The Blog About Nothing 12/12 Edition

BaN BrooklynWhat 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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About Earl (EJ) Brewster 284 Articles
Born, raised, and still reside in Brooklyn, New York. I'm in my mid 30's, and I love sports, music, politics, and blogging about real life. You can find me on Twitter at @EJ_Brooklyn_Own

7 Comments

  1. “You got blisters on me fingers”??? (Apologies to one of the Beatles)

    Not much to disagree with about your thinking the Nets (a team I’ve rooted for since the Dr.J days) & I really can’t disagree with your thoughts on the Knicks either, but, if, I may… some observations…

    1) Carmelo ain’t good enough to be the lone great guy on a team… he should have went to someplace like LA, or, maybe Miami, or, even Cleveland… took less money… and, maybe win that elusive championship.

    2) While, what you say about implementing the triangle may be true… I, also, think you need the personnel to implement it… the Knicks do not have the personnel…

  2. Yeah my wrists were starting to cramp up a little. I don’t have to type much for the job, and my blogs had been leaner the past few weeks so this was a bit of a stretch for me this week.

    As far as your points: I do agree with you that Melo cannot do it on his own. The Nuggets teams around him didn’t have great success and despite making it to the second round a few seasons ago he’s been a bit of a bust with the Knicks (harsh I know but let’s face it).

    As far as your 2nd point: the Knicks absolutely do not have the personnel but this is not the first time someone from the Phil Jackson coaching tree has tried to implement the triangle only for it to be a spectacular failure. The Knicks do not have the personnel, and that’s something they knew going into the season so why are they still stuck in this offense? If Fisher or Jackson had any flexibility they would have dumped this thing weeks ago.

    That’s why I give full credit to Steve Kerr. If Kerr took this Knicks job he would have implemented the triangle, but clearly he is a man of his own convictions because the Warriors aren’t running the triangle. They’re running something similar to what the Suns were during Kerr’s stay in Phoenix and it is working for them. He has that flexibility. That’s something Fisher and Jackson need ASAP.

  3. I’m not sure Melo is really built to be a great player. Awesome scorer, yes, but how do you build around his skillset? He brings next to nothing to the table BUT scoring- something you need, but unless you are shooting 60%, there just isn’t much he’s going to do. Its almost like he has to age- like Vince Carter- before he’s a worthy addition to a title team.

  4. Garnett? Absolutely. I still got love for the big fella (and I bought a Garnett #2 t-shirt last time I was at Barclays) but the big man is done. Pierce? He can still contribute. Don’t’ get me wrong he’s not the player he was with the Celtics but I think his veteran leadership is something the Nets are missing and something the Wizards are cherishing.

  5. I’ve seen comparisons of Carmelo to Dominique Wilkins. I’m old enough to remember ‘Nique and I absolutely agree that Melo on his own isn’t a great player. Not at all. His best attribute is his scoring, same as Dominique. He can build a Hall of Fame career off of it, but he won’t come close to winning a title. Like Dominique.

    Carmelo needs to be surrounded by equal talent. I have serious doubts of the Knicks attracting that talent though. Phil is a legend, and New York City is one of the World’s great cities (it isn’t hometown bias it’s just freaking true) but it’s hard to attract players who want to be here. New York is a beast and I’ve said it time and time again but it takes a certain athlete to win and thrive here. Looking out at the prospective free agent market for 2015 and 2016 I don’t see the player or players it would take to get Melo there. He’d be better off leaving and going to a team that’s already built up. Why I was pushing so hard for him to join the Rockets, Clippers, or even the Warriors. Playing with one of those three squads would have definitely been better for him. More so than the Bulls who were reportedly his 2nd choice.

  6. Although not part of the container for 112 ounces, my sister-in-law Anabel celebrates her continued existence on Dec. 19. She, Earl, and Jane can cuddle up to Ludwig v.B. right before the holidays.

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