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Evilmav2
02-22-2006, 02:54 AM
http://www.nba.com/media/rockets/francis040108-1.jpg
Knicks Close In On Francis Trade

Deal with Orlando for All-Star nearing completion
Posted: Tuesday February 21, 2006 1:24PM; Updated: Tuesday February 21, 2006 1:32PM

Could Stevie Franchise soon be bound for Broadway?

The Knicks and Magic are close to a deal that would send three-time All-Star guard Steve Francis to New York for a package of players, according to two league sources. Details of the trade were still being worked out, according to one of the sources, who emphasized that it had yet to be completed. The Magic apparently have decided to wait until the last minute before Thursday's trade deadline to see if any better offers come up.

If the trade goes through, it would represent yet another high-profile acquisition for Knicks president Isiah Thomas, who already has added Larry Brown, Quentin Richardson, Eddy Curry and Jalen Rose this season alone. The 6-foot-3 Francis has averaged 19.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.4 assists over his seven-year NBA career. He would join Stephon Marbury to form a backcourt with a combined five All-Star appearances.

The Knicks apparently are ready to send three players, including two regular members of the rotation, to Orlando in the deal. Neither team's officials will comment on any ongoing trade talks, but it is likely Jamal Crawford and Maurice Taylor would be included. The Magic are in a rebuilding mode, and the 6-5 Crawford is considered an intriguing young talent who would be able to ste in and help fill the team's hole at shooting guard. Taylor would likely be included to help make the salaries match Francis' $13.7 million a year.

Francis, who was traded from Houston to Orlando last season as part of the Tracy McGrady deal, has been unhappy with his role this season under new Magic coach Brian Hill. Last month he refused to re-enter a game late in a blowout loss at Seattle, and was suspended two games. He later apologized, but the Magic soon after decided to listen to offers for a possible trade.

Francis, who celebrates his 29th birthday Tuesday, might welcome a change of scenery. He clearly has looked frustrated this season, and heads into the post All-Star break averaging career-lows in points (16.3) rebounds (4.8), assists (5.7) and three-point shooting (25.7 percent). He recently came out and admitted his play had become affected by constant trade rumors.

As of last week, the Nuggets were considered the front-runner to acquire Francis in a trade. But Denver reportedly was leery of picking up the remainder of his contract (three years, $49 million). The Knicks, already owners of the league's highest payroll, have no such concerns.

http://www.realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/39248/20060221/knicks_close_in_on_francis_trade/

EricaLubarsky
02-22-2006, 03:16 AM
can I say it?

What in the hell?

Marbury, Francis, Robinson...maybe Crawford?

Evilmav2
02-22-2006, 03:23 AM
It's beautiful isn't it :D? (As long as you aren't a Knick's fan)

Stranger
02-22-2006, 04:21 AM
Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

Do you think they can assemble a starting line of shoot-first, ball-hogging point guards? Maybe trade for Baron Davis, let Jalen Rose start center...

atrewsfan
02-22-2006, 07:58 AM
Isaiah is aggressive in terms of trying to improve the team, but:

"There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)

MavKikiNYC
02-22-2006, 09:01 AM
You almost want to go to MSG just to see the spectacle. It's like going into the freak show at the carnival.

Watching Marbury and Francis fighting for the ball on the perimeter is really going to speed Eddy "Chicken" Curry's development.

Bring on the monkey sex.

sixeightmkw
02-22-2006, 09:20 AM
Isaiah was a great basketball player, but is a very stupid owner. or what ever he is.

grbh
02-22-2006, 11:47 AM
If this fails, and I think it will, don't ya'll think this will be Isiah's last hurrah in NYC.

I know the papers in NY have been crucifying him for some time. Me thinks the hammer will fall at the end of the season if the Knicks don't play dramatically better after this trade.

orangedays
02-22-2006, 12:03 PM
This is just conjecture but it may be possible that Thomas is trading for Francis as a replacement for Marbury?

Nash13
02-22-2006, 01:35 PM
Reportedly Completed.

They say it's for Penny/Ariza. I really dislike Francis, but what a steal. That's a first for the Knicks.

Dtownsfinest
02-22-2006, 01:41 PM
IF that's the deal you can't argue with it. Knicks clearly got the better end of the deal. Especially if their plan is to move Starbury. STARbury and FranCHISE on the same team. Larry Brown is a genius if he gets this to work. A core of Eddy Curry, Channing Frye, Q-Rich, Steve Francis and Stephon Marbury isn't half bad. I'm not sure what lineup the Knicks are running out there though. I think they may have Jalen Rose starting over Q-Rich.

Rhylan
02-22-2006, 02:17 PM
Francis, Rose and Marbury... three career losers. They are the NBA equivalent of Ross Perot's NAFTA -- their presence creates a giant sucking sound.

Quentin Richardson is overrated, too... unless you can put him back with Nash, Marion, and Amare, he's going nowhere. He used to pound his fists on his head with Darius Miles, remember? That removes all credibility. :)

MavsFanFinley
02-22-2006, 02:36 PM
Surely they have something else lined up now that the Francis deal is complete. Tell me they won't stick with that roster for the rest of the season.

MavKikiNYC
02-22-2006, 02:44 PM
IF that's the deal you can't argue with it. Knicks clearly got the better end of the deal. Especially if their plan is to move Starbury. STARbury and FranCHISE on the same team. Larry Brown is a genius if he gets this to work. A core of Eddy Curry, Channing Frye, Q-Rich, Steve Francis and Stephon Marbury isn't half bad. I'm not sure what lineup the Knicks are running out there though. I think they may have Jalen Rose starting over Q-Rich.

If that's the deal, ...wow. It makes you wonder exactly why Orlando is willing to let him go for so little. Sometimes less is more.

Haven't ever heard a serious word (only message board conjecture) about them trying to move Starbury. Don't think they're looking to at this point. What's more, wouldn't make any sense. They're clones, though Marbury seems to've been the steadier producer. Probably another trade to come, but it's almost certain to involve Crawford.

Rose has moved ahead of Q-Rich (who's been injured) into the starting rotation. Looking at an opening lineup of Marbury, Francis, Rose, X and Curry--no defense, no one who plays without the ball. Rose is the best one at creating for teammates, but he's 33. They're not going to build around him.

I expect Brown to retire before he gets real production out of a Starbury/Franchise combo, but hell....let'em play. They're not likely to get worse.

Crazy.

dalmations202
02-22-2006, 03:01 PM
Just what the development of Nate Robinson needed, another me first PG to learn from.................LOL

dirno2000
02-22-2006, 03:17 PM
So now Larry Brown has two point guards who are on record as not wanting to play point guard.

Seriously, why even try to play defense at this point? The one thing they have is fire power so why not just push the ball up the court and try to get 105 a night...at least that would be entertaining. In fact, bring back Nellie for a couple of years.

MikeB
02-22-2006, 03:32 PM
Bring back Nellie?
Hmmm...not a bad idea. He'd get'm in the playoffs and compete with Phoenix for the scoring title.

Dirkenstien
02-22-2006, 03:44 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2339941

So much for KG going to new york

#41
02-22-2006, 03:48 PM
To bad we don't play the Knicks till next season...

orangedays
02-22-2006, 03:57 PM
The Knicks are looking like an intriguing team now...two, count'em TWO tweeners manning the guard positions, a "point forward", and a center who can't rebound. These guys are going to be absolutely destroyed on the boards, and from what I can remember, neither Francis nor Marbury are particularly good defenders. Run n' Gun? I don't think the Knicks have any other choice.

*edit: Haha...just realized that in place of Tracy McGrady, the Magic now have Trevor Ariza. Someone needs to be fired.

Drbio
02-22-2006, 04:20 PM
Watching the Knicks is like driving up on a fatal traffic accident. You just can't help but look but you know what you see is going to ruin your day and turn your stomach.

MavKikiNYC
02-22-2006, 04:25 PM
News Bulletin: Anucha Browne Sanders offered to settle with the Knicks for $2M.







Zeke countered with a $50M offer over 6 years.

Drbio
02-22-2006, 04:30 PM
News Bulletin: Anucha Browne Sanders offered to settle with the Knicks for $2M.







Zeke countered with a $50M offer over 6 years.


hahahaha

DevinHarriswillstart
02-22-2006, 05:58 PM
You know, I was actually semi-surprised that Rob Babcock got fired in Toronto, since he was fired during a semi-turnaround. They were playing better. He made a fantastic trade for Mike James. Drafted Villaneuva (who knew this guy was gonna be as good as he has been so far.

But Isaiah Thomas still keeping this job? He is as bad of a GM as he was a coach. You were great as a player Mr. Thomas, but come on. You and Kevin Mchale only have your jobs because you were once great. Both of you should have been fired ages ago and all you both are doing is destroying your teams. The Wolves and the Knicks are bad and in my opinion because of their GMs.

alby
02-22-2006, 06:09 PM
Blame the overrated coach as much as Isiah.

dude1394
02-22-2006, 06:13 PM
Wow...Just when I thought the knicks couldn't get any stupider on the court than Stephon Marbury, they pick up dumb as a rock stevie franchise. Of course they have to go a ways to get studier than Isiah.

Even for someone who doesn't like Larry Brown (me) I wouldn't wish that knucklehead on them.

grbh
02-22-2006, 06:17 PM
double post

DevinHarriswillstart
02-22-2006, 06:28 PM
Blame the overrated coach as much as Isiah.

And the other coaches that have to suffer with rosters picked by these terrible GMs? It was Isaiah who offered Brown that ridiculous contract. What in the hell are you going to do with Marbury, Crawford, Curry, Francis, Rose? They should just literally rename the knicks the ballhogs. These guys are going to hog it so much that you might as well forget about the development of Frye and Robinson.

alby
02-22-2006, 06:38 PM
And the other coaches that have to suffer with rosters picked by these terrible GMs? It was Isaiah who offered Brown that ridiculous contract. What in the hell are you going to do with Marbury, Crawford, Curry, Francis, Rose? They should just literally rename the knicks the ballhogs. These guys are going to hog it so much that you might as well forget about the development of Frye and Robinson.

no question about it, this franchise is an embarassment
david stern should get the final approval for their moves lol
the NBA needs the knicks to be at least be respectable...

dude1394
02-22-2006, 07:25 PM
Knicks need to stay stupid, then they can suck up all of the bad contracts.

DevinHarriswillstart
02-22-2006, 07:30 PM
I don't care if they are bad. I care that Thomas and Mchale have jobs just because of their names. Being a great player doesn't make you a great anything else in life necessarily.

Five-ofan
02-22-2006, 09:20 PM
Mchale had been a pretty good gm until the cassel trade. He mortaged the future that kg was a good enough leader to make spree step in line. It worked for a year and if cassel hadnt gotten hurt i sincerely believe they win the title that year. IT didnt then spree lost what little mind he had left and they look bad. Then he got rid of cassel because of locker room problems but what he forgot is that cassel is the one true winner they had on their team. Give him 2 years and they will be respectable again. That said if i was them i would blow it up and trade garnett if i could BUT that would mean he gets fired so he is just screwed. BTW about this trade, this has huge come back and bite you in the ass potential for both teams. Francis is THE most talented pg in the nba. He is an ass and an idiot and i would cry if the mavs ended up with him but those kind of talents always have come back and bite you in the ass potential. Ariza is the next gerald wallace imo. Ridiculous athletecism. No clue why they didnt play him. BTW they darko arroyo and ariza for tmac and not just ariza but still. Very bad.

BTW why does isiah not see what everyone else does that francis and marbury just dont fit at all? If he was a better gm i would say he is aquiring pieces to trade but i dont trust him to make the right trades then. That said he has done the best job i have ever seen of turning once valued commodities into albatrosses once they get to the knicks.

dude1394
02-22-2006, 09:35 PM
I think you are giving McHale WAY too much credit. He's had arguably the best big man in the game for years and has done nothing.

When they let Billups get away, I knew he was an idiot.

Five-ofan
02-22-2006, 09:42 PM
When did he have duncan or shaq?

dude1394
02-22-2006, 09:51 PM
Semantics.. KG certainly was a top 3(?) player and I see no reason that a championship couldn't have been built around him.

grbh
02-22-2006, 09:51 PM
I read today that if Isiah does get fired he has an open invitation to be the commish in the NBDL

Five-ofan
02-22-2006, 10:01 PM
Duncan has always been better than kg. Shaq has been better until this year. Kobe as much as i hate him is better. Dirk has been better the last 2 years. That puts him at the edge of the top 5 along with AI tmac lebron dwade and people that ilk. He was top 5 for a while but i dont think so anymore. Also I think it is very possible to say they would have won a title if cassell didnt get hurt. One team wins a title. Thusly having one great player especially if he isnt the best doesnt guarantee you a ring at all. Garnett is scottie pippen without Jordan. Would be the amazing if he could be the second best player on his team if he could accept it but his game just isnt that of a player you build your entire team around.

alby
02-22-2006, 10:34 PM
I think Isiah is trying to screw up that team as much as he can before he is fired.

Five-ofan
02-22-2006, 10:37 PM
The thing is, that team has SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more talent than it did when he got there. In fact if nellie felt like coming out of retirement i think he could win 50 with that team next year but i just dont see how they fit without nelly or dantoni. Only 2 guys i could see making that team work.

Dtownsfinest
02-22-2006, 10:47 PM
I know some will disagree but give Isiah until the trade deadline. At some point, Larry Brown is going to get his players on that team. Ever since Larry Johnson retired that Knicks franchise has been doo doo. That really hurt them and IMO they are still lingering from it. Who knows. Isiah may have a plan here. I did say this when they picked up Jamal Crawford and Q-Rich after already having Tim Thomas and Marbury but he may actually be on to something here. He seems to be on point with his draft. Probably his only good draft as GM.

orangedays
02-22-2006, 10:55 PM
I know some will disagree but give Isiah until the trade deadline. At some point, Larry Brown is going to get his players on that team. Ever since Larry Johnson retired that Knicks franchise has been doo doo. That really hurt them and IMO they are still lingering from it. Who knows. Isiah may have a plan here. I did say this when they picked up Jamal Crawford and Q-Rich after already having Tim Thomas and Marbury but he may actually be on to something here. He seems to be on point with his draft. Probably his only good draft as GM.

Hundred bucks says Knicks are still doo doo Thursday at 3:01 pm.

DevinHarriswillstart
02-22-2006, 11:42 PM
Mchale had been a pretty good gm until the cassel trade. He mortaged the future that kg was a good enough leader to make spree step in line. It worked for a year and if cassel hadnt gotten hurt i sincerely believe they win the title that year. IT didnt then spree lost what little mind he had left and they look bad. Then he got rid of cassel because of locker room problems but what he forgot is that cassel is the one true winner they had on their team. Give him 2 years and they will be respectable again. That said if i was them i would blow it up and trade garnett if i could BUT that would mean he gets fired so he is just screwed. BTW about this trade, this has huge come back and bite you in the ass potential for both teams. Francis is THE most talented pg in the nba. He is an ass and an idiot and i would cry if the mavs ended up with him but those kind of talents always have come back and bite you in the ass potential. Ariza is the next gerald wallace imo. Ridiculous athletecism. No clue why they didnt play him. BTW they darko arroyo and ariza for tmac and not just ariza but still. Very bad.

BTW why does isiah not see what everyone else does that francis and marbury just dont fit at all? If he was a better gm i would say he is aquiring pieces to trade but i dont trust him to make the right trades then. That said he has done the best job i have ever seen of turning once valued commodities into albatrosses once they get to the knicks.

You seemed to have forgotten that little under the table deal with Joe Smith that cost them like 5 picks.

Five-ofan
02-22-2006, 11:46 PM
The joe smith deal was dumb especially considering joe smith isnt any good. I thought i read that was the owner and not mchale though. If it was him it was extremely stupid. I dont like mchale so im not gonna put up a "spirited" defense or anything but he is not in the same league as Isiah as far as effing up well anything that isiah touches. Isiah is the reverse king midas. Everything he touches turns to trash.

DevinHarriswillstart
02-22-2006, 11:47 PM
I know some will disagree but give Isiah until the trade deadline. At some point, Larry Brown is going to get his players on that team. Ever since Larry Johnson retired that Knicks franchise has been doo doo. That really hurt them and IMO they are still lingering from it. Who knows. Isiah may have a plan here. I did say this when they picked up Jamal Crawford and Q-Rich after already having Tim Thomas and Marbury but he may actually be on to something here. He seems to be on point with his draft. Probably his only good draft as GM.

Yeah I gave them the benefit of the doubt til they got Marbury. Any team that keeps Marbury is destined to lose. It's all proof that Isaiah has some sick fettish for guards. So much so that thats basically what the team is now with not good big to speak of accept for Frye. I mean jesus Malik Rose for Nazr Mohammed should be in the guiness book. Trading a solid center for an under-sized back-up forward?

DevinHarriswillstart
02-22-2006, 11:51 PM
The joe smith deal was dumb especially considering joe smith isnt any good. I thought i read that was the owner and not mchale though. If it was him it was extremely stupid. I dont like mchale so im not gonna put up a "spirited" defense or anything but he is not in the same league as Isiah as far as effing up well anything that isiah touches. Isiah is the reverse king midas. Everything he touches turns to trash.

I'm not positive either, but the GM gets the players. Whats bad though...a clearly bad franchise or a team that gets kicked out of the first round almost every year, lost valuable picks, and blundered the last stand on Cassell and Spreewell? If there was one player who deserves to demand a trade, his name would be Kevin Garnett. I agree Thomas is bad, but at least he is blatantly bad like Scott Layden. To me it is more heartbreaking to have this superstar have to carry the team basically every year with no help.

Five-ofan
02-22-2006, 11:55 PM
Garnett has had alot more help than people act like he has. Most of it left due to the crapload of money that garnett got but oh well. Cassel and spree would have gotten them a title if cassell didnt get hurt. He shortened the window in which they could win while helping the chances that they could actually win while that window was open but if kg was the dominant personality he wants everyone to think he is, he holds that team together.

orangedays
02-23-2006, 12:13 AM
I don't know how much I agee with that, we have to remember that Spree is...nuts.

Nash13
02-23-2006, 02:02 AM
Garnett has had alot more help than people act like he has. Most of it left due to the crapload of money that garnett got but oh well. Cassel and spree would have gotten them a title if cassell didnt get hurt. He shortened the window in which they could win while helping the chances that they could actually win while that window was open but if kg was the dominant personality he wants everyone to think he is, he holds that team together.

I'm glad someone said it. In the 03-04 season, Minnesota easily had the best backcourt in the league. And for the most part, they were getting decent production from their frontcourt.

And the team they have now imo should be better than the Lakers. This team has more overall talent than the Lakers and NOK. Garnett's dumb for not demanding a trade.

Thespiralgoeson
02-23-2006, 02:46 AM
Personally, I think both McHale AND Garnett need to go if the Wolves ever hope to get anywhere.

DevinHarriswillstart
02-23-2006, 09:47 AM
OH I humby agree Spiral....I think if you're gonna make a bold move like firing a potential coach of the year in Saunders, you better pack your bags and join him. You and your ridiculously contracted franchise player who can do everythign accept the important thing, which is hit big shots when your team needs you.

Five-ofan
02-23-2006, 10:09 AM
The thing about them now is look at the talent and the mavs talent and its damn close. Davis is equal to or better than Josh howard. Marcus banks is a poor mans devin. Jaric and quis are exactly the same player. The lack a damp and diop but do you really think losing them would take the mavs from a 60 win team to a 40 win team? Everyone in the country except in dallas thinks kg is better than dirk except he cant win. Im not at all a kg fan but i would love him to be a second option here if he would go for it. The only problem is i think he thinks he is as good as the rest of the country thinks he is and he isnt. Spree is nuts but he has been to the finals. Rodman was nuts but isiah and jordan both controlled him.

DevinHarriswillstart
02-23-2006, 12:59 PM
Actually I disagree on a lot of your points. I think Damp and Diop make a HUGE difference. Their combined statistics are like having one Ben Wallace. I mean we get 14 rebounds a night from the center position, plus clogging the lane, plus shot blocking. I DO NOT think Davis is like Josh Howard. Their games are different. Davis is more of a 1,2 sometimes 3. But definitely a 2 guard's body. Josh is a 2/3, but more of a 3. Jaric and Quis arent' alike either. Jaric is actually a very goot shooter, esp from 3 point land. He is also an above average passer and proves it more than Quis does. They do have talent. Probably should be better than they are. However, I wouldn't compare them quite to the Mavs level of talent. We also have the best bench in the league too, don't forget.

Five-ofan
02-23-2006, 02:22 PM
I think losing the centers would hurt us ALOT but we would still win 55 or so games we would just lose in the playoffs. Davis doesnt play the same game jho does but he is better. Jaric and quis are extremely similar though yes jaric is a better shooter. My point was that not once has a team led by kg exceeded what it should have done whereas dirks teams have done it alot. That is a knock on the player. I dont completely agree with the make your teammates better but if you start naming all the people kg has played with and then look at his lack of playoff success at some point it has to come back to him no matter how many excuses are made for the guy.

alby
02-24-2006, 09:22 AM
Isiah: Larry Pushed For Steve Deal
Steve Francis may not be the prototypical Larry Brown player, but when the three-time All-Star became available, it was Brown who pushed Isiah Thomas to acquire him. "When Francis' name was mentioned, (Brown) was the first to say hey, this is a guy that we'd be interested in," Thomas revealed yesterday. ... "If you look at the movement in the league, that's a pretty significant trade," Brown said. "I really believe he'll help us." -- New York Daily News (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/story/394142p-334188c.html)

alby
02-24-2006, 09:46 AM
kidd/carter go into msg and face marbury/francis tonight

the knicks suck but im definitely watching this game

MavKikiNYC
02-24-2006, 11:29 PM
February 25, 2006
Nets 94, Knicks 90
Francis Comes Alive Too Late for Knicks

By HOWARD BECK (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=HOWARD%20BECK&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=HOWARD%20BECK&inline=nyt-per)
The Knicks (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/newyorkknicks/index.html?inline=nyt-org) had old uniforms, a flashy new marquee guard and the same miserable results last night at Madison Square Garden.

There were early cheers for the new guard, Steve Francis, but mostly boos for the rest of the evening, and all the new optimism was doused by a water trough as cold and as deep as the Hudson River.

Two days after being acquired from the Orlando Magic (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/orlandomagic/index.html?inline=nyt-org), Francis made his Knicks debut. Francis joined a team in dire need of a boost, whether in morale or points, but his considerable skills seemed to be sucked into the same vortex that has consumed the team all season.

Francis scored 16 points, and nearly led a fourth-quarter comeback from a 21-point deficit. But the night belonged to Nenad Krstic, the Nets' (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/newjerseynets/index.html?inline=nyt-org) lanky center, who scored 23 points, 10 in the fourth quarter, to lead his team to a 94-90 victory.

Krstic made all 11 of his field-goal attempts, going 5 for 5 in the fourth quarter before fouling out.

Neither Francis's point total nor the final score reflected reality. Francis hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to obscure both. The Knicks trailed by double digits for most of the fourth quarter.

Favorite Part:
In the waning moments, after the Knicks' final charge had fizzled, a few pockets of "Fire Thomas" chants broke out in the crowd — the first time fans had made that plea since Isiah Thomas (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/t/isiah_thomas/index.html?inline=nyt-per) became team president 26 months ago.

The trade for Francis was the latest expensive gamble made by Thomas, who has made many. But with the Knicks falling to 15-39, and hardly looking competitive doing so, there was little patience in the Garden stands.

While the Knicks were promoting the intrigue of a Francis-Stephon Marbury (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/stephon_marbury/index.html?inline=nyt-per) backcourt, the Nets trumped them in both production and star value. Vince Carter (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/vince_carter/index.html?inline=nyt-per) had 26 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Jason Kidd (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/jason_kidd/index.html?inline=nyt-per) had 9 points and 9 assists, and is 19-2 against the Knicks since he joined the Nets. Richard Jefferson added 27 points.

After much debate about which former All-Star would handle the point-guard duties, Coach Larry Brown (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/larry_brown/index.html?inline=nyt-per) made the predictable choice. Marbury, who has spent four months under Brown, handled the ball most of the time, with Francis the de facto shooting guard.

Marbury, in his second game back from a shoulder injury, had just 6 points and shot 2 of 9 from the field. The Knicks were led by Channing Frye, who finished with 20 points and 8 rebounds. Eddy Curry added 15 points and 10 rebounds. Jalen Rose scored 18 points off the bench.

Before the Knicks' new backcourt even had its debut, seemingly every N.B.A. analyst, player and coach in the country had panned it. Indeed, it was hard to find anyone outside of Two Penn Plaza who thought it was a good idea.
"I don't look at that," Brown said of the widespread criticism.

Referring to Francis, he said: "I think he's a really talented player. I think the more good players we have, the easier it's going to be for all the young kids."
After often framing the season as a developmental clinic for the team's three rookies — Frye, David Lee and Nate Robinson — Brown has shifted toward his veterans. He advocated the trades for Francis and Rose and now has a rotation that, at least in age and experience, is more to his liking.

"We really have too many young guys right now," said Brown, who has long favored veteran players. "You've got to get down to a rotation and develop your young kids the right way."

At tipoff, there was $60 million in starting guards on the court, about evenly split between the Nets and the Knicks. For perspective, the starting backcourts of the San Antonio Spurs (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/sanantoniospurs/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and the Detroit Pistons (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/detroitpistons/index.html?inline=nyt-org) — last year's finals participants — make a combined $29.8 million.

Carter and Kidd almost certainly will have the Nets in the playoffs again. The early returns on the Francis-Marbury investment were negligible. They played just 13 minutes together in the first half, combining for 9 points.

Francis got two early fouls — the second one guarding Carter, who is 3 inches taller and 25 pounds heavier. When Francis returned in the second quarter, the Knicks put Marbury on Carter. This will be the Knicks' dilemma on most nights, with no size in the starting backcourt to check opposing shooting guards.

In the season's 54th game, the Knicks started over again. Brown used his 33rd starting lineup (with Quentin Richardson replacing Rose at small forward), and Marbury tapped fists with Francis, his fourth new backcourt partner of the season.

Despite the added firepower, the Knicks had just 35 points at halftime.

REBOUNDS
Nate Robinson, 11 days removed from his last start, and six days after winning the N.B.A.'s slam-dunk contest, was on the inactive list. Barring injuries, he could spend the rest of the season there. ... Steve Francis has already made one concession to Stephon Marbury. Francis is wearing No. 1 in place of his usual No. 3, which already belonged to Marbury. ... Isiah Thomas has expressed no public regret for the $30 million contract he gave Jerome James last summer, but he came close Thursday. "Every player on our roster now, you can look at and say has value, probably with the exception of one person right now, and that's Jerome James, because he's been injured so much," said Thomas, the team president. James has played just 28 games because of injuries and poor conditioning. "People say a lot of things when they're frustrated," James said. "And if he feels that way, I can't really blame him. I have been injured a lot this season. When I came here, much was expected of me, just as much was promised to me. There's been disappointment on both sides. And my injuries have definitely kept me out of a position to prove my worth to this organization."

orangedays
02-25-2006, 02:14 PM
Hundred bucks says Knicks are still doo doo Thursday at 3:01 pm.

Someone owes me a hundred bucks. :cool:

V2M
02-25-2006, 03:08 PM
Knicks are the NBA equivalent of nuclear waste dumping ground!

orangedays
02-25-2006, 03:34 PM
Knicks are the NBA equivalent of nuclear waste dumping ground!

Even radiation goes away after a while...:p

V2M
02-25-2006, 07:20 PM
Lol... btw, Knicks are getting pasted 71-45 by the Wizards at half-time. Francis is 1-6 for 4pts and 2TOs.

MavKikiNYC
02-26-2006, 09:51 AM
Lol... btw, Knicks are getting pasted 71-45 by the Wizards at half-time. Francis is 1-6 for 4pts and 2TOs.

1) Marbury says before the game that he feels the team should abandon Brown's halfcourt offense sets and run at every opportunity.

2) Marbury tries to attack Arenas at every opportunity in the first half and scores 15 points, with Francis scoring just 4.

3) Arenas goes off for 33 first-half points as the NYKs fall behind by 26.

4) Marbury "aggravates" his shoulder "injury" and does not play in the second half.

5) Larry Brown speaks in the post-game about needing to assert more control over his ball club.

Did Brown bench Marbury for the second half, using the injury as a pretense? Did Marbury puss out and sit down to avoid being further shown up by Arenas?

Note: Isiah Thomas has left the country, on a European "scouting" trip.

alby
02-26-2006, 10:28 AM
larry brown is so stupid

alby
02-26-2006, 10:28 AM
i hate how he is getting paid 10 million a year.. sigh

orangedays
02-26-2006, 10:58 AM
1) Marbury says before the game that he feels the team should abandon Brown's halfcourt offense sets and run at every opportunity.

2) Marbury tries to attack Arenas at every opportunity in the first half and scores 15 points, with Francis scoring just 4.

3) Arenas goes off for 33 first-half points as the NYKs fall behind by 26.

4) Marbury "aggravates" his shoulder "injury" and does not play in the second half.

5) Larry Brown speaks in the post-game about needing to assert more control over his ball club.

Did Brown bench Marbury for the second half, using the injury as a pretense? Did Marbury puss out and sit down to avoid being further shown up by Arenas?

Note: Isiah Thomas has left the country, on a European "scouting" trip.

a conspiracy-theorist at his best :)

Thespiralgoeson
02-26-2006, 08:56 PM
Marbury is absolutely right in that the team should run. Look at that lineup. Not a defensive stand-out among them. They're built to run. And Larry wants them to play a half-court game? Ridiculous.

They've got nobody on that roster who can play a lick of defense other than Malik Rose. The only chance they have to win games is to just try to outscore their opponenents.

If I were James Dolan, I'd fire both Isiah AND Larry. I actually think Stan Van Gundy might be a good fit there, he's looking for a job, right?

MavKikiNYC
02-26-2006, 09:11 PM
Marbury is absolutely right in that the team should run. Look at that lineup. Not a defensive stand-out among them. They're built to run. And Larry wants them to play a half-court game? Ridiculous.
As for wins, I don't think it's going to matter much which style they end up playing.

The person who would most benefit from playing run-and-gun would be Marbury himself. He could gun his way to 20 per night, drop a half dozen playground "assists" and not have to bother defending--that is his game, always has been, always will be.

More wins? Nah. A team like that with Marbury as the cornerstone would always top out at about .500. And while yeah that's enough to limp into the playoffs in the pathetic Eastern Conference, they would be on the one-and-done playoff plan from here to eternity. And that's not to say that there isn't a sizeable element of Knick fans who wouldn't get behind watching them play that way.

But if hiring Brown was a mistake, he was ZEKE's mistake, meaning if Brown goes, Zeke's gotta go too. No way around that.

I have thought that Brown was the best reason to be optimistic about the NYKs' future, but this has been a wasted season for him, and I"m not sure how many he has left. He has not gotten as much out of the team as he might have and he's definitely made his own mistakes this year, but slowing them down should have given them a better chance at success, and was the best way he had to try to teach the younger players the surer way to play winning, successful basketball in the NBA.

Marbury is a proven idiot and loser, season-in and season-out, time and time again. He has a killer contract that won't be moveable for at least a couple more years. NYKs can only hope that another team emerges as stupid enough to take him, or, and I know it's not nice to say, a career-ending injury.

They are scrod.

V2M
02-26-2006, 11:51 PM
LB has a 5yr $50M deal right? He wants the money but doesn't wanna' work 5yrs for it. Easy way is to lose badly and get fired... right?!

Call it conspiracy theory or whatever... but I wouldn't put anything past LB!

orangedays
02-27-2006, 01:09 AM
LB has a 5yr $50M deal right? He wants the money but doesn't wanna' work 5yrs for it. Easy way is to lose badly and get fired... right?!

Call it conspiracy theory or whatever... but I wouldn't put anything past LB!

Haha, that sneaky bastard. I'll bet you're right.

Thespiralgoeson
02-27-2006, 03:08 AM
I doubt it. It seems to me Larry loves being miserable. I mean really, he had a virtually perfect situation in Detroit, and he'd rather coach New York? In New York, he gets to constantly bad-mouth and demoralize his players, he gets to lose a whole lotta games and bust his ass trying to make them play in ways they're just not suited to, he gets to bitch and whine to his GM about how he doesn't have the kind of players he likes, AND he gets paid more than any other coach in NBA history to do it. Maybe NY really is his "dream job" after all.

MavKikiNYC
02-27-2006, 10:04 AM
Dolan out blame
BY FRANK ISOLA
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Monday, February 27th, 2006

SAN ANTONIO - Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan is expected to arrive here today and will accompany the Knicks to Memphis tomorrow. The trip was planned weeks in advance, but under the circumstances Dolan's presence takes on greater significance.

It is unclear if the normally reticent Dolan will address the media. He may simply want to defer all questions to his top basketball executive, who assembled a $125 million roster, or to his coach, who is earning $10 million this season.

The Knicks want to believe that things can't get any worse and every day they underestimate themselves. Last week's trade deadline served mostly as a diversion for a team that has lost 40 of its first 55 games.

Larry Brown held an optional workout yesterday that was off limits to observers, a practice that is becoming more common under the frustrated coach. Brown can only say "we stink" so many times in so many ways. He occasionally needs a day off from the media as well.

The players were unavailable one day after losing for the 19th time in 21 games. Washington's Gilbert Arenas scored 46 points in 30 minutes Saturday night and could have done more damage had his team not been so far ahead that Wizards coach Eddie Jordan rested the All-Star guard in the fourth quarter.

Still, it was an incredible performance and one that again revealed the philosophical differences between Brown and Stephon Marbury, his point guard. Marbury reinjured his left shoulder during Saturday's loss and likely will sit out tonight's game against the defending champion Spurs.

Brown can accept the injury rationale, but had a hard time understanding why Marbury ran the team the way he did in the first half. Marbury, who was guarding Arenas, tried to keep pace and ultimately was outscored 33-15 in the half. Marbury recorded just two assists as the Knicks fell behind 71-45 at halftime.

"We tried to run with him and we gave up 71 points," Brown said.
Later, Brown said that he has to gain control of the team, which may have been a veiled reference to Marbury breaking off plays. In previous seasons, teammates have criticized Marbury for ignoring plays called from the bench.

When asked what he meant by "control," Brown said: "We can talk all we want but if the team is shooting 65% and we're turning the ball over and we get in early foul trouble you can't make it a high-possession game. The second half we didn't make it a high-possession game. We can't play like them."

Marbury has said the Knicks should run more now that he and Steve Francis share the same backcourt. It was a surprising comment since Marbury knows that successful running teams must play defense and rebound. The Knicks, however, don't stop anyone and they don't do windows.

Brown also may be alluding to something deeper. There is a divide in the locker room. In fact, a confidant of Brown's believes that he has lost the team, specifically Marbury, Eddy Curry, Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson and Jerome James.

"He should just find five guys that want to play his way and play them," said Brown's coaching friend. "There is no way to describe this debacle."

Don Chaney, Lenny Wilkens and Scott Layden all were fired for less. If the Knicks continue on their ugly downward spiral, Dolan may have no other choice but to make a move. Coincidentally, Isiah Thomas isn't joining Dolan on the trip here. He may want to reconsider, especially if Brown gets a lot of good face time with the boss.

Five-ofan
02-27-2006, 10:55 AM
how can this team not run? i seriously think that either nelson or dantoni could win 50 games with this roster. Play like he pro version of nova. Francis and marbury, Crawford and rose. With frye in the middle. Run your ass off at every oppurtunity. If they ever fail to score 100 brown has failed as a coach. I dont like isiah and think he is a bad gm but brown is at least as guilty of making this team suck as isiah. If he was anyone but him and this team sucked the way it does with this much talent, he would have been fired.

MavKikiNYC
02-28-2006, 07:37 AM
CASE CLOTHES WITH FRANCIS By MARC BERMAN
Steve just makes it on time
SAN ANTONIO - All logic and sense have left the Knick franchise.

Yesterday's Steve Francis fiasco was the latest example. Francis nearly missed last night's Spurs-Knicks game and was held out of the starting lineup after arriving before 55 minutes tip-off only after a private plane was chartered to bring the Knicks new guard from Orlando to Alamo City.

Incredibly, the Knicks - who lost 121-93 - permitted Francis to go home to Orlando after the Washington game Saturday night to collect some belongings.

But Francis was a no-show at yesterday's morning shootaround and called a club official during that practice to inform the club he won't make it for the game.

Francis told the Knicks his 6-month-old daughter was ill.

When Francis' camp realized a public-relations nightmare was ensuing if Francis missed the game, a plane was chartered to get him to San Antonio after he missed his commercial flight. A Knicks official said he was unsure who paid for the charter.

The Knicks' strictest dress code in the league, which forces players to wear suits and ties on the road, took precedence over Francis preparing for last night's game apparently.
Francis makes $13.9 million this season and has $49.7 million more left on his pact. Francis could have purchased a suit and tie in San Antonio or had his laundry dry-cleaned at the hotel.

According to an employee at the team hotel in San Antonio, slacks can be dry-cleaned for $7.50, dress shirts for $6.50. A laundry service also exists where undergarments go for $2.50 and t-shirts $3.75.

"What could we have done," Brown asked. "He had no clothes. I think we were all hopeful he'd be here [for the morning], and under normal circumstances, he would have been. It was the only chance he could go home and get some clothes.

Maybe if he was going to just wear [a polo-shirt] and jeans, he wouldn't have to worry about it, but we travel with ties and jackets."

According to his agent, Jeff Freed, Francis' daughter, Shaylin came down with a virus.
Francis' departure called into question whether he wants to be a Knick. The flaky Francis, who refused to go into a game a month ago, has given off a lukewarm vibe. Freed said he and the Magic mutually agreed to a trade and claimed the Knicks "were targeted from Day 1."

"He's thrilled," Freed said. "He's just in a little shock. He wanted to play in New York." That the Knicks allowed Francis to leave the team is baffling, considering he had not practiced with the club. No one needs to be with the team more than Francis, who also missed an optional practice Sunday.

MavKikiNYC
02-28-2006, 07:43 AM
February 28, 2006
Spurs 121, Knicks 93
Francis Finds Way, but Knicks Remain Lost

By JON PAUL MOROSI
SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 27 Isiah Thomas (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/t/isiah_thomas/index.html?inline=nyt-per) leaned on the railing of a tunnel at the AT&T Center on Monday night, wearing a sharp beige suit. His hand was positioned near his chin, with a weary gaze fixed ahead, as if he were a college student enduring a lecture he did not want to attend.

Thomas, the Knicks' (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/newyorkknicks/index.html?inline=nyt-org) president, was not in the mood to discuss what was happening on the court before him. He declined comment when approached during one timeout in the third quarter, during which the Spurs (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/sports/probasketball/nationalbasketballassociation/sanantoniospurs/index.html?inline=nyt-org) outscored his expensive, incongruous team by 21 points.

There was not much to say, really, about what became a 121-93 defeat, the Knicks' fourth in a row and fourth since the acquisition of guard Steve Francis. The Spurs (44-12) shot 62.5 percent from the field, nearly 20 percentage points better than the Knicks.

James L. Dolan, the Madison Square Garden chairman, sat two rows behind the Knicks' bench as they lost for the 20th time in 22 games and fell to 15-41. It is now a matter of mathematical certainty that they will not finish with a winning record. That, however, has been a foregone conclusion for the Knicks, who have won one road game since Dec. 6.

"I've never been in a situation where I didn't know, in my heart, we were going to get better and I ain't giving up here," Knicks Coach Larry Brown (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/larry_brown/index.html?inline=nyt-per) said. "But it's embarrassing."

Earlier in the day, it seemed possible that neither Stephon Marbury (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/stephon_marbury/index.html?inline=nyt-per) nor Francis would play Marbury because of his sore shoulder, reinjured Saturday night; and Francis, because his 6-month-old daughter was sick in Orlando, Fla. In the end, both played. Their efforts helped little, as the teams played to their identities San Antonio as the defending N.B.A. champion, the Knicks as the league's second-worst team.

"We cut it to 7 at the beginning of the third quarter, and then I don't remember us making a pass," Brown said, "except to them."

In Francis and Marbury, the Knicks have two point guards known for their scoring. The Spurs have one, Tony Parker, and he scored 14 points in the first half, then rested for much of the second half. He finished with 20 points 6 more than Francis and Marbury combined.

Marbury also spent much of the second half on the bench; Francis ran the team instead. He had some individual success (12 points) but not nearly enough to overtake the Spurs. Jamal Crawford, the backup guard, was running the point by the end of the game.

Marbury, who told Brown before the game that he wanted to play despite the injury, scored 2 points in the first quarter and none thereafter, to finish with his lowest point total of the season. He was 1 of 9 from the field and played 24 minutes 23 seconds.

As Brown gave instructions before the second half, Marbury was seen on television, standing behind Brown, yawning, and looking up at the scoreboard.

Because Francis and Marbury make about $30 million between them, playing them together would be cost-effective unless the intent is to showcase them individually for possible off-season trades.

Brown often kept them apart Monday, especially in the first half. He played them together in the third quarter, when the Spurs' halftime lead more than tripled, to 30 from 9.

The distinction of who was the point guard and who was the off guard seemed to change arbitrarily as long as Francis and Marbury were on the court together. The one who brought the ball up ran the offense, and the other often lurked, without the ball, on the other side of the court.

Midway through the third quarter, Marbury did find Francis on the wing. Francis penetrated for a sweeping layup. It was a pretty play. But it was also insignificant. The score was 78-59, the Spurs already home free.

Francis walked into the Knicks' locker room less than an hour before the game, the end of a 48-hour odyssey that began after Saturday's loss at Washington. He was excused to take care of personal business in Orlando on Sunday, because he had been traded while on a trip. While he was there, his daughter, Shailyn, fell ill.

A pediatrician saw Shailyn on Monday morning and told Francis it would be all right for him to leave, according to a representative for Francis. By then there were no available commercial flights to San Antonio that would arrive in time for the game. A private flight was arranged.

Brown said after the shoot-around that he did not think Francis would make it, but he arrived with 54 minutes to spare. He shook Brown's hand as he located his locker and began to dress.

Several hours later, he sat at that same locker stall, and reflected on a chaotic day for him and another lost night for his employer.

"It was tough," Francis said. "Real tough."

MavKikiNYC
02-28-2006, 07:54 AM
Knicks' nerves jingle-jangled
BY FRANK ISOLA
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER
Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

SAN ANTONIO - It didn't matter that the guy who signs their fat paychecks was in the building, two rows behind the bench. The Knicks were so inspired by James Dolan that they fell behind by 34 in the third quarter. So much for trying to impress your boss.

Dolan, the Garden chairman, found out for himself last night that the Knicks are every bit as unwatchable on the road as they are at home. They are equal-opportunity losers.

"We're not as bad as we looked," Malik Rose said following San Antonio's dominating 121-93 victory. "We're not as bad as we've looked all season."
The battle of best and worst unfolded as you would have expected. The Spurs outclassed the Knicks every way imaginable, handing them their 20th loss in the last 22 games. Dolan, who was unavailable for comment, sat with Garden president Steve Mills, vice chairman Hank Ratner and VP of communications Barry Watkins. Isiah Thomas, who had canceled a European scouting trip, stood in the tunnel behind one of the baskets. (Editorial comment: Europe-Schmeurope. Zeke couldn't allow LB to get face time alone with Dolan. Zeke may be stupid, but he does have an instinct for self-preservation.)

The Knicks now are 15-41 under Larry Brown and haven't even held a lead in their last 15 quarters. Afterward, Brown hinted that he's lost some of his players and admitted that the team hasn't shown any progress.

"I die every game that any of our fans has to watch or (Dolan) has to watch," Brown said. "Hey, everywhere I've been, every place I've ever coached, I always felt we were getting better. I've never been in a situation where I didn't know in my heart we weren't getting better.

"And I'm not giving up here. But it's embarrassing every game to go out like this. I don't see one change in terms of the effort or enthusiasm or unselfishness."

The Knicks trailed wire-to-wire for the third straight game and completely fell apart early in the second half against the defending NBA champs. After three quarters, the Spurs were shooting 73%.

Michael Finley came off the bench and made all eight of his shots to lead all scorers with 22 points. Tim Duncan played only 26 minutes and produced 12 points and seven assists, while Tony Parker scored 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting with 12 assists.

The Spurs' point guard spent the entire game in the lane, either converting layups or kicking out to open teammates. Once upon a time, Stephon Marbury did those same things. Even with a bum shoulder, Marbury should be better than two points and three assists in 24 minutes. Marbury shot 1-for-9 and committed three turnovers.

A loss tomorrow in Memphis would assure the Knicks of their fourth straight losing season, their longest such streak since the mid-'80s. It's been a dramatic fall for Brown, who eight months ago, as Pistons' coach, lost Game 7 of the NBA Finals here to the Spurs. The Knick players, many of whom are loyal to Thomas, appear to have lost faith in Brown. It's unclear how Dolan feels about his coach.

Brown probably was reminiscing about the good ol' days on Sunday when he dined with Gregg Popovich, his long-time coaching friend.

"Larry is Larry," said Popovich, the Spurs' coach. "You can just imagine. He's in the middle of a tough situation. But personally, I think he relishes it. He wants to fix it. That's what he enjoys. It makes him tick. This is no different than a lot of other things he's had to deal with."

There is a feeling among league executives and coaches that the Knicks lack Brown's type of players. Popovich hinted as much when he added: "Anybody who follows Larry's career knows how he likes to play and what he thinks wins. It begins with defense and the more long, athletic, tough-minded people he can find, the more he likes them. That's usually his modus operandi."

The team Brown currently runs is mostly short on confidence. Unlike Saturday's embarrassing loss at Washington, the Knicks competed against the Spurs. And look where it got them.

The Knicks had a chance after Eddy Curry's two free throws made it 65-56. But over the next four minutes, the Spurs scored 12 unanswered points, including five from former Knick Nazr Mohammed. With 90 seconds left in the period, Finley's three made it 96-65.

Steve Francis, who arrived via chartered jet from Orlando just one hour before tip-off, finished with 12 points. He hadn't slept much in the past two days with his young daughter being ill. He was seen yawning on the bench in the first half, trying to find some energy.

Knick fans know the feeling.

Arne
02-28-2006, 08:06 AM
Marbury is absolutely right in that the team should run. Look at that lineup. Not a defensive stand-out among them. They're built to run. And Larry wants them to play a half-court game? Ridiculous.

They've got nobody on that roster who can play a lick of defense other than Malik Rose. The only chance they have to win games is to just try to outscore their opponenents.

If I were James Dolan, I'd fire both Isiah AND Larry. I actually think Stan Van Gundy might be a good fit there, he's looking for a job, right?
Even if they don't win anymore games with some serious run and gun, it would at least be fun to watch for the fans...


P.S.: Marbury has played some really good defense whenever I saw him play this year. And Quentin Richardson DOES suck offensively, but on defense he has vastly improved under Larry Brown.

MavKikiNYC
02-28-2006, 08:23 AM
Dolan calls for meeting of the minds as Knicks woes continue


Tuesday, February 28, 2006BY DAVID WALDSTEIN
Star-Ledger Staff
SAN ANTONIO -- The Alamo is a long way from Paris and Barcelona, but when the boss calls and says he wants you in Texas, you drop everything.

Isiah Thomas, who planned to fly to Europe on a scouting trip yesterday, instead was summoned here by team owner James Dolan for a high-level meeting with Larry Brown and the rest of the Madison Square Garden brass to discuss the debacle that is the Knicks.

Finally, Dolan appears to have recognized his team is in crisis mode. While Dolan sat glumly in the second row and watched the Knicks get crushed, 121-93, by the Spurs for their 41st loss of the season, Thomas found a spot to stand by himself at the entrance to the tunnel, similar to where he stands at the Garden, to watch the team lose.

Today in Memphis, it is assumed Thomas will meet with Dolan, Brown, team president and COO Steve Mills, and vice chairman of Madison Square Garden Hank Ratner, where they can discuss last night's demolition -- in which the Spurs scored 100 points and shot 72.5 percent through three quarters -- and the performance this season that has resulted in a 15-41 record.

"We cut it to seven," Brown said of the Knicks little run early in the third quarter, "and then I don't remember us making a pass, except to them."

After that, San Antonio scored 12 consecutive points, and another embarrassing rout was on. Following the game Dolan and Thomas spent a few moments in the locker room and then headed to Memphis in Dolan's private jet.

Brown was disconsolate about the Knicks' lack of effort and team concept, but vowed he would not quit.

"Everywhere I've been, every place I've ever coached, I always felt we were getting better," he said. "I ain't giving up here. But it's embarrassing; every game to go out like this and I don't see one change in the effort or the enthusiasm or unselfishness."

It is a topic that is sure to be discussed with the owner.

Dolan makes regular visits to the team's training facility in Westchester, where he meets with Thomas, Brown and Mills. But apparently he didn't want to wait.

Although the meeting with Thomas was hastily arranged, there are no indications the GM's job is in jeopardy at this point. (Editorial comment: GRRRRR! ......NEWMANN!)

A spokesman for Thomas said he changed his plans himself because he wanted to be with the team in its time of desperation, but another MSG official said Thomas' presence was requested by Dolan. (Thomas on auto-spin.)

Dolan had planned to join the team on this trip for several weeks, and today he plans to address the state of the club.

The last time he spoke was during training camp on Oct. 8, when optimism was high in the wake of Brown's hiring and the trade for Eddy Curry. There was no specific mention of the playoffs at the time, but several times Dolan said the ultimate "truth" would come out on the floor.

Here's the ugly truth:

The Knicks have lost 20 of their past 22 and despite the league's highest payroll at $125 million and despite having a Hall of Fame coach, they share the NBA's worst record with the Bobcats.

It will be interesting to hear what Dolan has to say about the jobs Thomas and Brown have done. In October, he raved about Thomas' work.

"As far as I can tell, he's done a spectacular job," the owner said that day. "A lot of the $120 million payroll is legacy stuff. I just think he's done a very good job, particularly in this off-season. We're ahead of schedule in terms of bringing on talent and youth and making the team more exciting."

Clearly, that assessment needs an adjustment. The comparison between the two teams on the floor last night didn't help matters for Thomas. The Spurs won the championship with a payroll half that of the Knicks at roughly $62 million.

V2M
02-28-2006, 08:29 AM
Even if they don't win anymore games with some serious run and gun, it would at least be fun to watch for the fans...


Good point. May be they can start with free chalupas everytime they score 90... win or lose!

MavKikiNYC
02-28-2006, 08:46 AM
Think it's unlikely that Brown is just gonna roll a ball out onto the court and say, "Go after it, boys." Would be antithetical to everything he's done in a 30+ year career. If it does happen, take it as a sign he's leaving.

As long as he thinks he there's anything to salvage in NY, he wouldn't do that. First, it would be the end of his control over the team. Second, it would be a terrible lesson for the rookies (Frye in particular)--no discipline, no control, no system, just shoot the ball---and make no mistake, it would be Marbury who'd be shooting the ball. Third, it wouldn't necessarily be that interesting for the fans at this point who would definitely see it as a sign of surrender. Pretty much whenever they've run this year, they've lost big.

Brown is/was trying to build something longer term with the NYKs, establish a foundation. Don't think he's averse to running, just that he wants to do it off of defense, turnovers, blocked shots and rebounds. Unfortuantely, Thomas has put together a roster of players who can't defend, don't take care of the ball, can't rebound, and can't challenge shots. Wrong players for a proven system. Wrong coach for unproven players.

Marbury would be content to run off the inbounds because he wouldn't really have to be concerned about defending, and he'd just pad his loser's stats possession after possession, night after night.

Hard to believe anyone would seriously advocate that as an approach to becoming competitive. Mavericks and Suns did it for a while with fairly talented ball clubs. Can be an entertaining style of ball, yes, but very few knowledgable fans think that's the way to build a contender. A large part of the "respect" issue the Mavericks have today came from them trying to win big with a losing system, and they were doing it with some very talented players, whereas the NYKs' talent is grossly, overrated. Similar thing with the Suns--they ran that game for a year, before dismantling that team and attempting a retool toward a more conventional scheme.

NYKs thing looks to be coming unraveled.

Thomas is off to Europe, now he's hustling back to Texas, then on to Memphis. Is he dancing for his job?

Francis skips home to Orlando to pick up a change of underwear and some ties, calls in a "can't make it", then gets put on the You-WILL-Make-It Express Charter, to be there to play before the capo di capi. Would've been interesting to've heard the conversation between Isiah and Francis' "people". His agent promises that Francis wants to be with the NYKs, while NYKs insiders say he seems disinterested and ambivalent at best about being there. Actions speak louder than words.

Marbury is "injured" and doubtful for the San Antonio game, then "insists" on playing with the boss in attendance (Dolan not Zeke). Again, would be interesting to know what conversation Zeke had with him about playing. Marbury ends up with 2 points, and 22 yawns.

Developing.....

dirno2000
02-28-2006, 11:04 AM
Updated: Feb. 28, 2006, 10:45 AM ET
Report: MSG chairman Dolan to discuss Knicks
ESPN.com news services

Even away from the glare of the New York spotlight, the Knicks look ugly.

Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan, who is on his annual road trip with the team, watched his team lose 121-93 in San Antonio on Monday.

Dolan is expected to make a rare public statement about the state of the club Tuesday, The Newark Star Ledger reported in Tuesday's edition. In October, when he last spoke publicly about the team, he was optimistic about the team's prospects and supportive of general manager Isiah Thomas.

Thomas, who had planned a scouting visit to Europe, is a surprise guest on Dolan's trip. The Knicks have stumbled to a 15-41 record with only four wins on the road.

The Knicks posted a 1-11 mark during February, their worst record for any calendar month in franchise history in which they played at least eight games. The Knicks' previous low mark was in March 1963, when they went 1-9.

While no changes are expected, according to New York media covering the Knicks, the two are expected to meet with Larry Brown in Memphis before the next game Wednesday to discuss the state of the team.

Five-ofan
02-28-2006, 06:23 PM
So kiki, you really think the knicks are better off being the worst team in the nba than they would be running and trying to get 40 or so wins? Granted this year they arent going anywhere but that team should be able to run.

orangedays
02-28-2006, 10:29 PM
Linkage (http://www.newsday.com/sports/basketball/ny-spknotes284644559feb28,0,7329921,print.story?coll= ny-basketball-headlines)

Popovich: Brown relishes challenge

BY GREG LOGAN
STAFF CORRESPONDENT

February 28, 2006

SAN ANTONIO -- Oh to be a fly on the wall as San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich commiserated with his old buddy Larry Brown over a few glasses of terrific 2001 pinot noir from Oregon during the dinner they shared at a local steakhouse Sunday night.

Last June, when Brown was coaching Detroit, they played each other for the NBA title, but after last night's 121-93 loss to the Spurs, Brown has been on the losing end of 20 of his past 22 games with the Knicks.

"Larry is Larry," Popovich said when asked to describe the mood of the evening. "You can just imagine. He's in the middle of a tough situation, and he's well aware of that. But personally, I think he relishes it. He wants to fix it. That's what makes him tick."

Brown promised to be relentless in getting his defense-first message across to the Knicks, but while it has worked everywhere else he's coached, he seems to have met his match in the Knicks' collection of high-priced players, most of whom make their money as scorers.

"I can't imagine him meeting his match, to be honest with you," Popovich said. "But maybe some situations take longer than others because of circumstances. As time goes by, he'll figure out how to handle the circumstances he finds himself in and then move on from there."

Rose: Coaches similar

Former Spur Malik Rose, who was traded to the Knicks a year ago, said the transition has been smooth because Brown and Popovich coach the same way, except his former coach uses more expletives. Asked why the Knicks aren't getting results similar to the Spurs, Rose shrugged and said, "Sometimes, as players, we don't listen like Pop's players, but they preach the same things." . . . Rose received a huge ovation at SBC Center during a preseason appearance in October and hoped for a similar reception last night. He got it.

MavKikiNYC
03-01-2006, 12:55 AM
So kiki, you really think the knicks are better off being the worst team in the nba than they would be running and trying to get 40 or so wins? Granted this year they arent going anywhere but that team should be able to run.

In the long run, yes. And it wouldn't necessarily have to be so FAR in the long run, if Thomas hadn't foolishly traded their top draft choices away--those are going to be high lottery picks.

Running-and-gunning, they would top out at around .500, but would never stand a chance at being better than that or at being a serious contender. They simply don't have the manpower for it. Not even in the East.

People really overrate the talent level on the Knicks. The have a performer or two (Marbury, Francis) with flashy skills, but no real solid ball players. They have a retread (J.Rose) who used to ball decently; they have a tall fat kid with a bum ticker (Curry) in whom people WANT to see potential; they have an injured young player with a couple of good seasons under his belt (Q. Rich) who seems to put out effort, but can't produce results; they have a role player (M.Rose) who's been on a winner, but lacks physical talent; they have a waste of DNA (Jerome James); and they have 3 rookies who show some potential, but ain't done nothin' yet.

That's it. Brown hasn't been able to commit to playing and developing the young players in any kind of coherent way, because he has so much flawed dreck around them.

Personally, I could live with a strip-down and rebuild. I wouldn't mind seeing them accumulate losses, if it looked like they might stand to benefit from them. And if it looked like they were bringing along talent for the future.

But Thomas is just going further and further down the toilet--bringing in older and older players, with bigger and bigger flaws, and bigger and longer contracts. I'm not convinced that they've even hit bottom yet. He needs to get rid of almost all of the players he's already acquired, not bring in more like them.

But yeah...to answer your question, I think they'd do better to lose while learning how to play defense, learning how to play within a system, learning discipline, learning the game, than trying to pick up a couple of meaningless wins here and there.

dirno2000
03-01-2006, 01:13 AM
Flawed dreck or not, there's no reason Channing Frye shouldn't be getting 35 minutes a night on a team that bad. I doubt that Nate will ever start for a good team and I haven't seen enough of Lee to make a judgement one way or another but Frye has been as impressive as any rookie north of Chris Paul.

Five-ofan
03-01-2006, 08:34 AM
Oh kiki i totally agree, if they still had draft picks, play this way and get yourself good picks while developing good habits for your youngsters BUT they dont so they might as well try to win. The last 2 gms have screwed the pooch BUT you still gotta work with what you have if you are the coach and other than the fact that their 4 best players are shoot first pgs they have talent. I know that is sad. How do you end up with your 4 best players playing the same position? And none of them doing it correctly. BTW you guys should read bill simmons atrocious GMs summit. Pretty funny.