Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Josh's Corner: Dear Knicks, please win at least 35 games

With the New York Knicks season getting underway tonight against Miami, our Los Angeles correspondent Josh Garcia gives us another column asking his (and my) beloved Knicks to step it up this year.

The worst franchise in sports is preparing for the upcoming season and I’m excited about it. I mean how can you not be, it can only be uphill from here right? I mean the Knicks have had the highest payroll and no outstanding players for far too long. So I’m going to put on my GM or VP of operations hat for this one.

First off the new coach, Mike D’Antoni, is a great replacement for the other guy that I won’t bash right now due to the circumstances. I mean how can you go wrong with this guy? D’Antoni comes from a worldly knowledge of basketball having played in the NBA, ABA and in Europe. He was Kobe Bryant’s idol growing up in Italy when he was on Olimpio Milano. Kobe even wore number 8 for a while because it was D’Antoni’s number. If you’ve watched any Phoenix Suns game in the last couple years then you know his system is full throttle, exciting and fun to watch... but that’s if you have the proper players, and the Knicks right now don’t.

Lets start with the 3 big men - Zack Randolph, Eddy Curry and Jerome James - or you might refer to them as the bad guys from Space Jam, only they can’t dunk from half court. They are big and slow and like to post up and use their strength. That is all fine but when you bring in a coach that runs and guns you need guys like Luis Scola, Joakim Noah and Mikki Moore. I could be wrong but I am looking forward to see how that works. Indications are it won’t with Curry, who might not even be in D'Antoni's 9-man rotation.

There is no easy way to say this, so get rid of Stephon Marbury, please. Starbury has only been on one winning team ever and that was way back in Minnesota. He’s made stops in New Jersey and Phoenix since. Either he is cursed by the stars or just really unlucky. If you ever get some free time at work, look up his team’s record and then look at what they did when he left. I would spit out the numbers but seeing is believing. I say the Knicks could trade him to Golden State but I don’t think they would give the Knicks anything in return. I say during these hard economic times when the market and jobs are in their current state we just give Steph to the Warriors. We just say “remember this around Christmas,” wink wink.

I can’t be mad at Coach D’Antoni for picking an Italian in the draft. He knew the kids father and I think he may be the only coach in the NBA that speaks Italian. Maybe Lawrence Frank speaks a little bit but they teach everyone in the 11th grade a language.

There were a few wacky front office decisions that I would not have made. Allan Houston would not have come to camp. Patrick Ewing Jr. would be on the team instead of Anthony Roberson. After all, why would you trade for Ewing Jr. only to cut him? Oh wait, the guy they traded him for was the guy who Vince Carter posterized in 2000. That’s the guy that got completely jumped over like VC was on a trampoline. Youtube it.

But at least having Ewing Jr. would make us reminisce about when the Knicks were good. Their last winning season was 2000-01 when they went 48-34. They have been last place 3 out of the last 4 seasons, and yeah, I remember they got in the playoffs when they were 39-43 but I’m not counting that because the East was terrible that year. So I’m hoping this year Coach D’Antoni can lead the Knicks to at least 35 wins, and at least be in the playoff race for some of the season. That may not seem like I’m shooting very high but when you’ve followed this team you know that prediction might be reaching for the Starburys.

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