Remembering a Legend

I have a confession: When I was a kid, I started out as a Lakers fan. My parents aren’t exactly sports fans so I was left to forge my own path. And while I eventually let geography dictate my fandom, the Lakers provided the foundation for a love of a sport that would only intensify over time. 

Everyone has a favorite Kobe memory. Mine? The second game I ever saw in-person was Kobe and Shaq at the Garden.1 The one memory I’ve retained from that game, other than the 104-83 drubbing, is Kobe hitting a mid-range jumper and jogging up the court. It was so easy and… effortless. And sure, many other more iconic memories come to mind, but that memory was iconic to me.

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How can the Knicks land a franchise cornerstone?

Some moons ago on a podcast, Jon and I discussed whether or not the Knicks should trade for Brandon Ingram. While we may have disagreed on whether to trade for Ingram or not, what we did agree upon was that it would take quite a bit to acquire Ingram, and that he has the potential to be an excellent wing. The trouble is that, as good as he is, he’s unlikely to become a top-10 player in the NBA.

The conversation got me thinking: How can the Knicks get a top-10 player that aligns with their long term vision? What can the team do differently compared with the last time they acquired a top-10 player in a trade in Carmelo Anthony?

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Kiss da Rings, Pal

If you’re like me, this week’s been bleak for you as a Knicks fan. While last night’s win against the Warriors was a comforting pick-me-up like an iced Dunkin coffee on a sweltering day 2, the Knicks’ organizational dysfunction is still very much a topic of conversation.

Alan Hahn had a well-thought out thread yesterday, illustrating the Knicks’ lack of a plan and the need to throw out the old guard and start anew. What Hahn said wasn’t revolutionary but it got me thinking about what successful teams do look like. Enter: the New York Yankees, less than two days removed from signing one of the best pitchers in baseball, Gerrit Cole.

It would seem inconceivable to compare the Yankees, a model for perennial winning, with the Knicks, an example of consistent losing. We learn more from our failures than we do from our successes, but if the Knicks continue to not learn from what’s gone wrong, the least they can do is look at an organization that’s had plenty go right. What can we learn from the Yankees that can be applied to the Knicks?

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Too Much or Not Enough?

Once upon a time, I started a short-term, contract job I accepted through a temp agency. The position was in a field I had a significant interest in and I was thrilled to get started. During the first week, I realized both the job and the field of interest weren’t a fit. My boss knew it too. I privately planned my exit the second week and went back to another place I had turned down, asking if the position had been filled. One afternoon of the third week, I was offered that role and verbally committed. The goal was to sign my paperwork and give my notice the next day.

In a twist of fate, I received an email from my recruiter at the temp agency the day I verbally agreed to leave. “Can we talk later this afternoon?” It was lunchtime, I had an incredible amount of work to do, and I wanted to break the news that I was leaving to her the next day. She wrote back saying no. “We really need to chat today.”

Oh shit, I thought. I’m getting fired.

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The Only Way Up is Down

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the vets not excelling
And everyone telling you the end is neeeeeeeeeeeear
It’s the most wonderful time of the year

It’s the crap-crappiest season of all
With some December beatings and the season’s fleeting
Randle please pass the baaaaaaaaaaaall
It’s the crap-crappiest season of all

There’s allowed coast to coasting
Knox defense for roasting
And several DNPs for Zo
There’ll be plenty of stories
And tales of the glories of
Ewing’s Knicks long, long ago

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
There’ll be some players going
And we’ll soon be knowing
If Fizdale’s still heeeeeeeeeeeere
It’s the most wonderful time
Yes the most wonderful time
Oh the most wonderful time
Of the yeeeeeeeeeeeear

Ah, December, the month that seemingly always breaks the Knicks. New York hasn’t survived December without either a losing season or some sort of skid for six years. It doesn’t appear this year will be any different.

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Assessing The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of New York’s Brain Trust

As the Knicks reach what I can only imagine is DEFCON 2, I’m left wondering how those who eventually remain will pick up the pieces and put this lovable pile of steaming turds back together. You see, firing everyone is the easy part. Tearing it down is simple. It’s the rebuilding where, as you’re likely well aware, things can go awry.

That’s why I’m assessing the chants, diving deeper, and trying to make sense of what would follow after firings. Without further ado…

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What’s the Point (Guard)?

Once Kevin Durant tore his Achilles, this year was going to be one of two things: 1) A potential playoff team, carried by another star, with a roster catered towards those two big name players or 2) A 17-win squad with a few starting-caliber players. If you don’t already know, it’s now the latter.

It’s only been three games – three games – and yet the season already feels like it’s slipping away from the Knicks. I truly, truly wish I was being overdramatic. And hell, maybe I am, but the near future feels incredibly daunting.

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