Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Countdown to a glorious meltdown at the Garden

Thank you Isiah Thomas for constantly keeping me in stitches. And thank you Zach Randolph for being a nutburger-crazy man who has overrated stats and makes buckets of money.

This is going to end so gloriously, hilariously awful.

The big story during the draft had the New York Knicks acquiring Zach Randolph, Dan Dickau and Fred Jones from the Portland Trail Blazers for Channing Frye and Steve Francis.

For one of those rarest of moments, Knicks fans actually applauded throughout the Madison Square Garden theater, capped off by long-time Knicks fan Spike Lee putting his support behind the transaction for all the world to see.

Knicks fans and some writers have been complimenting Thomas, the Knicks coach and President of Basketball Operations, for finally having made a good decision. Lord knows he's made plenty of bad ones.

So, now Randolph (listed extremely modestly at 215 pounds) joins a frontcourt that also includes Eddy Curry (285 pounds and growing) and Jerome James (listed at 280 pounds), the Knicks will look to outeat outscore teams in the post. I say outscore because none of these guys play a lick of defense and offer absolutely nothing other than scoring and rebounding. Curry and Randolph combined to average 0.7 blocks per game last year. How is it even possible to play center or power forward without lucking into at least a block a game? These guys combined to block 55 shots last year. And that's the big-man tandem you want to go to compete with? So, I will acknowledge Randolph averaged 23 points and 10 rebounds last year, but I will also point out that he averaged 3.16 turnovers while only handing out 2.2 assists per game. Additionally, for a post player, he only shot 46.7 percent, which is pretty bad considering that most of his scoring is done so close to the basket.

Another misconception floating around (see 6:14 here) is that the Knicks tossed out Steve Francis' bad contract in the deal, which was something Isiah Thomas had been wanting to do ever since he realized trading for him was a horrible idea in the first place. Here's the thing though, Francis' contract ($33.5 remaining) is up at the end of the 2009 season, so he only had two years left under contract. He also gave up Channing Frye who will make about $2.4 million in this, his final guaranteed year. By contrast, Randolph will make $61.2 million on the remainder of his contract that runs until 2011. Some kind of salary relief fantasy in this deal is completely out of the question. The Knicks almost doubled the money they took on and will be on the books for such for four more years. You think they're ready for four years of Zach Randolph?

On top of all this mess, there is Randolph's flawless record of behavior to consider. You name it, he's done it or been accused of it. Sexual assault, DUIs, punching a teammate, flipping off fans. You name it, his name has been in the same sentence with it. Isiah is deluding himself into thinking Randolph will turn over a new leaf in New York City of all places. Why would someone leave a quiet city like Portland and all of a sudden stop acting like a knucklehead in New York City? There's a whole other world of naughtiness to jump into in New York. Come on, this is the guy whose high school coach famously remarked "I just don't want the day to come where I pick up that paper and it says he shot someone, or that he was shot. Every day that goes by that I don't see that, I feel good." So, while Isiah and Knicks fans beguile themselves into thinking Randolph will help them to the playoffs, I'll just sit back and throw some popcorn in the microwave. I can't wait for the honeymoon to end.

Reasonably yours,

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B. Hobbs said...

Imagine the hot dog eating contests between Eddy Curry and Randolph. That shit is gonna be epic

The Fan's Attic said...

I'm relieved now that Randolph's gone from Portland. His scoring and rebounding will be missed. But, as you point out, he had some defensive liabilities, poor shooting, and off-the-court trouble, which will not be missed. New York is going to get the Hoop Family, and judging by this article its Portland neighbors are probably pretty happy about it.


Rusty said...

I think I speak for a large contingent of Portland fans when I say we're glad Zach is gone. That we got more than a ham sandwich for him was a bonus.

Think Zeke would take Darius Miles?


Adam said...

The biggest winner in this trade: Greg Oden. Now Oden has to find is own path to get into trouble.

But seriously, if Randolph is getting in trouble in Portland, what is going to happen in New York? You thought making it rain was bad? Just wait until Zach Randolph "drops it like it's hot" or "throws some D's" or "any other rap lyric relating to illegal actions's" in NYC.


Anonymous said...

Zeke the Geek strikes again! When will David Stern realize that the Knicks need to change both ownership and jockeys in order of for his league to become well. As a Celtics fan, I'm am so happy that Isiah "Zeke" Thomas is making the decisions in the Big Apple! Hell, he makes Danny Ainge look like the next coming of Red Auerbach!

Anonymous said...

Channing Frye is a complete stiff and a waste of a roster spot. I don't know a single Knick fan who actually likes this bum. He doesn't rebound, he doesn't play D, can't post up, and is soft as a pillow. His only asset is his alleged jumper, which disappears on many nights. Francis is finished, but that doesn't matter since the Blazers are supposedly buying him out.

Randolph will demolish the inferior Eastern Conference. His lack of defense and character issues are noted, but the guy has a ton of talent. Look, Isiah still sucks, but this was a great trade for the Knicks. No doubt the Knicks are better team with Randolph as opposed to having Frye/Francis.