Wednesday, August 19, 2009
ESPN's Chad Ford broke wind last week with completely unsurprising news concerning the Knicks "rebuilding plan."
Here's a sample of his insights, "[a]s we get closer and closer to the summer of 2010, the undertaking seems aptly named. The salary cap is shrinking, the Knicks' top free agents are demanding huge contracts, and they are still without a solid talent base to lure top free agents next summer. So the Knicks' championship-contending restoration appears to be on shaky ground."
When was the plan ever on solid earf? Donnie Walsh's Plan A was to cash in on a decent but not great run in Indiana. Plan B was sign LeG.O.D.D., Plan C was sign LeG.O.D.D., Plan D was sign LeG.O.D.D., Plan E was to sign one of the fake members of the LeBron family from those mildly amusing Nike commercials. Plan F was to sign Dwayne Wade. Plan G was to sign Chris Bosh. Plan H was to quit smokin' Kools.
At least Plan H has worked out.
Now, he's done a decent job of clearing out pricey contracts. Hasn't translated to lower ticket prices or a lower cable bill.
And trading pricey contracts for nothing in return isn't exactly rocket-scientific-mapp. Rebuilding means actually rebuilding. It means seeking out extra draft picks. It means scouring Europe for young players that have sound backs. It means trading for or signing scrappy young players that may not be stars but perform actual basketball tasks besides chucking up 3's. It means being patient.
Rebuilding does not mean pinning your hopes on signing one free agent and wasting two years in the process. Buildings are built by digging into the earf, establishing a foundation and building up from there, not by half-heartedly jamming a bunch of sticks together in quicksand, then buying the best load-bearing beam in the world from Cleveland and stuffing it in there.
Thankfully, potential deals for Grant Hill and Jason Kidd fizzled this summer. I'd rather see the team bottom out and get high draft picks than tread the path of borderline playoff competitveness. I'd rather see the team lose with Wilson Chandler, Chris Duhon and David Lee and wait for other youngsters to join the squidad then see Dwayne Wade be the latest to make a mockery of John Starks' number. No offense to Flashy, but those knees will be shakier than Barbaro's by 2011.
Time and time again, the media and N.Y. G.M.'s would have the rest of the country believe that New Yorkers are not patient, that they will not tolerate a rebuilding club. Yet non-Yankee NY sports fans have had to endure more shiznit than almost any fan base in the country. The greater NY area has 10 teams in the 5 major team sports (Yanks, Mets, Gints, Jets, Knicks, Nets, 'Gers, Devs, Isles, and the Red Bulls, bro). Of those 10 teams, 2.5 are consistent winners/seem to have a clue as to what they're doing (the Yanks and Devs and sometimes the Gints). The rest have all at one time or another ignored building ground-up success in favor of the buy-the-ageing-star route.
If anything, New York sports fans have more patience then Slash stroking his snake in a roomful of whores. Give peace, and Patrick Ewing, Jr., a chance.