Archive for the ‘New York Knicks’ category

Classic 1999 New York Knicks playoff newspaper headlines

April 6, 2011

Via Via Posting and Toasting:

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God does this bring back memories. Oh man, I was only 9 at the time but the memories are as clear as the clouds on a sunny day. Enjoy these and cherish these New Yorkers or Sports fans because I don’t think we will ever have a team as the #8 seed reach the finals and even win a game in the finals like the New York Knicks did that year. Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker…

New York Knicks need to be led by their MVP Amare Stoudemire

March 22, 2011

Via ESPN New York:

Photo By: John Angiolillo (UPI)

It was reasonable to give Carmelo Anthony time to adjust after his trade to the Knicks, but he gets no hall pass for the “Wait ‘Til Next Year” remarks he uttered after Sunday’s galling loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Concession speeches with 13 games left in the regular season, and the playoffs after that, aren’t the sort of thing a franchise player like Anthony is supposed to say a mere month after his arrival or before the season’s last breath. If Chicago, Boston or Miami ends the Knicks’ season sometime next month, fine. But such thoughts shouldn’t be rolling out of Anthony’s mouth just because of a tough little stretch in late March.

Real superstars find a way.

Anthony’s comments make you realize the Knicks were better off when they were Amare Stoudemire‘s team. Stoudemire was their unquestioned leader and set the tone. They’d be smart to go back to acknowledging that. Now.

The Knicks still can win with Anthony and without the four players they sent away in the blockbuster deal that landed him and Chauncey Billups four weeks ago. But the exemplary way Stoudemire has embraced a leadership role in New York no matter who was playing here makes him the best, most intelligent voice the Knicks have had all season in the locker room. And all the Knicks — Melo included — should go back to falling in behind Stoudemire.

The Knicks are 7-9 since Anthony arrived, with the Boston Celtics coming to Madison Square Garden on Monday night and the Orlando Magic arriving Wednesday.

After a month of watching Stoudemire recede into the background since the trade and utter hardly a peep unless he was spoken to first — the better to give Anthony room? — Stoudemire had finally seen enough after Friday’s irritating loss to the lowly Detroit Pistons.

There’s no need to dance around about whether what Stoudemire told reporters “seemed” like an honest-to-God upbraid to Anthony — he was speaking directly to Anthony, all right. And now we’ll see whether Anthony finally gets the message, because it’s the same point Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni had obliquely made days earlier and a kinder version of a rap that Anthony’s ex-Nuggets teammates have laid at Anthony’s feet since he left: With him, the ball isn’t flowing enough in the Knicks’ offense. So Anthony gets his 25 points, all right, but he can often make his own team easier to defend — and beat.

“We’ve just got to buy into Mike D’Antoni’s system — it works, I’ve been a part of it for a long time now, and it’s been very successful,” Stoudemire said. “We just have to buy into it and get it done. We’ve proven it works with the team we had before the trade, and it can work with the guys we have now. So it’s just a matter of us buying into it. It’s new for most of the guys, so it takes time for them to go out and understand how it works. So I think over time it will grow on them.”

Remember when Stoudemire hit town after signing his max free-agent contract and promptly announced, “The Knicks are back”? Skeptics snickered at Stoudemire’s enthusiasm and dryly said that it was cute but that he’ll learn, he’s not from around here, you know, so he doesn’t know the details of the Knicks’ awful recent history.

But as entrances go, Stoudemire’s splashdown in New York looks light-years better and more self-assured than Anthony’s bolt for the team bus Friday after a 2-for-12 shooting night in Detroit, then his concession speech Sunday after the Knicks’ latest loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Anthony has shown a little fraying at the seams in the past week to 10 days. He’s questioned the Knicks coaching staff’s failure to adjust the team’s defense against the Indiana PacersTyler Hansbrough (an idea that D’Antoni disputed). He wondered why he didn’t get to take a last shot at the end of another game. Then he went beyond the acknowledged flaws the Knicks’ roster has to suggest it’s nothing they’ll be able to overcome this season while the Nuggets became one of the hottest teams in the NBA without him.

Meanwhile, Stoudemire embraced a leadership role from the start and hasn’t let go. He’s been thoughtful and measured when he’s needed to be, assertive when he’s thought that teammates were slacking off, committed to making the entire team better without worrying about blame, and supportive of D’Antoni and/or his system when others have taken shots at the Knicks’ coach.

Comparing the records of the Knicks and Nuggets (who are 9-4 during the stretch) in the short term is a fun little diversion for people who enjoy seeing Anthony get some comeuppance for forcing the trade. Rather than the small 15-game sample everyone had to rate the trade, this fact should worry Knicks fans more: The Nuggets keep saying it wasn’t so much that Anthony can’t play any other way — it’s that he won’t.

Is the difference between Can’t and Won’t affecting how well the Knicks’ and D’Antoni’s system works now? Those measly nine points they scored in the first quarter against Milwaukee?

(November 23, 2010 - Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America)

This past weekend, it was great to see Stoudemire make a vocal comeback even as Anthony balked and bailed.

The simple truth is, the Knicks are better when they see themselves as Stoudemire’s team.

 

…I completely agree with Johnette because this team was winning games and you saw Amare become an MVP candidate in the beginning of the year. Also, when it was Amare’s team, he was the team leader who spoke for the media and never caused distractions. He was always encouraged by everything. Not to mention, the whole team used to score unlike New York’s two headed creature. I think the attention went off Amare and now the lights are on Carmelo and that is not right. It should be the other way around. On January 11th, he was projected the third MVP in the league. As of right now, he is not even close. That is such a drastic change when another superstar comes to join him. If the Knicks become the Amare show again and not the soap opera of the past few weeks then I think they can be in better shape then losing to the Pistons last friday and the Pacers twice. #1 needs to clean those glasses and stay clear with his playoff sight…

Carmelo Anthony says that the Knicks are going to have to wait till next year to compete

March 22, 2011

Via ESPN NewYork:

The words no Knicks fan wanted to hear came out of Carmelo Anthony‘s mouth during the last sentence he uttered Sunday afternoon before exiting into the cold, rainy grayness that ushered in the first day of spring in Wisconsin.

“It might take [until] next season,” Anthony said after the Knicks had their lowest-scoring quarter of the season — putting just nine points on the scoreboard over the first 12 minutes — in a 100-95 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks that wrapped up what can best be called a lost weekend.

After noting that the core of the team has been together for only three weeks, Anthony was asked how close the team is to being on the same page.

“We’re almost there. If everybody gets 100 percent on the same page, it might take [until] next season,” Anthony said. “Right now, in this short period of time, we’ve got to come together as a unit and just check out what we’re going to do, and do it. As far as everybody jelling and the chemistry clicking to where we want it to be, it’s going to take some time.”

So there you have it, 15 games into the new era that began with an atmosphere of euphoria, the timeline for achieving success has been publicly adjusted by the player who is expected to take the Knicks to the next level.

Photo By John Angiolillo (UPI)

With the Knicks already knowing that they are headed to the playoffs — something they’ve known since the day the big trade went down — the urgency that would come with fighting for a playoff spot is just not present.

And as a result, the Knicks are not only unpredictable and inconsistent, they are flat.

“We’re a ways from where we need to be,” Chauncey Billups said. “We have got a ways to go on both ends getting familiar.”

If you ever wanted to see flatness manifest itself into a 12-minute window into the soul (or lack thereof) of a team, you’d need to look no further than the first quarter of this game.

The Knicks weren’t sloppy in that first period, committing just one turnover. They weren’t passive, outrebounding Milwaukee on the offensive boards 3-1. They just looked bad, missing 21 of 25 shots as they fell behind by 23 points to create a deep hole they had to spend the rest of the day digging out of.

Dig out they did, getting themselves back in contention before halftime and twice pulling within one point in the third quarter.

Wilson Chandler and Raymond Felton are 10-4 since being traded to Denver.

But again they couldn’t get the stops they needed down the stretch (the Bucks scored on eight of their final nine possessions), again a referee’s discretion did not help them (Anthony was called for an offensive foul on a jump shot with 4:06 remaining, two days after he failed to get a whistle when Chris Wilcox of the Pistons appeared to foul him on a last-minute shot), and again they played down to the level of their opponent in dropping to 7-8 since the trade, remaining in seventh place in the East as they head into their first post-trade matchup with the Boston Celtics on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

Chemistry is an issue. Cohesiveness is an issue. The center spot is a major issue, and the lack of any kind of reliable depth is an issue, too.

And then there is the issue of whether Anthony is refusing to buy into coach Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system, something Amare Stoudemire signaled was happening after Friday night’s loss at Detroit when Anthony bolted from the locker room and headed straight for the team bus without saying anything about his 0-for-5 fourth quarter and his 6-point performance.

“That was just one night, man. I don’t really focus on that night. It happened. Whatever happened, happened. Tonight, it is what it is,” Anthony said. “My thing is just to go out there and just really focus on trying to do what I have to do within the system, within the offense. And I never want guys on our team to feel like I’m going out of the system to get what I have to get, and do what I have to do. My thing is to focus on getting the system down pat. This is the system we’ll be running from here on out, and I just want to learn it and become great at it.”

The system produced three 20-point performances as Stoudemire scored 25, Anthony had 23 and Billups 21 before he fouled out, but the pace of play was again slower than the speed D’Antoni would prefer, and the inability to get a stop down the stretch was another chapter of a recurring theme.

“We’re frustrated with trying to finish games off and trying to win and all that, but I would think other than being frustrated, [the team’s morale] is good. We’re going to try to get this done,” D’Antoni said. “We’ll get it done, it’s just a matter of being calm and knowing our problems and working through.”

And what exactly was D’Antoni’s “it”?

The “it” he’s certain they’re going to get done?

“Playing well. That’s the it,” D’Antoni said. “It’s up and down, we’ve had some good games, we’ve hit a little stretch here where we’re pressing and not playing well.”

That about sums it up, and that is not the type of summation the Knicks wanted to have when they had a 15-game body of work behind them.

As Anthony said, it may take until next season.

That is not what he was saying when he arrived, but circumstances have forced him to temper his expectations.

At this point, merely playing a competitive series in the first round of the playoffs may be as good as it gets for these Knicks. But the possibility of it getting worse cannot be discounted, either. The final 13 games of the season will be telling.

Really Carmelo Anthony? This is what I ask myself every time I listen to a Carmelo Anthony press conference. All he has done since he has gotten to New York is complain and bash his own team in the media. To lose to Indiana twice, the Bucks, and now the Celtics after last night’s loss is completely depressing. I can’t take the losing anymore, let alone a guy saying they won’t be competitive till next year. Now my question is, “Is he giving up?” Cause honestly, it sure does look like that. He had a great game against Miami when he first got here but that is about all he has contributed to. He has not played defense, has not been a team player, and has not been able to bring the Knicks to victory. Notice how I keep mentioning the nots rather than the rights. As of right now the trade looks terrible because of the way Carmelo is responding to his team and the media. His former team, the Denver Nuggets are 10-4 in his absence. Says a lot about a certain superstar. But In the end, I hope he can get his act together and start caring about his team rather than the #7 on the back of his jersey…

Carmelo Anthony savior to the Knicks season?

February 24, 2011

Here is an article from ESPN and it states from a New York Knicks perspective of why this deal could backfire and not be what they wanted right now.

Via ESPN Commentary:

The New York Knicks just figured out a way to give up everything but the coasters for a borderline franchise player and still be a couple of years away from being ready to compete for an NBA championship.

In this case, a three-team, nine-player trade isn’t worth what some are going to try to make you believe. The Knicks gave Denver a king’s haul of three starters (Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton and Danilo Gallinari), a raw (but promising) 24-year-old 7-footer (Timofey Mozgov) and their 2014 first-round draft pick, yet the assumption will be that acquiring Carmelo Anthony will put New York right there with the Miami Heat in challenging the Boston Celtics for Eastern Conference supremacy.

But instead, the Knicks didn’t get a savior in Anthony, they got a big piece of bait. And in the process, they relinquished some of their most encouraging talent.

Yes, Anthony gives Amare Stoudemire a bona fide partner, one who can be a big help in matchups against the superstar-heavy Celtics and Heat. He finally gives the Knicks the relevancy they’ve craved.

But let’s briefly allow the facts to intrude on the fantasy. The Knicks already are the second-highest-scoring team in the NBA, and they just traded away half their roster for another offensive-minded player.

Right now, New York is slightly better than a .500 team, and it likely will stay that way for the rest of the season because the trade leaves it with a thin bench, an aging point guard (Chauncey Billups, who comes along with Anthony from Denver) to run a fast-paced offense and a nonexistent defense.

 Supposedly, one of the biggest reasons Anthony was worth getting at any cost was that it’s assumed he’ll coax Chris Paul, Deron Williams or Dwight Howard to come to New York when they become free agents next year.

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)

But while we don’t know what the salary cap will be in the next collective bargaining agreement, it’s very likely the Knicks will have limited payroll space if the cap is anywhere near what it is now. No matter how trendy it becomes for stars to join up with other stars, as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh did in Miami, I can’t see any quality superstar giving the Knicks the kind of discount they might need to complete a Heat-like triumvirate.

I’m not ready to call the Anthony trade a bad deal for New York, but I am saying it’s less than ideal. The Knicks’ reality is selling another fantasy.

For the Nuggets, this was a best-case scenario. They didn’t receive equal value for Anthony, but they got more than enough, including second-round picks in 2012 and 2013, which the Knicks had acquired from Golden State when the Warriors signed David Lee last summer.

Anthony, by the way, deserves credit for that. By making his intentions known to the Nuggets from the beginning, Denver had the opportunity to recoup its losses.

Just ask Cleveland how important a heads-up from a superstar can be.

I’m not suggesting the Knicks don’t need Anthony. Who can’t use a 25-points-per-game scorer who can fill up the basket from any spot on the floor?

 But I question their strategy. I’m just not convinced this is the best way for the Knicks to make themselves championship contenders.

And their own history proves it.

When they were consistent competitors in the 1990s, they put a terrific group of role players around their superstar, Patrick Ewing. Those Knicks teams had ferocious defenders who exuded toughness. The Knicks’ championship team in 1970, revered for winning the franchise’s first title, was built around Willis Reed and also had the NBA’s top-ranked defense.

Prior to the Melo deal, the Knicks seemed to be building their team in that mold. Felton and Chandler have become very solid players. Gallinari is finally proving why he was the sixth overall pick in the 2008 draft; he leaves the Knicks averaging a career-best 15.9 points per game. Of course, none of them have Melo’s star power or his individual offensive ability, but they are better pieces in a team’s whole than people realize.

The Melo deal is troubling because it seems as if New York is more concerned with restoring its reputation as a franchise that can attract big stars than setting up a viable long-range plan.

Remember, the Knicks were once convinced they would get James, too. Despite the now-infamous toast Paul made at Anthony’s wedding last year, which indicated he was open to joining Stoudemire and Anthony in New York, a lot can happen between now and the summer of 2012.

There’s no question it played to Melo’s advantage when James shunned New York for Miami. It made the Knicks desperate, and I’m not so sure they needed to be.

As special as Anthony is, he isn’t James. He doesn’t have the kind of game, leadership or charisma that can instantly transform a team. There’s a reason Anthony’s teams have been eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs six times in seven years, including once by the Clippers.

But let’s not let those inconvenient facts spoil this for New Yorkers.

They’ve landed their bait.

…This is the greatest article I have read about the deal. It comes from my perspective of the deal but it also states that right now the Knicks gave up the future for a scorer. Is that the right thing to do? For me, it hurt a lot because you gave up 4, twenty to twenty-six year old kids who were coming into their own. They got 3 thirty year olds out of this deal. How bad is that? I am sorry but right now the Nuggets got the best out of that deal. They are ready to win while the Knicks are ready to form their Big three with Melo, Stoudemire, and CP3 in 2012. As a Knicks fan, I loved the team that I was watching for part of the season because they were a team to like. They only had one superstar and they played for the heart of the game…

…That is why I love the Nuggets now and everyone on this blog knows that I am a Memphis Grizzlies fan because they don’t have a superstar. I hate that word when it comes to the NBA. SUPERSTAR. What a bad word and I hate the meaning of it when you are talking about the NBA. Does anyone remember the #8 seed Warriors beating the #1 Mavericks in 2008. Who was a star on that team? How bout the 1999-2000 Knicks when they reached the Finals. Who was their star? I can’t stand that word and it makes me realize that the NBA is all about these great big market teams and then small market teams will literally have to will their own way to win. That is why if you love the game of basketball you root for teams like Thunder, Warriors, and Sacramento Kings. They don’t have stars but play as a Team and love of the game…

…This deal showed to New York and the NBA that we are all about the money and winning later in life when we get the best players in the league. This needs to change soon because I am sick of that. I love Carmelo and what he brings to the table but let’s see if the Knicks can be playing playoff basketball come the summer time…

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith can never leave New York

February 14, 2011

This is an article I wanted to share with all the fans out there from New York and also around the whole nation because it talks about how one man can talk so much about New York sports, that it never leaves his life. New York Sports is Stephen A. Smith’s life; along with his favorite player Allen Iverson. But this article displays what it means to be a true New Yorker in the “Empire State of mind.”

Via ESPNNewYork:

For those of you who swore I’d fallen off the map and disappeared into oblivion, never to be seen or heard from again, here’s a news flash:

 I never left. I haven’t gone anywhere.

 Any questions? Please, pay attention!

 My name is Stephen A. Smith. Long before my days at ESPN, the Philadelphia Inquirer or the New York Daily News before that, I was a student at Thomas A. Edison Vocational and Technical High.

I am a native of Hollis, Queens, N.Y. A Knicks fan who grew up marveling at the basketball prowess of Queens natives Mark Jackson, Lloyd “Sweat Pea” Daniels, Kenny Smith and Kenny Anderson. A die-hard New York Yankees fan, emphatically prohibited by my father from watching the Mets until I was 18 years old. (So much so, in fact, that I still have to apologize to Pops for being professionally obligated to watch that franchise.)

And the new host on 1050 ESPN Radio.

And the new columnist for ESPNNewYork.com.

In this city, known as the Mecca, it’s the Yankees or the Mets. You can’t root for both. Despite our starvation involving the Knicks and their quest for their first championship since 1973, they’ll always matter more than the Nets. Even when the Nets finally move to Brooklyn. The Giants and the Jets still belong to New York, even if they are playing in New Jersey.

And our passion, our knowledge, our commitment to accountability from our teams, is unparalleled and unapologetic.

A mild-mannered mentality never worked in this town, so don’t expect any timidity now. If the Knicks stink, you won’t hear that they’re “struggling.” Not in this space. When the Mets continue to lose, all the trouble they’re in because of Bernie Madoff is not going to suffice as a viable excuse. We’ll focus instead on the Mets’ years of ineptitude and how much losing they were doing when they actually had money … long before owner Fred Wilpon got himself mixed up in some Ponzi scheme.

Instead of limiting our focus to Yankees greats Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez — or A-Rod’s love life — just as much attention will be paid to Brian Cashman’s productivity. And instead of asking whether it’s time for guys like Giants coach Tom Coughlin or Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to go, maybe we’re not too far removed from questioning Eli Manning‘s productivity, or pondering the future of Mark Sanchez.

This is what happens in New York City. If you’re not winning, you’re losing. And when your body language resembles that of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who always looks depressed, that only makes things worse.

New Yorkers always want to win. But it’s just as important to us that you show us that you’re trying like hell to do it for us.

It’s why we loved the late George Steinbrenner and all the headlines his petulance created over the years. It’s why we respected former MSG and Knicks president Dave Checketts when he was chasing Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls — to no avail. The crown may have eluded him, but at least he was legitimately chasing it.

It’s why we’re loving the Knicks right now, having watched them spend $100 million on Amare Stoudemire, knowing they’re willing to spend another $100 million on Carmelo Anthony. It’s why we can’t get enough of the Yankees, despite knowing the Boston Red Sox now have a better rotation after clearly having a better offseason.

While winning may not always personify the Big Apple, attitude certainly does. Players get called to the carpet. So do coaches, managers, executives, owners and anyone associated with them. No one is safe.

In a city that never sleeps, skeptics consider this place heaven. Few ever get tired of talking. No one gets tired of listening. Everyone wants to opine about something, and whoever qualifies as collateral damage, well … we all know how it goes.

It’s New York. The place I’ve called home all of my life, where truth is always required. Or at least a concerted effort to capture it.

This is the way it’s been my entire life. To be honest, this is the way it should be.

Whether it’s pertaining to the Knicks, Nets, Giants, Jets, Mets or Yankees, the mandate is the same. Compete. Pursue excellence. When failing to do either, expect to be held accountable.

Didn’t I tell you I never left?

…I love Stephen’s writing. He is so passionate about the game and so passionate about being a New Yorker that he is not ready to give it up. He is a guy on tv and on radio that is more passionate about what he is talking about than actually  factual but I enjoy it. I enjoy the rants, the yelling, and the funny statements because it makes the news media entertaining. He is one of the top guys on the list with Chris Berman and John Kruk that are great for television but not for debates. I am hoping to read more from him on ESPN New York but what I don’t want to hear about is his love for Allen Iverson…

My Favorite Player Allan Houston will have number retired at Tennessee

February 1, 2011

Via ESPN:

Tennessee will retire Allan Houston’s No. 20 during a pre-game ceremony on March 6, when the Volunteers host Kentucky.

The 37-year-old Houston played for the Volunteers from 1989 through 1993 and is their all-time leading scorer with 2,801 points and trails only LSU’s Pete Maravich on the Southeastern Conference’s all-time scoring list. He was a two-time All-American and four-time All-SEC player.

Houston was selected by the Detroit Pistons with the 11th overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft and played 12 seasons in the NBA, the last nine with the New York Knicks. He currently serves as the Knicks’ assistant general manager.

Houston says he’s honored to join Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld as the only Vols players to have their numbers retired.

 

…Bernard King and Houston play in New York on the Knicks. Gosh, do I miss seeing him play. He is one of the greatest shooters I have ever seen play the game. The way he played with so much heart and dedication in New York makes him my favorite player of all time. I have tried to play like him ever since I was young. He was the reason why I got into basketball and why I love the three-point shot. I just write this article to let fans know he is my favorite player and he deserves to have his jersey retired because he has done so much on and off the court to the game. Especially this play…

New York Knicks beat out Lakers as NBA’s Most Valuable Franchise

January 30, 2011

Via ESPN and AP:

The New York Knicks have overtaken the Los Angeles Lakers as the NBA’s most valuable franchise, and 17 of the 30 teams are estimated to have lost money last season, according to Forbes.

The Knicks’ value rose 12 percent from $586 million to $655 million, the magazine said Wednesday in its annual evaluation. The rise was attributed to increased ticket sales and sponsorships at Madison Square Garden.

The Lakers went up 6 percent from $607 million to $643 million.

Chicago was third at $511 million, followed by Boston ($452 million), Houston ($443 million) and Dallas ($438 million).

After signing LeBron James, the Miami Heat had the biggest percentage rise, a 17 percent increase to $425 million, good for seventh place. Following the loss of James, Cleveland dropped a league-high 26 percent to $355 million.

The average value of a franchise increased 1 percent to $369 million, down from $379 million two years ago.

Forbes estimated teams averaged $6.1 million in operating income. It said the total of teams that lost money is the most since the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season.

Can you believe the numbers on this page? 600, 500, 400 million. That’s not too much. It’s just a MILLION dollars. I love sports, which is why I want to make a living out of it but I don’t think an NBA organization should be worth that much. Are you serious? Do you know how many people are unemployed? How many are starving and are sick? Does basketball mean this much to be worth this kind of money? These are the questions I ask myself when reading the article and the numbers. I finally understand and realize how much money and greed has taken sports over the edge. I understand the NBA has NBA cares and they are trying to do good things for the people but when I was reading this article I was imagining Amare Stoudemire flying in for a slam dunk over millions of American citizens…