If there’s one thing I’ve learned this offseason, it’s that Knick fans hate Carmelo Anthony almost as much as Carmelo Anthony hates the police.
Now, I never knew Melo hated the police until FOX News referred to him as a "noted anti-police advocate." It must be true, however, because they used the word "noted." It’s not like a sleazy news organization can just pull some story out of their ass, make a note of their own story, then attach their bullshit accusations to any person they don’t like, am I right?
So clearly Melo does hate the police, and he’s been hanging out with shady characters like President Obama. What are we Knick fans to do? Are we destined to spend another season hating our team’s best player? Perhaps we can turn instead to the poetic and inspiring words of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address. Don’t remember it? Here it is, tattooed on some guys back (bonus points if you can spot the THREE spelling mistakes.)
But if you’re one of those people who just has to hate a Knick, I’d like to present you with a more palatable alternative – a player much less integral to the team’s success. His name is Jason Frederick Kidd.
Personally, I don’t like the guy. I’m not saying the Knicks shouldn’t have signed him – he’ll be fine off the bench. He’s still being somewhat miscast as an offensive player – I remember hearing a podcaster recently mention Kidd as someone who can still hit the 3. Kidd’s outside shooting development was a nice little story from a couple years ago, but it doesn’t really apply anymore. Check out his shooting percentages from the past few seasons:
He’s basically done as an offensive player. His outside shooting has dropped down to traditional Kidd levels. We all know he can’t get in the lane anymore. Even his assist percentage dropped to 28.6% last season, just a shade below Monta Ellis - who isn’t exactly known as a distributor - and well below Baron Davis’ 36.2%. In fact, if you go by basketball-reference win shares, He was twice as valuable last season on defense as he was on offense - 0.9 Offensive Win Shares, 2.1 Defensive Win Shares.
Still, nobody is asking him to be the Kidd of old. He just has to be a competent backup. And why would I waste my time hating a backup? Because of the Kidd of old, and the damage he has done.
The Nets have won exactly as many Eastern Conference Titles (2) as the Knicks have during my lifetime. That...sickens me. And Kidd is the primary reason for that. The man molded and mentored a young Kenyon Martin…which is why I think P&T’ers should refer to him as ‘Obi-Wan Fugazi.’
And let us never forget the travesty that was the 2004 Eastern Conference first round playoff series. Do you remember the ‘03-04 Knicks? Here, check ‘em out. Check out the firepower: Marbury, Penny, Vin Baker, Cezary Trybanski. Check out my man Herb Williams, stepping up and completing the first undefeated head coaching campaign since Don Shula’s ‘72 Dolphins. (Note to Herb: You shouldn’t have taken the reigns in ‘04-05, my man; you should have gone out on top.) The team had so much talent that they traded away Keith Van Horn AND Michael Doleac and still didn’t miss a beat. With all the momentum of a runaway freight train, they powered their way to 39 wins in a strike-shortened season. (What? There wasn’t a strike in ’03? They played the full 82 games that season? Oh well, let’s pretend there was a strike.)
The Knicks were primed to steamroll their way through the playoffs on the way to the championship. And with the steady hand of Isiah Thomas at the helm, they were well on their way to building a dynasty. But it was all destroyed by Jason Kidd’s Nets, who somehow managed to eke out a four-game sweep. The nascent dynasty was killed before it even had a chance. I’ll always hate Jason Kidd for that. Win us a championship this season, Kidd, and maybe we’ll call it even.