Monthly Archives: June 2017

Knickfunction

The Knicks are reportedly firing Phil Jackson today. That’s not something I object to, his 80-166 record speaks for itself, but the timing of it shows how incredibly dysfunctional this franchise is.

What other franchise would allow the team President to run the NBA draft and then turn around and fire them three days before NBA free agency begins?  You either do this after the season ends in April, or you wait until after free agency and the summer leagues conclude. Doing it now cripples your ability to improve in free agency and calls into question why the Knicks drafted the guys they did just last week.

Again, firing Jackson is not a dumb idea. His record was atrocious, and his behavior even worse. He was the guy who gave Carmelo a max deal with a no-trade clause and a trade kicker. When he saw it wasn’t working he didn’t quietly try to get Carmelo to waive that and go elsewhere, he started trashing his own player in the press. For a smart guy, that is really stupid. Then he starts smacking the future face of the franchise around in the press and floats trade rumors about him. If you are a NBA free agent, why would you sign on the dotted line to play for this man?

But the sad reality is that this won’t make things better. A new president will come in, but Jim Dolan will remain. It was Dolan who created the culture of paranoia and dysfunction that surrounds this team. It was Dolan who forced Donnie Walsh to empty the cupboard for Carmelo when the Knicks could have waited three months and signed him as a free agent. It was Dolan who foisted Isiah Thomas on us, and may try and do so again. Phil Jackson deserves his pink slip, but until Dolan goes, Knickfunction will mean dysfunction.

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A Ranger Reset

The Rangers pulled off a shocking trade today, Derek Stephan and Antti Raanta for the #7 pick in the draft and Anthony DeAngelo.

I won’t begin to suggest that a team that traded its top center and backup goalie for a rookie defenseman and a draft pick is better, but this is a move the Rangers had to make.

I loved Stepan, but he wasn’t an elite center and he was earning $6.5-million a year through 2021. Raanta was a great backup goalie, but he was headed out the door after this upcoming season.

The Rangers now have a bunch of cap room and a chance to do some things. They could sign Kevin Shattenkirk and make a big splash, or spread the money out more equitably. They probably go for the splash, but might be smarter to spread the money around. One thing is for sure, Jeff Gorton has a plan and he is willing to make bold moves to execute it.

Thank You, Dan

The majority of New York sports fans will always associate the name Girardi with Joe, the current manager. But, a passionate subset will also associate it with Dan, the Rangers forward who was bought out today after a stellar eleven years on Broadway.

Much like his namesake, Dan Girardi was an underrated player who did the little things. He was undrafted, yet became an integral part of a Stanley Cup contender. He was the epitome of the “black and blue” shirts and anchored the top line of the defense.

But all those games and all of those blocked shots took a toll on his body and the Girardi of today simply couldn’t keep up with the top lines of most NHL squads. His big salary made him untradeable and the savings from a buyout made it the only possible solution.

Thats a shame because much like another Ranger on the top-10 list of games played, Rom Greschner, Girardi should have ended his career in New York. I hope he catches on somewhere and earns a much-deserved Cup. Just not against the Rangers!

A Quick End To The Finals

Give Golden State credit.  Not only did they eliminate the bad taste from last year, they did it in a dominating fashion. Going 16-1 in the NBA playoffs is an amazing feat. But, can’t we praise the Warriors while also praising LeBron James’ efforts in the Finals? Why do people feel compelled to tear him down yet again today after losing that series? He averaged a triple-double in the Finals, so I find it hard to place the blame for this loss on him.

Here’s another way to look at it. The Warriors set the record for most wins in a season last year and came one game away from winning a title. (Remember who stopped that) They then went out and added one of the best players in the league in Kevin Durant, so they got even better. Stopping that freight train was never going to be easy and while LeBron had his moments, the Warriors had too much talent.

Durant got ripped in the offseason for leaving Oklahoma City and going to Golden State because it “proved he couldn’t win on his own” according to the haters. LeBron is getting ripped today for not being able to stop that from happening. One thing is for sure, haters and going to hate.

How Quickly We Forget

According to a lot of the “experts” the NBA FInals are over as the Warriors have a 2-0 lead and LeBron sounds “defeated. I get it, but based on what we saw just last year, maybe wait until tomorrow night’s result before calling the series over?

After all that series saw the Warriors win Game 1 by 15 and Game 2 by 33. Golden State had won both regular season meeting and 71 other games. Cleveland looked pretty dead at 0-2 then. And, despite a Game 3 victory, things looked pretty over when the Warriors won Game 4 to go up 3-1. But a funny think happened, LeBron took the team on his shoulders and the Cavs won three-straight and a title.

That may not happen this year. Golden State with Kevin Durant may truly be unstoppable. But recent history tells us not to bury the Cavs until they have lost four games in this series.