Glen Grunwald


Douchebag at ESPY’s (above).

With a flood of Lin stuff coming to the fore today in the wake of the New York Knicks decision not to match the Houston offer sheet to Jeremy Lin, we felt it wise to reserve our print judgment on the kid for a bit.  But we knew what that judgment was going to be, more or less, since hearing that Lin had went back to Houston, after being informed the Knicks would match on the initial offer, and contorted the offer into one of less years and more guaranteed money.  That second offer contained the dreaded poison pill, a 3rd year salary of some $15M, which would have put the Knicks in cap hell in 2014, and would have seen the Knicks responsible for nearly $58M between Lin’s salary and the luxury tax # that the salary and the 7 other Knicks under contract in 2014 would have triggered.

We loved Tommy Dee’s take on the situation on http://www.theknicksblog.com and must credit him, as has Evan Roberts of WFAN, for being on top of all NBA trade and free agent matters this offseason, beating most of the Knicks beat to Knicks related stories, and also, the Nets beat on matters relating to the um, “Brooklyn” Nets.  And we understand Dee’s vitriol toward Jim Dolan, who he feels made a petty decision, another petty decision, in deciding not to match on Jeremy Lin.

As a long tenured Knicks fan, we appreciate his passion, knowledge, and the depth of his analysis.  But we woke up one morning about 27-28 years ago to discover that the Knicks had similarly passed on an opportunity to retain Bernard King, one of the greatest scorers to ever play the game, and the greatest scorer to ever don a Knicks jersey.  As much as we love Bernard King, we root for the team, not the player.  Strictly front of the jersey, is how that works.  If Dolan and the Knicks brass perceived that Lin had been disloyal, and, that signing Lin was cost prohibitive to running their team, then they were well within their rights to let him go.  Even if doing so constituted losing an asset that they had acquired for nothing.

Were we stunned to hear that the Knicks had acquired Raymond Felton?  Indeed.  And we’d also have to credit a guy that we have discredited often who we feel is slow to news in covering the Knicks, Frank Isola of the NY Daily News, who had the Felton story down cold by not too late in the evening on Saturday.  We feel that Felton is an upgrade over Lin, we know that Felton wished to be here, and that he waited out the Lin situation on the off chance that the Knicks would turn to him.  We loved Felton’s work here last year, in averaging 17 PPG and 9 APG in his Knick career, leading to his trade to Denver for Carmelo.  An out of shape Felton, who came with a bad attitude more often than not to the arena last year for the Trailblazers still averaged close to 11 PPG and 7 APG, numbers that few Knicks guards have put up in the last 20 years.  A motivated Felton, back with Stoudemire, who had his greatest success as a Knick on the receiving end of Felton’s largesse, is going to be a boon to the team and to both Stoudemire and Felton.  Getting Stoudemire back to where he was in 2010 will be essential to getting the Knicks over the next hump, which is to win a round in the playoffs, hopefully more.

Now back to Lin and Dolan.  Say whatever you want about Dolan, and we’ve said much, but at the end of the day, we like him, because his check book makes it all happen.  That’s in two sports.  The New York Rangers, our dearly beloved, is now a model NHL franchise, the apple of thirty or so city’s eyes, and it is Dolan who footed that bill.  It is Dolan who ultimately gives Glen Sather the opportunity to cut Brad Richards a $65M contract, and who gives Sather the freedom to run the organization as he wishes, creating the phenomenal situation the Rangers are in, from coaching staff, to roster, to the draft room and farm system, which is unmatched throughout the sport right now.  And if Zach Parise wasn’t such a dick then Dolan would’ve signed off an a monumental deal for him as well, and Parise could’ve played out his career in the mecca, as opposed to Minnesota, a place where big time athletes do not want to go.

Houston happens to be another place like that.  And when Jeremy Lin had that assurance from Dolan that the Knicks were going to match his 28M offer, he went back to Houston for better terms, terms Lin knew would hamper the Knicks ability to retain him.  Is Lin disloyal?  Absolutely.  Should he have pursued the best offer at all costs, as he did?  No.  If you want to be a Knick and the Knicks tell you they are keeping you, then you let it end right there, with a fat AAS of $7M per.  JR Smith could’ve pretended he was a good, loyal Knick and then went out and taken a big offer.  He didn’t.  Why?  Because he wanted to be here.  Because he isn’t that guy.  For all the things he is, for any dumb shit he’s done, he’s not a dishonest, money hungry amateurish NBA Chinese American Harvard hayseed.  Steve Novak also showed he wanted to be here when he could’ve pushed the envelope for a fatter payday.

What do we mean by that string of Lin insults?  Well, let’s be honest.  Jeremy Lin handled this situation terribly, right down to his crocodile tears today about wanting to be here, and his stupid fucking Twitter thank you to New York.  Jeremy Lin thought the Knicks had no option but him at point guard, and therefore, he thought, let’s try to extort NY.  Jim Dolan has every right to be upset and hurt by that.  Jeremy Lin, his team, his agent, whomever, underestimated the Knicks ability to find another guard within 72 hours.  Today, he said as much.  He had no idea that they had Felton on the back burner, and he says, had he known that, he wouldn’t have pressed for the poison pill contract with Houston.

Lin also said a lot of other things that expose him for the amateurish backstabber he is.  Like how he wanted to play in game 5 against Miami but that Knicks players in the league “5 years or more” talked him out of it, causing him to change his tune from “85% healthy” to “15% from the minimum threshold” of NBA game readiness.  We also have to hand it to Isola for pointing out these ridiculous statements in slapping Lin around all day.

Does Lin have some kind of special computer that only he owns that measures minimum threshold for NBA game readiness?  If so, was it engineered at Harvard?  Or by the Chinese?  If so, were they the same friends of Yao Ming who apparently orchestrated this whole Houston nonsense as a favor to Yao?  Because these Chinese roll so thick and all?  And what about the Knick vets with 5 years or more?

Did actuarial science really rob the Knicks of an 85% healthy but really 15% of minimum NBA readiness game 5 Jeremy Lin?  Did Lin really feel it was necessary to leak through his team that he was going to play, only to rescind, through his team, that he would, when playing or not playing against the Miami Heat was academic to the eventual result anyway?  And why was his team to be believed then, but last week, was not to be believed when Lin made his famous proclamation that ‘if it isn’t a direct quote’ from him then don’t believe it?  These are not the actions of a forthright, trustworthy individual.

Did the Knicks fuck Lin over initially by openly coveting Steve Nash?  No.  Does Lin suggest that the pursuit of Nash inclined Lin to backstab the NYK?

He does, but he is a dumb dick.  Coveting the best player at a given position is something that every team in the league should do.  If he thinks Houston didn’t covet Nash, then he’s a fool.  Only thing is, Nash isn’t stupid enough to do business with the Rockets or go live in that God awful place.

This is how great the Knicks were to Lin, in fact:  After giving him his big break, they were not even convinced of his ability to be a starter in the league considering that he only played a handful of games, and yet they were still willing to pay him 7M per, as a fucking backup.

Because the Knicks want to win, and so, they were willing to pay out over 20M to that one position, point guard, between Nash (10-12 M), Lin (7M AAS), Prignioni ($900,000), and Kidd (3M).  That’s what is so great about being a Knick fan, despite any folly perpetrated by their owners and management.  They’ll pay anything.

But they won’t be extorted.  Not even by some Asian Johnny Come Lately, not even when it devalues the company stock or when the guy they are letting go sells the most jerseys in the world.  So bravo to Dolan, Grunwald, Woodson, the Knickerbockers, the Rangers and the Garden.  And fuck you to Jeremy Lin.  Have fun in Houston, kid.  If you do, you’ll be the first.

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

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)

In the wake of the new CBA in the NBA, fear not, big market fans. The war between have and ‘have not’ owners has passed, and there can be no better indicator that the big markets made out smashingly well than the Knicks’ acquisition of C Tyson Chandler, the prize of this free agent class. The amnesty provision that the Knicks employed to gain the maneuverability to sign Chandler to a 58M contract when they were totally tapped out by walking away from the 14M contract of Chauncey Billups, provided they were willing to write him a check for that amount, is surely a clause that deep pocketed teams will be way more willing to use to their benefit than the smaller market teams who took such a hard line during the lockout that they forced.

Begs the question: why such histrionics in the first place? Well, as astute observers of labor disputes in sport, we did kind of agree with Billy Hunter’s assertion that the league was trying to break the players, behind a core of small market owners like Michael Jordan, lead hypocrite, who wanted the lockout to stretch on to the point where the players were feeling the impact of missed paychecks. So why abandon course in favor of a compromise that more favored the Knicks than the Kings, Celtics than Cavs?

Because Stern’s public stance that 15 or so clubs were losing money was so obviously no more than just a posture. If the Charlotte Bobcats aren’t willing to pay Ray Felton 7.5M per for 2 years, the 27/28 truly healthy teams around the league can not pay the price for it. If Lebron and Bosh won’t re-up or up with Cleveland, then Stern in his infinite wisdom can not negotiate a CBA that alters Cleveland’s geography and ethnic demography.

Look at the Memphis Grizzlies. They heaped money on Rudy Gay and Mike Conley, absorbed the huge deal of Zach Randolph, and are poised to now lavish 70M or more on Marc Gasol. They aren’t exactly hurting.

The new CBA did as much for small markets as it could have. By making top tier free agent movement essentially prohibitive financially to the player by limiting salary and term, the deal ensures that most sensible players will be traded for prime assets rather than seeing them flee in FA, getting way more in return than they would in an after thought sign and trade. That’s as far as they can go. The league does not have the ability to restrict player movement beyond that.

They put franchises in places like Minnesota in the first place, and were happy to carve up the franchise initiation fees, but they can’t make players want to be there. As for the Knicks, you have to respect the Chandler move, which brings to the club the elements they lack: size, toughness, shot blocking, rebounding and post defense. You’d have to respect the move for both the creativity and the cost, when compared to say, Nene, at 70M for 4 years. And for their ability to recognize that Paul wasn’t getting done and for seamlessly and successfully changing gears and getting this done.

The Knicks do have a passable player in Toney Douglass at the point, and with Billups out a good bit, TD has plenty of experience in the lead. He should see a lot of open looks, and with he and Chandler starting, they look like a better defensive club. Iman Shumpert, drafted on the strength of his defense, may now see some time at point guard as well, which we’d prefer to Bibby getting significant minutes.

Weak at two guard, the Knicks are in talks to bring back Jamal Crawford, who would be a great addition. Should that trade go down, expect Landry Fields to go the other way. Knicks GM Glen Grunwald just told Mike Francesa that the team will soon announce the signing of Jerome Jordan, and that they are still hoping to bring back Shawne Williams, who resuscitated his career with the Knicks. Grunwald also boasted that NY will have a 5M and a 2M exception available next season, and a 2.5M exception available right now.

As for the Nets, if they did speak to Dwight Howard on Thursday without permission, the Magic should file tampering charges. Can’t the Nets simply text D12’s entourage, like every other team?

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