It seems like one of the cruelest jokes that the basketball gods could play on Knicks fans. After making the local fanbase endure Isiah Thomas's four-and-a-half year reign of error as team president and coach, the Knicks appeared to have good reason for hope with the hiring of veteran NBA executive Donnie Walsh as president and hot shot Mike D'Antoni as coach. Yet, the 2008-09 Knicks might finish with a worse record than some of the recent, decrepit squads that have taken the floor at Madison Square Garden. It won't be because the team is run any worse than Thomas ran it I'm really not sure that the club could have been run any worse. The Knicks will hold practices, pay attention to scouting reports, and strive to put the best possible players on the floor (all things that seemed beyond Thomas during his tenure on the Knicks' bench). But here's the rub: The Atlantic Division has gotten much better, and the Eastern Conference is steadily improving, too. When you look at the big … [Read more...] about Knicks May Get Even Worse Before They Get Better
You can say this about Donnie Walsh: He's patient. While Isiah Thomas arrived in a blaze of glory, making a blockbuster trade for Stephon Marbury within days of taking over as team president, Walsh's first few months in office have been much quieter. The only significant change has been the inevitable firing of Thomas and hiring of Mike D'Antoni as head coach, followed by two relatively low-wattage pickups in draft choice Danilo Gallinari and point guard Chris Duhon. Meanwhile, the much-anticipated housecleaning of the Knicks' overpaid malcontents hasn't gained much steam, unless you think Renaldo Balkman was the quiet mastermind behind the whole underachieving operation. Eddy Curry, Jamal Crawford, Quentin Richardson, Malik Rose, Jerome James, and Jared Jeffries are all still here, "earning" a combined $47 million this season between them. Even Marbury is still around, though rumors persist that he'll be waived before he's allowed to set foot in training camp. But in particular, one … [Read more...] about Walsh Showing Patience in Dismantling of Knicks
Talk about pressure. Patrick Ewing Jr. is following in the footsteps of his famous father again. The New York Knicks acquired the younger Ewing from the Houston Rockets on Friday in exchange for the draft rights to center Frederic Weis, one of the most widely panned picks in franchise history. "Coming to the Knicks, and hopefully being able to contribute, means a lot to me," Ewing Jr. said in a statement. "It has always been my dream to play for this team. My goal is to show the coaches that I can play and do all that I can to help the team win some games." Ewing was selected by Sacramento with the 43rd pick in this year's NBA draft and traded with Ron Artest to the Rockets on Aug. 14. Now, he's on to New York, where his father ruled the paint at Madison Square Garden for 15 of his 17 NBA seasons. "I am very happy my son will follow in my footsteps," said Ewing, an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic. "Hopefully he will have a long and productive career in New York. I am proud of … [Read more...] about Favorite Son: Knicks Trade for Ewing Jr.
A salary dump? By the Knicks? Yes, apparently anything is possible in today's NBA. As Hell's denizens shoveled out from the blizzard, the Knicks waved bye-bye to forward Renaldo Balkman yesterday in a deal that ships him to Denver in return for a 2010 second-round draft pick and guards Bobby Jones and Taurean Green. What the Knicks get out of it, really, is just being rid of the obligation to pay Balkman. Both Jones and Green have contracts that aren't guaranteed for the coming year, which is just as well since the Knicks have 17 players on their roster following the trade two more than the league maximum of 15. Obviously, both players can expect to be waived in the coming days. By cutting Jones and Green and unloading Balkman, New York saves more than $2 million when luxury tax considerations are taken into account even after including cash in the deal to help offset part of Balkman's salary (reportedly $575,000, or nearly half of Balkman's $1.32 million salary). The … [Read more...] about Knicks Make a Very Rare Salary Dump
The Knicks went into Thursday evening's draft with a ton of question marks. Their selection of Italian forward Danilo Gallinari only adds to them. Gallinari was selected sixth overall after the guards that Knicks team president Donnie Walsh coveted Derrick Rose, O.J. Mayo, and Russell Westbrook were taken during the first five picks. The choice of Gallinari is one of those "best available athlete" choices rather than a selection to fill a void on the team. Gallinari does fill a need for basketball IQ, even though he was booed by Knicks' faithful upon his selection. The hardest part about Gallinari is figuring out where the 6-foot- 10-inch forward fits into the Knicks' scheme. He joins an increasing logjam in the frontcourt, but which forward slot is best for him? Due to his height, many observers have penciled him in at the power forward position and assumed that David Lee, the Knicks' best player during the past two forgettable seasons, is on his way out of town. I'm not … [Read more...] about With Draft Over, Knicks Now Explore Options