Even though it is raining here in DC it is a very good day so far.
This morning I wake up and hear that Jerry Buss has decided he wants both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard. Whether the Lakers actually pull it off remains to be seen, but the fact that they have the most tradable assets of anyone looking to get in the Paul/Howard sweepstakes, and an owner with deep enough pockets that he will not flinch if he has to take back the contracts of Okafor and that Turkish fellow down in Orlando to pull it off, should scare the Knicks fans who rather spend their time pining for Paul rather than focusing on their own team into toning it down some. Because if you believe that Paul would not sign an extension in LA especially if Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant are part of the deal, then I have some nice swamp land that might interest you.
Then I find out that Jared Jeffries will indeed return to play for the Knicks. Jeffries is a guy who is loyal to the Knicks organization and even Knicks fans even though they do nothing but hate on him. Jeffries whether he plays well or not always hustles and gives 100% effort whenever he steps on the floor. He also has a ton of heart and I like that in a player. It was Jeffries who stepped up in the Celtics series when our guys started dropping like flies, and even though he is a scrub didn't give in and just accept defeat. If more Knicks showed the amount of fight that Jeffries did in that series maybe we would have done better. To be honest if the mega superstar Lebron James showed the amount of heart a scrub like Jeffries did, he would have a ring right now. The truth hurts.
Then to top it off I hear that the Knicks have gotten back into contention to sign Grant Hill and Kurt Thomas. Thomas and Hill are two guys that D'Antoni wants very much on this team, but a few days ago it appeared that the Knicks had zero chance at either guy, However the Knicks have been engaged in frequent discussions with both guys and they appear to be listening. D'Antoni's desire to have these guys on the roster makes sense, they both played for him and know his system and therefore given the shortened training camp can come in and hit the ground running.
My reason for wanting both guys is simple. Hill and Thomas can still play ball and would make the Knicks a much better team. Not only because of what they can still do on the court, but their impact on some of our younger guys. We already have Billups ready to take Douglas and Shumpert under his wing, could you imagine the positive effect a consummate pro like Hill could have on a guy like Landry. Just watching how Hill goes about physically and mentally preparing for games will pay dividends for Landry, not to mention the impact of going against Hill every day in practice. Who better to tutor a guy like Jorts on how to play nasty physical defense and bang on the boards while not fouling out in five minutes than Kurt Thomas. Hell Thomas could probably even teach Turiaf a few tricks. But the biggest plus is that Hill and Thomas are two smart savvy players who know how to play the game the right way and at a high level, who will not be intimidated playing with Carmelo and Amar'e.
Imagine a Knicks starting lineup of Billups, Hill, Carmelo, Amar'e, and Thomas. Two all-star caliber players surrounded by three savvy vets who have been there and done all of that. Then you could come off the bench with a group of high energy guys like Shumpert, Douglas, Fields, Jeffries, Turiaf and Jorts. I think if you give D'Antoni that roster, he will say "Bring on the East, we will take on all comers." Also if you could not appreciate the kind of threat the Knicks would be in the east if they could put that together right now, then I suggest you call Pat Riley and ask him what he thinks. Of course, his answer may not be coherent because he will be too busy flinging curses into the phone to make sense.
So today is a good day!