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Catch and Shoot: KG Should Say Hello Brooklyn

May 15, 2012

Kevin Garnett is one mean dude, but he plays hard and demands excellence from himself and his teammates. Which is why he’s perfect for the Brooklyn Nets, a team who will struggle for its identity in the Big Apple despite its thuga-a-luscious new logo that will set new sales records for NBA clothing in NYC.

KG is hoping to lead the Boston Celtics past the 76ers in the Eastern Conference semis, and is likely playing his last season in the green and white. Even old and dirty and mean, he’s going to be a commodity this offseason.

Let’s face it, even when the Nets had their moments of relevance, only hardcore Nets fans (all five of them) actually give a crap about the team itself. Like the guy that made this video:

Signing Garnett to be the building block to build a foundation in Brooklyn isn’t only a smart move, it may be one of the few instant gratification moves that the franchise can make to introduce itself to the boro of Kings. It’s going to takes lot more to make the team relevant, but Melo and the Knicks aren’t winning anything anytime soon.

I mean, really, who gives you your money’s worth at the end of the day, Melo and LaLa or KG and the OBF?

Grantland: Weinreb: Where is Micheal Ray Richardson?

October 27, 2011

In 1979, I was 11 years old, living in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. CYO basketball (I played for St. Vincent Ferrer) was my life, and so were the New York Knicks.

Two years earlier, my Mets had traded Tom Seaver, but a rookie (and fellow Brooklynite Lee Mazzilli) had softened the blow a bit.

At Madison Square Garden, the Knicks had made a similar (in my opinion, anyway), when they traded away Bob McAdoo to the hated Celtics for three No. 1 draft picks (one of which would turn out to be Bill Cartwright, whom I would loathe until he was dealt for Charles Oakley and Rod Strickland a decade later). Drafted out of Montana was another young player, who like Mazzilli, I just knew was destined for greatness; a 6-foot-5 point guard named Michael Ray Richardson.

If you’re a Knicks fan from way back, you know about the career of the man who became Micheal Ray Richardson. On grantland.com writer Michael recently caught up with the former point guard. It’s a great piece, one of several I’ve read on that site. I urge you to read it.

Hoping Murphy’s Stay Is Longer Than Expected

August 28, 2010

Murphy is not only the best power forward the Nets have had since Kenyon Martin, he might be the best boxscore stuffer they’ve had at the position since Derrick Coleman.Dave D’Alessandro/The Star-Ledger

When Troy Murphy opted to skip his senior year at Notre Dame, I was pretty disappointed. The news that he going to spend this upcoming NBA season with the New Jersey Nets almost makes up for it.

Almost.

As a big ND hoops fan, I had hoped that Murphy would have stayed for his last year of eligibility to help Ryan Humphrey, Matt Carroll, and David Graves give coach Mike Brey his first (and best) shot at the Final Four.

It didn’t happen. Murphy went on to play for nine seasons for the Warriors and Pacers and was dealt to the Nets as part of a four-team, five-player trade last month.

I was pleased to see the interview Dave D’Alessandro from the Star-Ledger did with Murphy a few weeks ago, as it illustrated the kind of player and person Murphy is.

But according to NetsAreScorching.com’s Mark Ginoccio, Murphy’s stay in New Jersey could be even more short-lived.

Carmelo Anthony would be a huge get for the soon-to-be Brooklyn To Be Named Laters, but color me biased, I’d like to see Murphy play in his home state for awhile.

Point Of The Matter

August 6, 2010

Lost in all of drama of what the New York Knicks didn’t do this off season has when they have accomplished. The quiet acquisition of point guard Raymond Felton, for one, is a transaction that is going to pay immediate dividends.

To the casual basketball fan who watches ESPN, the Knicks whiffing on LeBron James may seem catastrophic. But speaking for myself, who has been a Knicks fan since 1975, I think the changes made to this team this offseason bode well.

Yes, having Amar’e Stoudemire as the focal point of Mike D’Antoni’s offense is huge. Bringing in the talented trio of Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike and Ronny Turiaf brings athleticism (Randolph), some shooting ability off the bench (Azubuike) and interior defense (Turiaf).

But at point guard, the most important role in D’Antoni’s uptempo offense, Felton could prove to be the most important pickup since the Knicks traded for Earl Monroe in 1971.

Looking at statistics will only tell part of Felton’s story. Yes, in his five seasons with Charlotte, Felton averaged a mediocre 13.3 points and 6.4 assists, while shooting 41 percent from the field. But in reality, he is the best point guard the team has had in the last five years. Plus, he has a winning pedigree.

He won back-to-back state championships in high school, an N.C.A.A. title at North Carolina and helped the expansion Bobcats to their first playoff berth last season. He also played in a very controlled and precise offense in Charlotte, and in D’Antoni’s system, that will change dramatically.

So will the Knick’s fortunes.

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