Curb Your Enthusiasm star and Seinfeld creator Larry David was sitting courtside in Madison Square Garden on Sunday when the Spurs blew out the Knicks by 31 points. His aggrieved expression makes it seem like he’s filming a new scene for Curb, but the Knicks are really just a calamity right now, and it’s hard to smile if you’re a fan. Things might be getting even worse, too.
Earlier this week, we listed the various ways James Dolan could further hurt his beloved Knicks after taking away the Knicks City Dancers. Now it seems like GM Steve Mills has taken us up on one at least one of those suggestions â€” possibly at the behest of Dolan, though that’s just a guess.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News is reporting that trade discussions between the Knicks and Nuggets about swapping Kenneth Faried for Iman Shumpert have “intensified in recent days.”
J.R. Smith is starting & Iman Shumpert could be departing. I'm hearing Knicks-Nuggets continue to discuss an Iman for Kenneth Faried trade.
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) November 13, 2013
If you’ll recall, the trade of Shump â€” one of the Knicks’ most popular players, as noted by the pathos of this Posting and Toasting post â€” was one of our suggestions for Dolan’s continued ruination of a team bogged down in a 2-4 start.
We even mentioned how J.R. Smith‘s implementation into the starting lineup might lead to Shump’s trade. Well guess what, J.R. Smith is starting tonight in Atlanta, according to Newsday‘s Al Iannazzone. We feel prophetic.
But that’s not all that’s facing the Knicks. Dolan also guaranteed a win tonight in Atlanta, somehow placing more pressure on a team that’s still missing 2012 DPOY Tyson Chandler. Chandler fractured his fibula last week, before Sunday’s embarrassment at MSG, and Curb’s Larry David knows something about inadvertently knocking centers out; although we know he isn’t to blame for Chandler’s inopportune fracture.
But we’re not done with the Knicks’ headaches, not by a long shot.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Y! Sports, released an article yesterday detailing the issues with keeping J.R. Smith’s brother, Chris Smith, on the roster:
Everyone wants to blame Creative Arts Agency for the packaging of the players, but Chris Smith, associated with a different agency two years ago, had been granted a guaranteed contract with the Knicks for the 2011-12 season. Only, Smith blew out his knee and received his $490,000 on the injured list. This was a stooge deal on New York’s behalf, an embarrassment afforded a player, J.R. Smith, who doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment.
“Glen Grunwald never wanted to do it, never felt right about it back then,” one source with knowledge of the package deal said. “That call came from above him.”
Within the Knicks coaching staff, they believe Chris Smith doesn’t even have the talent to be an NBA Development League player â€“ never mind worthy of a roster spot. One opposing GM called him “maybe the worst player in the history of the [NBA] summer league.”
Perhaps that’s harsh, but the Knicks need to sign a big man in the wake of Tyson Chandler’s fractured leg, and Chris Smith’s roster spot creates an obstacle.
Woj and Isola’s reports on the Knicks have come at the same times as a couple negative Knicks articles from ESPN and Sports Illustrated‘s Ian Thomsen. The Knickerbockers are strapped for cash with Amare Stoudemire‘s contract still on the books, and with ‘Melo set to opt-out and test free agency this summer, only to probably re-sign in New York for even more money.
Listen, even if you’re not a Knicks fan (and we don’t even blame New Yorkers for that), you should still be rooting for them tonight in Atlanta. While Isola might find Dolan’s rants to be a pleasant reminder he cares, we’re scared about a panic trade of Shump, the implementation of Smith into the starting lineup and more hangdog expressions from Mike Woodson on the sideline.
The sign on the marquee at MSG might as well display Dante’s famous, “Abandon all hope ye who enter here,” because they’re increasingly turning into a Divine Comedy.
[pic via Uproxx]
Will the Knicks recover from their calamitous opening?
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