11.21.2008

The Best of Everything and Its Discontents



Please, do spend some time with the links post I put together earlier today.

But hold up and stop the virtual presses, even if it means sticking your hand in there until it's pulped and spewing blood everywhere. Crawford for Harrington. Knicks officially dead, my trip to the Garden possibly postponed. The 2007-08 Golden State Warriors become my favorite team of all time and we start a Wiki on them, just like this bullshit local NPR show is telling me to do.

Knicks thinking to the future, Crawford not a true point, blah blah. Bring him to Nellie—and this might be the difference between this current incarnation of D'Antoni-ball (training wheels, system will guide you) and the all-out psychedelic meltdown happening in Oakland—and you're looking forward to a back court of Monta and Crawford, with Maggette at PF, Stephen Jackson somewhere, that Latvian guy whose name I can't spell at center, and a bench of Turiaf, Wright, and He Whose Name Is Not Spake. And Azubulke. Oh, and the net result of the Anthony Morrow experience. Nelson will have to dream up all sorts of treats, instead of just letting them play loose, because they're not good enough for that. And then they will anyway. This team is so bizarre, so mismatched, and so lacking in any kind of internal coherence, that it will be like burning down a forest for the trees, or whatever the saying is.

Truly overwhelmed right now. I just know that we rarely get to see such a perverse need for both desperate coach-ly imagination and players taking themselves to their barely comprehensible limits because there's just no other option. This is not a celebration, or an affirmation, it's deep, dark, and even in failure will have the power to scar us for life. In a good way, like that one on your arm or hand that tells a story unto itself.

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38 Comments:

At 11/21/2008 1:14 PM, Blogger jawaan oldham said...

Fear not, sir, the Knicks are trading Malik Rose for Harrington. Jamal's staying put.

 
At 11/21/2008 1:15 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

That was true. . . two hours ago.

 
At 11/21/2008 1:22 PM, Blogger jawaan oldham said...

Oh, fuck.

 
At 11/21/2008 1:24 PM, Blogger The Electric Zarko said...

Yup, even ESPN has it up now as "official", Crawford for Harrington.

Which means a starting lineup of Crawford, Morrow, Jackson, Maggette and Biedrins, which is definitely Hyphy Personified.

wv: undies!

 
At 11/21/2008 1:27 PM, Blogger jawaan oldham said...

Yeah, this does make the Warriors even more awesome, but the unliberated part of me is like "noooooooooooooooo . . ."

By the way, apologies for contradicting you, Shoals.

 
At 11/21/2008 1:44 PM, Blogger W2 said...

I dropped by early today and posted on another thread and really could not believe that the Knicks (even with dreams of DWade and Bosh and LeBron) would move Jamal for Harrington.

Further, I couldn't get my mind around what Nellie's team would look like with another shooting guard on the team.

Is Monta still in their plans? Is his contract still legit after the mo-ped situation (which makes me laugh everytime I think, talk, or write it). Was he sober when this went down?

Damn, I need league pass, but would settle for cable.

 
At 11/21/2008 2:19 PM, Blogger antonymous said...

Can someone explain the complicated relationship between S-Jax and Al? Here are a few transactions involving Harrington:

1. Traded for Stephen Jackson (straight-up).

2. Traded with Stephen Jackson.

3. Traded away from Stephen Jackson.

 
At 11/21/2008 4:25 PM, Blogger jeff said...

Randolph and Mardy Collins traded for Mobley and Tim Thomas

Hmm.

 
At 11/21/2008 4:42 PM, Blogger jawaan oldham said...

This has been a beard-scratcher of a day.

wv: zingable---something these trades are not, particularly

 
At 11/21/2008 4:54 PM, Blogger DJ Slick Watts said...

The Warriors should start taking turns reciting the St. Crispin's Day speech in the locker room before games.

I wouldn't be surprised if they already do, and it was Turiaf's idea.

wv: coutdo: 10, 9, 6, 5, 1

 
At 11/21/2008 4:57 PM, Blogger oliver said...

The Knicks have legitimately gone insane. They've moved from the Isiah Thomas era to the anti-Isiah Thomas era. Instead of insanely stockpiling overpaid players, they're just insanely tradiing away everything to cut the playroll... all for a 20% chance of signing Lebron... two years from now.

I know the current meme is that Lebron wants to play in NYC sooooo badly for all the endorsements and such, but he also wants to win a championship. Making the Knicks really really terrible doesn't even make sense from a strategy standpoint. Why not just try to make sensible deals, try to improve the team, and do your best to free up some cap space without trading your few good players for nothing? If Lebron really wants to play in NYC soooo badly, then under this plan, he could take a pay-cut for a short-term contract, and have a good team around him, then sign for a bunch more.

Granted, this plan has a 0.0% chance of working, but so does the Knicks' current plan. At least under my modified plan, they won't be the worst team in the league for two years, just so they can have enough cap space to still be unable to sign Lebron.

I mean, SERIOUSLY, COME ON! We're talking two years from now. That's an eternity. I'm sure plenty of better teams will figure out a way to clear enough cap room... two years from now. Only the Knicks are panicking and doing it this instant.

Not that any of this bothers me, since I hate the Knicks. But, good lord, they actually managed to go 6-4 for a second there. Their reaction? Make panic trades so that they can end up signing... Chris Bosh... in 2012.

Sorry to go on for so long, but this whole thing just kills me. And I know that none of this ccomment was very Free Darko, but then, I'm not very Free Darko. I am liberated from liberated fandom. It's like, super-zen of me, I know.

 
At 11/21/2008 5:00 PM, Blogger larryniven said...

I don't think this is all that confusing for D'Antoni: his system needs one great ballhandler and then a bunch of guys who can either shoot the lights out or run around all day (ideally both, of course, but he'll take one or the other). He doesn't do low-post threats (Randolph) and Crawford is not quite good enough a passer to be D'Antoni's playmaker while at the same time being clearly too talented to just be a catch-and-shoot guy.

(A brief note: if D'Antoni had any brains in his head, he'd consider bringing Crawford off the bench to anchor his second unit, because his second teams have always needed help.)

Plus, I'm guessing he's still in love with Tim Thomas from that one year he torched the Lakers in the playoffs. As for Golden State, with Harrington on the outs, why keep him around? Sure, adding Crawford is sort of the western conference's version of Chicago adding Lindsey (-ay?) Hunter, but what else are they gonna do - trade for a legitimate post presence or a pass-first point guard? Not that team.

 
At 11/21/2008 5:59 PM, Blogger DJ Slick Watts said...

What the hell is wrong with the Clippers? (I don't know why I'm surprised, but still.) Their crazy is so bad it makes the Knicks' look like the good kind.

 
At 11/21/2008 6:04 PM, Blogger R. Lobstah said...

Any idea how the Clips trading Mobley effects E. Gordo?

... and really, T. Thomas, David Lee, Nathaniel Robinson, Chandler, Harrington, Mobley and a couple more 3PT chuckers resemble the Pre-Nash Suns in all ways not named STAT, an untradable Marbury included.

While on the subject of the Suns, is it safe to say this is the post-Nash Suns or is no one else sensing that the Suns PG should be called The Nash Formally Known as an Artist.

Been reading the book. Picked it up at Powells on in the Rose Room. I had to find it in the overstock section and there was only one left. I love the art and wish there were an LO poster available. I would definitely frame that and put it up on my boy's wall. The book itself reads like a middle-school, social sciences text book and I'm not digging that too much. Was that intentional?

 
At 11/21/2008 6:04 PM, Blogger Richard said...

I dunno man. If the Nets don't get the arena going, and it looks like they wont, then I'd put the Knicks chances at around 75%. All they need to do is get rid of Curry and Jefferies and they'll have enough scratch for TWO of Bron, Bosh, Wade, or Amare, plus Chandler, Gallo, and by the looks of the roster they have now, Ricky Rubio. The fact that its two years from now only gives them more time to make the situation more appealing. What more could Lebron ask for than playing in the biggest market with the most player-friendly coach with money to throw at another top 5 player and a capable supporting cast?

Anywayz, the Knicks, as currently assembled, will be fielding the worst starting five in the last 5 years. Not particularly interesting, not at all FD, and really just unappealing in all facets. Wilson Chandler is crack though...

 
At 11/21/2008 6:17 PM, Blogger JTExperience said...

I won't be able to tear my eyes away from these Knicks.
PG: Nate Robinson
SG: Chandler or Mobley
SF: Tim Thomas
PF: David Lee
C: Al Harrington

Playing with D'Antoni, Thomas and Harrington won't EVER set foot inside the 3pt arc. David Lee will become Shawn Marion.

And with Ricky Rubio and LBJ or a disgruntled Amare in two years, this might be legit.

 
At 11/21/2008 7:07 PM, Blogger tray said...

I don't know, to me being excited about this trade from the Warriors' end would be like being real excited if you learned that Dipset had signed Soulja Boy and, like, Keak The Sneak, and being like, "yes, now they'll be crazier and weirder and way more incoherent than ever!" Like yeah, they would... but would you listen to that album? I guess I already know what your answer would be.

 
At 11/21/2008 8:08 PM, Blogger larryniven said...

Richard, that's hardly fair. Aren't you interested in seeing whether years and years of failure destroys the obviously fragile psyches of the David Lees and Nate Robinsons on that team? The Knicks are slowly making their way up the TV ladder: with Isaiah, they were a soap opera; now they're an overhyped drama/thriller (24? Prison Break?); if they can land somebody in '10, they'll be at least as good as, say, MacGuyver.

...but yeah, the Clips will still be QVC no matter what happens.

 
At 11/21/2008 8:38 PM, Blogger Ken said...

So much to say and I dont even know where to start.

I do agree that the knicks shouldve learned from the Bulls when they cleared up so much space after the final title to try and go after Tmac . They dumnped everyone that knew anything about winning to throw money at players who have yet to win a title and have never recovered.Just flat out giving up in hopes of 2 years from now will come back to hurt them .

Crawford has never made the playoffs but he was one of the Bulls first high draft picks post dynasty I believe and winning wasnt important because they were playing for the future which brings me to my point which is what is that teaching Robinson,Lee and Chandler?

Good idea by the knicks but poor implementation that only hurts the current players.

The warriors add even more versatility and while Jamal Crawford isnt a pure pg he can draw and dish which means he can play off S.jax who can do it as well as Monta when he returns.

Just craziness though to wait until now .

 
At 11/22/2008 1:04 AM, Blogger Tom said...

Starbury was offered 35 minutes of PT tonight, and he said no.

Steve & Berry's went out of business today.

It's over.

 
At 11/22/2008 2:23 AM, Blogger Carlos Detrroyo said...

Besides contracts, I don't get any of the trades that were made today. Not in a logical, "play the right way" sense, but more that I can't comprehend the fireworks that we'll see.

D'Antoni is building a lesser version of the '05 Suns. Al Harrington won't even notice he's on a new team. He'll play three games in a Warriors uni, and no one will mind.

The Warriors are building a high-speed hadron collider of a basketball team.

The Clippers are hilarious. Their best defensive player is a defensive liability. Their best scorer is an offensive liability. They are a defective Frankenstein robot, and I love it.

wv - mounchem: Monta undoes chemistry

 
At 11/22/2008 2:55 AM, Blogger ox said...

i'm sure you know by now but you got a shout out at

http://drawn.ca/

 
At 11/22/2008 4:12 AM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

I'm surprised by the number of comments against the Knicks' long term strategy here. Even if LeBron is a pipe dream (real odds, however, are 50/50 - BK is dead, so the Nets are not in the running, leaving the Knicks vs. Cleveland head on, with a small sliver of a chance for LA if they somehow give up Kobe), there are still like 10 other really good free agents to pick and chose from in 2010. Amare? How about Amare + Ginobili? Bosh + Wade? Let's throw in an aging, and therefore cheap, Steve Nash for a last run at the title? Get the picture?

Knicks will build up David Lee next, pump up his stats (like they did Crawford and Randolph), then use him in a trade to dump Curry somehow. With Curry off the books, the Knicks will be over $40 million under the cap in 2010. Pick two or three premium free agents to add to Chandler, Danilo, Nate and the 2009 pick.

As for the present: not so bright, right when the Knicks looked like a potential 8th seed. But Crawford and Randolph aren't exactly proven winners, and who is to say D'Antoni can't keep the running going with Tim Thomas, Al Harrington, Q-Rich and Wilson Chandler? Aren't three point gunning, smooth passing, rebounding swing men what D'Antoni's system is built upon? Or am I getting him mixed up with Don Nelson again?

In any event the Knicks might not win enough games to make the playoffs, but they will be potentially explosive, and therefore watchable....

 
At 11/22/2008 4:46 AM, OpenID martink0261 said...

This reminds me of a post by Shoals sometime in the summer that talked about the magnitude of the 2010 Superstar free-agent sweepstakes. I realize that Ainge set a precedent and showed that snagging one or two big-time superstars can catapult a last place team to a championship, but seriously, this is now getting way beyond crazy! Lebron seems to command an almost unhealthy influence over NBA GM’s, at this point they would not hesitate to decimate their rosters- not for any kind of commitment or overture, but rather just for the off-chance that they receive a warm nod of approval or at least some kind of eye-contact from the Chosen One. When a city like Detroit, a city which if economists are to be believed may very well become a ghost town once one or all of the Big 3 automakers folds; finds itself making key roster decisions and jockeying for position in the 2010 sweepstakes, then something has clearly gone awry.

With NBA GM’s marking the summer of 2010 on their calendars’ as the end of days, it is clear that Lebron now occupies the rarified air of influence once inhabited by MJ. I kind of wish that Lebron elects to keep his new found influence once he is finally freed of his CBA rookie-contract + extension shackles by signing only a series of one year contracts like MJ did from ‘95 to ‘98 when he signed one year deals for $30- 33 million. Alternatively he could sign longer-term deals with opt-out options every year.

 
At 11/22/2008 1:04 PM, Blogger oliver said...

Having rethought all of this in the cold, harsh light of, um, daylight, I now have a better analogy for the Knicks' plan.

It's like during the Republican primaries, when Rudy Giuliani put all his effort into winning the Florida primary, and didn't try to compete in any of the other primaries, because Florida was such a big deal for some reason. Of course, by the time Florida rolled around, he had lost eight primaries in a row, and so he lost Florida too, because everyone was like, "Dude, your [political] team sucks. Why would we want to join your [political] team."

Or maybe that's a bad analogy. But hey, Rudy and the Knicks are both from New York, so, uh, in conclusion I don't know.

The Knicks genius plan also ignores the (somewhat) plausible scenario in which Lebron wins a championship in Cleveland in the next two years. And then what? Or what if he goes to the finals again in 2009? He's going to ditch all that into order to play at MSG with D'Antoni's soon to be bleeding ulcer?

NBA teams need to learn to stop basing their strategies on peering into the unfathomable pscyhes of superstar players. Remember when Kobe was totally gonna go to the Clippers? Yep. Enough.

Live for the moment, NBA teams. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. Forget all this basing your entire team's future on the unpredictable actions of a single player

Also, on an unrelated note, can someone please explain to me how we can fix my beloved Sixers? Brand's got us in a halfcourt offense when we should be running and gunning, and Igoduala would be a great SG... if only he could shoot. Other than that, though, things are fine and dandy. Help!

 
At 11/22/2008 1:11 PM, Blogger FunWithLogic said...

I am totally speculating on this, but might some of the teams want excuses for lowering their payroll, generally? We are going into recession and maybe many of these teams are doing what they can with what they have and anticipate and change to the CBA in 2011 once the league is losing their collective shirts by either pricing out fans (more than they do) or lowering ticket prices and having huge contract-bred overheads to deal with.

I don't know too much about this kind of thing, but might these things be purely (or mostly) business decisions rather than some hope at a 2010 sweepstakes (except NY and some other obvious teams).

On a sidenote: doesn't it make sense for Kevin Martin to be LBJ's Pippen? I mean this aesthetically, but, if he works on his defense, stylistically as well...

 
At 11/22/2008 1:24 PM, Blogger antonymous said...

I was going to break up the groupthink, but FWL beat me to it. I'd also like to point out that guys like LBJ, Bosh, Wade, Amare are hyped and will command max deals, but there are also plenty of other 2nd-tier players on which a team can build a franchise. It gives perennially losing GMs a final chance at glory.

I'm just saying - why wouldn't a D'Antoni Knicks team go for multiple players of a Tayshaun, Howard, Pau, or Butler caliber?

 
At 11/22/2008 3:08 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

I'm actually kind of surprised at the reaction on here. I thought both trades were brilliant. While it's impossible to build a playoff team around Cuttino Mobley, Tim Thomas, and Al Harrington, they are all perfect fits for D'Antoni's system and will do just fine as placeholders until the Jalen Rose-prophesied Lebron/Bosh show comes to town. I mean, it's not like they were going anywhere with Z-Bo and Crawford. They'll be funn(i)er to watch, and I wouldn't be surprised if they have their best record since 2003-2004, in which they made the playoffs in a pathetic Eastern Conference with a 39-43 record.

 
At 11/22/2008 3:36 PM, Blogger dunces said...

On Warriors and Hadron Colliders:

Larry Niven wrote this story I reread recently about San Francisco fog as a metaphor for quantum uncertainty and parallel universes - I like the idea of the Warriors as a high-energy particle physics experiment.

 
At 11/22/2008 6:58 PM, Blogger tray said...

Oliver, Thad is the answer - to everything. Kick Iggy to the curb somehow. The second he's got some talent to play with, he reverts to a 12 ppg third wheel. He's not THAT GREAT a defender that he's worth the money if that's all he's doing on offense. Secondly, don't resign Miller, try to get Sergio, try to trade for a rookie point. Third, Brand is no longer Brand. And how great was Brand to begin with, really?

 
At 11/22/2008 7:28 PM, Blogger W2 said...

Roger Mason?

 
At 11/22/2008 7:42 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

Good things are happening: PJ got canned!

Will the sports MSM ever refer to a coach as a cancer? If so, they should start now with PJ.

On topic, I kind of agree that all of the players that NYK acquired fit D'Ant's style, but I have to wonder a little who's going to handle the ball and who's going to score.

I can't figure out the Clips's front court at all--surely someone(s) else will also be traded.

The Warrior are just insane now. Nelson must be in full mad scientist mode.

 
At 11/23/2008 6:12 AM, Blogger D.J. Foster said...

As a Clippers fan, I'm absolutely horrified by the move we just made. But I'll spare you all.

There has been some rumors going around that Charlotte wants to move Gerald Wallace, and that they are very interested in Chris Kaman.

I, personally, would love this because Gerald would make this team go from downright unwatchable to semi entertaining. For all you FD Gerald lovers though...pray this is just rumor. Clippertown is where players go to die.

 
At 11/23/2008 3:18 PM, Blogger DocZeus said...

All this trade really has done is make the Knicks historically bad for at least two seasons with little hope of improving before 2010...

Is LeBron James or Chris Bosh really going to want to sign to a team whose next best player is Nate Robinson? Really? For 40 million dollars less?

The Knicks have basically mortgaged their future on rumors that somebody whether it be Lebron James or Dwayne Wade or Chris Bosh is going to want to move to a bigger market. THAT's their genius plan?

 
At 11/23/2008 4:15 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

They're not going to get just one franchise player from the 2010 free agent class, they're going to get TWO, most likely a wing player (Lebron or D-Wade) and Bosh. Plus, their terrible records this year and next will put them in the lottery, so they'll have a couple young studs. For the rest, they can fill in with role players acquired on the cheap. D'Antoni and Donnie Walsh know what they're doing.

Remember that people said the Big Three weren't going to be able to win a title with guys like Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins filling out the lineup. Or second rounders like Leon Powe. How'd that turn out?

 
At 11/23/2008 6:28 PM, Blogger 800# said...

I'm with Recluse. The Knicks are in a perfect position for the move right now, both because of their cap space, and because Nike will match/double Bosh and Lebron's contract while they're playing in the big city. The Knicks dropped millions over the last ten years for rotating door has-beens, and even paid out 4 million cuz' they didn't want to believe that Thomas was that much of an asshole. I think they'll make the run.

HOWEVER. Joe Dumars x crazy cap space in 2010 = quantum singularity. Detroit may be diving as a city, but who knows what the man can do when his imagination is set free.

 
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