Your Morning Dump... Where the Knicks are after Irving and they just don't get it, do they?

Your Morning Dump... Where the Knicks are after Irving and they just don't get it, do they?


Your Morning Dump... Where the Knicks are after Irving and they just don't get it, do they?


Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

I can tell you right now, the New York Knicks, he is their No. 1 target. I’ve spoken with people within that organization. They have made it absolutely crystal clear to me that, if they had their pick of guys that are going to be in the free agent market this summer, Kyrie would be their first, second, third and fourth choice.

A Sherrod Blakely, via the Bulls Talk podcast (transcription)

Kristian Winfield at SB Nation breaks down the fiscal contortions required for the Knicks to pursue Kyrie:

If the Knicks trade their draft pick, stretch Noah and renounce Mudiay, they could offer Kyrie Irving a four-year, $140.6 million max contract that pays $32.7 million in Year 1. This would still give them the $4.45 million room mid-level exception, and about $3.9 million in additional cap space to sign free agents before officially re-signing Porzingis to a max extension.

Now this, this, is what you want to remember about the Knicks. They are terrible. Just absolutely awful. And at the same time, they will not have room to sign Irving to a max deal unless they execute a variety of moves–including the strong likelihood they’d have to trade away their first round pick next summer.

Over at CBS Sports, Jack Maloney musters the usual grab bag of Knicks ballyhoo* in an increasingly tired effort to make them sound like a plausible destination for Irving:

[S]imply because of the team’s prestige and the fact that they play in New York City in the World’s Most Famous Arena — Madison Square Garden — they’re always going to be a factor when big-name free agents become available. Plus, they have the prospect of playing alongside Kristaps Porzingis to offer, and it would be a homecoming of sorts for Irving, who grew up in nearby New Jersey.

Cripes. Of all of the stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid arguments summoned in favor of Kyrie heading to the Knicks, ‘he grew up there’ is perhaps the stupidest.

This is a guy who was born in Australia, has some pretty meaningful connections to Boston…

(That’s Kyrie’s dad)

…and who, along with his sister, was recently honored in a ceremony on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota.

The idea that the Knicks hold some sort of fascination for him because it’ll be a chance for him to ‘go home’ is utterly, completely, entirely, absolutely idiotic.

As to the other notions, that the Knicks ‘are a factor’ in any free agency sweepstakes–please.

This is the sum total of their free agency blockbusters:

  • Amar’e Stoudemire
  • Joakim Noah

The Knicks are owned by a guy who… Well, let’s just let Jack Tien-Dana sum things up: “He sings like he’s trying not to cough, and it’s possible he can’t play the guitar. Worse, his songs belie his status as a cosplaying bluesman; most of his lyrics simply summarize current events or books that he’s read, as if he were presenting a 10th grade English class project.”

Yes, the Knicks have been awful under the aegis of James Dolan, but let’s not pretend that particular excrescence took a once proud franchise and rammed it into an iceberg. The Knicks have, with a few exceptional years here and there, always been bad.

They were so bad in the 50s and 60s that the NBA actually, yes, indeed, they actually rigged the draft, to make them a better team. In 1965 the worst teams in each division were both given two first round picks.

The Knicks, which hadn’t won a playoff game since 1954, were in the midst of four consecutive years of smart draft picks. A string of competence that they have not equaled since.

And then there was the ‘bent corner/frozen envelope’ lottery drawing.

In short, the Knicks have, over the past 63 years, done less with more than almost any team in professional sports. Yes, they have MSG, yes, they play in New York, and guess what? Aside from a few seasons in the early 70s and late 90s, they’ve been the team that everybody talks about and nobody respects.

*Ballyhoo is the name of JD & the Straight Shot’s third album. It sold 115 copies during its first four months after release.

Page 2: Jabari Bird is “stepping away” from the Celtics

I’m taking some time away from the team as I deal with my legal and medical issues

Bird’s statement

At the same time, Matt Vautour provides a background to these high-profile incidents of domestic violence that shows how much is at stake for victims:

Redmond pointed to Molly Brown, the abused ex-wife of former NFL kicker Josh Brown, as an example. Brown admitted to police, she’d been reluctant to report the abuse because of the financial impact on her family.

“Molly was very fearful of what the future would be like if Josh was cut from the team,” King Count Sheriff’s Det. Robin Ostrum wrote in a report published by Deadspin, “and how that would impact his ability to pay child support. … Molly was afraid of it becoming a spectacle in the media and that Josh could (lose) his job.”

Whenever incidents like these come to light, it’s very easy for people on the sidelines to make trivially easy and seemingly obvious judgments about The Right Thing To Do.

And, thanks to the internet, those people on the sidelines can make themselves heard in large numbers, and can repeat the comments of other like-minded people in a feedback loop of righteous outrage.

Matt Vautour’s article is a must-read for anyone who thinks that domestic violence is a problem which can be addressed by simple solutions. What domestic violence counselors know–and which seems to escape the notice of many people who loudly proclaim their opinions on the matter–is that, for reasons which are too complicated, too poorly understood, and–for that matter–too deep for a blog theoretically dedicated to the Boston Celtics, victims of domestic violence will often continue in a relationship with their abuser, even if the abuser is arrested or serves time in jail or prison.

That means that dealing with the abuser almost always requires long-term consideration of its impact on the victim or victims, because the law is very limited in what it can do, and with consenting adults, it cannot prevent victims from continuing to associate with their abusers.

Make no mistake, domestic abuse–of every stripe–is unconscionable. There is absolutely no excuse for it. At the same time, as a sociology professor I once had reminded us in class once, when love and violence become intertwined in the mind of a victim, it can be very difficult for them to separate the two. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and say what the Celtics ‘should’ do to Bird. It’s another matter entirely to factor in a victim who may be further impacted by punishment meted out to her abuser.

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