Ex-Knick Mark Jackson Gets the Warriors Coaching Job

Congratulations to ex-New York Knick point guard Mark Jackson on getting the Golden State Warriors head coaching vacancy. On Monday night Jackson, 46, agreed to a 3 year 6 million dollar contract. Few remember Jackson was actually a rumored as a candidate to fill the Knicks vacancy in 2008 before Mike D’Antoni was hired. Jackson has some talented pieces with Golden State including a few players with ties to the Knicks. Steph Curry would have been our point guard if we had gotten the 6th pick rather than the 7th (which we used to select Jordan Hill) and we traded David Lee to Golden State last off-season. The interesting thing about Jackson is that he’s never been an assistant coach before much less a head coach so personally, I question his resume for the job. While he is very basketball knowledgeable, it will be interesting how he handles adversity when it rears its ugly head. The one thing he has going for him is that he’s going to be a players coach. He was a player, he gets players, they’ll respect him. That is very important in today’s NBA. While some are questioning the decision to hire Jackson, I believe he will do at least a decent job but I have a feeling that he’s going to be successful in Golden State. Either way, the team by the bay just got much more interesting. They have holes a plenty on that team and there’s been a lot of talk about splitting up Monta Ellis and Steph Curry, two undersized guards who both struggle on the defensive end of the floor. I just have a feeling that Jackson is going to be a success at Golden State but only time will tell. For the meantime, I say congrats Mark Jackson and I’m interested to see his personel moves going forward this offseason.

Update: Hornets assistant Mike Malone is expected to become top assistant with the Warriors. He will be offered an “extremely lucrative” deal to join GSW instead of Mike Brown’s Lakers staff.

Update 2: Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that Malone has now agreed to join Mark Jackson’s staff with the Warriors as Jackson’s top aide.

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Knicks to Work Out 6 Players Tuesday

According to Tommy Dee the Knicks will be working out the following players on Tuesday June 7.

Norris Cole, G, 6-2, 170, Cleveland State, senior

Gary Flowers, F, 6-8, 214, Southern Mississippi, senior

Josh Harrellson, F, 6-10, 275, Kentucky, senior

Demetri McCamey, G, 6-3, 205, Illinois, senior

Malcolm Thomas, F, 6-9, 220, San Diego State, senior

Nikola Vucevic, F, 6-10, 240, Southern California, junior

Cole is a point guard from Cleveland State that quietly averaged 21 points a game last season. I like this guy in that he’s not overly athletic but he’s got a good basketball IQ and he’s a good shooter. I think he could be a steal in the early 2nd round. I don’t like Gary Flowers. He’s a tweener, he has to add size and he’s had off court issues. I don’t think he’ll be drafted but you never know. I really like Josh Harrellson, he reminds me of Josh McRoberts from Indiana. I would definitely condone the Knicks purchasing his rights in the 2nd round. He’s a good rebounder and a great energy guy. He’s the kind of Nick Collison type player that I think every team needs. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes. Demetri McCamey is a big point guard that is somewhat raw but he’s got the frame to at least be an excellent defender if not a good point guard in the NBA. He has a lot of range on his jump shot but he’s not a great athlete. He’ll probably be a 2nd round pick, I assume around the 45-50th selection. I like Malcolm Thomas a lot. While he’s undersized at 6-9, he’s got a 7’1 wingspan and a really good motor. He’s almost tailor made for what the Knicks need. He’s a great defender, a great athlete, and a very solid rebounder. His scoring is decent although he has a weak jump shot. He’d be another great player for the Knicks to acquire in the 2nd round if the price is right.

If I was picking for New York with the 17th selection, I would take a long hard look at Nikola Vucevic from USC. ESPN has him listed as a 7 footer with a 7’5 wingspan. He reminds me a lot of Andrea Bargnani except that he’s also a good rebounder and defender as well. He really came into his own last season averaging 17 ppg and 10 boards. I think he’d be a real nice fit either coming off the bench or next to Stoudemire in the starting lineup. At 260 pounds, I believe he has the size to play center and his toughness in the post will come with time.
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What Do You Think Walsh’s Legacy Should Be?

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D’Antoni Expected to Hire Defensive Assistant

In the wake of the Donnie Walsh disaster, word has been reported that Mike D’Antoni will finally hire a defensive assistant as has been suggested by the Knicks front office. This is significant because D’Antoni had a falling out in Phoenix when he dismissed GM Steve Kerr’s request that he hire current Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. Widely criticized by the media and Knick fans for the lack of defensive prowess in his coaching style, D’Antoni is trying to prove to Knicks hierarchy (Dolan and his secret lover) that he’s the right man for this job. I applaud D’Antoni’s ability to adjust his coaching style to fit the players that he has. Last season after trading for Carmelo Anthony, the “seven seconds or less” offense was all but scratched as most possessions down the court became half court sets that usually resulted in isolation basketball. This move shows D’Antoni’s intelligence. He realizes that this is going to be the best chance he’ll get to win championships and he needs to put his ego aside and admit he needs help coaching defense. Also it shows that he’s potentially panicked about his job security and is more likely to listen to the front office in hopes of securing his job moving forward. The only name I’ve heard so far is Lawrence Frank, who spent time around the team in the offseason, but he may be hired as the head coach in Toronto. I’ll keep posting as names come out but I believe it’s a very positive sign that D’Antoni is looking to hire an assistant.
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What’s Next For the Knicks?

Well what’s next for the Knicks now that Walsh is gone? Well first of all, finding a new GM is imperative. There are 2 people that I have heard that are possible replacements. I’m gonna go against myself and name the Knicks Voldemort: Isiah Thomas. Isiah could rear his big ugly head right back into the general managing job. That would re-create the giant black cloud that smothered the franchise for the 5 years he was in New York. The other name I’ve heard is Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Collangelo. Colangelo worked well with D’Antoni in Phoenix and it’s been thought that they’d work well again together in New York. Walsh is staying on as a “consultant” for the team but who knows how much power he will hold in decision making.

Image Via NBA.com

That brings me to the next thing. What does this mean for Mike D’Antoni? If I was D’Antoni, I’d be scared for my job. Contractually this is his final season with the Knicks but there are questions about whether he’ll even be given a chance to finish his contract out in New York. With the media constantly chirping in our brilliant owners ear, there’s a good chance that Dolan isn’t going to keep D’Antoni as well. Walsh was D’Antoni’s biggest proponent in the organization and now that he’s out of power D’Antoni’s job status is again in question. Similar to the GM situation, there are 2 names I hear to potentially replace D’Antoni: The recently “retired” Phil Jackson, and Kentucky Wildcat coach John Callipari. Callipari is part of this CAA agency, the same agency that represents Carmelo Anthony and has ties to Dolan, that seems to have a lot of pull with the Knick organization.

The most pressing issue for the Knicks right now is the NBA draft. We need to know who’s making the decisions and what coach we are drafting for. Whether it’s Jackson or D’Antoni or Callipari, the decision needs to be made soon because we need a home run with this pick. It’ll be interesting to see what happens but the future of this team is very much up in the air. Knick fans everywhere should be very worried in that Dolan is once again alone in the drivers seat and the car seems to be headed towards a cliff.
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Donnie Walsh Out In New York…..

….. Brace yourself Knick fans. This is the darkest day we’ve seen since he who must not be named was hired as president of basketball operations in 2003. The Knicks and Donnie Walsh have decided to part ways. By failing to relinquish his power, despite his complete lack of basketball knowledge, James Dolan has once again messed up the New York Knicks. Both parties claim that it was a mutual divorce, but it’s widely believed by me and by many Knick fans that Dolan’s unwillingness to let Walsh do his job is what caused this. Why Dolan has any say in the basketball operations of the team is beyond me. He’s got no basketball background, 95% of the moves that he’s instigated have been detrimental to the team. It’s his best friend, he who must not be named, that drove this franchise into the ground. The one thing Dolan has done correctly, bringing in Walsh, has just been unraveled by his pure stupidity and lust for control.

Walsh has been a savior for the flailing franchise. He took us out of cap hell and brought us into a state of optimism and excitement. He took a team loaded with overpaid duds, Eddy Curry, Zach Randolph, Steph Marbury, and he transformed it into a younger roster anchored by 2 superstars. For the first time in years there is excitement around the team. He was deserving of whatever contract he requested under whatever terms he requested. His track record (creating those great Indiana teams in the 90′s) showed that he was the perfect man to build this team. Frank Isola reports that Dolan wanted Walsh to take a 40% pay cut to remain with the team. That’s bullshit. There’s no other way to say it. Donnie Walsh deserved to stay here under his terms and conditions. It makes me and all Knick fans angry that the future of our team is now in question because our moronic owner is a power monger. The organization has climbed out of a dark pit and I believe Dolan just shoved us back into it. Image via Getty Images
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High Risk Player Selby Among 4 To Work Out for Knicks on Friday

On Friday, Kansas’ Josh Selby, Tennessee’s Tobias Harris, UCLA’s Tyler Honeycutt and Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson will work out for the Knicks at the MSG training center. Honeycutt is a 6-8 small forward that’s projected to go in the late first round. He struggles to create a shot for himself which leads many to question his NBA game as a small forward but he is athletic and an all around solid basketball player. Harris is a 6-8 tweener forward that is projected to be a first round pick. Harris was a really good basketball player at Tennessee averaging 15 points a game last year as a freshman. He doesn’t have a great height but his 6’11 wingspan makes up for it somewhat. He can shoot from all spots of the court as well as pass with great touch for a big man. JaJuan Johnson is widely regarded as a bubble first rounder but I think his athleticism should put him in the late first. His basketball IQ and low post game aren’t great but he’s got a lot of athleticism and fantastic leaping ability. Johnson needs to add bulk to his frame to play power forward in the NBA but he’s overall a very athletic player that I like.

By far the most interesting of these prospects is Josh Selby, a high school star that fizzled to a dud during his 1 year Kansas career. While he’s filled with talent and has the potential to be the stud point guard that the Knicks need, I believe the Knicks should steer clear of him. He’s drawn a lot of Willie Warren comparisons. Warren was a beast alongside Blake Griffin in 2008 but as a sophomore he was awful, refused to play D and clashed with his coaches and now plays for the Bakersfield Jam. Selby is a similar case but only without the success part. In Selby’s high school career he committed to Tennessee, then un committed while living off of Carmelo Anthony’s business manager. He started off his NCAA career with a 9 game suspension then failed to make any sort of splash at Kansas.

Why he’s bad for the Knicks: The Knicks draft situation is baron. They have pick 17 this year, no 2nd rounder and no selections next year. The Knicks cannot afford to strike out on a combo guard with giant ego problems. We have enough headaches as it is with Donnie Walsh’s situation, Mike D’Antoni to Toronto rumors and a flawed roster that needs renovation, we don’t need Selby. While he’s got a ton of talent, he’s got 2 tons of baggage to go along with it, and that is why I don’t believe he’s the player we should select on June 23

 

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The Dwight Howard Versus Chris Paul Debate

Today Dwight Howard announced he won’t be signing a contract extension before the July 1 deadline.. With Howard officially putting Orlando in the clock, the Knicks now must decide whether to go after him or New Orleans point guard Chris Paul III. Both are elite players in the NBA and both are free agents after next season barring any extensions being signed. So the debate begins, who should the Knicks go after? Howard or Paul?

Money: Anybody who says the Knicks don’t have the money to get another superstar doesn’t know what they are talking about. As can be found in the useful links section of this site, the Knicks salary situation for the 2012 season leaves them 17 million dollars  to spend under the current salary cap. Now it is probable that the cap will be lowered from the current 58 million dollar cap but with a lower cap will come a lower max contract. In short, it’s very possible for Melo and Amare to drop a couple mil a season to contribute to a 3rd superstar and we will still fit under the cap.

On the court: I believe if given the opportunity to acquire one of these 2 players, there is absolutely no way the Knicks can lose. Chris Paul looked re-energized from his injury in the postseason and looks to build on his strong finish, and when he’s healthy he is one of the top 3 point guards in this league. Dwight Howard is far and away the best center in this league. The sexier pick is Chris Paul, and granted I’d love to see him become a Knick, but if given their pick, I believe the Knicks should sign Dwight Howard. First Howard is 26 and has been injury free while Paul is 26 but has had knee problems and a concussion. The deciding factor for me is how Howard is the best defensive player in today’s NBA. The reigning 3 time NBA defensive player of the year eliminates any inside game an opponent throws towards him. With Melo and Amare’s notoriously lazy defense, Howard would eliminate a lot of defensive deficiencies, especially when it comes to rebounding. On offense, his low post presence would open everything up for Melo and Amare, especially down low. Who on that offense would you double team? It wouldn’t be possible to defend us. As much as I love Chris Paul and he is a great point guard, nobody doubles point guards. Nobody wants to see Paul in a Knicks uniform more than I do, but from a purely basketball standpoint Howard makes more sense for this team. Not only does Howard give the Knicks the center presence we sorely need but he makes everybody else better. He’ll open up the wings for Melo, Toney Douglas, Billups if he’s still around, Fields and the other guys to knock down open 3s. He’ll take double teams off of Amare and Melo and give them more room to operate. We won’t be out rebounded by anybody if we get Howard, he’ll control the glass and allow our defense to cut back on giving up 2nd chance points. While Paul would make us an even better offensive team and provide the ball movement and assists that make offenses go, I believe you can find quality point guards way more easily then you can a dominant center. In today’s era where Howard is far and away the best center with no center even in the same stratosphere, you take the center whenever you can get him.

Conclusion: Go back and look at the great Knick teams of the 90′s, they had Ewing and Starks and a bunch of really good defensive players. Starks was a great player but nowhere on the level of Melo or Amare. If Ewing and a bunch of solid role guys competed against the great Bulls teams, imagine what our big 3 with Dwight could do. Also look at the matchups we’d have against Miami, the team that’s gonna stand between the Knicks and future championships. Miami lacks a great center, I mean Joel Anthony vs Dwight Howard. It’s no contest. Miami’s best offensive game is when they drive and dominate the paint. With the 6’11, 3 time defensive player of the year standing in the paint there is no way Miami would dominate the paint in a 7 game series. With D’antoni’s 7 seconds or less offense making the transition to a halfcourt game, Howard’s post up style of offense would be a great fit. If you look at the Bulls dynasty or this last Laker dynasty, Ron Harper and Derek Fisher were the point guards. Yes they were good point guards but not elite. It’s different for all teams but the past has shown that you can win NBA championships with solid veteran point guards. Its not everyday that Dwight Howard comes walking by, the Knicks would be foolish not to pounce on him in the summer of 2012.

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Jimmer Shines at Knicks Workout

Despite the lack of information that teams give during these workouts, there was one theory confirmed today: the Knicks want Jimmer. According to multiple media reports on twitter, the feel around the Knicks organization is that they were high on all 4 players who worked out today, BYU’s Fredette, Michigan’s Darius Morris, Washington State’s Klay Thompson and Providence’s Marshon Brooks, but the player they want is Jimmer. In the workout, the Knicks paired Jimmer and Klay Thompson in a 2 on 2 game with Darius Morris and Marshon Brooks.  According to ESPN’s Chad Ford,  Fredette made good decisions during the workout confirming the Knicks belief that he can play point guard in the NBA. Word from the workout is that all 4 players played extremely well but Fredette and Thompson shot lights out. That should surprise nobody in that Fredette has a 3 pt range named after him and Thompson led the Pac-10 in scoring.

While it is widely believed and accepted that the Knicks love Jimmer, Frank Isola had an interesting tweet. He tweeted:

I get the feeling that when Donnie Walsh sees Jimmer he thinks Steve Alford, a player he passed on long ago for Reggie Miller.

Obviously nobody but Walsh and his counterparts know what they want so its all mostly useless speculation, but like most, I believe the Knicks want Jimmer badly and could potentially move up for him in the draft.

Image via The New York Knicks

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Melo M7 Advance Release Delayed

Melo’s new M7 Advance was scheduled to be released Thursday but due to demand for the shoe, the release date has been pushed back to June 11. The shoes will not be available online, only in select New York shoe retailers such as House of Hoops on 11 W 34th street or on 268 W 125th street.

Image via The Shoe Game

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