was planned in any way. It just happened. This morning.”

What’s the over/under on lies in that paragraph? Today…that’s one lie. We have mutually…that’s two. Agreed…three. And what about this whopper? “It was not an event that was planned in any way.” Right. Hey there, kind sir, do whatever the flip you like. You do own these premises and the TV station bringing us all this fine spectacle, and it was your divine checkbook and never say die attitude that got Anthony here in the first place, and he’s truly the guy with a presence enough to advance the Knicks cause with this addition by subtraction, because of the failure between player and coach to get along and work together in D’Antoni’s system. No real Knicks fan has ever wanted anything to do with Mike D’Antoni, his southern drawl, and his very, very say die attitude, so pervasive that it’s caught fire with the very same foul whore media that James Dolan is so right to spurn, taking more care with the toilet paper stuck to his $3000 tassled loafer.

Should mega billionaire mogul James Dolan really be slumming with the sordid likes of dolts on par with Frank Isola and Mitch Lawrence of the Daily News, two guys who believe Mike D’Antoni didn’t get a real chance here, in 4 painfully long years, for reasons like this one: he never had a true point guard? Are these morons for real? When exactly have the Knicks had a true point guard? Walt “Clyde” Frazier graced us four decades ago and not since. The Knicks never promised D’Antoni a certain roster, a Steve Nash clone, an adequate big, that he’d never get booed, that they wouldn’t trade his boy toy Danilo Gallinari, or any owner–beat scum rendezvous for that matter either. What they promised him was a fat $24M, which he’s getting, and apparently some shallow ruse to save face, perhaps feeling some obligation to protect D’Antoni from embarrassment even though his team quit on him. Maybe the king of the realm felt truly bad for D’Antoni, the boo-ee, or maybe he was just giddy that this fantasy actually played out, enough to not publicly fire him.  Maybe Dolan is so media conscious and disturbed by the possible bad press that he had Glen Grunwald author this Shakespearian comedy.

For Grunwald as interim GM of the club also does not wish to be seen as a guy who fired the great Mike D’Antoni.  But Grunwald, as Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations does have the authority to scheme up a mutual half resignation plot, thereby saving James Dolan the perceived indignity of the vile stupid whore media which would have rained down upon him had he been so cold as to publicly discharge Mike D’Antoni, media darling and millionaire many times over, no doubt recovering his hurty feelings in one of his mansions or luxury apartments right now.

Dolan should’ve fired him when he first wanted to, after the Knicks blew a 15 point lead with 6 minutes to play at MSG last year at the same time when the owner was entertaining a party of friends.  But since Dolan doesn’t fire millionaires short of embarrassing public sex trials, he sent Donnie Wheelchair to do it.  Since Donnie doesn’t roll like that, Dolan planted a similar circumstance on Walsh at the end of his contract.  But he didn’t fire him.  He just didn’t retain him. He didn’t fire him.  He simply refused to negotiate with him on a new contract.  Well, not actually but rather mutually they decided together that Walsh would no longer be president of the Knicks anymore, quite obviously.

Grunwald and Dolan could never have orchestrated this delightfully demeaning hoax without Carmelo Anthony, who is not losing any sleep over these events.  D’Antoni foolishly picked a passive aggressive media war with Melo, perhaps forgetting that Anthony rest some 15M points higher than him in the pecking order of the Knicks power structure.

When the press would ask the coach if Stoudemire was doing all he can this year, the answer was always yes, without hesitation.  When asked the same question about Anthony, there was much hemming and hawing. D’Antoni simply didn’t have the “thrust” to beat Anthony at that game.  Is Anthony a coach killer?  Damned good thing he is.  His actions spurred the necessary change here that sprung the elaborate two party mutually consented upon resignation of Mike D’Antoni.  Anthony blew up a franchise just last year.  Why would he have any qualms about statements like “the Knicks could learn a lot from the Heat” because the Heat “practice so hard” and he “wished the Knicks practiced like Miami.”  Kudos sir.  Or when constantly hounded by the press about D’Antoni’s beloved system, Melo called it “just another system” and suggested it was a system that hasn’t won anything on this side of the Atlantic.  Kudos again.  When that wasn’t enough, Anthony resorted to back channels, or for the NBA, whispers from one’s entourage.  BTW, since this source works in the Knicks front office, it’s not a stretch to deduce that Anthony’s entourage and the club’s management are linked very closely, if they are not actually part of the same circle.  Did Anthony speak the words that he wished to be traded?  Of course not. Did someone suggest to the stupid whore media that Anthony wasn’t happy which the stupid whore press then re-interpreted as a trade demand to squeeze out one more cheap headline, NYC style? Indeed.

As the fiction goes, Mike D’Antoni was so despondent lately that he could barely keep down his rigatoni, yet the other day was in spirits high enough that when asked about a defined role for Knicks whipping boy Toney Douglas, he laughed and said, “he doesn’t have any role. It doesn’t get more defined than that”. Class right until the end.

An end, which despite Wednesday’s farce was classier than this coach deserved.  The Knicks were 45 games under .500 for his tenure, and the only identity the team built was that they were lazy and apathetic.

There’d have been absolutely nothing wrong with the Knicks standing up and saying, “You know what? We suck and we’re tired of it.  It starts with the coach.  We get embarrassed at home and away, and guys aren’t trying.  We spent 230M on a front line and this coach did not make it work.  This is New York, this is the NBA, the big leagues, and it is just unacceptable.  The front office rebuilt the team.  The coach failed and was given ample time and resources, contrary to fucking ludicrous media reports.  Therefore we had to shit-can this shitbird.”

But alas, it all supposedly went down much more mutually and spontaneously, like a quality one night stand with a fine piece of ass, because Dolan and Grunwald and Allan Houston don’t fire great coaches.  And as for Phil Webber and Dan D’Antoni, they must have just spontaneously combusted.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

On a buzzer beater by Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks salvaged a win last night in Memphis after blowing another ten point lead, this time with 3:37 to play.  Melo, after popping the jumper, had some interesting interplay with the Grizzlies’ bench.  Defensive “stopper” Tony Allen, did little to contain Anthony overall, who put together another great stat line (31 pts, 5 reb., 6 assts).  Anthony, who an excited Memphis bench regaled with sentiments his game winning shot was off when it left his hands, went back at the Memphis sideline and said simply, “I do this” when the shot fell.

Exciting times for the Knicks indeed.  Don’t mistake our silence on the Carmelo saga and on the beginning of this era as a lack of excitement for what’s going on.  We stated here months ago that Gallinari, probably Chandler, and a pick swung from Minny for Anthony Randolph was going to Denver.  We wrote–months ago–that Melo was engineering a trade to NY and that privately he had shot down the Nets.  Even publicly, he couldn’t even fake being lukewarm toward the proposition of NJ.  He could’ve had a deal to the Nets at any point since June.  Instead, when Denver obviously begged their disgruntled star to thow them a bone in the form of some leverage, Anthony spoke not of New Jersey but of perhaps signing the extension with Denver.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/espn-nets-melo-drama-a-farce/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/carmelo-anthony-no-to-nets/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/carmelo-anthony-to-nets-pipedream-crushed/

We’ve had a big picture view on the Knicks dating back about 6 years now.  The Anthony acquisition is a major step, but part of a much larger long term process.  First, we rooted for Thomas to do enough damage to get himself fired, which finally happened with an assist from Stephon Marbury who testified about pressuring a young female Garden employee into giving him a blowjob.  Then, Thomas had to be replaced with a quality hire.  Sure, we’ve made fun of Donnie Wheelchair, and we hate his draft acumen, but he is a pro.  He had a plan and stuck to it, giving the Knicks the chance to slot in stars the magnitude and calibre of the ones now on board.

These exciting times and last second wins?  Great to be excited, but putting teams away when up 10 or 12 in the 4th quarter is a lot more gratifying in our minds.  Still, it’s a long view.  You know our feeling on Mike D’antoni.  We’d never hire him.  Ever.  Not for the Knicks, not for a Division III school, not for an AAU gig, not even to mop up court sweat.  We’ve never seen any facsimile of speedball win big on any level.  Showtime out in LA and all fast break basketball is predicated on stops, rebounds, and turnovers that lead to easy scores.  Remember the Riley credo: “No rebounds, no rings.”

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/before-they-can-worry-about-free-agents-knicks-need-a-coach/

The next step in the Knicks progression is probably going to be growth from within.  Fields and Douglass have upside and are improving.  We expect 7 or 8 guys from this squad to return next year and that they’ll improve as a group.  Seven foot pivot Jerome Jordan, a 2nd round pick last year, will probably be imported from Europe.  He’s a big who showed polish and promise in college, and who is currently showing a knack for scoring down low overseas.  The Knicks must draft wisely in round 1 this year (BTW, did anyone hear Kemba Walker lobbying this week to come to NY?), and may be served to buy another pick, ala the Toney D. selection, which they acquired for cash from the Lakers.

But Mike D.?  If we could only sell him off.  Short practices, disinterested walkthroughs and shoot arounds.  Mishandled player relations (Nate Robinson, Jordan Hill, etc.)  We guess Walsh can live with it so far.  But all the late blown leads and not running plays late in the games?  Our media is already tiring of this act.  The Post this week had a snappy headline in which they referred to him as “Done-toni.”

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/after_season_mike_may_be_done_toni_EoEp0beiA3opwRMF02MkyJ

If Garden management is so slow to take care of Walsh, who always represents the team in a respectful fashion, why would they be in a rush to extend the coach?  Especially one whose rationale for not calling a timeout to set up a play at the end of games is along the lines of ‘we basically know what to do.’  Really?  Did they know what to do in Phily weeks back when they blew another double digit lead in the 4th, went down 10, and cut it to 2 in the closing seconds?  D’antoni didn’t call for a timeout, the Knicks had no play, ran something we’d describe as chaos, and watched Shawne Williams, fresh off the scrap heap, force a drive when the Stoudemires, Chandlers, Gallos, and Feltons of the world watched.

We will suggest right here that D’antoni is also mishandling Chauncey Billups and his injury situation.  Billups hurt his quad 6 games ago.  D’antoni has termed him day to day the whole while.  How is a guy not named John Abraham day to day for 2 full weeks?  Not only do we not think D’antoni is being honest, we also don’t feel he and Billups are on the same page.  Billups said of a Sunday return, “not looking good.”  D’antoni said Billups is “coming back Sunday.”  We think D’antoni is afraid to tell the media the truth about Billups, in part.  The guy is a self preservationist, and he must know that a 3rd free pass in a row, at $6M per, is unlikely, even from the imminently wasteful Madison Square Garden Co. 

And here’s what a good coach says: ‘So and so’s not playing.  Injuries are part of the game.  Out of sight, out of mind.  We’re gonna play without him and we’ll be ready.’  A good coach doesn’t clutch at excuses.  A good coach wouldn’t be afraid to go up to the 5 seed and face Orlando.  He wouldn’t be making excuses about how hard it is to lose Billups, or how unrealistic it is to think the Knicks are more on a level with Atlanta than Charlotte.  The Knicks took it to the Magic for a chunk of their last meeting in Orlando, in what was another second half debacle.  A very quick Jameer Nelson killed them off the dribble and with the shot.  How about at least pretending you have a shred of confidence in Toney Douglass as another option against Nelson? 

Another local beat guy, Alan Hahn of Newsday, has been maligning the Knicks execution, an obvious shot at D’antoni.  Hahn’s a guy you should pay particular attention to.  Why?  Because the Garden owns Newsday, and MSG Network has been giving Hahn lots of air time of late, featuring him on Knicks broadcasts in a prominent role.   

BTW, be sure to tune in tonight when the Knicks face the Mavs wearing their “Nueva York” jerseys for some NBA Spanish night nonsense.  The Knicks have the worst winning percentage of any club over the last 9 seasons.  But something about these Nueva York jerseys might bother us even more than that.

Are we critical much?  Crack do this!

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/carmelo-anthony-no-to-nets/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/carmelo-anthony-to-nets-pipedream-crushed/

So the Nets, Pistons, and Denver virtually agreed on a 3 team blockbuster 2 or 3 weeks ago that would see 17 players and hundreds of millions in salary change hands, including the apple of our eye, New York native Carmelo Anthony, and have stood on this monumental precipice in limbo for almost a month?  We’ve always thought this nonsense, pathetically and desperately spun by lazy, stupid reporters who have made mountains out of the wishful daydreams of Denver novice GM Masai Ujiri, Joe Dumars, and Net GM “he aint won a thing” Billy King.

We can’t even blame Dumars or Ujiri that hard.  If you’re Dumars, who has rings as a player and team builder, and 2 teams come to you presenting you the chance to shed a 33 year old Rip Hamilton with 2 years and $25M remaining on his contract, you’d have to jump all over that.  You’d want it to go down so badly you might even hold Hamilton out of the lineup for over a week to facilitate the fantasy.  Butlet’s be real.  This would not be a basketball trade for the Pistons.  It’s a money trade.  Hamilton could run a marathon, contract malaria, become pregnant, and get hit in the eye by a bow and arrow and he’s still going to Newark in this twisted vision.

Ujiri?  Not gonna kill the poor guy.  In his first task of substance as a big league GM, he is left to  sort through this mess.  It’s like getting called up from double A to face Babe Ruth with the bases loaded.  He must do his diligence and try to make the deal that’s best for his club, which is Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and the Nets lottery pick in 2011, plus 2 other 1st rounders.  At the end of the day though, it was a whole lot of leg work for naught.

Chris Sheridan, like us, has maintained all along that Anthony will be traded to the Knicks.  Some of his most pointed remarks on the topic came yesterday when Sheridan told ESPN radio that Anthony unequivocally refuses to sign an extension with any team other than New York.  Bottom line, Anthony holds all the leverage, and the Nets, and no one, for that matter, will trade 5 out of 6 of their top assets for a rental player.  The Nuggets and Pistons can arrange whatever deals they like, but Ujiri has no way of convincing ‘Melo to accept the trade, and Dumars can do no more than sit on his hands and pray for the impossible in Detroit. 

Carmelo is the trade.  If he is not held out of games for fear of injury, then no deals are imminent.  Anthony is playing tonight against OKC.  He has done better than pronouncing his intention to participate in all games for the foreseeable future.  He told Ujiri not to grant permission to Nets ownership to speak to him about the trade and the extension.  Against his wishes, they granted the Nets permission to speak to Anthony today.  Supposedly, Prokhorov and Jay Zee flew to Denver today to make their pitch.  Then ESPN runs the newsflash that the Nets have stopped pursuing Anthony and that the deal is forever dead.

So what happened when Prokhorov and Mr. Hip Hop finally got their chance to meet with Carmelo?  Here’s what happened: Anthony sent them home unceremoniously with an emphatic no.  Now ESPN reports that Anthony is not even a definite free agent this summer, that he has 1 year to go on his deal at $18M and will opt out of the deal if he is traded to a team (not New York) dumb enough to trade for him sans the extension.  By the way, how many guys is Jay Zee going to try to woo here and strike out with in his little amatuer NBA owner hour?  Embarrassing.

Look for the Nuggets, absolutely desperate to unload the disgruntled star and come away with something, to take back from New York Landry Fields, Danilo Gallinari, Minnesota’s pick (acquired for Anthony Randolph), and a first rounder the Knicks will purchase for cash money from a team like the Spurs or Blazers.  And as for Amar’e’s proclamation that he hasn’t spoken to Carmelo at all through this process?  He’s telling the truth.  They don’t talk.  They just text each other constantly.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/stoudemire-head-knick-in-charge/

GO NEW YORK GO NEW YORK GO!!!!!!!!

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Rising Knicks’ star Wilson Chandler (above).

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/with-various-reports-linking-lebron-to-miami-knicks-rumored-to-have-agreed-to-trade-david-lee-to-golden-state/

We are not ashamed to say that we had the Knicks projected at 10-24 at this point, and that we had major problems with the construction of the roster.  The David Lee trade?  Awful.  To get back perpetual dog house resident Anthony Randolph as the centerpiece of a deal in which you trade a 20/10 guy, and to also recieve Kelenna Azabuike–yet to play and who may not recover from a serious knee injury in time to ever play for the team–is akin to letting Lee walk for nothing.  Well, at least we got back scary looking Ronny Turiaf, who has had a positive effect in his minutes, and who becomes a downright essential cog for the thin Knicks in the absence of Gallinari.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/thin-knicks-to-host-spurs-tonight-without-gallinari-spurs-ny-730-pm-est/

What about our good friends Roger Mason and Timofey Mozgov, 2 players the Knicks alotted cap space to, who, well, suck it hard?  Between Randolph, Azabuike, Mozgov, and Mason, the Knicks have tied up 1/3 of their roster with totally unusable players.  Not to mention Eddy Curry.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/knicks-sign-guard-roger-mason-discuss-trading-curry/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/knicks-lavish-10-m-on-unknown-russian-center/

Shawne Williams?  We like him fine and think the former first rounder and journeyman deftly rescued himself from the scrap heap by shooting the lights out in limited action, and continued to shock us in a rousing win versus the Spurs by making plays with his back to the basket.  Very nice.  But let’s be real.  He wasn’t brought here to or expected to contribute. 

Are we upset that first Shannon Brown and then the absolutely awful Roger Mason were pretty much guaranteed starters’ minutes by D’antoni at the virtual expense of Wilson Chandler, who just kept his head down and played hard?  Yes.  In looking at this woeful roster, we clearly identified Chandler as 1 of the 4 guys with actual basketball talent on this team (along with Stoudemire, Felton, and Douglass).  Since then, we’ve upgraded our assessment.  This team has 5 players with basketball talent (all credit goes to the surprisingly gifted hard work guy from Stanford, Landry Fields, currently leading all guards in rebounding).  Chandler, the 2nd or 3rd best, has thoroughly impressed us and we’re not surprised at all.  Tuesday night, W.C. had 31 pts. on 13/19 from the field, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists, and was too much for Richard Jefferson to handle.  The fact is, on most nights and even against some very good teams, a few players can carry the multitude of bad ones.  The Knicks also channeled that Garden energy left up in the rafters from the previous night’s incredible St. John’s victory.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/st-johns-stuns-13-georgetown-61-58-madison-square-garden/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/stoudemire-head-knick-in-charge/

The NBA is a star driven league, and Amar’e is playing like an MVP calibre, 1st team All NBA guy.  Raymond Felton is playing the best ball of his career (17 pts, 7 assts per), and out-played Spurs star Tony Parker most recently (28/7 vs. 26/6) in the Knicks’ banner win at MSG.  Chandler, who proved early on he could not be driven from the lineup, has been so good that Donnie Wheelchair has now vowed to re-sign him, even with the player in line for perhaps a $ 60M contract.

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/donnie_wilson_fan_PQcGtNh4lCpbTVfAIEIQ9J

The Knicks big 3 of Stoudemire, Chandler, and Felton is proving so good that they can carry the team, even against some top squads.  Even in the absence of Gallinari, who we think sucks anyway.  Face it.  How many teams have a triumvirate that it out producing the Knicks’ big 3?  As we see it, it’s something only elite teams can say.

We also see a silver lining with Gallinari’s injury.  While we are totally unimpressed with Italy’s finest, and while we especially pan his supposed strength–his perimeter game–he does seem to be developing a better repertoire as a guy who can put it on the floor and get to the rim.  For all his faults, he’s a young guy, at 6’10, playing major minutes on a winning team.  Denver, who seems intent on getting back 1-2 players and picks for Carmelo, might be willing to take Landry Fields, as well as the young talent and picks that a Gallinari and an Anthony Randolph could bring back, since we’re hearing the Nuggets aren’t big on either.  For now, we’ll kindly hold off on the bust tag for these guys.

As for the immediate future, Amar’e returns to Phoenix Friday night.  We look for our captain to be extra motivated against his old squad.

GO NY GO NY GO!

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Knicks’ surprisingly good F Shawne Williams (above).

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https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/stoudemire-head-knick-in-charge/

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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.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/ny-knicks-draft-scandal-bad-coaching-see-knicks-in-disarray-on-eve-of-opener/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/knicks-to-acquire-2011-first-round-pick/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/knicks-sign-guard-roger-mason-discuss-trading-curry/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/knicks-lavish-10-m-on-unknown-russian-center/

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.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/17/david-lee-thanks-for-the-memories/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/05/knicks-mull-lee-sign-and-trades-as-fallback-options-to-lebron-and-wade/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/knicks-sign-point-guard-raymond-felton/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/with-various-reports-linking-lebron-to-miami-knicks-rumored-to-have-agreed-to-trade-david-lee-to-golden-state/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/knick-caught-with-weed-in-queens/

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 (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Legitimate prime time player, Amar’e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks (above).

Amare Stoudemire  #1  PF
2010-11 STATS
PPG RPG BPG
26.5 9.4 2.1

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=1727

In the summer, we called Amar’e Stoudemire the “consolation prize” of the NBA dream team free agent class.  And when the new Knick centerpiece tweeted in August that he was in Israel of all places because he just learned of his Hebrew ancestry, well, if that’s the prerogative of a $100M man, so be it, but our reaction to that was that not only was he a consolation prize, but that he also might be a clown.  Our initial reaction was that the Knicks got themselves a “me” player with creaky knees who got rich, figuratively and literally off the exquisite, ball on a string, play making mastery of Steve Nash.  Our reaction upon seeing the Israel tweet was more along the lines of “Oh Jesus.”

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/knicks-protect-investment-block-stoudemire-from-playing-at-world-championships/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/knicks-sign-consolation-prize-amare-stoudemire/

When the Knicks got out 3-8, not only was it expected by us, but we were giddy at all the D’antoni job security articles, and readying the bubbly for our own little D’antoni firing party.  We had even marked the team through the first 34 games of their schedule, figuring they’d give D’antoni and his stupid offense at least 30 games with the new roster before Dolan gave the order to Donnie Wheelchair to pull the plug on the Italian with the affinity for matador defense.  But then something very out of the ordinary began to happen.  The Knicks started winning.  In fact, they reeled off 13 out of 14 wins, elevating the team’s record to a wholly respectable 16-9.  And we said, “Who kidnapped our awful Knicks?”

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/before-they-can-worry-about-free-agents-knicks-need-a-coach/

Stoudemire did–the consolation prize.  He’s taken the other Knicks which include a 6’11 Italian 3 point specialist, a talented but unconventional g/f stuck out of position, a rookie 2nd round pick expected to guard an elite scorer every night, and a talented but inconsistent point guard, had them hop on his back while the man carried them all, posting clutch fourth quarter after clutch fourth quarter like Bernard King did once upon a time, before he injured his knee.  Stoudemire has actually flourished in the marquis role and has Raymond Felton looking a lot more like Nash than um, Raymond Felton, along side Gerald Wallace in Charlotte.  And so delighted have Knicks fans been with Felton that there is way more talk about extending Felton than there is of packing him off for Chris Paul.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/knicks-sign-point-guard-raymond-felton/

Likely, Donnie Wheelchair makes some moves to solidify the…pause…most improved team in the league and gets some more reinforcements in here for Stoudemire, before the guy drops from over-use, as he gives 44+ minutes a night to the team.  Then there’s Stoudemire’s sidelight as the Knicks’ assistant coach/heavy, which can not be understated.  Stoudemire has been the most vocal guy in the organization–the only guy–to preach defense this year, and he has chided the team about the importance of striving for constant improvement, staying level, and always trying to get the “next one.”

And when I heard that Stoudemire had dogged his own teammate in the wake of Saturday’s horrific OT loss in Cleveland to the D-league’s new franchise called the Cavaliers–in a menacing way no less–I removed my own consolation prize tag and put in my vote, all but meaningless, for Stoudemire as league MVP.

“Yo Ray!”  Stoudemire called to Felton in the locker room after the Cleveland debacle on Saturday.  “How does a one play 23 minutes and get no dimes (assists)?  No dimes, Ray?!”  Stoudemire asked loudly about backup lead guard Toney Douglass, who dressed a few feet away.  Hold on a sec…you mean to tell me that Stoudemire reads the stat sheet right after games and doesn’t just look for his own name?  And that he is actually upset after a loss?

This guy was a bargain at $100M.  After about 800 meaningless Knicks’ games, to watch a few that matter again has been priceless.  Don’t be fooled.  Pretty much, it’s Amar’e and only Amar’e we have to thank for it.  We’re happy to be wrong about this guy.  Couldn’t be happier.  And from here forward, we give the Knicks’ captain permission to travel anywhere he wants in the off season.  Clearly, he knows what he’s doing.  He’ll even make an unselfish player yet out of Toney D., something D’antoni wasn’t able to do with one of our favorites, Nate Robinson, now a Celtic due to that failure.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)