August 29th 2008: The Frederic Weis era officially ends
Frederic Weis officially ended his Knicks career, or lack there-of, on this date when GM Donnie Walsh traded his draft rights to the Houston Rockets for Patrick Ewing Jr.
Weis only suited up for a few summer league games after he was drafted 15th overall in the 1999 NBA Draft. He was chosen above NY’s own Ron Artest (now Metta World Peace) and several other players who made more immediate impacts in the league. Artest infamously got drunk the night before his scheduled workout with the Knicks, which is why the team did not draft him. However, the Knicks saw Weis as a potential frontcourt piece. Continue reading →
I recently reached out to Coach Fizdale requesting a one-on-one interview about the upcoming season – his goals, his rotation, coaching adjustments he planned to make – and he said, “I’ll do you one better! How ’bout you hook my brain up to a psychological supercomputer and read my thoughts while I work!” I thought it was an odd request but, of course, agreed.
What follows is a live transcript – August 19th, 2019 – as he works on his rotation:
Alright, baby! This is the year! I got the green light from Pat for true positionlessness, so here we go: ‘Bron at the one, D at the…
[Realizes where he is, sobs for approximately 46 minutes]1One for every year since the Knicks’ last title
Get it together, Fiz. I mean, bright side – at least you’re not in Memphis. Right? You good? Good. Back to Fizness. New York Knickerbockers. Go New York Go New York Go. We on our way up, and Step One is beating last year’s win total. Shouldn’t be hard with the talent we added. Just gotta find the right combinations. Let’s go. Starting five…
Payton / Barrett / Knox / Randle / Robinson
Duh. Now, rest of the ten-man…wait a second. Uhh, Allan Houston, we have a problem. We’re trying to win games, and I’m pretty sure to do that someone’s gonna have to stick a jump shot. I mean, Julius is the best three-point shooter in this lineup! 2At least by 2018-19 3P% Nah. Can’t do it. Yeah, Knox looked good in Vegas, but lots of stuff looks good in Vegas; then you sober up and you’re…never mind. Point is, until he does it in a real game, it ain’t real…
And who’s playing defense in front of Mitch here? Payton’s alright, and Julius’s 8-pack might scare some people, but no. No good. Ball-handling and play-making, sure, but no shooting and very little D. Can’t win that way.
Payton / Trier / Barrett / Randle / Robinson
Shooting’s up at least. I love Zo. Love him. His near-40% from deep should help us do some things. Four guys who can get into the paint, two-and-a-half that’ll create for others, the best rim-runner in basketball…but…ahhhhhh.
I love Zo but I don’t love him and RJ together, at least not to start. Both need the ball, and so does Elf since he can’t spot up, and Julius is going at his man off the bounce…
Payton / Dotson / Barrett / Randle / Robinson
Dot’s good without it, and he’s probably our best perimeter defender, except wasn’t their some French dude? Is he still on the team? Anyway, this is more balanced. Let’s settle here for now. So who does that…well, might be easier to do it this way: who’s out of the rotation altogether?
Reggie B – street clothes for a while.
Big Taj – I like him, and I’m gonna play him, but spot minutes.
IGGY – I LOVE this kid. And how’s that saying go? Love means never having to spell his last name properly? But where are the minutes coming from? We’ll bring him along slow. Wait for injuries. Turn him loose in 2020.
Wayne – The guard version of Taj – just lead and stay ready and I’ll get him PT when I can.
Knick-a-leena? – That’s his name! Frank whatever. Great defender, unselfish, leadership qualities…but he drives blindly into four defenders so…
That leaves these reserves:
Smith / Trier / Knox / Morris / Portis
Okay, shooters in the frontcourt – think of the space that’ll create for DSJ and Zo! And if Kev’s shot is fallin’, that’s four good shooters! And you seen those videos of Denny working on his mechanics? This ain’t bad. Defense still an issue, though. Lots of pressure on Twin to lead this unit, but that’s what the 15 mil is for…
Who passes in this lineup? I’m not even talking, like, a good passer – who’s a willing passer? I mean, yeah, I love reckless aggression as much as the next guy, but you need at least one…
If he’s finally put the J back in DSJ, then this works. Slight step back on defense, maybe, but Junior did average almost a steal-and-a-half with us last year. What he lacks in actually stopping guys he makes up for in pressure and steals, right? Right?
And that second unit now – a pure facilitator surrounded by shooters! Done. Let’s not overthink it. Let’s not worry about what the media will say about Kev bumped from the starters, or the fact we got $38 million in free agency money coming off the bench…
…this is the most balanced these lineups are gonna get: facilitators and scorers, shooters and drivers, defense and, well, no defense…maybe it changes after watching these guys work out and scrimmage, maybe it changes in training camp, maybe injuries force me to change things, but for now, this is what we’re going with! Boom!
Now the fun sh**: specialty lineups!
BIG AS BIG GETS Barrett / Knox / Morris / Randle / Robinson
Part of me wanted to play Randle at the two or three to make room for Portis, but that’d be ridiculous. Or would it? #positionless
BIG BUT MORE TRADITIONAL Barrett / Dotson / Knox / Randle / Robinson
BIG WITH MORE SHOOTING Barrett / Dotson / Morris / Portis / Robinson
I can’t wait to turn RJ loose at the one. It’ll be Harden-esque. This writer sitting next to me would call my Harden-RJ comparison insanely premature and unreasonable…just don’t get so excited that you say it out loud, Fiz!
SMALL Payton / Trier / Barrett / Knox / Randle
I really wanna see the Knox-Randle frontcourt. I know, revolving door on D, but that offense? Watch out, now. Five athletes, five ball-handlers…I can run my offense through my center!
Maybe I should put in an offense…
ALL SHOOTING, ALL THE TIME Trier / Ellington / Dotson / Morris / Portis
Or as I like to think of them:
39.4% / 40.3% / 36.8% / 37.5% / 39.3%
In an ideal world, Knox will shoot his way into this, and then, my boy: IGGGGGYYYYYYY!!!! Man, I can’t wait for trade season to make room for Ignatius. Ignacio. Ig – whatever. Bro-zeikis. Love that kid.
NO PASSING…AS IN, WILL TRY TO INBOUND TO HIMSELF AFTER MADE BASKETS TO GO COAST TO COAST
Trier / Barrett / Knox / Morris / Portis
Hell yeah, this is what I’m talking about. Keep-what-you-kill thoroughbreds, forget about the white noise and go get me buckets. RJ’s got the potential to grow out of this lineup, but my four guys with NBA experience? Averaged a COMBINED 5.9 assists per last year. That stat can’t be right, can…yep. Yep, it’s right. Four men. 5.9 assists. WOW.
We got a 24-year-old and a 25-year-old in our “Experience” lineup, and media will still find ways to kill us for late-game meltdowns. This city is a beast, man.
Bullock, if healthy, would be in here somewhere, since he’s going into Year Six, but I don’t see him suiting up at all this season if I’m being honest with myself. At least not for us. Weird deal, the way that all went down.
Gimme a second, just trying…okay, sorry…almost threw up. Too much unselfishness. Can’t stomach it.
Actually, now that my nausea’s subsiding, I kinda like this lineup. Enough defense to hide Julius, I can run the offense through him and Payton, got Dot working off the ball for open jumpers, Prince coming off a World Cup run and some summer Instagram workouts…you know what? These Frankie lineups are interesting. Maybe I’ve had him all wrong. Maybe he belongs in the rotation. Maybe I need to rethink my starting lineup…
August 15th 2005: The New York Knicks use their Amnesty Provision on Jerome Williams
As part of the 2005 NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NBA agreed to include an Amnesty Provision to rid teams of one of their biggest contract regrets. This rule was colloquially known as the Allan Houston Rule due to the $100 million contract the Knicks offered him. Knee injuries forced Houston to miss 94 games over the previous 2 seasons. Houston also had 2 years and $40 million remaining on his contract. Continue reading →
August 8th 2017: The New York Knicks sign Michael Beasley & Ramon Sessions
Two of the first few acquisitions under the Scott Perry Era were Michael Beasley & Ramon Sessions. The Knicks signed both players to one year contracts. Beasley spent the previous season with the Milwaukee Bucks. He played serviceable minutes off the bench backing up Giannis Antetokounmpo and proved to be a consistent 6th man with his offensive prowess. Sessions played 50 games with the Charlotte Hornets in the previous season before missing most of the 2nd of the year recovering from a lateral meniscus tear in his knee. Continue reading →
August 7th 2006: The New York Knicks sign Jared Jeffries
The Knicks signed Jared Jeffries to the mid-level exception of 5 years and $30 million. While Isiah Thomas clearly overpaid for Jeffries, he attempted to bring in a defensive and versatile presence to a roster that not only didn’t defend and was often one dimensional on both ends of the floor. Continue reading →
August 6th 2013: The New York Knicks sign Jeremy Tyler
After a nice summer league performance, the New York Knicks signed Jeremy Tyler to a training camp contract. However, Tyler underwent foot surgery a month later that would sideline him for 8-10 weeks. For some strange reason, the Knicks cut Tyler before the regular season started to keep Chris Smith, JR Smith’s brother, on the roster.
Fortunately, saner minds prevailed as the Knicks cut Smith and re-signed Tyler after the latter rehabilitated from his injury. Tyler played 41 games with the Knicks and hand some decent highlights with the team. Tyler played in Summer League in 2014, but was traded to the Sacramento Kings in a cap-clearing deal. Since the deal, Tyler spent his career on various teams overseas.