Burning the Anchor

Without delving into the delicate matter of our mystery Slate author, I want to share with you a few of my Iverson belongings. I can understand why some might find FD Iverson ambivalence almost inconceivable; in truth, there are several among our ranks who take AI to be the alph and omega of stylistic revelation. But there is an equally loud faction that sees in him something that puts our entire project at risk. I will call upon a workplace metaphor to steady my hand: a laidback office is a delicate balance, and if one employee routinely flaunts his laziness the forces that be will be forced to crack down.

So it could be said to be with AI. We've gone to great pains to point out that, in theory, FreeDarko doesn't mere mean style; as our magnum breakthrough so loudly stated, we're into competitive, functional style. There are many ways to play the game, and all solutions to the problem of basketball involve are technically their own kind of style. The more self-possessed, self-aware, and aestheticized this style is, the more it resembles what we understand as style proper. Of course, the terror enters the room when we're lumped in with the Iverson Era—even when, as we've said on numerous occasions, this blog came into being as a direct result of the 2003 Draft and the 2004-2005 Revolution.

At least to me, Iverson threatens to destroy everythng I hold dear. The Sixers didn't give him anything to work with, but Iverson's way of playing the game does seemingly preclude the presence of others. And like it or not, his style is over-aestheticized, a self-contained spiral of invention that almost snobbishly excludes other voices. Doubtlessly, this was an essential moment in NBA history, the dialectic something or other that followed the so-called Golden Age. And verily, this league is all the better for Iverson having loomed like he did. At present, however, I worry that allying one's self with Iverson threatens to taint, say, Arenas, who has tried to iron the flaws out of a Iverson-style game while retaining its sting. The Answer made him possible, but it's also important to stress how Gil has diverted from his (admittedly brilliant) example.

Politically and culturally though, I can't front on Iverson in the least. In the same way that I think Tupac's music is retarded, my mixed feelings about Iverson's play don't diminish my respect for his larger significance. In this sense, Melo's emerging legend is endlessly and unconditionally indebted to AI; on the court, Anthony never ran the risk of falling into the Iverson trap. Even when he did look like a gunner, it was a less apocalyptic kind of presence. When it comes to making a street-as-fuck background part of the basketball establishment, though, Melo wouldn't have a leg to stand on without Iverson. Iverson may have been too raw, but he also forced the world to recognize the real. Now that his mark has been made, the establishment has no choice but to let Melo be Melo, rather than try and assimilate him.

Maybe that's not such a different argument from the Iverson/Gilbert dynamic. Except there's no reason to apologize or make excuses for who Iverson is, no way that you'd say Melo has improved on that identity. In both senses, Iverson is a pioneer, but only off-the-court are his lessons lasting. To me, this is how you honor AI while acknowledging his problematics.


At 12/16/2006 1:56 PM, Blogger T. said...

I'd like to note that while reading the FreeDarko icons of style (bottle rocket, giraffe, protractor, etc.) - I saw the yo-yo and knew that Iverson was the originator of the yo-yo. Sure others used the cross-over before him (Tim Hardaway), but Iverson was and is the yo-yo

At 12/16/2006 5:53 PM, Anonymous paper tiger said...

that new gilbert commercial, with the "you just see me, but i know it takes five" speak. iverson doing that commercial would be like bolton at the UN.

At 12/16/2006 11:50 PM, Anonymous blindblue said...

How will his street-as-fuck persona be affected after such a punk move, sucker-punching Mardy Collins and running away? Oh man. Start filming those new ads, fellas. I can see it now, Melo walking down a darkened city street punching homeless people. B'more indeed.

At 12/17/2006 12:45 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i could care less about a fight. the knicks are whores. and like i'm going to ever say anything bad about j.r. smith or melo.

hope you all have fun with this one.

At 12/17/2006 12:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get more impressive than Nate Robinson's showing in the MSG fight. His body slam of J.R. was shades of Barkley/Shaq. He shouldn't get suspended just because of how well he held his own.

At 12/17/2006 12:58 AM, Blogger Kames the Jelly said...

First to bring corn rows in the league -- That's all the street cred needed. AI started off as a polarizing figure, and has gone from thug pariah to the apotheosis of toughness and scoring in a league that DESPARATELY needed it. I revel in that the same people who hate these players love watching them. And I don't care how old AI gets, his face will always be 21; his tattoes will age first.

Podei clavar hueon? Yo tampoco...

At 12/17/2006 1:01 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i love iverson but hate watching him.

At 12/17/2006 1:08 AM, Anonymous megapickles said...

To combine the contemporary conversations, do this evenings events change the AI situation?

Do the inevitable suspensions make Denver more likely to pull a trigger on a trade? Does it make Philly apprehensive?

Will this ish be over-analyzed because of a pervasive post-Palace psyche?

At 12/17/2006 1:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More disturbing is the reactionary hang-em high musings of hacks like Chris Mannix at SI.com.

Well thought out. Bravo.

At 12/17/2006 1:36 AM, Anonymous fix_the_knicks said...

I haven't seen the footage and it does not appear to be on youtube as of yet... but based on the reports, I'm glad that these knicks seem to actually care about getting consistently embarrassed at MSG, to the point of brawling with a team that was showing them up. Most of the knicks teams in recent memory couldn't be bothered. Acting it out in this particular way is not surprising for an Isiah-coached team -- in retrospect maybe we should have seen it coming.

ESPN says that the seeds of the debacle might have something to do with George Karl wanting to embarrass Isiah to settle a grudge for Larry Brown. I mean, fuck all three of 'em, but when viewed in that triumverate, Isiah is almost a sympathetic figure. And it seems like he's actually reaching the younger dudes and instilling some intensity and pride. Now if he could just assemble a roster that made sense and develop a gameplan that worked, we'd be going places.

At 12/17/2006 2:03 AM, Anonymous blindblue said...

Clip of the fight is here.

I was on Clutchfans skimming the thread about it, and something that a bunch of outlets are glossing over is the fact that Isiah was yelling shit like "I wouldn't go near the paint" at Melo towards the end of the 4th. I mean, damn, protect your house and all, but shouldn't you protect your house by playing some D in the first three quarters instead of threatening players after they stomp your team?

Also, Nate "preens after his dunks even when the Knicks are down 30" Rob has some balls getting pissy about someone showboating at the end of a blowout loss. Maybe he would have restrained his instigator instinct if the refs had given him 17 attempts to calm down.

At 12/17/2006 2:16 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

if melo's next ad slogan isn't SEE AND WAIT than i quit

At 12/17/2006 2:19 AM, Anonymous Jared Jeffries' naked shoulder said...

There were so many great, in my mind freedarko, things about this fight.

1. Nate Robinson putting up his fists ready to box a virtual opponent (and later taking down a Big Baby Belafontian "Bottle Rocket."

2.Camby taking down Jared Jeffries, accidentaly or not, Camby doesn't play.

3 Carmelo possibly ruining his official rise to dominance. I know a lot of you will say this will have no effect, but he had a chance to join the likes of dwade and king james, but this definitely tarnishes his image.

4. Marbury not caring about anyone

At 12/17/2006 2:33 AM, Blogger Brickowski said...

the knicks are whores. i've loudly cheered for many atrocious Mets and Giants squads, but Isiah's managed to sink to new depressing depths. this is the 2nd time this season he's called for his team to hurt an opposing player. nobody cared when Bowen was the target, but hopefully everyone can see how pathetic and out of bounds it is after our beloved JR was endangered. is there anything Isiah won't do to shift the focus away from his own ineptitude?

and fuck all this talk about Melo running away. what's he supposed to do, jump on Collins when he's down? besides, that right was pretty respectable in the world of NBA fights. LJ and ZO should take note.

At 12/17/2006 2:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The key is that this event should be contextualized in reference to the Knicks-Heat conflict some years back. Some sportswriters, like Mannix want to compare it to the Pistons-Pacers melee. That's fundamentally and inexcusably warped. This is an all-NBA issue. No civilians were involved.

The faux outrage is absurd.

At 12/17/2006 3:01 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i agree with brick. who are all of you, that you call out someone like melo for throwing a punch and then moving away from the tide of the entire knicks squad? maybe he realized he should extract himself? maybe it was a chaotic situation and CODEZ OF THE STREERZT don't always get followd perfectly there? jesus, he's just a person. it's like he's expected to get into an all-out punching match because he's from a shitty neighborhood.

WV: yekmub=the original chasidic fight music rap group

At 12/17/2006 3:12 AM, Blogger Stumbleweed said...

God, the InsideHoops forums are absolutely brimming with tough guys right now. I wouldn't want to fight those guys.

I agree with Brick and Shoals for sure here. I just hope nobody gets supended for 10+ games -- it would be totally ridiculous if that happened, as this was basically a normal NBA fight (except that a punch actually landed.. from the league's leading scorer no less) with slightly more 5'9" guy.

At 12/17/2006 3:54 AM, Anonymous blindblue said...

After viewing it from a closer angle than the game video, I take it back about the hit being a sucker-punch. That should merit a three-game, maybe four-game at most. Sternbot will probably end up giving them all at least 10 games though.

Before I crash out, I saw this article and apparently Collins was pulling that late-game flagrant foul shit in their last blowout loss too. Isiah should sign Oak if he wants an enforcer who's not going to get bitch-slapped by the opposition.

At 12/17/2006 4:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was ugly, but it wasn't any worse than the Knicks/Heat brawls (Van Gundy leg-hugging and all), but I think sub-ten games is a bit optimistic. I think everyone on the floor'll get something, even if it's just one game. I do wonder if Collins will get the biggest suspension for instigating the whole thing, or Melo/Robinson for escalation. Either way, I can see Melo getting 10-15 games, and probably Robinson about the same. Long term, it's going to mess with the Nuggets playoff seeding, and it's going to give the Bulls a much better pick.

At 12/17/2006 10:41 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

if you want to have some fun, go see what happens with this converations when i put it in front of the aol audience.

At 12/17/2006 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the line about/comparison with Pac. I feel the same ambivalence about AI.

On point.

At 12/17/2006 11:57 AM, Anonymous fix_the_knicks said...

@ shoals and brick -- ok, finally saw the footage. Look, I love Melo too, but get some objectivity. Throwing a punch and then running away is some pussy shit -- that's not code of the streetz, it's common sense. What was he supposed to do? I don't know, maybe not escalate it by swinging in the first place? Yeah it was a split-second decision, and it tells you something about the guy.

You're right about NateRob being a clown though.

@ anonymous4:46-- "it's going to give the Bulls a much better pick." Nate Robinson and Mardy Collins will probably be the longest suspensions on the Knicks. Seriously, how many games do you think that's going to cost them?

Reminds me... didn't Isiah threaten to fight Simba or something?

At 12/17/2006 12:45 PM, Blogger shoefly said...

Ten to fifteen games is crazy. I just don't understand the big distinction between a landed punch-slap and one that misses but that's meant to kill. Sheet, but you know Stern's gonna come down hard. I think pre-palace Melo would have gotten four games, and now he'll get eight. What gets me is that there is this sort of mass amnesia about the stars of yesteryear. Jordan would never have done this, Bird would never have done this.

Bullshit, they all threw punches and got in brawls. Bird, Jordan, Pippen, Barkley, Ewing, Shaq. It wasn't the end of the world when they did is and Carmelo's not a thug for doing it himself, if there were justice it would be that little twit Robinson taking the heat, and Thomas getting fired, finally, as he obviously told the kid to get out there and goon it up. Fuck Thomas and Nate. These people saying fifteen games need to get some fucking perspective. I like watching all those guys, (well, just the nugs actually) so get them on the court after 3 games.

That wasn't a sucker punch. He was right in front of him.

At 12/17/2006 12:49 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

yeah, Isiah did threaten to fight Simba after Simba criticized him. and, as noted above, he threatened Bowen while the Spurs were routing the Knicks for the second time in a week. THERE IS A PATTERN HERE, and it doesn't surprise me that this occurred recently after Dolan's announcement that Zeke has until the end of the year to turn things around.

i think it's more than a little ridiculous that we're talking about CODEZ OF THE STREETZ, but i don't really think Melo even violated them. he retaliated against the player that committed a late game flagrant foul against Melo's professed "younger brother." camby then pushed him away from the scene and, with jeffries and nate rob running from different angles he back-pedaled to avoid them. it's not like he turned an ran, and i don't understand what people wanted him to do.

and where in the CODEZ OF THA STREEZT does it say you can't leave once some shit goes down? wasn't Bodie's death notable precisely because he chose to stay and fight?

shoals, i saw that Fanhouse reaction last night and it nearly ruined my night. like, where do these people come from? why are concerned mothers of America arguing on basketball blogs in the middle of the night?

At 12/17/2006 12:59 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

Exactly, Shoefly. And I'm really fucking sick of hearing how "great" and "brave" Nate Robinson is just because he's a midget. He's a former college football player, OF COURSE he's going to be able to hold his own against JR. It's not like reach comes into play in a basketball fight, and JR's too pretty to be a fighter. He clearly wasn't trying to do anything until Nate and his Napoleon complex showed up and started beefing.

At 12/17/2006 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, I blame Isiah for starting this. Second, I blame Robinson for getting his Stephen Jackson on and seeking out someone to fight. It didn't need to be escalated. Third, I blame Carmelo for similar reasons. Things seemed to be settling down before he came in and sucker punched Collins. Melo wasn't under attack. Thus, to throw that punch, reigniting the conflict, and then run away--that's bullshit. I am not saying he should have then fought everyone in a King of the Ring reenactment. He shouldn't have done anything at all. Especially since Carmelo doesn't seem like a fighter. The image of Melo punching a guy after calm was getting restored and then running away--that's just really bad. He's like Namond, as I wrote on my site.

At 12/17/2006 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

State championship game, I forget the year, Rainier HS vs Seattle Prep. First play of the game Nate took it to the hoop and slammed on some lame Seattle Prep stiff. Upon landing, Nate stood over the conquered big man, flexed his muscles, and in front of the Seattle Prep cheerleaders, parents, and administration who were seated under the hoop, shouted "SUCK ON THESE NUTS, BITCH!"

He's always down to throw down.

Melo, B-More than that. At least Collins went down, though. Most NBA dudes can't even land a right.

This is all Isiah's fault, trying to run the god damn Bad Boys with a bunch of wash-ups (Starbury, Franchise) and talent-void ass clowns (Robinson, Collins).

I remember when going to the Garden to watch the Knicks used to be fun b/c of the winning. Now its fun to boo Isiah. The oppression must end.

At 12/17/2006 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What isn't receiving enough attention here is that Melo didn't throw a FROM THE STREETZ punch. He threw a straight- from- the- suburbs closed-fist slap at a guy that was being held down, then booked it out of there. If anything, Melo became a lot more establishment with that performance last night.

At 12/17/2006 2:57 PM, Blogger spinachdip said...

Nate Rob is a punk ass punk. He said he'd only try his dumbass alley oop to himself only if the Knicks are up by 20, and now he's bitching about the other team showing them up?

And I hope Isiah gets a suspension. Even if he didn't explicitly instruct Collins to hammer JR, he certainly condoned it and made it clear that it was an acceptable response to his team's incompetence.

At 12/17/2006 3:17 PM, Blogger Brigadier Pudding said...

i knew i could get an alternate view of the crymelo sucker slap and back peddle here.

well done.

At 12/17/2006 3:37 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

Now we're going to have to hear the "What's wrong with the NBA?" question over and over again for the next month or so.

At 12/17/2006 4:05 PM, Blogger sam said...

I think focusing all this attention on Melo's role just because he's the superstar is misguided--I hope the league office sees the same way when they hand out the suspensions, but I have a bad feeling he's getting made into an example by this one.

I think people are all too willing to forgive the Knicks for taking in-game frustrations out on the Nuggets here. Sure, Melo ran cross-court after he swung at Collins, but he was trying to back up JR, a kid who almost idolizes him but also a teammate.

Jared Jeffries, on the other hand, runs cross-court after Melo, shoves off his own coaches, Marcus, and Eduardo, all of whom were trying to hold him back and stop the escalation. He looked downright rabid (and I was watching the game live in Denver), and it would surprise me if it was from a brotherly bond of affection with Mardy Collins--after watching Melo just kill Jeffries 1-on-1 for 40 straight minutes, I'm convinced he wanted to show up Melo by trying to take him out of the game. And that's bullshit.

Throwing a guy down into the basket support by the neck is bullshit. Isiah, the same guy who broke his hand fighting Bill Cartwright (who's 7'1"), has certainly taught his team some things he knew how to do as a player, but those things do not include defense or ballhandling.

WV-dbdwnm: don't back down when nate mocks (the integrity of the game)

At 12/17/2006 7:45 PM, Anonymous VS said...

Right on, Melo's punch was all establishment super-ego.

At 12/17/2006 8:35 PM, Anonymous torgo said...

somehow my username got left off, but anyway,
@fix the knicks, Frye, Jeffries, and Lee got ejected as well, and Robinson has been the main scorer off the bench since Crawford became a starter. Even if it's only 1 game apiece for Fry, Lee, and Jeffries (and I don't think Jeffries will sit for only one game), that's the starting SF, the starting and backup PFs sitting. Does this mean Balkman is going to start? And play something like 40 minutes? The Knicks haven't sucked as badly as I'd hoped, and I'm thinking this will turn things around.
Of course, if any of the "Isaiah ordered the foul" talk gets proven, and the coach is actually suspended (has that ever happened?), the Knicks might be better off.
@Sam, I thought Isaiah broke his hand punching Laimbeer in a fight during practice. I know they had a fight, at least, but I didn't know about the Cartwright fight.

At 12/17/2006 9:32 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

The only Knicks looking at suspensions are Robinson and Collins (for the hard foul) - both should get about 2 games. Lots of fines for the others. The Nuggets, on the hand, are getting smacked - they were winning, and they threw punches (Smith and Melo threw the only punches, Melo's being bitch shit - at least be a man if you are going to throw a punch - don't run away after throwing a punch, sorry Brick, that's bitch shit, you know that). Look for four games for JR, 8-10 for Melo.

And expect more crap from the NY media, ESPN, and every lame-ass blogger wannabe blaming Isiah somehow for this. I'm surprise that Isiah hasn't been blamed for the Holocaust yet. This "Blame Isiah" shit is getting cliche now. I said it before - Isiah sucks, but is still better than at least 10 GMs in the league. Shut up and check the facts....

At 12/17/2006 10:23 PM, Blogger spinachdip said...

stopmikelupica - Jerome James and Nene will get one game each for leaving the bench area.

And how does Isiah not deserve his share of the blame for the incident? At the very least, he tacitly endorsed Collins' foul. And the brawl never happens if he hadn't built such a crap team.

Seriously, which 10 GMs are worse than Isiah? Name them. He could've solved the cap situation, but somehow made it worse, while building a team with redundant players who shoot too much and can't defend. I don't know how you could do a worse job with the Knicks than Isiah has done

At 12/17/2006 11:36 PM, Blogger Brigadier Pudding said...

coaches like popovich, sloan and riley openly advocate hard fouls rather than giving up layups, and especially when you're getting your ass handed to you. it's called pride (clearly not an important virtue here).

so the fuck what if that's what zeke was doing? what, the knicks are supposed to just step out the way and let JR throw it down because he possesses free darko traits?

and why does melo have the warner bros. WB logo tattooed on his shoulder? a really fucking lame tat.

At 12/18/2006 12:03 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i think it stands for WEST BALTIMORE.

god i wish i'd seen all of this wizards/lakers game.

At 12/18/2006 12:03 AM, Anonymous blindblue said...


That's because those coaches are not telling their players to flagrant foul someone on a breakaway because they're affronted that their opponent beat the hell out of them, and then defending their actions in post-game by saying that they didn't want the team to be embarrassed at home.

Like I said upthread, protect your house by playing some D and then you'll have earned the right to feel disrespected when opponents dis you there. Come on, does someone want to assert that there's a team in the L that comes into the Garden scared about playing the Knicks at home? Their home record is 4-10.

At 12/18/2006 12:34 AM, Anonymous ronald james davis said...

0 = 60

At 12/18/2006 1:15 AM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Gilbert went off for 15 in OT alone... wow.

SpinachDip - one, Zeke couldn't have salvaged the leftover Layden mess of the salary cap - no one could. Allan Houston is still on the books this year for $20 million. Shannon Anderson is too, I believe. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if Eisley and crew are there, too. And it's been THREE years since Layden, so yeah, maybe if Zeke did nothing for three years he would have a decent cap situation - I'm sure NY fans and media wouldn't have mind, either.

Two, worse GMs: Billy King (Philly), and Ainge (Boston), plus Buss (LAL) and McHale (Minn), all for failing to build a contender around a top-10 player (that's a worse sin than anything Zeke's done). Bird (Indy) for taking down a contender without getting a run at the title. Elgin (LAC), despite his recent awakening, for almost a decade of ineptness. OK, that's six off the top of my head.

Isiah's record (without the BS): Free Agents: Q-Rich and Crawford are good deals (not great), but tradeable. They are young, and reasonable priced. They are assets. The big eff up - Jerome James. Did I miss anyone? Jeffries is incomplete grade to this point.

Draft: Almost every pick has been solid - Frye, Robinson, Lee, Ariza, even the maligned Balkman (seriously, who picked after 20 has been an all-star so far?).

Trades: Hasn't given up a player of note (unless you count Kurt Thomas, Tim Thomas, or Mike Sweetney). The biggest negative - the Curry trade*. He gave up last year's pick, in the weakest draft possible ever. Is it his fault it ended up #2? No, that's on Brown for throwing the season. Zeke should have lottery protected it, but it shouldn't have been worse than a 10th pick. He also included the rights to switch picks this draft, which is really bad, since this is a huge draft in terms of talent. He could potentially lose at least 5-10 spots in the draft. Still, it was a reasonable gambit (at the time) for Curry, who should be your starting center at the All-Star game.

*The Francis trade, though it happened on his watch, was by all accounts on Brown's orders. Yes, it messed up the cap situation even more - I acknowledge it was a disatrous and pointless trade; my point is that Brown is largely responsible for it.

Knicks = target. Brown supporters (Mike Lupica, dozens others in the media, Karl, Popp) + Zeke haters (Jordan, Falk, Simmons/Simba). Subtract the propraganda, then decide. I don't like the job Isiah is doing, but I hate being force-fed anti-Isiah BS by every NYC newspaper, every ESPN writer, anybody who thinks they know basketball.

End rant.

At 12/18/2006 1:21 AM, Anonymous spider said...

I think I'd rather have Antonio McDyess on my team right now than Stephon Marbury. That right there was the trade that killed the Knicks (and enabled the ERA OF FREEDARKO when the Suns blew up in 2004-05)

At 12/18/2006 1:28 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

sml--if that pick is #1 or #2, that entire "eddy curry's not so bad" rationale goes out the window.

At 12/18/2006 1:33 AM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

For a flashback to the Layden era, check this link:

Note that Anderson and Houston are on the books for 06-07, and that Eisley and Clarence Weatherspoon (!) just got off this year.

Agreed that Marbury sucks big. Now will you admit, like everyone else, that you thought the trade was good at the time? Especially if you were told that the Knicks gave up no one of value? At the time we all thought Marbury was a good player. We all thought that until last season, when Brown destroyed him. Place the blame where it belongs, and where the media won't - at Brown's feet.

And, yeah, thank goodness for the trade - we probably wouldn't have the Suns juga bonita to watch otherwise. Zeke = father of Free Darko.

At 12/18/2006 1:40 AM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Shoals - of course you are right, but you don't know all the outcomes at the time of a trade... you still don't. Bulls could fall apart, and end up with a worse record than the Knicks, rendering this moot. Or the Bulls could get the Knick's #2, and draft the second coming of Danny Manning (a top pick bust). Point is, we don't know anything about the rest of the trade yet, but we do know this - Curry is 24 and maybe (hopefully), a potential All-Star reaching his potential. If he turns out to be a franchise player by the time he's 26, does that make this trade good?

Anyway, I put it down as the biggest knock on Isiah, which shows you how effed up it is - the biggest knock on him is a trade that hasn't even been completed yet, so how do we all know it's a terrible trade?

Don't you think there's something more to why Isiah is so malagned by the media at every opportunity? There are other factors at work here....

At 12/18/2006 1:42 AM, Anonymous spider said...

Oh yeah, I had forgotten about the "Camby + Nene for McDyess's delicate knees" trade, under Layden's watch. OK, that was the worst trade of all.

At 12/18/2006 2:08 AM, Anonymous Jesus Shuttlesworth said...

As a side note, anyone catch Gilbert absolutely KILL people tonight? Best performance I've been able to catch this year.

At 12/18/2006 2:09 AM, Anonymous jesus shuttlesworth said...

oops, apparently a little late on that.

At 12/18/2006 2:34 AM, Blogger shoefly said...

While I admire someone with the temerity to defend Zeke, I fear your efforts are best spent elsewhere.

First of all the argument that not everyone knew every single one of his moves would be a failure is a non-starter; we pretty much knew most of them would be, and even if we didn't, he's the man in charge, he takes the responsibility. If one of those horrible deals, say Jerome James, had turned out well he damn sure would have been lapping up the praise.

Secondly people are always saying what a great drafter he is and all these talented guys. Trevor Ariza and Lee, Wow, those guys are the next Duncan and Parker. I mean, I don't mean to be snide, but guys like that are a dime a dozen, those great picks are guys who will be lucky to be in the top 15 at there position.

His real problem is not doing what everybody knew was the only thing to do. Blow the team up and rebuild. Everyone has been saying it for years, even the knicks fans who supposedly won't stand for rebuilding have been clamoring for it. They're not idiots, fans know you have to take your lumps, and when you take your lumps for a purpose it makes all the difference. And that's where Zeke really killed himself. If he had said I'm rebuilding one piece at a time his vaunted talent scouting abilities would have made a difference and people would have waited.

And yeah, Gilbert was phenomenal. The guys got big balls. The best was when the sideline girl interviewed him afterward and told him he had 60. He looked shocked, smiled goofily, and then nattered on about how much he likes to get his legs massaged. Good stuff.

At 12/18/2006 2:37 AM, Blogger shoefly said...

And I'm really curious here, why when there are baseball brawls is there nothing like this level of indignation. My only explanation is the racial element but perhaps I'm missing something. I just hate shit like this cause it makes me think that I'm crazy because I feel like I'm the only one who has any memory of anything that's happened more than two weeks ago. The media is like one enormous tabula rasa.

At 12/18/2006 2:53 AM, Blogger spinachdip said...

sml - I thought the Marbury trade was a disaster from the start. The Knicks took on two bad contracts and gave up Ward and McDyess' expiring contracts. I always thought he was a bad fit on a team that already had scorers and no perimeter defense.

And while it's true that the Isiah hasn't given up talent (mostly because he never had talent to give up), he piled up bad contracts (Malik Rose, Mo Taylor, Jalen Rose, Franchise) while giving up expiring ones (Ariza, Antonio Davis, Penny Hardaway).

Q-Rich and Crawford are reasonably priced? Not when decent 2s and 3s are dime a dozen and Q's back is only going to get worse.

Oh, and don't forget not keeping Jackie Butler, one of the few bright spots from last year because he wanted to use the mid-level on Jared Jeffries and he'd already invested heavily on Curry and James.

Maybe I'm giving Knicks fans too much credit, but I'm willing to believe that they would've accepted a rebuilding period as long as there was light at the end of the tunnel and he drafted smartly. With insurance picking up most of Allan Houston's salary, they would've been a player in this summer's free agency market.

Yeah, Layden left a mess, but Isiah deserves most of the blame for the current situation. Say what you will about other GMs, but their teams aren't nearly as hopeless or expensive as the Knicks.

At 12/18/2006 2:54 AM, Blogger Brickowski said...

coaches like popovich, sloan and riley openly advocate hard fouls rather than giving up layups, and especially when you're getting your ass handed to you. it's called pride (clearly not an important virtue here).

so the fuck what if that's what zeke was doing? what, the knicks are supposed to just step out the way and let JR throw it down because he possesses free darko traits?

take it on faith when i say that there is no way this would have ever happened to a team coached by Popovich. Duncan and Manu would not be on the court with 2 minutes remaining and a 20 point lead, and if the Spurs were getting routed on their own court Pop would WANT them to be embarrassed. he's big on that "think about what you did!" style of parenting.

that's what's so cheap about Isiah: he's constantly looking to place the blame elsewhere, rather than owning that shit. sometimes teams deserve to be embarrassed, and good coaches can use a humbling defeat as a turning point. but Zeke is more concerned about scapegoating and covering his own ass. like it would have hurt the Knicks to take one on the chin and come out with a chip on their shoulder the next time? instead he’s got that team believing they’re victims. and you want to lecture me on the importance of pride?

i'm not saying Isiah is the only guilty party here. clearly Karl is also complicit. but calling for a flagrant foul on a high flyer at the end of a REGULAR SEASON GAME IN DECEMBER is completely unacceptable. we're here to watch the players not the coaches, and i'll eternally rail against anything that jeopardizes that arrangement.

At 12/18/2006 3:17 AM, Blogger spinachdip said...

shoefly - I'm thinking it's mostly racial too, especially considering the similar "Won't somebody think of the children?" reaction that the Miami-FIU brawl elicited. No one talks about how hockey is becoming too gangsta, after all.

Another could be the ol' "dog bites man" vs "man bites dog". Fighting is part of the tradition in baseball and hockey, but because multi-combatant brawls are not as frequent, they become bigger news.

Speaking of bench clearing brawls, what does Greg Anthony have to say about all of this?

At 12/18/2006 3:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People are making comments that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. The knicks are one true point guard away from being a lock for the playoffs. Not saying they're going to do any damage in the 'offs in the next 2 years but when you have eddy curry and channing frye as a starting front court your doing ok.
People look at how much the knicks spend because they take bad contracts but If you know anything about the Salary Cap it's impossible to get under the cap without blowing up a team and starting from scratch. 20 mil for H20. A bunch more for some other crappy contracts meant that wasn't going to happen.
The thing about Isaiah is that if you had to have a GM making late first round or 2nd round picks who would you rather have. Ariza, Lee, Balkman... his track record says he can probably find that missing piece in the draft.

At 12/18/2006 4:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard the WB stands for "Warn-A-Brotha." As in, when you see the police you gotta warn a brotha. Makes sense for 'ol no-snitch Anthony.

At 12/18/2006 8:24 AM, Anonymous torgo said...

@stopmike, I know you feel everyone is piling on the knicks here, but tossing out Crawford and Q as good moves won't help. Q's back is uninsurable. I'm sure you know this, but every team takes out insurance on every player. That player goes down, career ending, the insurance covers something like 80%. Jamal Mashburn, insured. Whoever it was that ended up with him (Philly?) is paying, but not as much. Same with Rice, and just about everyone else whose body quit before their contract ended. Q, though, doesn't get that. If his back goes out, or if he can't play for any reason that could possibly be connected to his back (and insurance companies will make the connection, it's what they do), whoever cuts his check will have to pay the whole thing. No team wants that risk.
And Crawford? You're welcome to him, and Curry, too. And Jalen Rose for the time you had him. The Bulls are better off. The best part of the Crawford 'signing' was that no one was bidding for him, and Thomas gave him that ridiculous contract. He's on the books for roughly 40 million through 2011. Who'll take that?

I'll admit, Thomas makes decent picks (T-mac, Rose was good at one point, Frye, Lee) but his trades and signings? I'm no Celtics fan, but I'd take Ainge over Thomas.

At 12/18/2006 10:09 AM, Blogger Vegan Viking said...

Perhaps you've used this parallel before, but your line that Iverson's style "almost snobbishly excludes other voices" reminds me of a passage from Dumas. He said that while Louis XIII allowed other "stars" to shine in his court, Louis XIV, the "Sun King," shone so brightly that the light from all the other players in the court was diminished.

At 12/18/2006 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what his teammates and the media say about him, it sounds like he could be an unselfish player. But with his sitting out, its clearly all about him.

At 12/18/2006 10:43 AM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

there's probably no need for any more comments about this, but i've been out of town (and the internet) until now.

1) this is absolutely isiah and nate rob's fault. isiah clearly has designated collins as his goon. i haven't seen it mentioned yet, but anyone think it's a coincidence collins played at temple, whose coach admitted he had one of his players intentionally injure someone on the other team?i actually like chaney a lot, but some of his actions are indefensible, like that hit and choking calipari (which is ALMOST okay just because it was calipari).

j.r. smith was obviously going to get in collins's grill after a foul like that, but no punches would have been thrown had nate not pulled his little man act. as brick said, j.r. is too pretty to throw punches unless attacked first.

2) i have to disagree with my FD brethern. melo's punch and retreat was some bitch shit and just escalated the drama right when it was seeming to calm down. but, all this code of the streetz talk is probably misplaced. i'm not from the streetz at all, but still, i've seen enough tough guys jump people and stomp people out on some 5-on-1 shit. that seems pretty street to me, and it's definitely not 1-on-1, nobody backing down.

At 12/18/2006 11:37 AM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Front page of today's NY Daily News (front, not back) - Mike Lupica says it's Isiah's fault. Big bold letters.

My point - there are clearly some people out there in the media with a vendetta against Zeke. Simmons is one, probably because of the threat against him. Lupica is another, no doubt because he's a Larry Brown dick ryder. This produces an slanted view of Zeke that is not justified. He might not be a good GM, he might suck, but he's not the worst of all time, despite the impression everyone has. And he's not responsible for this fight - Denver is for throwing punches. Look at Denver to get hit harder in suspensions and fines. A hard foul is a hard foul, not an automatic brawl starter.

I would be more pissed off if I was a Philly fan, and my GM took on Webber's contract, and now has to trade AI because of Billy King's suckitude. Same situation next year in Boston (sorry guy who wanted Ainge over Thomas), when Pierce demands a trade, too, because he's going nowhere.

@Spinachdip - Q's back is uninsurable, a good point. But so is Curry's heart. Yet I bet there are teams that would take Curry in a trade - you might not get "fair" value for him, but he is tradeable. So, too, are Crawford and Q-Rich - you might not get good value, but they can be traded. Marbury, on the other hand, is untradeable. Not even for a second round pick. Ditto Francis. I guess that was my point - not that Crawford and Q-Rich are great moves, but that they do have some value, and could be moved. Webber and K-Mart are also untradeable, though, so don't think it's just a Zeke thing.

At 12/18/2006 12:38 PM, Blogger sam said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12/18/2006 12:40 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

link to the dunk? i've yet to see it.

a dunk so awesome it makes another team resort to violence is totally freedarko

At 12/18/2006 12:42 PM, Blogger sam said...

stopmike- did you see the clip of that breakaway? You call that a "hard foul"? Collins had JR both arms around the neck, and threw him into the ground as the man was sprinting at the basket (he hit the support). Someone does that to you in a pickup game, the game's gonna stop for some words at the very least.

Collins' own silence in the national media on this makes him (and Isiah by implication) all the more culpable--if he'd said something like "It was lousy defense, it was this huge mistake, etc", and his coach had admitted that calling for that foul was escalation, I don't think people would be so ready to buy into these "Isiah ordered a hit" theories.

The other issue with the "protect our house" explanation is that the fans at MSG were booing their team by early in the 3rd... saying that the hard foul is to prevent your team embarassment (which just happened a couple minutes earlier on JR's pretty 360 breakaway dunk, which I'm sad to see lost in all the controversy) in front of your hometown fans (who clearly have been embarassed, and booing, for the last 20 minutes of gametime) is a weak, weak rationalization for a bad decision.

*the deletion was accidental; I haven't looked for a link to the dunk, but I would buy the explation that *it* was the root cause of everything

At 12/18/2006 12:43 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

if isiah's not the worst GM of all time, he's still in the conversation. and he is in part responsible for the brawl, since he ordered the flagrant foul that started it.

nate rob threw the first punch. watch the tape. everyone is trying to separate collins and smith, except nate, who is up in smith's face and lands a couple shoves or slaps to smith while he's being held. that's why smith goes after him.

At 12/18/2006 1:19 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Suspensions have been handed out - 15 for Melo, 10 for JR and Nate Rob, 6 for Collins, plus one game for Nene and Jerome James for leaving the bench. 4 for Jeffries, too. Zero for Isiah, no fine either.

I want to add that I was wrong in initial saying it was JR with the punch; it was Nate Rob who threw a punch. Hence, the two of them get matching suspensions.

Isiah has little or no blame according to the NBA; anyone arguing otherwise is just spitting out bogus hype from the ESPNheads. So he possibly ordered a rough foul - big deal. We all agree Collins did the same thing the night before in a blowout at Indy - no fight took place. Of course, I think it'll be a long time before anyone in a Indy uniform throws a punch given their recent history (Stephon Jackson the obvious candidate to fire off the first shot, though)... never the less, hard foul does not equal automatic foul. You dunked in a blowout, you should expect to get fouled next time you drive. The blame is clearly with the Nuggets for escalating this into a fight.

Never the less, expect a cover story on tomorrow's News urging Dolan to suspend Isiah anyway.

At 12/18/2006 1:35 PM, Blogger shoefly said...

I think Melo has to take this to arbitration and I think he'll win. Hell, Jermain O'neal got 15 cames for a far more violent punch of A FAN! I just hate this stuff. Nobody that gets turned off by this is an NBA fan anyway. I want to see Melo play, I want to see J.R. play. Who the hell is helped by this over the top ass-covering so all the scolds can say we take the issue seriously. I feel both Nate and J.R. got too much also. Ten games, these suspensions are unprecedented before the palace brawl, and even the biggest schoolmarm should be able to make the distinction.

I'm sorry, but David Stern is really getting into Joe Lieberman territory here. His self-importance and image of himself are starting to corrupt what brought him to his current position. Down with Stern! The union needs to stand up to this right now, and again, i really feel an arbitrator, if they can get one, will cut these in half, as they are completely out of range of any of the comparable incidents.

On the positive side, this 15 games might make a move for AI more likely, no? 15 games without Melo in the west is going to make getting to the playoffs a dicey scenario, so maybe they pull the trigger soon.

I'm just dissapointed, the Nugs are my second favorite leage pass team to watch behind only Portland, and now they're going to be ruined till February. Give the people what they want, and no NBA fan wants this.

At 12/18/2006 1:52 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

I agree the suspensions are too long, especially since Melo and JR are both on my fantasy team. Stern has long been acting like a dictator, growing more ruthless and authoritatian (sp.) every year in charge.

I also want to apologize for sort of hijacking the thread. I do think what Brown said is exactly what is wrong with any fair discussion of the Knicks - the perception that Isiah is "historically awful". Yes, he's a bad GM; but is he the worst in the NBA right now? I think you can toss him in box with about 7-10 others (aforementioned in my post yesterday) - all of them suck. Why is Isiah considered the worst of them all, and possibly all-time?

He inherited a team that had no talent and no chance at acquiring talent from Layden (a worse GM by far - name one good move by Layden during his tenure - anyone?). He had no chance of salary cap management. The Bobcats have not signed anyone, and are doing nothing more than just playing rookies and minimum veterans - they are $25 million under the cap. The Knicks this season alone owe $30 million to Houston and Anderson. If the Knicks had done nothing over the past three years, maybe this offseason (four years removed from Layden) they would be under the cap finally. You guys really think that Knicks fans would have been okay with doing nothing for four years? Because if so, then you shouldn't complain about the current situation- it's exactly the same. At least Isiah took a shot, and failed. Most fans in '03 would have said they would rather have Isiah take a chance and fail than do nothing for four years so they have a chance in 2007.

At 12/18/2006 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Francis trade was on ALL accounts a move made by Zeke....it was the last straw that broke Larry Browns back...he was tired of Zeke going behind his back and making moves without consulting him...who trades an expiring contract in Penny for another shoot first PG who has been on the decline for 4 years...Im sure Magic fans shed a tear when that trade went down...Zeke sucks as anything other than a point guard...he turned the Knicks into the laughing stock of the league...seriously, what team is worse off than the Knicks right now...u cant even say Charlotte because they at least have low salary guys and a lot of young talent....the Knicks have David Lee & Channing Frye...

At 12/18/2006 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


put the pipe down and back away, please. I'm not going to say that this is all Isiah's fault, but he bears a great deal of culpability. As someone mentioned earlier, any team with a real NBA coach doesn't do this, as the real NBA coach is thankful that his team got the ass-whupping they deserved when they played like no-heart punks. ("Think about what you done")

But of course telling the league's leading scored "I wouldn't go in the lane" right before a massive brawl is kicked off by two instances of outright thuggery (Collins foul wasn't the worst I've ever seen, but it was cheap, and lucky to not have injured JR) is mere coincidence.

I love Stern in general but I fully endorse shoefly's latest about him being on some Lieberman-Hillary moral scold shit right about now. Ok there was a fight and there should be suspensions, but to even put this in the same ballpark as the Palace brawl (which I think Stern screwed up also - Wallace and Jackson were the most guilty parties there, and I though JO get railroaded...) is ludicrous.

Why does this whole situation make me think of "mandatory minimums?"

At 12/18/2006 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dunno how many Steinbeck fans there are out there, but anybody notice the similarities between Robinson and Curly from Of Mice And Men? It was typical little-guy complex...The only thing missing was Nate wearing a glove with vasoline in it to keep his hand soft.

At 12/18/2006 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops, my 1:55 was written before I saw stopmike's 1:52, so I'd like to retract a little of my vitriol, if that's possible.

Re: the racial element, all I have to say is this.

At 12/18/2006 2:18 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

I'm not going to respond to AOL, other than to say many accounts put it as being on Brown. Either way, it's speculation out here as to who asked for Francis, but from an objective standpoint, I think it would make more sense that Brown asked for it (since he was strongly anti-Marbury). Everything else you said is idiotic and poorly written.

Pooh - preseason game, NJN v. NYK. Some scrub on the Nets decks Francis at the end of the game on a hard foul while Francis was driving. Note that a) No punches were thrown, though the benches did clear - the Knicks more composed than the Nuggets? b) no one accused Franks of ordering a hit. For all I've read, no one (not every Stern) can confirm that Thomas actually said what he is quoted as saying to Melo. Melo hasn't even gone on record as saying that. This is coming from a "source" on the Nuggets. In other words, it's probably total bullshit. Melo and Zeke could have been talking about how much Larry Brown sucks for all we know. Get your FACTS right, ya'll. You all sound like a bunch of dumbass red staters spewing Fox News rhetoric....

At 12/18/2006 2:38 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

i read an account somewhere saying that on the MSG telecast, you can read thomas's lips, and he says something like, "if you go in the lane, it won't be nice." at the same time, the announcer notes that isiah is smiling and talking to carmelo anthony. so, there's your proof.

also, nate rob's comments about how they weren't going to let anyone show them up (which is a tad hypocritical coming from a notorious showboater) and how he knew a hard foul was coming pretty much confirm that isiah ordered it.

the weirdest thing is that collins was pretty much stride for stride with j.r. there's no way even j.r. could've dunked on that play. all collins had to do was make a play on the ball or hack his arm. yet, he grabbed him by the neck and threw him to the floor. obviously, it was not merely a hard foul.

SML, just because you're isiah's lone supporter doesn't mean everyone else is ignorantly buying into some propaganda.

At 12/18/2006 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Sternbot must be stopped, how does Melo get the same amount of games as JO when JO absolutely clocked a fan and Melo basically slapped the dude who started this whole thing.

along those same lines, why does everyone expect Melo to be able to land a good punch b/c he is 'from da hood,' that is the most inherently silly thing i've heard in a while. not everyone from the hood can throw a right like tyson b/c they're poor and black. melo's a baller, not a boxer, there's a reason.

stopmike, what difference does it make if isiah is one of the worst GM's of all time or just one of the ten worst in the league? either way, HES A SHITTY GM running (arguably) the most important franchise in the NBA. get him the HELL out of here, put someone in power who has an IDEA as to what is going on (why are there 4 scoring point guards on the knicks, why was did they not protect their picks when no other team, including the bulls, wanted curry, etc etc). the fact that they have a BAD gm means they should be in the process of finding a good one. new york fans, who pay top dollar and expect the most out of their team, should have someone with a brain and not a blatant amount of ineptitude.

fire isiah, fire stern, melo's still a thug even if he can't punch, and would AI please get dealt to minnesota?

At 12/18/2006 2:55 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

I never said it wasn't an intentional foul, Brown - it clearly was. Same as the night before in Indy. Just saying that, big deal, you got slammed because YOU ARE DRIVING TO THE BASKET IN BLOWOUT. Two minutes after you reverse dunked. EXPECT TO GET LAID THE FUCK OUT, FOOL. Any team could do that - the Nets, the Suns, any team. Stop making it seem like the Knicks are out out of control thugs for doing what any team might do in the same situation. Indy took the hit, moved on without beef. The Nuggets were too real for that, though, so now they possibly blew their season. Stern suspended them harder for a reason - they were more out of line. Fuck that blame Isiah shit - blame the Nuggets.

El Miz - lol, agree about the punch. Just cause he's from the hood don't mean he's had to fight - how many fights do you think he got into, considering he's taller than most, and always been an athlete (i.e. looked up to in the hood)? He's probably been well-protected his whole life, so no surprise he can't box.

Agree he's a shitty GM, never argued that. My point was that the perception in the media (from Brown supporters and Zeke haters) skews the discussion in general. Why are we spending this thread talking about how it's Isiah fault (see Brown, et al), when clearly we should be talking about how stupid it is that both 'Melo and JR just took the Nuggets season into a deep hole for no freaking reason. So much important stuff gets overlooked because we waste too much time on the vendetta against Isiah. Someone please start a similar vendetta against Billy King - he deserves it more. Especially if he doesn't trade AI to Minnesota...

At 12/18/2006 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i read an account somewhere saying that on the MSG telecast, you can read thomas's lips, and he says something like, "if you go in the lane, it won't be nice." at the same time, the announcer notes that isiah is smiling and talking to carmelo anthony. so, there's your proof.

I've seen the video. It is abundantly clear that this is exactly what's going on.

At 12/18/2006 3:02 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Oh, and we could (and should) be talking about how much George Karl is at fault for leaving his starters in at the end of blowout (nothing good can come from that, an adage proven yet again), and now the Nuggets season is in jeopardy. Yet it's all Isiah's fault. Fuck that, if I'm a Denver fan, I'm pissed at Karl for trying to show up Isiah (same thing Popp promised to do, too, if he had a chance) and costing them a chance at winning the division and maybe more.

Now that the weight of the season falls upon Camby, how long before his next injury - I got 5 games before a sprained knee.

At 12/18/2006 3:06 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

j.r. wasn't being "too real." yes, he got in collins's face, but anyone would do that after a foul like that. it only became a fight when nate got involved. isiah is to blame not only because he ordered the hard foul, but because he created that retarded, skewed version of machismo that nate rob obviously bought into, based on his behavior and his comments after the game.

follwing the game, isiah said the knicks had already "surrendered." the game still had two minutes to go. are you criticizing the nuggets for continuing to play hard, while the knicks were coasting to yet another huge loss? it's better to "lay someone the fuck out" when the game's already been decided than to play some defense in the third quarter when the game is still winnable? where was that pride when carmelo was lighting them up?

At 12/18/2006 3:08 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

what's worse--running up the score and bruising isiah's ego or ordering an unnecessarily hard foul and possibly breaking someone's neck?

At 12/18/2006 3:14 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

btw, i'm done with this conversation. it's not going anywhere. SML likes the knicks, and likes isiah thomas. i hate the knicks, and i hate isiah thomas.

At 12/18/2006 3:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Someone please start a similar vendetta against Billy King - he deserves it more."

please, philly fans have been calling for billy king's head for years

At 12/18/2006 3:17 PM, Blogger shoefly said...

I've also seen the video and it's easy to read Thomas's lips.

Again though, I don't really care about any of this stuff. the knicks are horrible to watch but sure, let those bums play. But I like watching the nuggets, so who is helped by this overreacttion.

And about the punch, and although I think it is a silly conversation, I don't know what everyone is talking about when they say it was substandard. Melo landed a solid right cross to the chin and scored a clean knockdown. That's a 10-8 round there on the first shot. Show me a better, more accurate punch in NBA history. Shaq's Miller punch looked like a little kids. Melo's shot was excellent and will remain the gold standard unless someone can show me one better.

(I guess the kermit washington one was better, but that was an actual cheap shot, whereas Melo got his clean on a guy right in front of him.

At 12/18/2006 3:29 PM, Anonymous Mr. Six said...

Link to ESPN footage of Zeke threatening Melo.

I believe the focus of the comments is largely on Isiah because he most likely bears at least as much responsibility as the players, which is unusual. A hard foul like that always introduces uncertainty into a game. The possible player responses range from ignoring it to Hobbesian war of all against all. As the primary actors, the players of course bear responsibility, since the outcome depends on their (re)actions. But usually, the event that sets off those actions is organic to the game or a player involved in the game. In this case, there is at least some evidence that Isiah manufactured the event; he intentionally introduced into the game an element of uncertainty that he should well have known could end up in exactly what happened. I think it's just a bit disturbing that a former player and experienced coach and manager would direct that his players take an action that could easily result in injury to or suspension of players. It implies a level of arrogance or stupidity that's difficult to accept, particularly when it appears to go unpunished in the face of the aforementioned evidence.

At 12/18/2006 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SML...every account I have ever read or heard of said that it was all Isiah Thomas in that trade....if Larry Brown didn't want Marbury why would he want Steve Francis and his 49 mil over 3 years...I agree with you on the fact that George Karl should shelter some of the blame but your head coach tells the leading scorer in the league to basically "not go to the hole"...cmon man...If Zeke had a problem with what Karl was doing then he should have went after Karl like he did Bruce Bowen....this isnt the first time your MAC wearing coach has pulled some bush-league antics like this....we'll see how good of a GM he is when he's sitting at home for the next 5 yrs...he ruined the CBA, Pacers, and the Knicks in a little over 10 yrs....impressive

At 12/18/2006 4:04 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

I actually don't like Isiah - that's total BS. I just think there are other factors that are effecting the reporting and perception of the Knicks.

If you are willing to backtrack and place the blame on the coach of the Knicks for ordering an intentional foul, then why not backtrack to Karl for ordering the running up of the score, and have him share the blame? Either split the blame between the two, or you're hypocritical. Yet front page of the NYDN; front page of Yahoo; various comments in here - all say Blame Isiah.

Anyway, I'm tired of "defending" Isiah, when what I'm really trying to do is point out the media bias that every is buying into. I've hijacked this thread long enough that I would be surprised if Shoals and the FD crew banned me for life.

At 12/18/2006 4:54 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Oh, what the hell - let me ask ya'll something... if this was football, and the Chargers had a huge lead against the Chiefs with less than two minutes to go, and were driving for another TD, just so they could pump up LT's stats (or Rivers). And there was known beef between Marty and Herm Edwards, and Marty had made implications that he would run up the score to embarrass Herm if he could... would anyone be surprised if someone on the Chiefs gave a hard hit to a Charger? Or even an illegal late hit, intentionally?

Running up the score is bad sportsmanship, as bad as ordering intentional fouls. They are both wrong. The difference is one is usually the result of the other (intentional fouls usually don't materialize out of nowhere, people). I'm calling BS on ya'll for blaming Isiah and not sharing it on Karl.

At 12/18/2006 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AOL, let's not forget that in before/in-between ruining all those things, he was also the worst announcer in recent memory. You could almost feel Costas shaking his head during the games...

At 12/18/2006 5:40 PM, Anonymous Snitch McGee said...

If your starter's still doin his thing in the paint--better Warn a Brother!

At 12/18/2006 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isiah is an asshole. So, expect the punishment for that to be taken out on your shitty team.

I hate Larry Brown almost as much as I dislike Zeke, but the league insiders respect Brown and his buddies (like Karl) are out to make Zeke look bad.

Not that hard to do.

Intentional fouls-- whether ordered or not, are violations. In the rule book.

No such rule exists about "running the score up."

I think the most overlooked part of this whole brawl is Nate Robinson. The media hasn't even mentioned him as a problem (from what I've seen, and I've been at work all day today, so I don't know what "new" spin they've put on this tired story).

After Collins horse-collared Smith the two of them were jawing, but there was no indication that it would turn violent.

Nate then flew in and was the catalyst for all that followed. Is there a bigger asshole in the league? He's a video game player-- he has very little to offer a real basketball team.

And he has the balls to call someone out for their lack of class? Mister Pass to Himself and flex when your team is getting their dicks kicked in the dirt?


15 games for Melo is a joke. He should get 5, tops. With JR and Nate right behind him.

Clean punch-- didn't keave the floor. Big deal. Happens all the time.

At 12/18/2006 5:49 PM, Blogger Kames the Jelly said...

As a Buck's fan who innately hates George Karl, and a NYC resident who can't stand the gaping opprobrium deemed "The Knicks", I will act as a non-partison arbitor.

The best part of the ESPN footage is Karl's comment, which has great merit. Why the f#ck should he be excoriated for keeping his team in the game? Hindsight is a bitch, but any reasonable person would levy Isiah with the crux of this blame. He simply can't recreate his Detroit brawlers team because the Knicks simply blow, so resorting to this flagrant message-sending foul shit is not only absurd, but makes apparent how shitty the Knicks really are.

At 12/18/2006 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The aftermath redone:

Nate Rob is the punk bitch in this whole situation. He's the escalator.
Melo was stupid enough (bad term) to throw a punch at someone who had nothing to loose.
Zeke is the anti-Christ.
Karl was the idiot in this case. The crowd knew something was about to happen, just like Detroit, I'm not saying you knew Ronny was going to go into the stands, but the refs had botch that game and tempers were flairing. Am not saying Karl should've taken out his 4 of his top 5 as a slaughter rule, but Karl should've known Jerome James, Mardy Collins, & Robinson could a) give a fuck if they get suspended b) could actually improve their standing with Zeke if they throw down c) are damn close to the last 3 off the bench on a bad team. Someone referenced the Hanson Brothers before, when Zeke sends in his Hiroshima unit Karl needs to know that Gretzky (Melo) and Kuri (JR Smith) and Coffey (Camby) come out of the game and send in the enforcer unit (NeNe and Eduardo). Sorry for going NHL on you, but you put out guys that wouldn't cripple your team until St. Valentine's Day. Basically the Knicks had dick to loose, the Nugs lost a ton.
VW: dahtzr-'Melo on 12/16/06 around 8 pm.

At 12/18/2006 6:16 PM, Blogger T. said...


+1 one to Kames the Jelly for excellent vocab use. I don't really have anything to add to the discussion (although Melo leaving for 15 is terrible for my fantasy team) - but I did want to stop by and mention that although I appreciate what y'all are doing over at the fanhouse, the comments make my head spin. It's like being back at the ESPN boards.

At 12/18/2006 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget the players and the coaches, the worst thing about this brawl is the sanctimonious sportswriting pricks who are once again showing that they will do anything to sell a story. The worst case is here: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-karl121806&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

My response (way too polite and very un-FD, but sometime logic is the only thing you can use to put these jackmeats in their place):


First off, I have no devotion whatsoever to George Karl or the Denver Nuggets. But your assertion that Karl was running up the score on the Knicks for the sake of vengeance is nothing but conjecture. Is it possible that's what Karl was doing? Sure, I've got no proof otherwise. But then again, you have no proof that it was. Here are the facts:

Dec 12th - Nuggets v. Atlanta. Denver has a 15 point lead with 2:04 to play. In the game are Anthony, Camby, and Andre Miller. They never come out of the game and in fact, take 4 straight shots with about 30 seconds left despite being up 13.

Dec 16th - Nuggets v. NY. Denver has a 17 point lead with 2:04 to play. In the game are Anthony, Camby, and Andre Miller. Once the lead got to 19, Karl sent substitutes to the scorer's table to replace Camby and Anthony.

So...how exactly is this vengeance? It's the same thing he did a few night earlier. If you want to criticize Karl for leaving his starters in too long in games that are already over, fine, go ahead. But unless you think George Karl wants to get vengeance on Mike Woodson as well, your argument doesn't hold a lot of water.

At 12/19/2006 12:55 AM, Anonymous trade earl boykins said...

If you guys had watched the Nuggets blow 4th-quarter lead after 4th-quarter lead (note the 0-3 start to the season), you'd leave the starters in too.

At 12/19/2006 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it me or has David Lee emerged as one of the tragic stories of the 2006-7 NBA season? I'm a knick fan and I almost feel its their duty to trade him elsewhere. A beacon of light and truth like that has no business shining in the dungeon that is madison square garden.

At 12/19/2006 1:16 PM, Blogger Stumbleweed said...

The Nuggets blow 4th quarter leads. In fact, they did just that to the Knicks the month before. Therefore, Karl leaves his starters on the floor until the game is certifiably finished (like a minute or less to go with a 10+ point lead). How did they run up the score when they scored only 2 points (on Camby's freethrows before the NY turnover and flagrant foul) after JR's reverse dunk which occured with over 4 minutes remaining? How the hell is that running up the score? Somebody please explain this to me.

People keep saying these things with zero factual support, and it drives me crazy. It's pretty obvious that most of the people saying that George was running up the score, etc. haven't been watching the Nuggets blow leads this year and didn't watch the game in its entirety. Watching the highlights and talking heads on SportsCenter isn't enough.

And at least the Nuggets have been apologetic about the whole situation -- Isiah has been busy trying to justify his poor sportsmanship in every way he can and his players look like fools following in his footsteps. Dolan can't fire him soon enough. The fact that he didn't get punished for this is ridiculous, given that there's video evidence... It doesn't surprise me that Melo took the brunt of this.


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