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Is anyone now concerned that the Knicks getting Zack Randolph now become a major contender for the EC chamionship. With Curry, Randolph and Lee playing the 4 and 5 and with Crawford and Richardson playing the 2 and 3 Marbury just has to get these guys the ball and can just be an average point guard.
Say what you like about IT his team is looking like it could do a great deal of damage next season. Unloading Francis for Randolph was a major coup for Isiah. I'm sure we will hear about the dysfunctionality of these guys but they will also win a lot of games. Dysfunctionality will be in on the east coast.
New York Knicks head coach Isiah Thomas.
Knicks head coach Isiah Thomas urged a team cheerleader to flirt with NBA referees to "make them happy" and Stephon Marbury had sex with a team employee who felt coerced into the liaison, bombshell court papers charge.
The stunning accusations surfaced in papers filed yesterday by fired Knicks executive Anucha Browne Sanders in a bid to thwart Madison Square Garden's attempt to derail her sex harassment suit.
The latest charges - dismissed by Knicks brass yesterday - were gathered from depositions that dozens of Garden employees gave during the past year.
The sordid allegations include:
Thomas allegedly urged Knicks cheerleader Petra Pope to cozy up to the refs before a game against the Nets in 2004.
"What she told me was that Isiah asked her to go into the referees' locker room and make them happy," Browne Sanders testified. "I asked her to tell me what that meant and she said, 'Well, he wanted me to flirt with the referees.'"
She said Pope told her she reluctantly did as she was asked.
In November 2005 a member of Browne Sanders' staff told her and another female Garden executive that she had sex with Marbury in a car after a boozed-filled night at a "gentleman's club."
The woman said Marbury textmessaged her a few day later saying, "I want some more of that," according to court documents.
The woman told her bosses the sex was consensual. But she also said "she did not believe she could say no because of who Marbury is," according to the court documents.
Browne Sanders claims Marbury called her a "black b----" after she complained that the star guard's cousin - who also was employed by the Knicks - had been making graphic sexual comments to her staff.
But Knicks brass said in a statement that the suit filed by the team's former senior vice president for marketing and business operations was "riddled with fabrications."
Browne Sanders, 44, was fired "for poor performance and manipulating subordinates for personal gain," the statement said.
At one point the Garden was ready to make the case go away with cash, according to court papers. But when Browne Sanders' lawyers asked for $6million in 2005, Garden Chairman Jim Dolan called it "ridiculous" and nixed the payout, the papers said.
Earlier that year, Browne Sanders was given a $75,000 raise and her annual salary jumped to $250,000. She said she was told she was doing a terrific job and, with the Garden's backing, was named to the Sports Business Journal's list of top professionals.
She now works for a nonprofit and makes about half of her Garden salary.
The former Northwestern University hoops star from Brooklyn said she repeatedly clashed with Thomas, who she said told people he loved her when he wasn't calling her a "b----."
At a practice in October 2005, she claims Thomas said it was "distracting to work with someone who was so attractive."
In his deposition, Thomas denied any fireworks. "I'm not attracted to her, no," he said.
If we got a shooter we could maybe win 50 games based on offense - with a good coach. I hesitate to say there's no shot at making the finals just because the EC is so weak but in a normal year our top - IF we get a shooter - is the 2nd rd.
Now if we got a coach who could somehow make the team D-up that would change but we all know we don't have that coach.
As of right now I'd predict 40-42 wins, a lot of high-scoring games, a 6-8 playoff seed and 1st rd exit. We'll be as offensively talented as any team this side of Phoenix but we'll be one of the 5 worst defensive teams in the league.
In a conference where Washington can be successful with that frontcourt, I see no reason why NY can't compete for homecourt. I don't see them being successful in the playoffs, though, unless Crawford were to really catch fire at the right time.
When you look at how decimated their roster was by injuries last year, you realize they should have definitely made the playoffs. Randolph for Frye is a huge, huge upgrade (Francis is a non-entity as far as either team is concerned.) If Chandler can come in and have the same kind of impact Balkman did, they're going to be rather good.
The Knicks will be worse, not better, with the addition of Randolph. He's a huge ball hog and there's going to be some big-time conflict over touches and shots.
Last year in games that Randolph sat out the Blazers played MUCH better. Everyone noticed it (excep the Knicks) and that's a major reason why Randolph was unloaded. Randolph is in the top 2% or 3% of NBA bad guys. It's not just Randolph, but also the creeps he hangs around with. It WILL blow up in New York.
I t's a rural area, and people sometimes shoot at things in the sticks, so the people who live adjacent to Zach Randolph's home in Stafford will tell you they don't so much mind the occasional sound of gunfire coming from his five-acre property.
But the neighbors have grown tired of the late-night gatherings and the sound of all-terrain vehicles racing around at 3 a.m., with screeching women hanging off the back. And they'll tell you that Randolph erected a large, enclosed dog kennel on the property a couple of years ago, and they're not so sure how they feel about that.
New York City, betcha can't wait to meet the Hoops Family.
Hey, maybe you're busy today dreaming on Greg Oden. Or weighing the trade that sent Zach Randolph, Dan Dickau and Freddie Jones to the Knicks in exchange for Steve Francis and Channing Frye on Thursday.
So, yeah, who was the big winner?
Randolph's neighbors, of course.
Those poor souls thought they were moving to the country to get away from the noise, and the hustle, so they could get some peace and stare at the horizon. Then, they woke up one day and the neighborhood went "2 Fast 2 Furious" on them. Randolph showed up with his posse of sycophant friends who wore diamond-encrusted necklaces declaring themselves the "Hoops Family."
On Thursday, Randolph's neighbors got their liberation.
Maybe you're surprised at the big choice Thursday. Not Oden over Durant. Principles over Randolph. Because what we've witnessed is the exorcism of a franchise player. Randolph was just jettisoned out of town at 50 cents on the dollar, and the Blazers are smitten with the deal, ready to try and turn another.
Before you can even wonder how Frye will give the team depth, and whether Francis' contract (which has two years remaining vs. the four years on Randolph's) gives Portland flexibility, or whether Francis might entertain a buyout, you have to first marvel at how little the Blazers must have thought of Randolph.
The franchise didn't want Randolph around Oden. They didn't want him in LaMarcus Aldridge's way. It's obvious they didn't want to go another day, or another minute, waiting for the telephone to ring with a report of Randolph mixed up in some innocent dealing with a prostitute, police, a strip club, a gun or street racing. A guy whose unpredictable character used to fit like a headband around here found himself expendable Thursday.
Frye gives the Blazers depth in the front court. He'll fit the kind of culture that general manager Kevin Pritchard loves. You can envision Frye as a role player on a team playing deep in the playoffs. And the guy who calls himself "Stevie Franchise" has two years and $33.6 million remaining on his contract, which means you just bought two expensive years off Randolph's deal. And if the Blazers are serious about getting better sooner, they'll buy out Francis.
What you can't do if you're Portland is let Francis hang around the kiddies in your locker room.
Remember, when Francis was drafted by the Grizzlies, he was so disappointed he cried. Then, he declared that he would not play for the Grizzlies, who were in Vancouver, B.C., at the time, because it was too far from his home in Maryland, and against God's will. He's also a defensive liability. Also, Francis was suspended for kicking a photographer and refusing to enter the game in the waning moments of a blowout loss.
That's only to say, Francis isn't a 25-point pledge kind of guy. It's the most puzzling piece of the trade, until you remember he's rumored to be interested in a buyout. Portland is going to have a difficult time selling Francis to fans because he's going to remind them of everything they loathed in the last decade. Which is why the Blazers should assign a settlement negotiator, not an assistant coach, to work with Francis on how he can best help the Blazers this summer.
Sure, Portland could have waited until February's trade deadline to deal Randolph. Sure, the Blazers could have kept shopping, just to see what else was out there. But in the end, what we have here isn't so much a trade as an indictment of the old way of doing business at One Center Court.
Randolph's $84 million contract was negotiated by Steve Patterson and John Nash. So was the Darius Miles contract that still has three years and $26 million remaining, which you might argue, pound-for-pound, was the worst contract ever negotiated in Portland if only Miles hadn't gained 40 pounds since he last played. Owner Paul Allen just saved himself $33 million, which would have gone to Randolph in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
You can't make Thursday's trade about value, because, on paper, man for man, Portland got ripped off. The Blazers gave up a perennial 20-and-10 player. But if you're looking at the larger picture, if you're weighing the direction of the franchise, if you understand who Randolph was when nobody was looking, you know that something had to be done with Randolph.
He didn't fit in anymore.
You could tell by the way Brandon Roy looked at him. You could tell by the way management talked about him. You could tell by how his coaches cringed when the ball went into the post and never came out.
The bonus here is that Randolph ends up in the Eastern Conference, where he won't someday bump the Blazers out of a playoff spot. It's why Portland wouldn't seriously entertain sending Randolph to Golden State, Denver or Seattle, which expressed interest. And we're all certainly going to get joy out of watching Randolph and Eddy Curry discover during games that there is only one basketball, and two of them.
When you sift through the events of Thursday, you understand that Pritchard and Allen view their team as being two years away from completion. They're young, still. But they're good. And you wouldn't mind living next door to them. The Blazers, as is, will contend for the final playoff spot next season, but if we're talking real contention -- the top four seeds in the Western Conference -- you understand that the Blazers have given themselves salary flexibility two years from now.
Here is what I think about the Knicks trade, they can't be any worse than they were.
I feel that Francis and Frye are not good defenders, so can Zach really make them any worse there? Also, Frye is a poor rebounder for a big man and Zach is a very good one, grabs around 10 boards a night.
They get rid of Franics, how is he any more of a ball hog than Randolph is?
The nice thing is that Lee, Jefferies, and maybe Balkman can play the 4.
They still don't have a balanced roster but they have a lot of talent and while Randolph is no good on defense neither was Francis or Frye. At the very least they gain more points and rebounds. Another thing is that people say how turnover prone Randolph is but so is Francis.
Talent-wise, trading Francis' huge contract and Channing "the second-coming of Charles Smith" Frye for Randolph is a home run for Zeke/Dolan.
But I'm not really sure it'll make them all that much better. Curry was starting to look really good in the post last year and Zach excels with his back to the basket too. Do you really need a guy posting up on each block?
I guess Randolph can place some high post and his face up/mid-range game is pretty good, but it's not like we're talking about David Robinson and Tim Duncan here. He just seems a little redundant here, and is also gonna take even more minutes away from rebounding phenom David Lee, who Zeke already doesn't play enough.
As long as IT is involved the Knicks will never be a big threat in the Eastern Conference, mark my words.
I know a lot of this is post brawl syndrome, but the Knicks have a lot of players like Marbury, Nate Robinson, and Randolph who have had a lot of on and off the court incident in the past. Maybe that brawl last year was only a small prelude to what could happen if tempers get testy at the Garden next year. These Knicks don't look bad on paper, but hey, neither did the 2004 Pacers when the season started.
Isiah will probably trade Randolph in a package for Kobe before the season starts.
If that happens (which I would say is very possible because I think the Lakers are dumb enough to trade Kobe) then I can't wait to watch the Kobe/NYK love affair begin and then melt right in front of all of our eyes. Their management is so incompetent it's ridiculous. They're good at drafting (much better than the Pacers year in and year out) and they're not making quite as many stupid moves in the past, but they still brought in Randolph (who will never win you anything) and they signed Jefferies to that stupid contract last year.
After a couple of years Kobe will have had enough of it and will probably be traded to another large market team, most likely Chicago.
The curse of Kobe is that if you trade for him, you have to give up so many pieces, that he has no one left around him for good support. And we've seen no matter how many 50 point games he has in a row, he can't do it alone.