Tag Archives: eddy curry

Explaining Knicks fans in 100 words or less

EDITOR’S NOTE: As I’ve been exhuming this blog over the past couple of days, I’ve found that I had a couple handfuls of draft posts saved up.  Some of them never went live for totally understandable reasons — they needed a Photoshop job that I never got to, a joke needed tweaking, etc. — but I have no idea why this one didn’t go up.  So, here it is, woefully out of context and for no apparent reason whatsoever. – DD

“Something tells me that even the most bellicose Knicks fan will allow him that courtesy, rather than resenting his contract from dusk till dawn.”

Knicks fans will forgive anything — anything — if we believe you’re trying hard. The reason we’ve hated Eddy Curry (and why we hated Jerome James) isn’t because they’ve been bad players when they’ve played (though neither was exactly Moses Malone). It’s because it became obvious very early and very often that neither one of them gave much of a shit about trying to get on the court or trying very hard once they got out there. Dude, Knicks fans remember RICK BRUNSON fondly, and he was terrible. It’s not the money; it’s the malaise.

Putting a bow on a semi-busy, hoops-filled week by revisiting Hogan v. Andre

put-a-bow-on-it

Lotta basketball talk this week, which I suppose was to be expected.  Football’s over, I haven’t really cared about hockey since before the end of the Clinton administration, March Madness isn’t here yet, spring training has only just begun … there really weren’t a whole lot of things more interesting to me than basketball this week.  (Except, of course, F My Life.  Seriously, if you haven’t subscribed to that site’s RSS feed or bookmarked it, you’re blowing it.  It’s a schadenfreude lover’s best friend.)

We kicked the week off with my incredibly optimistic take on Dominant Team Pringles’ prospects for the remainder of 2K9 and the forthcoming NBA Draft.  Of course, they ruined my Devinastradamus prediction of a winless February by besting a Manu-less Spurs squadron, but I think there’s just enough futility in the tank to disappoint us all come playoff time.  In a Tuesday “true or false” question, we used the first poll in this is the city line. history (boundaries breaking, new worlds exploding into view) to ask whether or not Hornets forward David West looks like the guy who played Gunn on Angel. (It was your position that he does.)

We also took a look at the inevitable fail that will be America’s Top Baller, went a long way to make a super-dated Freaks and Geeks reference vis-a-vis the Oklahoma City Thunder’s new mascot, and got way, way, way, way too into the Knicks’ (ultimately not-so-meaningful) trade deadline deals.  And to top things off, a salute to José Guillen for doing something I would never, ever, ever do.  Plus, hit the simple goal of a post a day, and got the fine people at BallHype to add my humble endeavor to their rolls, which is great.  (Can’t wait to see how far down the rankings I am and get a better sense of just how many of you people there are out there.)  All in all, I award this week a +0.5.

What might push things to a full +1.0?  Glad you asked, friend.  Howzabout some Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant videos?

Mil gracias to brother Big Dawg for reminding me earlier this week how important this was to me in 1987 (and 1997, though less so in 2007).  It was neon-highlighter headline news for a husky young Devo, every step of the way.  From the contract signing:

To the epic Wrestlemania III contest:

To the classic Survivor Series ’87 “Team Hogan vs. Team Andre” match, featuring a young, spry Bam Bam Bigelow (rest in peace, sir):

It was all epic, all gargantuan, all the time.  I think I can honestly trace the evolution of my perception of the good/bad ethical spectrum (swear to God, almost wrote “ethnical” — hard-boiled racist Freudian slip much?) from the simple Hogan-face/Andre-heel battle of 1987 (Devine: age 4-5) to the Hogan-face/Warrior-face/what-the-fuck-is-a-young-man-to-do conundrum of 1990 (Devine: age 7-8).  It was flat-out mean of Vince McMahon to make such a fresh-faced, innocent young lad make that decision, but ultimately, he was doing what needed to be done: Weaning me off the notion that decisions about who you back and where you cast your lots in life are going to be easy.

“Sometimes shit’s hard,” Vince said.  “Fucking deal with it, Devine.”

OK, I replied with a sigh, my ample child bosom heaving ‘neath the strain of the decision I faced.

I backed Hogan, who, as we all know, lost.  That sucked, and I’m pretty sure I was super upset.  But I learned something by taking that L: There’s strength to be found in making the choice.

As I revisited a similar dilemma between childlike fandom and cold adult math spurred by the shapeshifting demon Larry Hughes yesterday, I came to a similar decision: I actually came to prefer the notion of the Knicks dealing Robinson and/or Lee if it provided the opportunity to shed the contracts of Curry and/or Jeffries.  Now, neither came to pass, both players stayed, Nate dunked over Biff and Knicks fans breathed a sigh of relief, so it wound up not mattering … except that to me, in some small weird way, it did.  For whatever that’s worth.

Shutting down the office, heading home to shut down my head, heading south for a family party tomorrow. Enjoy your weekends, friends, and as always, thanks for reading.  Be safe out there.

As is his wont, Larry Hughes is causing me to have an existential crisis

HE IS THE MINDFREAK. (Photo courtesy of The Plain Dealers Early Edition blog)

HE IS THE MINDFREAK. (Photo courtesy of The Plain Dealer's Early Edition blog)

When I saw the headline to the Wednesday post on New York Daily News reporter Frank Isola’s “Knicks Knation” (ugh) blog, I felt a chill run down my spine:

“Knicks targeting Bulls’ Larry Hughes.”

For real?  I mean, I’d heard possible trades discussed that would maybe allow the Knicks to shed a contract or two, maybe bring back an expiring deal, maybe add a frontcourt asset, etc.  But “targeting”?  Larry Hughes?

Are they aware that this is the dude whose reputation for taking abysmal, low-percentage shots at inopportune times inspired someone actually started a Web site called “Hey Larry Hughes, Please Stop Taking So Many Bad Shots“?  That he has in the past worn an ungodly body armor undershirt contraption that would elicit derision from the hairiest, Rec-Spec-iest dudes in your Wednesday morning YMCA league?

That he has engendered such distaste among Bulls fans that Matt at Blog-a-Bull admitted he “may have snuck in a pump of the fist when [he] saw Larry Hughes crumple to the ground” during a pre-season game against the Timberwolves?  That goathair’s lone birthday wish for this trade deadline (BTW, happy birfday, broheim) was that his beloved Bulls ship out Hughes?

That math genius Tom Ziller wrote at The Sporting Blog that “Hughes + Basketball = Wincing pain“?  That spiritual sage Bethlehem Shoals at the same site once advised Bulls GM John Paxson that Hughes “will destroy this team if you let him shine, like a cult leader and corrupt guidance counselor rolled up in one“?

That, through a uniquely distasteful combination of poor play and selfishness, he earned this etherization by Eamonn Brennan, noted scribe of seemingly everywhere?

Larry. Real talk. You are not as good as you think you are. You’re that awkward, crappy guy at open gym who, for whatever reason, thinks he’s really good, and alienates an entire court of eager basketball players in the meantime. You are self-deluded. You don’t command minutes. You waste possessions. You don’t defend. Your arm sleeve-sweater-thing is utterly ridiculous. You take horrible shots. SOMEONE NAMED A WEB SITE AFTER YOUR BAD SHOTS. IT WAS QUITE POPULAR DESPITE ITS INCREDIBLY LONG URL.

Christ, Larry. Figure it out. You’re the only one that hasn’t.

(I knew there was a lot of Larry Hughes-centric venom on the Internet, but I never knew it was this widespread … and we haven’t even gotten to the Basketbawful retrospective.  More on that to come.)

And yet, here we are, with Isola reporting that team president Donnie Walsh is considering flipping the expiring contract of Malik Rose and at least one player asset — including, possibly, restricted-free-agent-to-be Nate Robinson, whose stock has jumped after a string of quality performances leading into the All-Star break and whose monster 38-minute-32/10-with-3-assists-and-zero-TO line in Tuesday’s surprise victory over the Spurs led Kelly Dwyer to write the following: “That’s a line, and I’m being serious, that we were used to seeing from Dirk Nowitzki during his MVP run” — to bring in Hughes, whose $13.65 million contract comes off the books heading into the much-ballyhooed Summer of 2010.

(LONGEST SENTENCE EVER.)

But hold the phone on the giant cap-space clearance.  Let’s see if we can’t handicap the odds of this sucker actually going down.

Over at ESPN.com, Chris Sheridan last night gave us the good ol’ “go fuck yourself, trade watchers!” coin flip:

I have one very plugged-in source telling me that the Knicks still have a “slim but possible” chance of landing Larry Hughes, while another source was equally emphatic in saying he expects the Bulls to keep Hughes in mothballs now that they’ve dropped some $200,000 under the luxury tax threshold via the Brad Miller/John Salmons deal.

Today’s Chicago Tribune reports that “a nearly completed deal sending Hughes to the Knicks for Malik Rose and Jerome James fell apart Wednesday.”  At the same time, however, today’s Chicago Sun-Times says that Hughes didn’t travel with the Bulls to Milwaukee for their game against the Bucks (intrigue!) and that the framework for a Hughes deal might involve David Lee going Midwest and Kirk Hinrich heading to the Big City of Dreams.  (NOTE: Newsday’s Alan Hahn says that deal’s not happening, and that Lee’s not going anywhere.)

That first trade would make some economic sense — the Bulls get Rose’s expiring $7.65 million deal to create some space this off-season, the Knicks shed the now-largely-symbolic albatross of Big Snacks and turn about $14.25 million in total expiring contracts (spread over two years) into one lump-sum $13.65 million goner next year, the overwhelmingly obvious and explicitly stated goal of everything they do.

On the other hand, the second proposal would make most Knicks fans cry, cry, cry for several reasons:

  1. Lee’s become the great white hope for many in the Apple;
  2. While Hinrich is a more gifted overall player than Chris Duhon and his 2009 per-36 numbers are about in line with his career marks (with at least a couple of his advanced stats/peripherals nosing up toward his ’06-’07 career bests) despite missing about two months to a thumb injury, he doesn’t appear to represent a monster upgrade over what the Knicks are getting from Duhon this year;
  3. Hinrich’s contract pays him through 2011-2012, meaning that even though the Knicks would shed Hughes’ $13.65 million, they’d still have Cap’n Kirk, who doesn’t seem to be too many people’s idea of an NBA championship-caliber starting point guard, on the books for two more seasons.

Added wrinkle: In his post yesterday, Isola claimed that Lee would only go to Chicago in a Hughes deal if the Bulls sent back Joakim Noah or Tyrus Thomas, a framework for which had also been discussed as a “trade that SHOULD happen” by ESPN.com’s Chad Ford (in a post that was summarily pooh-poohed by Tommy Dee at The Knicks Blog on Tuesday).

But what makes this all the more interesting is Isola’s suggestion that some in NY’s front offices are having doubts about whether Lee is talented or savvy enough to merit locking up long-term:

Lee has enjoyed a breakout season but some in the organization wonder if he has reached his ceiling. On Tuesday, Lee was no match for Tim Duncan, who scored 13 fourth quarter points. Lee also missed a crucial free throw in the final minute and then knowingly gave his sixth foul in the final three seconds while guarding Tony Parker, who finished the night shooting 5-for-20.

Although the Knicks won the game, Lee’s decision to give a foul – the Knicks had one to give – was a questionable move at best. If the Knicks were up one, Lee would have been smart to foul. But in a tied game, there is a strong chance that the game will go into overtime. Think of it this way, how many All-Stars (and Lee thinks he belongs in that group) would knowingly foul out of a tie game? The answer is none.

Now, there’s one patently ridiculous point in Isola’s post, as has been noted in various places: Name me all the teams that Duncan doesn’t go to town on, especially down the stretch, especially when opponents are trying to guard him with 6’9″ guys.

But as for the other stuff — the questions about how much more’s left untapped in Lee’s talent reservoir — well, hmm.

/takes himself out of fan mode and tries to think like a company man

If you believe Lee’s reached his ceiling and as a result you’re not really considering him in your long-term plans … and if you’re looking for a higher-potential athlete that might be totally unleashed in Mike D’Antoni’s system (I think we can all agree that Thomas has the chance to be that) … AND if you think teams are unlikely to ever have higher opinions of Lee and Robinson than they do right now …

Then doesn’t it make perfect sense to continue the job started by the Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph deals and use these remaining valuable assets (in conjunction with Rose’s expiring contract) to try to shed the last remaining bad multiyear deals (Jared Jeffries and Eddy Curry) and keep cleaning up the company’s balance sheet?  Especially if said deals could return a chip (Thomas) that has the potential to be a higher-performing asset?

Even if it goes against all intuitive fan instincts to actively try to lose the two players who most make your team worth watching and fun to follow?  Even if it means taking on a millstone (Hughes) that is sure to inspire Silky Johnston-level hating from yours truly (which, come to think of it, might also be considered an upside)?

The man in me thinks the “sell high” principle should take hold and I should have the balls to stick with the same thought process that I maintained when Walsh dumped Crawford and Randolph — this year doesn’t matter, D’Antoni will find ways to be competitive and interesting this season regardless, building the foundation for the future and scouring the books is what counts, etc.

But the fan in me wants to boo the notion of moving Lee and NateRob until my throat is sore because of the life they’ve helped bring to the squad.  It’s causing the clash of head versus heart, intellect versus instinct, adult analysis versus childlike glee.  I honestly didn’t know I cared this much.

Wow.  That’s 1,500+ words I didn’t see coming.  Thanks, Larry Hughes, for making me feel like Dane McGowan after he smokes the blue mold in The Invisibles.  Trade deadline is doing my fucking head in, man.

Taking stock of a herky-jerky, in-between-hop kind of week

It’s been a weird week here at the friendly confines of this is the city line., and I’m honestly not real sure what it all means.

I started out by trying to shake off illness with drugs and Welsh rock music, then got the surprise blessing of basketblog raconteur Tom Ziller selecting my dumb variant on a pretty common joke for inclusion in Monday’s NBA Essentials link roundup over at FanHouse.  Then the worksplosion started, which sidetracked me pretty significantly, pushing me into throwing up a placeholder post that actually generated a little bit of interest (at least among my friends).

Once safely past Tuesday, I learned that Dominant Team Pringles sucked it up against the Warriors, a team they’re theoretically better than (by the way, my Doomsday prediction of a winless February — click STOP after the link opens to read mine prophecy — remains intact), got sick wistful on the Eddy Curry tip and came late to the Deadbeat Plax party with a Wimpy GIMPoshop.  Then I decided I was going to get drunk while watching a shitload of sports on Wednesday night to get some blog fodder and scrub the detritus from my already-off week.

Except I didn’t.  I wound up watching a bunch of Eugene Mirman videos while drinking/unwinding from work, then going to a good sports bar/bad restaurant, drinking a couple more beers while watching the first half of Celtics/Hornets, during which I took the following notes:

  • Hilton Armstrong looks like he could be Ron Artest’s son;
  • Kendrick Perkins needs to read goathair‘s hook shot post, because his form is often abysmal;
  • Two fouls on Chris Paul four minutes into the game at home = shocking and not good for N.O.;
  • Much like former Providence College scrub Leland Anderson, who my friend Chris and I nicknamed “Trainwreck” for his ball-handling “skills” (and who is apparently an aspiring professional wrestler), Hilton Armstrong should never be allowed to trigger the offense from the high post, ever, under any circumstances.  This is why Chris Paul getting two fouls four minutes into the game is bad; it allows Hilton Armstrong to be in a position to make decisions, which will result in him throwing the ball out of bounds at roughly 201 miles per hour;
  • David West = David Banner? I couldn’t figure out who the Hornets’ power forward looks like, so I threw down a name with a question mark.  My memory was wrong; see here and here for proof.  But still, I’m vexed that I know David West looks like someone, yet I can’t figure out who.  I’ve Googled it, but can’t find a consensus; DimeMag.com commenter “LakeShow84” says he “looks like Columbus Short from Stomp The Yard,” which is false. Another commenter at DimeMag.com, which is apparently the home of  people who want to figure out who David West looks like (a.k.a. my new homepage 4 life), says he “looks like the persian general who gets his head cut off by the fat guy with knifes on his arms in the movie 300,” which may be true, but I’ve never seen 300, so that can’t be who I think he is.  And some commenter on http://www.moviesnaps-tv.net (which totally doesn’t sound like a real thing, which is why I’m not trying to link there) suggests that he looks like Master P, which, again, is false.  Any help in resolving this conundrum would be greatly appreciated.
  • Lando = Doom? The U.S. v. Mexico World Cup qualifier was on, and I kept thinking that Landon Donovan looks like Julian McMahon, the guy that played Dr. Doom in the Fantastic Four movies.  This may not be true, but it also may not be false.  I award me one point.
  • Marks = BSkts? This, of course, is Sean Marks = Big Skeets.  I think I win this.
  • Paul Pierce is electric early (he wound up being that good throughout, scoring 30 on 19 shots in an 89-77 Celtics win);
  • Rajon Rondo giving up his dribble while being guarded by Big Skeets at the three-point line so he can get Ray Allen a contested 21-footer = NO;
  • Big Skeets getting alley-oops will always surprise me;
  • Which is worse: Rondo’s Rondo-fake into a stepback J/airball or anything Anderson Varejao on offense?

And that’s it.  My fiancee met me out at the bar, we had a drink, I suddenly got very tired, she ordered loaded nachos to go, we went home.  I worked from home yesterday and decided not to write anything; I’m working on a few things now, but nothing’s ready, and I kind of more wanted to use this morning to try to work through why I felt so disconnected from the Internet/had so much trouble getting my head on straight to post over the past few days.

I think I felt weird inside my own skin because my immediate reaction to not getting something substantial up on Tuesday was, “Fuck, I didn’t capitalize on whatever look-in audience might have come from FanHouse.”  Which was weird, because it was the second time in less than a week that I’d had a thought like that (check out the second-to-last paragraph in last week’s “Week in Review” post).  My follow-up in the internal dialogue was, “What the fuck do you care?  You’re just doing this thing for fun, right?”  And the inevitable answer was,  “Because I want to get more readers,” and the inevitable corollary to that is “Because I want this thing to get big,” and that’s when I started to get a little sick inside.

Doing this thing has been remarkably fun and rewarding, and I don’t want to psych myself out of doing it by thinking about it like a small business that’s competing in some kind of depressed sports-joke economy.  The only thing that’ll do is shut this shitshow down on the quick and drive me nuts.  So let’s take this back a step:

Hey there.  I’m Devine.  This is a place where I write dumb shit.  Thanks for reading.  Here’s an unintentionally funny photograph of Jorge Garbajosa and Andrea Bargnani trying to look tough in front of what appears to be a junior prom backdrop. I might write some stuff this weekend; I will definitely write something on Monday.  One post a day, every week day, to distract me and you from our jobs.  Sound fair to you?

File this under “Things That Will Never Happen”

From ESPN.com’s front page:

eddy-sad

Yeah, there are a lot of things it seems like Eddy Curry might find, but normalcy wouldn’t be at the top of the list.

I know it’s well-worn territory, but the last two years of Curry’s life have been just a murderer’s row of horrendousness. He’s been the victim of a home invasion, he’s been reduced to a joke in his professional life, he’s been on the business end of a highly public and extremely embarrassing lawsuit that called his sexuality into question, and then his ex-girlfriend and 9-month-old daughter were murdered, an attack that his son mercifully survived, but was still present for. He’s also had to deal with all this before he even turns 27 (dude’s a little more than two months younger than me) — and, if he doesn’t come back from the knee injury that’s sidelined him for most of this season as a vastly superior player than he was last year, he could be on a path that takes him out of the NBA by age 30, sending him rocketing into the vast nothingness of NeverWas. Dark shadows abound.

All of which is to say: If this guy just wanted to staple himself to a barstool and drink for the next six summers, I’d have a tough time blaming him. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m rooting for you, Eddy. You’ll be in my thoughts as I start drinking. Slainte, boss.

A calm, reasoned explanation for this Eddy Curry business

Which sexual path would YOU (allegedly) take if you saw this sign on a road trip?

kissed-a-girl

I’d start (allegedly) considering more masculine options, too.

Photo courtesy of Crummy Church Signs, a blog I added to my Google Reader as soon as I saw its name, via the fine folks at FFFFOUND!.

Also, fellow jump-the-gunners: Do yourselves a favor and read Shoals’ take over at The Sporting Blog, which gave me pause and stopped me from writing a lengthy post in which an embattled Curry shot a guest spot on Charles Oakley’s new online cooking show.