What up world? This your boy Earl and I’m back with another edition of The Blog About Nothing. This blog has gone into some interesting spaces the past few weeks. It’s gone from Kim Kardashian, Bill Cosby, my beef with Social Media, and finally to my lack of finding the right words to the Michael Brown/Eric Garner non-indictments. As I try to blog from the heart, from time to time, it’s safe to say that I’ve been on a bit of a roller-coaster. So, while I sit here listening to Charles Hamilton And Then They Played Dilla (I’ve been listening to a lot of Charles’ music lately, as I was a big fan of the man’s work) I’m going to try and steer this blog back to what it was: my way of expressing my opinions, and occasional venting, about sports. Let’s see how it goes. Let’s do this!
Forget what I just said. I switched off the Charles Hamilton. No disrespect to Charles but if I’m going to listen to him flow over J Dilla beats, I might as well as listen to the original. So, let me cue up the J Dilla Donuts album and I’ll get into this blog thing. Rest In Peace to the great producer J Dilla. If you’re into well worked soul samples, then you should take the time and listen to Donuts, but also any music produced by the man J Dilla. RIP JD. Now, let’s to this!
The best way to bring this back to sports, is to start in my hometown and to start with my favorite sport: basketball. The Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks are both in shambles right now. I wish it was the first time I said those words, but both teams have been pretty poor for the past few seasons now. The Knicks are one of the worst teams in the National Basketball Association and the Nets aren’t too far behind them. Both teams have new head coaches, and rosters that could use some changing. It’s hard to see either team making a real impact this season, but I want to give my State of the Nets/Knicks union this week.
I’ll start off in my home borough of Brooklyn. When the Nets traded for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Joe Johnson no one was happier than I. Add that to the earlier acquisition of Deron Williams and I thought the Nets built a legitimate contender. In reality what the Nets built was an over priced train wreck. Pierce left as a free agent to the Washington Wizards, Garnett is absolutely finished as a player, Williams and Johnson both look like they don’t want to be here, and their big men are talented but a bit inadequate. Also, if you attend a Nets game at the beautiful Barclays Center, you’ll find out that the Nets have no real home court advantage. Due to the influx of out of towners that have flooded Brooklyn the past 10 years or so, there really isn’t that “this is Brooklyn” vibe at the Barclays. As I recently discovered at a Nets vs. Heat game, there were more Heat fans in the building than Nets fans. It was disgusting!!
The Nets have gotten off to an 8-12 start under their new head coach Lionel Hollins. I should admit that I’ve never been a big Hollins fan. Why? While, he was successful in Memphis, I find him to be too divisive. Case in point: while the Nets have only played 20 games (out of an 82 game season) he’s already been in public spats with Brook Lopez, Mason Plumlee, Joe Johnson, and Deron Williams. You just got here and you’re calling guys out already? Not a good look. It has gotten to the point that Lopez, Williams, and Johnson have already been placed on the trade block. The Nets are paying the most luxury tax out of all the NBA franchises so to pay that much money for a team that isn’t close to a title is a tough pill to swallow. So, I understand putting the players out there BUT those guys make a ton of money and they have some years left on their deals.
I’m unsure if they’ll find any takers for the 2 years and about $30 million left on Lopez’ deal or the $46 million or so left for Joe Johnson, and they likely will have a tough time getting Deron Williams and his $57 million or so owed to him off their wage bill. There are some teams with large contracts out there to be dealt, and teams like the Philadelphia 76’ers and the Los Angeles Lakers could accomodate the Nets to take a player or two off of the wage bill, but Billy King the General Manager of the Nets have a tough job ahead of him. It might be easier for the Nets to reshuffle the deck on the Titanic, and just look to part ways with Garnett and some of their lesser players just to change things up a bit. That probably won’t be the dramatic change the franchise needs but it’ll likely do for now. However, the blessing for the Nets is that they play in the shitty conference that is known as the Eastern Conference. Right now, that 8-12 record gets them into the playoffs. As long as they can hold off Boston, Orlando, and Charlotte (who have worst records but probably better rosters) then this sad sack of a franchise will make the postseason. Even with their high wage bill, horrible head coach, and disgruntled players.
Turning my attention to the borough of Manhattan, and the New York Knicks, we’ll find a franchise that is a complete and utter disaster. The thing with the Knicks is that people keep forgetting that this franchise has been downright terrible for about 15 years now. They’ve missed the playoffs far more than they have made it since their last NBA Championship appearance in 1999. However, the Knicks have finally hit rock bottom under head coach Derek Fisher and team president Phil Jackson. The Knicks are 4-20. The only person excited about seeing 4-20 and the Knicks is J.R. Smith. If you didn’t get that joke, then I can’t help you. I can’t. Fisher in his first year as a head coach, after a long and successful playing career, looks absolutely lost out there. His, and Phil Jackson’s insistence on running the triangle offense is killing this team. What Phil may not understand is that the only person that can coach the triangle is him, however with the island of misfit toys that is the Knicks roster, I don’t think even he could turn this sad sack of players into a winning franchise.
The Knicks suck y’all. Don’t think I can say that enough. J.R. Smith has become a big locker room nuisance, Tim Hardaway Jr. has become an issue, and now comes word via the New York Post that Carmelo Anthony may consider dropping his no trade clause and ask to be dealt to a team of his choice if this situation doesn’t get better. Truth be told, I’m skeptical of the Post’s reporting, but I am even more skeptical of Carmelo. If Melo really wanted to play for a winner why did he even choose the Knicks? While no one could have predicted the Knicks would start 4-20, it was common knowledge that this season was going to be a bad one because of the underperfoming roster. No one had the Knicks pegged as a playoff team before the season started. No one. If Melo really wanted to win, the smart thing would have been to take less money and head to Chicago or Houston. However, here he is: frustrated, angry, and barring a miracle from Phil Jackson he is stuck with J.R. and company as his teammates.
All I know is Steve Kerr, Phil’s first choice for the Knicks job, must be thanking his lucky stars that he chose to spur Phil and take the Golden State Warriors job. The Warriors have been playing outstanding basketball and have an NBA leading record of 19-2. Steve chose a winner and you can’t fault him. Look at the talent the Warriors have and then look at that Knicks roster. You’ll see it’s no contest that the Warriors are elite while the Knicks are shit. The Knicks are dog shit. No, the Knicks are a huge pile of horse manure. Huge fucking pile. However, they are supported by rabid fans and an electric arena that is Madison Square Garden. If the Knicks have any hope, it’s that the fans will come and the Knicks will likely have a high lottery pick to build around for next season.
However, before we get to next season, we got to finish out this season. December 15th marks the unofficial start of trade season in the NBA and as I have mentioned both franchises want to and need to do some dealing. The Nets want to deal their top three salaries, and still compete (laughable but that’s their aim) while the Knicks need to deal guys like Smith, Hardaway, and likely Iman Shumpert in an effort to keep Carmelo on board. Billy King of the Nets and Phil Jackson of the Knicks will be busy men over the next few months but I think both guys can help each other. Despite J.R. Smith being a complete and total knucklehead I think his scoring can help the Nets off the bench, while I look at Deron Williams and I can’t help but think that he is the big point guard that Phil Jackson would covet. Now the money doesn’t work so the Knicks will have to throw a couple of players at the Nets, or throw in one big salary in Amare Stoudemire, which would allow the Nets to dump another player or two on the Knicks but I think a deal based around those two wouldn’t be bad.
I also think the Charlotte Hornets could help both teams. I need to admit that I was mistaken. I thought Brooklyn native Lance Stephenson would have been a plus on the Charlotte Hornets roster. Boy was I wrong. It’s early but it appears Lance has already worn out his welcome with head coach Steve Clifford. Maybe, just maybe, one of his hometown franchises can bring him back. Lance is a knucklehead as well but he plays defense. Something both of these teams could use. Also as aforementioned the Sixers and Lakers could help either team out. The Sixers could take on salary and trade little or nothing in return, and the Lakers have two big and valuable contracts in Steve Nash and Jeremy Lin who both are free agents after the season. So, as difficult that it may appear for the Knicks and Nets to deal their players I think something can get done between Monday and the trade deadline in February. Stay tuned though. As bad basketball New York City style keeps turning, you might want to pay attention to the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks.
I’m done. I haven’t typed this much in weeks and my fingers are hurting. Thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting www.7poundbag.com. Peace.
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