Monday, November 06, 2006

Welcome All My Friends to the Show that Never Ends

Friends, ex lovers, underground midget porn producers, and Republicans who actually feel a sense of optimism this Election Day Eve, it is I, your purveyor of all things Knicks and while I understand that right now Knicks fans are in hiding much like Cleveland Indians fans were in Major League, I feel a need to reach out to those making their last stand at the Alamo. I have to begin by introducing myself. I am a 27 year old white male who at one time in my life, actually followed all 82 games of the Knicks season with the intensity of John Mark Carr at a Christmas Pagent. Those were the glory years when Knicks didn't wonder about whether or not we would make the playoffs, but instead if we were good enough to get past the Bulls (Jordan/Pippen), Heat (Mourning/Hardaway), or Pacers (Miller/Smits) to get to the Finals. I vividly remember when the Knicks were actually under the salary cap and signed three marquee free agents - Larry Johnson from the then Charlotte Hornets, Chris "I never committed a foul EVER" Childs from the Nets who were the equivalent of Tim Allen's movie resume and Allan Houston.

I remember the days when Doc Rivers, Derek Harper, Greg Anthony and Charlie Ward actually attempted to run an offense and play defense. When Oakley or Mason taking a charge wasn't looked upon as grandiose effort to the tenth power, but expected of them. I remember the inside out game between Ewing and Starks and how each fan lived and died with the streakiness of the only man who actually looked better wearing the nose protector mask than without it. I remember watching Charles Smith who was listed at 6'10 barely able to dunk a ball but nontheless displayed some moxy on the court.

I also remember when the Knicks played like men. When during a Martin Luther King matinee game at the Garden Greg Anthony jumped off the bench in street clothes and mixed it up with the Phoneix Suns. When a Knick was pushed it was returned or the infamous Riley rule of no easy layups allowed EVER.

But like the 5th season of the Sopranos, all good things come to an end. The day the Knicks jumped the shark could be traced to the hiring of Scott "I look like Niles from Frasier" Layden, however I would have to say that even though Layden gave two contract extensions to Don Chaney for merely sitting on the bench in utter confusion, he would have never put together the mix of players that currently comprise the Team Titanic roster. And if you don't believe me, think of it this way:

The last time the Knicks resembled a semi competitive ball clube they sported a starting lineup that looked like this:

PG - Stephon Marbury
SG - Allan Houston
SF - Keith Van Horn
PF - Kurt Thomas
C - Diekembe Mutombo

Now you had two talented guards in the backcourt, a small forward who on any given night could throw in 20 and 10, but could always be penciled in for 16 pts and 8 reb, a power forward who could hit the elbow jumper, play defense and provide some general nastiness with his cross eyed stare and a center who had razors for elbows and pull down rebounds. Let us also not forget Dr. Doleac who ran the pick and roll with Marbury like Syndey Dean and Billy Hoyle.

My point is this team could complete, had some balance and could match up with most NBA teams starting five. This all changed on November 27, 2005 when Garden President Steve Mills introduced Lord Isaiah Thomas as GM and President of Basketball Operations. Then, my friends, all hell broke loose.

This blog will serve three purposes; 1) to monitor the Knicks as they go through their 2006-2007 season 2) keep those of you left who still consider the NBA a viable alternative to weed, Root Beer and a little D&D in your parents basement with a contingent of your mutant friends who couldn't get laid in a monkey whorehouse with a bag of banana's and 3) provide those few remaining Knick fans who still list their names in the Yellow Pages my very own "Compass of Stablility" which will be my own attempt to help right the ship based on factual information I have compiled. I am going to put myself in the position of President of Basketball Operations, the current title that Lord Isaiah Thomas holds and has been in the past 3 ½ years with the New York Knicks. I will outline a strategy for what I think the makeup of the team should be, piggy backing on teams that are successful as well as adapting to the changing landscape of the league. The next step will be to look at the current roster and decide who fits that makeup and who doesn’t. Finally, what players are available through the three main components (via trade, free agency or draft) that fit the previously established criteria and most importantly, ensuring a healthy salary cap situation in the long term.

I think we will have a good time with this, I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in any of the three topics at hand to please participate, ask questions, make comments or simply send me pictures of your girlfriends/wives.

I will preview tonights game vs the Spurs in my next post, until then, if you don't hear from me in 3 hours....wait longer.

The Lord

Send all questions/comments to v_gabriele@yahoo.com

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