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The Coming of Carmelo.


‘Wow, just had the craziest 12 hours of my career,’ Anthony said on his Twitter account last night.” That late-night booyah! sound you heard the other night? That was Knickerbocker Nation reacting to the happy news that, after a half-season of crossed fingers at the Garden, the impressively over-performing Amar’e Stoudamire will get some much-needed help in Carmelo Anthony (not to mention veteran Chauncey Billups, who will take over for Raymond Felton at the point…at least until Chris Paul can get free…)

To make this dynamic duo happen, we had to give up Felton, streaky scorers Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, 7-foot prospect Timofey Mozgov, X-factor-gone-bust Anthony Randolph, the ghost of Eddy Curry, some future draft picks and some cash…For the record, I am totally ok with all of this.

As ESPN’s Ian O’Connor writes, “This is a great deal for the Knicks, a greater moment for their fan base…[I]t’s one of the best trades this team has made since Eddie Donovan acquired Dave DeBusschere in 1968.” Let’s hope events bear out this sportswriterly exaggeration — The Carmelo Era at MSG begins tonight at 7:30.

Isiah in the Wilderness.

Isiah believes that, with or without James, he will someday help the Knicks win their first NBA title since 1973. ‘want to be on the float and I want to get my ring,” Thomas said.‘” Now here’s a comeback I definitely don’t support. Former GM and coach Isiah Thomas pleads to ESPN for a return to the New York Knickerbockers.

No offense to Isiah, and I know the GOP just retook the House and all, but, really, have we forgotten the Bad Old Days already? Fortunately, I’m thinking Knicks fans have longer memories than most midterm voters.

Welcome to the Amar’e Era.


I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,’ Stoudemire said of opening night. ‘The time is finally here. I can’t wait.‘” Start spreading the news: The new-look Knickerbockers kick off the season today across the border against the Bosh-less Toronto Raptors. “‘The fans are ready just as well as we are,’ Stoudemire said.

True, that. Still, even after the Amar’e signing, the Knicks are looking like a seventh or eighth seed at best at the moment. And with potential X-factor Anthony Randolph starting the season hobbled, Gallinari and Felton playing inconsistently in the pre-season, and Stanford second-rounder Landry Fields starting at SG, I fear it’s not going to take too many games before we’re all just waiting for Melo all season.

(But, hey, at least right now we have a better record than the hated 0-1 Heat, who looked terrible last night against the Celtics. Booyah.)

Cleveland has no King. Cleveland needs no King.


In this fall — this is very tough — in this fall I am taking my talents to South Beach and play with the Miami Heat. I feel like this is going to give me the best opportunity to win and to win for multiple years.” With that, Lebron James — a King of Cleveland no longer — publicly announced he’s signing with the Heat.

Oof, what a sorry spectacle. Over the years, I’ve been on the receiving end of break-ups that were probably worse-handled than what LeBron did to Clevelandon national TV! — last week…but only just barely. And, while I know I was rooting for a LeBrontoNYK trade in the past, it’s hard not to feel at this point that the Knickerbockers may have dodged a basketball bullet here. Between the 2010 playoffs and the sorta-sad deference to D-Wade, it seems like James isn’t really wired to carry a team to a championship, and all talk of him as the next Michael Jordan now sounds ridiculous — That honor is now pretty clearly bestowed on, much as I hate to say it, Kobe Bryant.

The upshot, as a Knicks fan: If not necessarily game-changers on their own, Amar’e Stoudamire, Anthony Randolph, and Raymond Felton are promising additions to our squad, more promising than anything we’ve seen since the dog days of Isiah (Never again!) And count me in on the plan for an Amar’e-Melo-CP3 triumvirate in Gotham by next year or 2012. Hey, at least Melo has actually won something

Concrete Jungle Where Rings are Made Of.

“Hey, Lebron, it’s us, New York. First of all, congratulations on winning your second straight MVP last week. Now, may it be the last one you ever win with the Cavaliers. You see, we heard somewhere that your contract with them ends at midnight on July 1 and that you’ll be free to play with any team. And you know what? We think you’d love it here in New York.”

Well, the King’s season isn’t over yet. (Although it may be soon, if there’s another game like tonight’s 120-88 Game 5 fiasco.) Nonetheless, New York Magazine offers LeBron James a multi-part hard sell of NYC on behalf of the Knickerbockers. To my mind, their logic is irrefutable.

Another Lost Year.

“‘We weren’t too good the last two years,’ D’Antoni said. ‘Obviously we’ll try to get better at it this summer. We’ll try to shore up some defensive stuff.'” Ladies and gentlemen, your 29-53 New York Knickerbockers. (When it’s mid-April, and the best news going is next year’s salary cap number, that’s not a good sign for your basketball club.)

So, yeah, for the ninth year in a row — going back to their original sin of trading Ewing for crap (Luc Longley, Glen Rice), which soon multiplied into more crap (Howard Eisley, Shandon Anderson) — the Knicks have stunk up the joint. The T-Mac Hail Mary failed (although nowhere near as badly as the sad, lingering saga of Eddy Curry), and our one decent player — David Lee — is resigned to improving his game elsewhere.

So, yeah, not much joy in Mudville. We’re going on almost a full decade of embarrassing basketball at this point. Still, there’s always next year, and the promise of a King

The King AND His Court?

[I]f James, Wade and Bosh truly want to make history, they could do the unthinkable and split the Knicks’ $33 million three ways. It would cost them salary money, but can you imagine how much they’d make on the back end if they started reeling in NBA titles? In New York?” No, I’m afraid I cannot imagine it. I’ll have to see it for myself… ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski makes the case for the top tier of NBA superstars all signing with New York this summer. Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?

Digging Up the Garden.

In a flurry of moves at the deadline, the Knickerbockers acquire Tracy McGrady in a three-team trade (for Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill, Larry Hughes, and two draft picks), dump Nate Robinson on Boston (for Eddie House, basically), and end the Darko experiment (trading him to Minnesota for Brian Cardinal, who will likely be waived.)

The upshot here? We get Tracy McGrady for 31 probably meaningless games, and should have lots of money to play with in this summer’s LeBron sweepstakes — enough to sign two marquee free agents next year. All in all, well-played, New York. Here’s hoping the post-Ewing decade of losing is at last coming to an end.

Go NY Go NY…Go?

“You know it. I know it. Worst of all, Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni know it. The slogan printed on the tickets this season should be ‘BIDING OUR TIME’ and not whichever metropolitan polemic that the MSG public relations department dreams up. We are a team of second-string transients and, like a young girl with a year to go until she gets her braces off, we will muddle through this next year with bigger dreams of what we can be, and will be, in 2010.

The 2009-2010 NBA Season starts tonight, and, um, the Knicks don’t look very good. (I’ve been playing them this past week in NBA 2K10, and, yeah, they’re terrible — the simulator never lies. But hope springs eternal. And, hey, maybe that new point guard Murphy can right the ship…)

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