Posts Tagged ‘Ian O’Connor’

A Bad Time To Stop The Linsanity

HOUSTON — In the end Jeremy Lin got his billion dollar contract.

After all, isn’t that what coach Mike Woodson said it would take to pry the point guard phenom — and next season’s starter — out of the Knicks’ cold, dead hands?

So Linsanity now wears boots and a Stetson, y’all.

For the Rockets, it’s the continuation of a summertime gamble that looks a lot like walking across a high wire while juggling chain saws.

After re-signing a player he had and cut seven months ago for a whopping $25.1 million, Houston general manager Daryl Morey evidently plans to turn right around and close a quite similar deal with Bulls backup center Omer Asik.

At the same time the Rockets remain doggedly in the middle of the Dwight Howard soap opera, willing to take the unhappy big man off the hands of the Magic, even for a short-term rental, or play a third-party role that could land Howard on the Lakers and Andrew Bynum in Houston. In return Morey is willing to give up a large portion of his current roster and take on a bevy of bad contracts from Orlando.

If you’re the Rockets who’ve been trapped in the netherworld middle of the NBA standings for three straight seasons with no star to build around, it is a half-mad gambler’s plan that makes perfect sense, assuming you’ve got the nerve and access to team owner Leslie Alexander’s wallet.

However, if you’re the Knicks, just drop the ‘L’ and label it insanity. Not that Lin was ever going to chase the ghost of Walt Frazier out of Madison Square Garden, but because they chose a curious time to become, as the old saying goes, pennywise and pound-foolish.


All Hail Brooklyn’s King!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We’ve had our fun at his expense in the past.

In Philadelphia, when he bet on guys that didn’t end up living up to the hype, he was roasted. His predecessor, Rod Thorn, chased superstars LeBron James and Chris Bosh, only to come up empty. King continued the futility after Thorn helped the Nets hire him as his replacement, chasing Carmelo Anthony and others only to come up empty, and get roasted once again by those of us paid to grade such things.

But while you’re preparing your holiday feast and celebrating the nation’s birthday this afternoon and night, you need to toast Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King.

He is the picture of perseverance on this day, a testament to the power of positive thinking and the model for ambitious NBA executives for refusing to accept defeat (and yes, it certainly helps to have a billionaire owner like Mikhail Prokhorov willing to take the risks to build a winner).

After so many swing-and-miss attempts, King is nailing his New York debut. The blockbuster trade for All-Star guard Joe Johnson earlier this week was followed by a commitment from All-Star point guard Deron Williams yesterday that he will carry the new Nets flag as they embark upon their Brooklyn era.

King’s calculations when he traded for Williams have paid off handsomely. If he’s somehow able to pull off the trade for Dwight Howard, which is still a longshot, he’ll be the early leader to succeed Larry Bird as the NBA’s Executive of the Year. The fact that Howard has made a trade demand with the desired destinations list of only the Nets is another feather for King’s hat.


Knicks Can Do Better Than Paul?

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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Not everyone is convinced that Chris Paul calling Madison Square Garden home is the best thing for the New York Knicks.

Ian O’Connor of is all for the Knicks pursuing a blockbuster trade, but it’s just not for the player whose name comes up most often in these rumors:

If the New York Knicks are about to lose their breath chasing another superstar the way they chased Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James before him, they should at least identify the most sensible blue-chipper to recruit.

Dwight Howard is bigger and better than Chris Paul, and he might be more attainable between now and the trade deadline, too. The Knicks don’t have the necessary parts to deal for Paul because they surrendered everything but the Chrysler Building for Anthony, and rightfully so.