A hobby could be defined as the following:
Dear New York’s loyal,
It’s not time to panic. We’ve got plenty to look forward too. What I’ve done with this franchise should be recognized. I have opened my checkbooks just to provide all of you with a satisfying team. Although many are questioning me as an owner, I feel unappreciated. It is I that got us 54 wins just one season ago, and it is I that will bring you a ticker-tape parade down 5th Avenue….eventually. I hope all of you one day realize my impact on the New York Knicks franchise and stop questioning my decisions.
Owner of the New York Knicks & Part-time blues singer
P.S. I hate you Shumpert.
Anyone else get that letter? Whether you did or not, there are a lot of problems with the 2013-14 New York Knicks, and believe it or not, there is one thing that James Dolan, metaphorically, said in that that that is true. It’s not time to panic. If you look at the rest of the Eastern Conference, you’ll realize that there are only two teams with a record above .500. Two teams. It’s not too late to turn things around at all. In the Knicks division alone, there isn’t a team with a winning percentage of even 41%. The Celtics, Sixers, Nets, and Raptors round out the rest of the Atlantic division with the Knicks. To write this team off against that competition is ridiculous.
But they’re in no way contenders even if they do figure out this mess. The Knicks problems range so far that there are more problems with the franchise than there are positives. However, I have proposed the following to perhaps fix this team:
1) Stop blaming Mike Woodson
Mike Woodson took over the reigns of the Knicks in 2012 as interim manager after the dismissal of Mike D’antoni, and hasn’t looked back. As more of a hard nosed coach, Woodson developed strong father-like relationships with his players and the second seed in the Eastern Conference. Many would argue that the only reason the Knicks were that high in the standings was due to Woodson’s handling of the rotation and coaching in general. Since the earlier than anticipated exit of the playoffs versus the Indiana Pacers, things have changed. But that’s New York for you. “What have you done for me?” has become “What are you doing and going to do for me?”. The Knicks problems go way farther than their head coach, just ask Jeff Van Gundy.
2) Cut Chris Smith, Cole Aldrich, and Toure Murray
Some of you are reading this and saying who? Exactly. Do you wanna know what the real problem is with the Knicks? It’s the lack of veteran leadership. There is no Kurt Thomas to tell Carmelo to stop forcing perimeter shots. There is no Jason Kidd to tell Iman Shumpert to shut up and play. There is no Rasheed Wallace to get in JR Smith’s face when he goes 3-of-18 from the field. A roster spot for Chris Smith on the Knicks’ D-League team would be inappropriate, never mind a spot on the NBA team. Neither Cole Aldrich nor Toure Murray have made an impact and this is what leads to number three.
3) Sign Jason Collins, Lamar Odom, and Leandro Barbosa.
To make up for the loss of three no-name unproductive players, why not pick up three veterans with leadership qualities. Not only will they be able to control some of the team’s biggest egos, but they will at the same time provide quality minutes off the bench…something every team should have on their sideline. So yeah, sign these guys.
4) Don’t make an unnecessary trade to make up for Tyson Chandler’s injury absence but…
Take a deep breath Knick fans, consider trade packages at the trade deadline to ship Carmelo out of New York. Listen guys, he’s not returning, and at this point if you needed Stephen A. Smith to bring that piece of information to notice for you, you’re delusional. So why not try and swing a package together so we don’t get Lebron’d like Cleveland did. Here’s a trade proposal:
Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton
New York receives:
Demarcus Cousins, Marcus Thornton, John Salmons, Greivis Vasquez, 2014 1st Round Pick, and 2016 1st Round Pick
No way, right? My question is why not? To say the Sacramento Kings are desperate to put some fans in their stands is an understatement. There is huge potential for Carmelo to be just a rest of the season rental for the Kings but who’s to say that Carmelo doesn’t end up loving it there. There is a lot less pressure in Sacramento than there is in New York. The money is also in Sacramento as they’d also be able to offer him that extra coveted year with the max contract. You do what you gotta do to land a superstar, end of discussion. But while there is no guaranteed extension with Melo, Iman Shumpert could still eventually prosper next to Ben Maclemore in the state of California with the Kings, and he’d be there for at least two more years assuming the Kings extended his final two-year team option at the end of his rookie contract. Giving up Demarcus Cousins is something the Kings have pondered since he joined the team so thinking that he’s untouchable due to his all-star potential is silly. Demarcus Cousins would have a chance to learn and mature under all-star center Tyson Chandler, while also potentially playing the four spot. On the Knicks side, what is most appealing to me is not the 2014 1st round pick, but the 2016 1st round pick. Think of what the Sacramento Kings roster would look like without Carmelo Anthony, say he bolted to the Lakers or another franchise. They would be a cellar team, and this would give the Knicks a fantastic pick in the 2016 NBA draft. The Knicks would be top heavy in their front court having two starting centers in their starting back court and then having Amar’e and Bargs on the bench fighting for minutes but it would be worth it. One pick, anywhere in this upcoming draft, a potential top-5 pick in the 2016 draft and Demarcus Cousins would be enough for me to pull the trigger.
What would you do?
Article by: Ryan Manley
Hey everyone, sorry I haven’t posted anything these past few weeks…..senior year has been extremely busy.
I’ve decided to skip out on the remainder of the twitter article, but returning to it may be a possibility as well.
As for today, I just wanted to post my first ever NBA Mock Draft before the upcoming season starts. I’ve looked over lots of players throughout college basketball and with their team fits, I’ve created my pre-preseason first round NBA Mock Draft for 2014.
so here’s Round One…
1 – Andrew Wiggins – Philadelphia 76ers
2 – Jabari Parker – Charlotte Bobcats
3 – Marcus Smart – Milwaukee Bucks
4 – Dante Exum – Utah Jazz
5 – Julius Randle – Boston Celtics
6 – Wayne Selden – Orlando Magic
7 – Semaj Christon – Phoenix Suns
8 – Willie Cauley-Stein – Detroit Pistons
9 – Joel Embiid – Sacramento Kings
10 – Glen Robinson III – Dallas Mavericks
11 – Aaron Gordon – Washington Wizards
12 – Dario Saric – Portland Trailblazers
13 – Andrew Harison – New Orleans Pelicans
14 – Gary Harris – Cleveland Cavaliers
15 – James Young – Minnesota Timberwolves
16 Perry Ellis – Los Angeles Lakers
17 – Mario Henzoja – Toronto Raptors
18 – Doug McDermott – Atlanta Hawks
19 – Jerami Grant – Brooklyn Nets
20 – Mitch McGary – Memphis Grizzlies
21 – Alex Poythress – Houston Rockets
22 – Lebryan Nash – Los Angeles Clippers
23 – James McAdoo – Denver Nuggets
24 – Andreian Payne – Denver Nuggets (**traded from NY Knicks in Carmelo Anthony trade)
25 – Kaleb Tarezewski – Indiana Pacers
26 – Montrezi Harrell – Chicago Bulls
27 – Chris Walker – Golden State Warriors
28 – CJ Fair – San Antonio Spurs
29 – Cory Joseph – Oklahoma City Thunder
30 – Isaiah Austin – Miami Heat
…and there you go. My first round projections for the stacked and highly anticipated draft class of 2014. As much as everyone is raving over how fantastic this draft will be, I only see picks 1-11 making an impact on their leagues. The class of 2014 is great for an NBA Draft, however, we will have to see how all these hyped up “studs” play out.
One mistake and you could be the nucleus of a social media fiasco, and at the same time, one clever usage of 140 characters and your tweet could eventually be portrayed on an episode of SportsCenter for hundreds of thousands to view and enjoy.
From a public relations standpoint, Twitter has revolutionized the way we look at some athletes, most for the worse. It’s an extremely rare occurrence that a famous professional athlete does not have a Twitter account.
Over the years, teams have become less willing to have to deal with the drama and potential conflicts that social media brings…to the point that some teams have banned the usage of Twitter as a whole. But, while there are many controversial Twitter accounts handled by over a thousand professional athletes, there are also amusing Twitter accounts, which could reveal a funny or philosophical side of the athlete you may have never known about.
There are the big name stars that you should probably follow just because of their title, for instance Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and even the Zen Master, Phil Jackson. But at the same time, there are always the players like Jared Dudley and JaVale McGee whom you may not have heard of if you don’t really follow hoops. And then, of course, there is JR Smith, the man who put up a picture of a half-naked (judge for yourself if that’s fair enough description) female on his account for his 400,000 followers to see.
So, with saying all of that, I decided it was only right to start a bracket of the best twitter accounts ran by NBA players themselves, including the unemployed (you can’t leave out Delonte West).
Every Monday I will update the bracket with who advances and who drops out of my new Twitter Hoops Tournament. I will make little poll boxes available for who should advance and who shouldn’t, and whomever the readers choose will advance.
This is my final project for my internship, (I will still continue to post on wordpress) and I wanted to thank every one of you for taking the time out of your days to read what I’ve had to say.
Article by: Ryan Manley
Paul Pierce started it.
“It’s going to be what it was, but now on steroids. This is a city battle. We’re going to divide that city now. Before this was the Knicks town, but now that I’m here we’re going to call it Nets…Nets Village. It’s going to go from Knicks Town to Nets Village. It’s our time.”
And Knicks guard Raymond Felon responded.
“They will never take over the city. Because we’ve got ‘New York’ on our chest. They’ve got ‘Brooklyn’ on their chest, and we’ve got ‘New York.’ They’ll never take over the city.”
Both the Knicks and Nets had busy offseasons, but all of this continuing hype about the upgrades that Brooklyn’s made since their season came to an abrupt, first-round exit, has brought up the discussion over whose city this is. The Mecca of basketball will always belong to the Knicks. The Knicks claimed the hearts of New Yorkers all over the Empire State in 1946, the year they were inaugurated into the men’s National Basketball League.
Being one of the only two original teams to remain in their original location, along with the cross-town rival Boston Celtics, the Knicks have left their stamp on who really owns New York. Looking at it now, with the Nets’ “upgrades” of Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, and Paul Pierce, Brooklyn’s presence in the Eastern Conference may only be a rental as those three players are closer to retirement than Betty White.
Here are the key offseason additions and departures for both of New York City’s teams:
Additions: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, Andrei Kirilenko, Alan Anderson, Mason Plumlee, (Andray Blatche re-signed)
Subtractions: Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans
New Head Coach: Jason Kidd
Since their owner is ridiculously wealthy, and more than willing to go above-and-beyond the luxury tax, the Nets made a good move with the Celtics to acquire three established veterans to throw in with a lineup already possessing Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez. However, unless they stay healthy and are able to somehow cool down the fire in Miami, which they won’t, they will be stuck with not one, not two, but three old has-beens. The Nets will be hit with the injury bug, much like the Knicks did this season, and will replicate the season the Lakers had this year. Unfortunately for the Lakers, they weren’t in the Eastern Conference, therefore just being able to slip into the 8-seed. The Nets will be an intimidating 6-seed in the Eastern Conference this season.
New York Knicks
Additions: Andrea Bargnani, Metta World Peace, Beno Udrih, Tim Hardaway, Jr., CJ Leslie, Jeremy Tyler (Kenyon Martin & Pablo Prigioni re-signed)
Subtractions: Jason Kidd, Steve Novak, Chris Copeland, Chris Camby
I don’t get why everyone is hating on the Knicks decision to trade for the Italian 7-footer, Andrea Bargnani. When you look at what they gave up for him how could you not think the Knicks won this trade. There was Marcus Camby, who averaged 1.8 points per game on 10 minutes of play, Steve Novak, whose 3-point field goal percentage declined this season, Quentin Richardson, who played one game for the Knicks during the regular season, a 2016 first-rounder that will most likely be a 20’s pick, and two second-rounders for a stretch forward who will space the floor and allow Carmelo Anthony to slide back into his original position at Small Forward. I think it’s a win-win for New York as they were able to dump off old, deteriorating players for one useful potential rotation player. Andrea Bargnani’s career will be revived in NYC… you heard it here first.
Sooo…back to why New York City is in possession of the New York Knicks.
- The basketball atmosphere
The Garden is one of the most exciting arenas in all of sports, and nothing will change that. The Barclays Center is new and hip but unfortunately for them, all that their stadium claims hold to is a first-round exit via the Bulls and a few Jay-Z concerts. No banners, just some over-priced sushi and flashy lights.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe Jason Kidd will be an incredible head coach one day, maybe even in the next couple years, but that being said, Mike Woodson has 17 years of coaching experience in the NBA. Debuting as a head coach in 2004 with the Atlanta Hawks, Mike’s career took off as he now has all the intangibles to take the Knicks to the promised land. Without one day of coaching experience, Jason Kidd jumped from playing a vital role in the Knicks early season success last year as a point guard, to head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Though he played the “floor general” for well over a decade and is about as for sure of a first-ballot hall of famer there is, Mike Woodson controls the coaching slot as there are too many what-ifs when it comes to Jason Kidd’s potential as a head coach.
This is a tricky one because from the outside-looking-in, it appears that the Nets have the better starting lineup. But hear me out. With Carmelo Anthony scoring just under 30 points per game last season on his way to the scoring title, the Knicks know what they’re getting from a production standpoint with Anthony. On the other side, with Deron Williams’ drop from elite-status last season, Joe Johnson’s worst season since 2003 when he was a member of the Phoenix Suns, Brook Lopez’s past two seasons of injuries, and the aging core of Pierce and Garnett, Nets fans shouldn’t be all that excited about their chances to challenge the top of the Eastern Conference.
Here’s a look at my Knicks’ projected lineup for the upcoming season:
PG- Raymond Felton
SG- Pablo Prigioni
SF- Carmelo Anthony
6- JR Smith
7- Amar’e Stoudemire
9-Metta World Peace
10-Tim Hardaway Jr.
….and here’s a look at my Nets’ projected lineup for the upcoming season:
6- Andrei Kirilenko
The Nets starting lineup is appealing until you realize the types of seasons these guys have been having prior to them all teaming up to form a “super team” in Brooklyn. Besides the lift off the bench from Andrei Kirilenko, who was a huge steal this offseason for the Nets, the bench is weak. Jason Terry is too streaky, Andray Blatche is Andray Blatche, and all Reggie Evans can do is grab rebounds and flop. The Knicks bench however, is full of productive players that will put the team in another class by the time this season is over with. Who knows, Amar’e Stoudemire could finally figure this Melo combo out, I doubt it, but that’s some Knick-fan optimism right there. JR Smith just had the best season of his career while winning the 6th Man of the Year.
The Knicks are an experienced team. So are the Nets. But this squad in the blue and orange was the number two seed last season in the East. They have all the weapons to potentially challenge the Heat for positioning in the East but, when all is said and done, you really have to figure that the Heat are going to three-peat, leaving the Knicks with another season that could have been. But that’s not what this article’s about. This article’s about why New York is still owned by the Knicks. Until Brooklyn gets more rings than the Knicks, who have two, the Knicks will remain the team of New York.
Paul Pierce needs to put up or shut up if he thinks his squad in Brooklyn will take over New York.
Article by: Ryan Manley
Michael Beasley, at age 25, is known to this day as one of the biggest draft busts in recent memory.
But that wasn’t always the case as Michael Beasley was once one of the most prized draft picks of the decade. He was also looked at as one of the top prospects declaring for the draft in recent memory, and made it a tough decision for the Bulls’ front office to draft the star floor-general, Derrick Rose, before him.
Growing up, “B-Easy” had the spotlight on him at a very young age. Scouts had been comparing him and the lanky scoring machine Kevin Durant since they were each members of the same AAU basketball team, the PG Jaguars. Believe it or not, several scouts, if not the majority of them, raved over how Michael Beasley was more talented and was better suited for NBA success than KD.
Getting accustomed to his surroundings and where he was living was never something Michael had to deal with in high school as he relocated to six different schools during his tenure as a high school student. Ranging from locations of Florida, Virginia, Massachusetts, and three schools in Maryland, stability is not a word you would be able to use to describe Michael’s high school life. So, Michael’s decision to leave Kansas State after just one year of pure domination, compiling a 26 and 12 stat-line, should have come as no surprise as it just wasn’t in Michael’s raising to stay put.
It’s hard to question his decision to leave however, as just a year before, injury-prone Greg Oden was drafted with the first pick overall and developed an injury bug that has been attached to his name to this day, since he entered the league as a rookie in ’07. Why would Michael risk getting hurt playing an additional year in college when draft experts like Chad Ford had him as a projected top-2 pick? That’s a rhetorical question many would think. What seemed like right decision at the time, however, may have backfired as it has become a growing trend in the NBA that the new era of one-and-done athletes are often times the less mature ones too, as they should. Most of these one year and move on athletes are only nineteen! To stay for another year or two might have made the difference for Beasley as it could have transitioned him better into the person he needed to be to take advantage of the freak athleticism scouts had been raving over since before his Notre Dame Prep days.
Shortly after being selected by the Miami Heat with the number two overall pick, Michael was in the headlines for reasons Heat President Pat Riley was probably cringing over. At the rookie transition camp, made available to rookies making the leap into the NBA, police were called to a hotel room that originally smelled of fire. Inside, there was suspicion that there had been people smoking marijuana in the hotel room. When the police got to the scene, only Darrel Arthur and Heat teammate Mario Chalmers were present, but no charges were eventually filed. However, both rookies were dismissed from the rookie transition program for the NBA’s suspicions. Pat Riley had caught word that Michael had been present for the occasion and made him admit to slipping out the back door as cops had arrived. Beasley was fined $50,000 by the commissioner for his role in the incident, and Michael admitted to his mistakes.
But his mistakes didn’t end there like the Miami Heat had wanted, as you can imagine. In August 2009, Michael posted a picture with his new tattoo he had just got to his Twitter account. Stupid enough, he didn’t notice in the background of the image there was a bag of marijuana visible to all of his followers that clicked on the image put up. A few days later, Michael checked into a rehab center for “undisclosed reasons”.
Beasley was shipped off to Minnesota for two future second-round picks during the famous Summer of 2010 to make room for the 3-star empire Pat Riley had created with Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.
Beasley had some pretty lofty expectations upon his arrival to the Twin Cities. But what else is new. With Kevin Love in town, Beasley transitioned into a small forward, as in the past he had been primarily a power forward. In his two seasons in Minnesota, Michael failed to impress as he showed signs of greatness like when he went off for 42 points and 9 rebounds on November 10th, 2010, but for the majority of the time, showed signs of weakness and a lack of effort as well as heart.
In June 2011, Beasley was pulled over for speeding. While searching Beasley’s car due to the suspicion of marijuana in the former star’s vehicle, the police officer found a bag of marijuana under the passenger seat. Beasley was fined and ticketed.
Later on that Summer, Michael took part in a street ball game in New York City with former childhood friend Kevin Durant. Getting heckled the entire game, Michael was unable to control himself as he later got into a confrontation with the heckler in the stands, putting his hand on the guy’s face pushing him.
After the 2011-12 season, the Timberwolves decided not to extend him and let him walk. He signed a 3-year deal with the Phoenix Suns for $18,000,000. In his first year in Phoenix, he failed to impress anyone. Averaging just above ten points per game hardly justified his $6,000,000 annual salary, especially with his package.
In his first full offseason it appeared that Michael would finally turn things around for the better. This was his second full season in Phoenix and he had run out of excuses to not perform at a high level. Though the season hasn’t even started yet (yes, we’re still a couple months away) Michael Beasley hasn’t exactly gotten it off to the right start:
Michael Beasley has been arrested after police found suspected marijuana in his car(ESPN).
— Eli J. Friedman (@Eli_NBAOKC) August 6, 2013
Yup, he’s done it again. I feel bad for the guy sometimes because I know there was so much potential there that he just didn’t know how to use. Whether it was immaturity he wasn’t able to work out during his brief college tenure, or his instability with where he was living in high school, Michael has had to deal with some of his issues internally at the wrong times. But while I feel bad for this guy, I think, there were many other stories like this, with a far worse background that worked hard to use their talents and hard work to form something special. B-Easy had all the intangibles and gifts needed to be a star in today’s NBA, and don’t get me wrong, he still does. But, and this is a major but, unless he is able to get passed his marijuana abuse and stay out of the news for anything but good reasons, Michael Beasley, the once prized prospect, then project, and now bust is going to continue down the path to unemployment.
Article by: Ryan Manley
So here it is.
Every year there’s always someone who you would never think would be able to accomplish enough to claim an award during the season. For example, how many, truthfully, believed just last year that JR Smith, infamously known for shooting his teams out of games, would turn into an efficient “B” scoring option and eventually 2012-13 6th Man of the Year? Yeah you can put your hand down because no one did. I’ve done some homework on who could surprise you, who will remain consistently “different” in a good or bad way, and picked them for each of the major NBA Regular Season awards…as well as a few I made up.
MVP – Lebron James, Miami Heat
2nd place: Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
3rd place: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
4th place: Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
5th place: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
6th Man – Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors
2nd place: JR Smith, New York Knicks
3rd place: J Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers
4th place: Tyreke Evans, New Orleans Pelicans
5th place: Jarrett Jack, Cleveland Cavaliers
Most Improved – Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
2nd place: Jonas Valancunnias, Toronto Raptops
3rd place: Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns
4th place: Kawai Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
5th place: Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Coach of the Year – Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics
2nd place: Rick Adelman, Minnesota Timberwolves
3rd place: Jason Kidd, Brooklyn Nets
4th place: Mark Jackson, Golden State Warriors
5th place: Mike Woodson, New York Knicks
Rookie of the Year- Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings
2nd place: Otto Porter, Washington Wizards
3rd place: Cody Zeller, Charlotte Bobcats
4th place: Shabazz Muhammad, Minnesota Timberwolves
5th place: Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic
Least Valuable Player: Ben Gordon, Charlotte Bobcats
2nd place: James Jones, Miami Heat
3rd place: Robert Sacre, Los Angeles Lakers
4th place: Dahntay Jones, Dallas Mavericks
5th place: Corey Maggette, Detroit Pistons
Scoring Champion: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
2nd place: Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
3rd place: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
4th place: Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets
5th place: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Comeback Player of the Year: Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
2nd place: Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers
3rd place: Andrea Bargnani, New York Knicks
4th place: Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets
5th place: Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves
Defensive Player of the Year: Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies
2nd place: Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks
3rd place: Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets
4th place: Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder
5th place: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics
Best Record in East: Miami Heat (69-13)
2nd place: Chicago Bulls (62-20)
3rd place: New York Knicks (58-24)
4th place: Brooklyn Nets (56-26)
5th place: Indiana Pacers (54-28)
Best Record in West: San Antonio Spurs (60-22)
2nd place: Oklahoma City Thunder (59-21)
3rd place: Los Angeles Clippers (53-27)
4th place: Golden State Warriors (52-28)
5th place: Houston Rockets (49-31)
Underperformer’s Award: Eric Gordon, New Orleans Pelicans
2nd place: Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks
3rd place: Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
4th place: Josh Smith, Detroit Pistons
5th place: Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers
Embrace Debate…..Article by: Ryan Manley