3 reasons the Knicks should sign AI

17 11 2009

Sometimes a team and a player are just meant for each other. Montana and the 49ers. Jordan and the Bulls. Jeter and the Yankees. Iverson and the Knicks.

If you’re a Knicks fan these days, it’s safe to say you’re working hard every game to extract something enjoyable from the team. That is, if you actually watch their games. I tried doing just that when they played the Warriors last week. I turned the channel after roughly seven minutes.

Not only is Walt Frazier a terrible announcer, but the team doesn’t have one likeable player. Not one. I don’t like Nate Robinson’s selfishness, David Lee’s hair, Chris Duhon’s ineptitude, Danilo Galinari’s body language or…shit, I can’t even name another Knick.

That’s why Allen Iverson, he of the 24,040 career points and 27.0 scoring average over 14 seasons, is the perfect target for the Knicks. Here are three reasons:

1. Name recognition. They haven’t really had a drawing card since Stephon Marbury was traded to them in Jan. 2004. (Newly hired GM Isiah Thomas seemed to pull off a brilliant move at the time by acquiring an exciting, Brooklyn-bred point guard who was one of NYC’s most famous high school ballplayers.)

Some might argue with the ascertation that Iverson could ever be confused for a likeable player, but at least he’s a future Hall of Famer who still has game. Since the Knicks are probably going to be atrocious the rest of the year, wouldn’t it make sense to bring in a big name player who could sell some jerseys, inspire an array of newspapers stories and drum up interest in Knicks and basketball fans alike? Hell, even people entirely removed from any notion of being an NBA fan would hit the Garden just to see Iverson in a Knicks uniform.

2. Perfect system. Iverson’s persistent offensive style is tailor-made for Mike D’Antoni’s run-and-gun offense. It’s not like Knicks fans could be turned off by AI’s dalliances with himself, the ball and the basket. They seem to revel in Nate Robinson’s game whenever he goes off (which happens only when he’s finished giving himself high-fives on the bench).

AI is just as selfish as Nate but has all the toughness and greatness that Robinson could ever hope to have. Seriously, Iverson could effectively take over Robinson’s role and Rob could become the de facto cheerleader.

Ive would thrive with D’Antoni. (That’s my one play-on-words ode to Mr. Frazier.) He would have Madison Square Garden as his stage — the greatest basketball arena in the world — and he could use what’s left of his speed and quickness to continue his march toward 25,000 points. And there’s a marketing effort right there! “AI’s drive to 25”

3. No other options. What else is enticing about the Knicks? Fans might not realize what has Knicks management most excited at this moment. It’s the possibility that if Fat Eddy Curry returns to action and runs the basketball floor like a normal human being, there’s a chance — a chance — that another team might take him off their hands via trade. (Curry has a $10.5 million salary this year and an option for $11.2 million next year, so a team could gain huge cap clearance after next season.) That’s the most exciting scenario for the Knicks.

If that happens, then they would have sufficient cap room this summer to offer a max deal to a second elite player, keeping the hope alive that they can sign two from the LeBron/DWade/Bosh threesome.

Oh, and they hope Jordan Hill and Toney Douglas aren’t terrible. And the Knicks pray that Galinari’s back doesn’t flare up as it did last year.

These are the “exciting” topics churning through the Knicks franchise at the moment. So, yeah, they could certainly use a future Hall of Famer who’s seemingly meant to play in an offensively-favorable system at a historic basketball arena in one of the NBA’s most passionate basketball cities.

Just do it, Knicks. Sign AI.




One response

18 11 2009

I could not disagree more.

1) The Knicks are already telling us all that they don’t respect us by fielding rosters two seasons in a row that are designed to fail. Signing AI – which any NBA fan knows – would be merely for show, which would be even more disrespectful. At some point the Knicks have to start caring about us fans, and signing AI wouldn’t be a step in that direction. His skills have eroded and he will not equal more wins.

2) Signing AI takes minutes away from our future – the young rookie guard Toney Douglas. Yes, he may not be the best, but he’s shown signs of being a quality guard for us, and he needs time to develop. With AI out there it stunts his growth, and AI is not in our future if we sign him.

3) If the Knicks sign him, it’s showing utter desperation and admitting that their supposed 2010 plan isn’t worth it. He is not a fix for anything that ails my Knicks, and by signing him it would show that Walsh maybe doesn’t have a correct plan for our future.

I love Iverson, but I love the Knicks more. This is not a good idea, and I don’t believe we’re dumb enough to do it. We already have immature, selfish players, we don’t need one more.

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