Cognition & Reality

Thursday, 31 March 2011

More On Melo Drama

Filed under: Sports — drtone @ 9:44 am

Although I believe the only “power ranking” worth anything is a team’s won-loss record, ESPN now has the Denver Nuggets #2 in their ranking of NBA teams, bolstering my claim that trading Carmelo Anthony made Denver one of the strongest teams in the league. The Nuggets have been tearing up the league since the trade, in contrast to the NY Knicks, who have their fans tearing up their programs. Some of the talking heads are pointing to next season for the trade to pay off for New York, perhaps anticipating that the team will trade Chauncey Billups, and find a point guard who better suits Mike D’Antoni’s run-and-gun coaching style. Strangely, Raymond Felton, whom they traded for Billups, is such a player. There’s always talk of Chris Paul coming to New York as a free agent, raising the question of how many superstars it will take before the Knicks are any good.

It’s as if the Knicks’ management looked at a team that was weak on defense, but had no trouble scoring, and said to themselves, “To make ourselves a true contender, let’s get a great offensive player who does not like defending–and divest ourselves of almost every good defensive player on the team.” To make matters worse, they went to great lengths to acquire Billups, who does happen to play defense well, but is a poor fit with the highly paid, highly respected D’Antoni, himself brought to New York as the Knicks’ savior. Remember, it was the Billups part of the trade that delayed it for so long, because the Nuggets did not want to give up their most popular player. It is a sad irony that, in order to acquire Denver native Billups and in addition to giving up Felton, the Knicks had to trade Danilo Gallinari, the son of D’Antoni’s best friend from his time playing basketball in Italy. The result of this bartering of beloved players is that Billups, one of the finest men in the game, has somehow become the villain of the piece, rather than the childish Anthony or the fools who run the New York Knicks.

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