Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Larry Brown to Coach Bobcats

It warms my heart to see Larry Brown back in coaching again. After being thrown out of town by Isiah ("revenge is a dish best served cold") and Dummy Dolan it's great that LB will get a chance to reclaim his coaching legacy.

Brown, who was inducted into the BBHOF in 2002 is only 1 of 5 coaches with more than 1,000 wins (LB has 1,010). Four of the Five (Lenny Wilkins - 1,332 wins; Don Nelson - 1,280, Pat Riley - 1,210 and Brown) have coached the Knicks since 1991. And Isiah fired 2 of them (Wilkins and Brown) in his tumultuous tenure. Only Jerry Sloan (1,089 wins) has not coached the Knicks,

Making Peace with the Titans Draft

It's been 2 days since the draft ended and I think I'm beginning to calm down. I'm not going to lie, Reinfeldt and Fisher ruined my weekend.

I still can't agree with taking a RB in the first round. If Chris Johnson isn't Marshall Faulk or Brian Westbrook this was a mistake. I think that if they really wanted Johnson, they should have tried to trade down a few slots. It seems like not only did they over-react to the mini-run on RB's (Jones and Mendenhall went the picks previous to the Titans), but they reached for a player who has eerily similar measurables to Chris Henry who the Titans reached for as a 2nd-rounder last year, who they have apparently conceded is a bust.

And Jeff Fisher's comment that they almost selected WR Devin Harris, but then "moved on" to other positions when all the top flight WRs were off the board at their second pick is just galling. Didn't they see the run happening? They couldn't figure out a way to move up 2 slots for Limas Sweed? They certainly figured out how to move up 21 slots to draft a DE from Winston-Salem State who nobody ever heard of.

The only saving grace was that they got Lavelle Hawkins from Cal in the 4th. Very productive receiver opposite DeSean Jackson and he should help a lot. Mel Kiper thinks this was one of the value picks of the draft, so I'm feeling a little better.

But all in all, I just don't see that the Titans got better this weekend while many other teams did. The playoffs seem much further away.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Fire Mike Reinfeldt

I'm sitting here watching this year's NFL Draft. The Draft is one of my favorite days of the year. I read up on prospects, check out just about every mock draft from ESPN, SI, Rivals.com. But I'm ready to throw up.

I almost started screaming when I watched the Titans draft RB Chris Johnson from East Carolina. But I was watching with my 3 year old daughter, so I swallowed it. But I'm steaming. He's probably not a bad player, but the Titans had a Top 10 rushing offense, but LAST in the NFL in passing touchdowns. And they have spent the last 2 2nd round picks on RB's in LenDale White and Chris Henry. Not that there couldn't be an upgrade over either, but it basically admits that the last 2 drafts were mistakes, especially Henry. Johnson's stats sound very similar to Henry. But Johnson or similar backs could have been available in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. Especially for a position that was at most their 5th position of need behind WR, DE, DT and CB.

Jeremy Green of Scout's Inc. seems to agree.

Personally, I would have taken either Devin Thomas who was supposed to be the best WR in the draft or Kentwan Ballmer who would have been excellent alongside Albert Haynesworth on the DL.

Then the second round was even worse. All of the top WR's were sliding. None were taken in the first round and a series of picks of lower rated WRs left the cream of the crop. But the Titans didn't trade up and waiting around at #54 saw WR's Malcolm Kelly from Oklahoma taken at #51 and Limas Sweed of Texas taken at #53, one pick before them. And in between the 2 WRs was Quentin Groves of Auburn who would have been great on the DL. They did end up with Jason Jones of Eastern Michigan who was rising up draft boards, but it's terribly disappointing to me...and I'm sure more so to QB Vince Young that they still don't have a WR thorough 2 rounds. I can only hope that they can get Mario Manningham or Andre Caldwell. This is depressing.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Knicks Crushed by Grizz

Only a few hours after Knick fans saw their hopes raised with the hiring of Donnie Walsh as team President, the team on the floor brought them right back down to reality. The Knicks, now 20-55 were crushed by the Memphis Grizzlies 130-114.

The Knicks have 7 more games to go, 5 of them near mortal locks to be losses (Hornets, Magic, Pistons, Celtics and Hawks) with the other two (Bobcats and Pacers) at least even money that they will lose as well. The likely ending record is 21-61, two games worse than the Larry Brown era and setting the franchise record for most losses in a season. "Evident progress" indeed.

Rays of Hope at the Garden

I am probably the 1,376,498th person to write about Donnie Walsh taking over Basketball Operations for the Knicks. Surprisingly, it looks like Walsh was able to negotiate all the things that I thought were critical for success, but that I never thought Crazy Jimmy would ever agree to. So perhaps there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Knick fans. Yet the team is still fatally flawed with a mix of expensive, non-complimentary players. But the truth is that unless Isiah becomes the GM of another team, I have no idea how Walsh will be able to trade some of the terrible contracts to completely restructure the team.

But the most surprising thing of all was my reaction. Virtually nobody wished that Isiah would be fired more than me. For god sakes, the whole Isiah-Dolan regime created such a poisonous, life-sucking (not to mention team sucking) atmosphere, that I not only dropped my lifelong allegiance to the team out of protest, but I actively rooted for them to fail. Oh how I relished the Isiah death watch that started in November, enjoying each day that Isiah twisted in the wind and "Fire Isiah" chants fell from the rafters at the Garden. Good times.

But now that it seems Isiah's fate is sealed, watching his interview on ESPN after the hiring of Walsh was made official, I actually felt bad for the guy. To the very end he's toeing the company line and staying positive in his public statements (see video below). The trademark Isiah smile is still there, but you can see the resignation in his eyes.

Perhaps now he knows what it felt like to be Larry Brown for those 40 days and 40 nights.

Don't get me wrong. He can't be fired fast enough, but I'm not dancing on his grave like I thought I'd be.