I'm still processing all of this. That was an intense couple of days. I for one, was convinced LeBron was coming here during the last couple of days, and I was pretty surprised he chose Miami. I thought the New York situation was an ideal one for him, and that his competetiveness would lead him to challenge Wade and Bosh buy going with Amar'e and the Knicks.
But I think I underestimated his friendship and bond with Wade. OK. Him, Wade and Bosh all got signed by Pat Riley to play on the Heat. Wow. Talk about a villianous group. We have a truly evil entity to do battle with - that much is for sure.
Enough of that - it's done and I feel awesome to have it off my back.
After 8 years of awful hell and 2 years of painstakingly slow dismantling and positioning, the sun is rising again on the New York Knicks.
After confirmation of the LeBron cheeseball decision, the Knicks quickly finalized a deal with the Golden State Warriors to sign and trade Lee for Ronny Turiaf, Anthony Randolph and Kellena Azuibeke. I don't know how to spell his name, but I believe he has game. He's an efficient scorer, and apparently can play defense. Randolph is an athletic, long specimen with fiercenss to his game. He reminds me a little of a young Marcus Camby, who was my favorite Knick of all time. He has little man skills in a big man's body, but he can rebound too. And Turiaf impressed me in that last game the Knicks played with Golden State. He has passion and strength and can block shots. Not a superstar, but has classic big mans skills and an awesome beard.
Though I like the players the Knicks brought back in this deal, and the cap flexibility it gives us (Kelenna and Randolph expire after next year), Lee is still the best player in this deal and losing him is tough. But I also feel a sense that it was time to fully purge the team of the previous, dark era. Basketball-wise, I think Lee and Amar'e could have worked well together, but somehow, this just feels right.
I'm a little nervous, but excited. Let's con't the ways.
1. No more Al Harrington, stopping the ball with his maddening mixture of skills and suckiness.
2. No more Chris Duhon, with his maddening mixture of decency and extreme lack of effective balls.
3. With Lee gone, and a year past, it's more Toney Douglas and Gallo's team. I like the offensive and defensive swagger on these guys, and I think they will be able to show more leadership this year, which I firmly believe is a good thing.
4. Amar'e Stoudemire. In a dark alley, you'd want him on your side a million times more than you'd want Chris Bosh. Dude's balls are bigger than Chris Bosh's head.
5. Speaking of which, No Chris Bosh. I have a feeling that 5 years of Chris Bosh is a formula for heartache. Miami fans will be happy they have LeBron and Wade to ease the pain of that situation.
6. Did I mention no Chris Bosh? No Chris Bosh. Maybe that should have been #1.
7. With no LeBron, the Knicks are the underdog. I prefer to be the underdog to being the overdog.
8. Also, on that vein, the city of Cleveland doesn't hate us. I'm happy about that, because I don't hate the city of Cleveland.
9. "Fuck Pat Riley". It just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?
10. We have Anthony Randolph, a guy who has been a favorite of P&T for years, Ronny Turiaf, a guy with an awesome beard and a big repaired heart, Jerome Jordan, who is really fucking big and long and has a good story and good potential - to join Amar'e on the front line. Perhaps our undersized days are over? And, failing all that, there's always the ever-present hope that there will be an Eddy Curry revival.
11. Speaking of which, Eddy's contract will just become more and more valuable as this year goes on. I feel really confident that we can turn this into Melo, CP3, or a first round draft pick.
12. Wilson Chandler. Still on the team, playing good D and driving to the hoop. Wilson's a damn good player.
13. I'm genuinely excited about Andy Rautins. Guys don't get to be beloved by basketball fans for no reason. I have a feeling this guy will be surprisingly effective. In any case, he and Fields will be good teammates and good character guys.
There are lots of questions and uncertainties - I don't feel championship aspirations just yet. But I do feel like the Knicks have a lot of guys on their team that I really like and there is potential that they really gel as a team and provides some really awesome and memorable moments for us Knick fans. It may not happen this year, but we're positioned well to ascend. There may be bumps in the road and some stuff may not work out, but I believe the playoffs are in our future, with a team we can be proud to root for.
Well played, Donnie. A very patient and solid job of transforming the team. I'm looking forward to the future.