Folks, I know this is being released following a huge NBA day and you probably couldn’t care less about a potential new semi-recurring series on Posting & Toasting. LeBron is going to Lakers with apparently Lance Stephenson and JaVale McGee, reducing pretty much every other roster move as lateral or marginal in either direction.
But we follow the Knicks dammit! Who cares about LeBron, Kawhi, and that guy with two first names ESPN gave three hours of primetime television to document his pending free agency like he’s a superstar NBA fans actually care about. We care about whether the UniKornet is coming back (he is!) or if Mudiay learns to land on his feet after a layup.
And speaking of all things related to the Knickerbockers of New York, enter the “Drews & Don’ts.” Fellow Posting & Toasting contributor and Biggie zealot James Marceda came up with the amazing pun title for what was originally just going to be me being Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, except without the racism — an old man yelling at people to get off his virtual lawn. Instead, I will combine my musty takes with ones that warrant varying degrees of praise.
The offseason is going to be as long as the beloved French Prince of Madison Garden. Not only is it going to be long, it is also going to be relatively uneventful unless Steve Perry magically finds a team to take on both Courtney Lee and Joakim Noah. So, to get everyone through this offseason, I wanted to put together a list of things to “Drew (do)” and “don’t.” Let’s get into it!
Drew: Watch the Summer League
The Knicks’ Summer League schedule and roster has been released. I love Summer League! Well, Orlando more than Vegas. I may be the only one who actually preferred the now-defunct Orlando Summer League to Vegas. The terrible camera angle because they are playing in a local YMCA with no fans watching is as close to a surreal NBA viewing experience as you can get via your television. No matter the Summer League venue, watching guys who have no business being in the NBA go up against top rookies or second-year players while chucking up shots is a source of great comedy.
Saturday, July 7, Frank Ntilikina, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Damyean Dotson will be facing the Canal Street Warriors and it’s going to be must-watch TV because we are truly junkies for anything related to the NBA.
Don’t: Anything related to player workout videos and social media posts
This was actually going to be its own “you know what really grinds my gears?” article, but I didn’t want to expound on the subject for something like 500 words. I’ll just be blunt: I hate this. I couldn’t care less about who Ntilikina is working out with or why Emmanuel Mudiay isn’t posting workout videos on The Gram on a regular basis. Why does this matter? These are professional athletes. Of course they are working on their game. Because Enes Kanter is hitting WIDE OPEN threes in an empty gym doesn’t mean he’s going to hit them in a game. You really think that Kanter doesn’t shoot threes in practice and doesn’t make some? He’s a professional basketball player, not some schmuck on the Internet ranting on a blog who no longer can hit 15-footers.
Stop sharing these videos on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and random strangers on Omegle. They are irrelevant and pointless. End this madness, please (158 words for those keeping count, and 172 if you count these words too).
Drew: Watch Knicks & other NBA games from last year
I know, I know, last season got dark right quick after Christmas (again). But our memory and eye test regularly fail us when it comes to remembering how things went. We can obviously just go back to the box scores, but statistics need context too. Rewatch the legendary “Porzingis drops 37 on the Lakers at MSG because Jen Selter is in the stands” game or the “Frank drops his first career double-double against the Nets” game.
Going back to watch some games and film allows for you to potentially reconsider previous assumptions to help you have a better foundation when assessing players. Was Kanter really that bad at defense? Why did O’Quinn and McDermott have great chemistry? How many times did Mudiay fall after a layup attempt? And you can even do that with other teams to help answer questions you may have. Is Jokic as bad on defense as people make it out to be? Was the Rockets’ offense really that boring? Should the Knicks actually take a flyer on Mario Hezonja? (They did!)
And if you don’t want to go the “assessing players route,” catching up on entertaining games from last season that you missed is always a good idea when you need that NBA fix after Summer League.
Don’t: Be Enes Kanter on Twitter
I’m usually the guy who says “you do you” because we are all individuals with autonomy and we should be able to freely do things that we want to do. I may very well annoy all of my 374 followers on Twitter too with my takes. Me being hard on folks just being themselves is something I should not be doing.
And I totally get it where Kanter may be coming from. He’s trolling and annoying folks who are publicly saying to leave a franchise and city he has said he wants to play for. Hell, I would probably do that to the Posting & Toasting readers if they kept telling me to leave the website because I put up empty stats, can’t play defense, and am a cornball.
With that said, Kanter this past week on Twitter was, well, quite cringy. From the “Kanter Makes Knicks Great Again” tweet to whatever the hell this is, let’s all just do our best to avoid this type of tweeting. It just isn’t a good look.
Drew: Allow yourself to disconnect from the NBA
This may appear to run counter to the previous Drews, so let me expand. The NBA during the season truly can be a 24/7 entity. With all the games to watch, the podcasts to listen to, and the articles to read, it’s a whole lot to take in to be informed when discussing the sport. The summer is a perfect time to catch up on your other hobbies — if you’re not doing a good job maintaining them throughout the calendar year.
When I say “watch some old games,” I don’t mean every day or anything to that extent; only once in a while when you miss it. You have all of July, August, and September to catch up on a television show you’re interested in (I got the recommendations, so hit me up), read some books (I only read books with pictures because I’m borderline illiterate), take up yoga (I need to follow this advice for myself), or learn to perfect making pizza at home (I got the recipes if you need them). There just isn’t anything interesting going on by the end of the first few days of free agency. Go live your best life!
Don’t: Expect the Knicks offseason to be interesting
I should probably end on a more positive note, but I feel this is an important point to discuss. With Kanter opting into his deal, the Knicks don’t have cap space outside of the non-taxpayer mid-level exception and the bi-annual exception. A sexy free agent just isn’t signing with New York this year. Maybe Vince Carter comes as a mentor on a one-year contract. Maybe Michael Beasley re-signs. Maybe Steve Perry convinces Marcus Smart to sign for a four-year, $36 million deal while also trading Courtney Lee. The last of the maybes is the most sexy, but that’s not as sexy as LeBron James signing with the Knicks.
Having a quiet, low-key offseason is perfectly fine, and potentially what New York needs as it continues to rehab its perception around the league. There is no shame in that, like there is no shame is having a nice night making a pan pizza in a cast iron skillet, opening a bottle of wine, and watching Psych reruns on Amazon Prime.
You know that’s right