By Emanuel Jalonschi
Two or three days ago I had the privilege of sitting down to lunch with two fellow sportswriters. Sometime between the oddly-textured diner coffee and the turkey cheeseburger, a critique of one of the writers’ style was offered.
"You’ve got great insight but I think that some of your observations were a little superficial—or obvious."
The worst thing you can do to any writer is to put him in to the category of superficial or obvious. So, while I tried to keep the larger, insulted writer from eating the smaller critical writer, I also tried to learn a lesson about the depth of criticism and analysis.
That’s one of the problems with sports analysts nowadays. They come up with obvious (and wrong) solutions to teams problems and then try to pass it off as having a keen eye for sports. Oh please!
That’s why, when I hear these simplistic answers on the question of making the Knicks a championship team, I get absolutely irate.
"The Knicks have no respectable center." Great! You’re a freaking genius. Whaddya want? A cookie?! What the Knicks need isn’t just a center. They need a tall and powerful post-player that can create some shots for himself. To have a dominating physical defensive threat would also be great. They just need a behemoth of flesh that can block shots, rebound and, unlike Camby, not get pushed around like an anorexic at a Korn concert.
Yesterday, during the draft, they tried to deal with their big man problem. They got some 7-1, 270 lbs behemoth from Kansas who runs like he has two and a half feet. With the pick before that they got Michael Wright. Huh? With all the potentially decent players out there, they picked the guy whose only talent is taking his 6-7 body (which isn’t that big in the NBA) and ramming it into opposing players. He has little to no skill and neither does the person that made this call. That’s the kind of dumb I usually associate with the Quayle’s and Dubya’s of the world.
What the Knicks need to do is to trade Larry Johnson for a hot-dog-vendor-to-be-named-later and find themselves a real post-player. Getting a player that can create some offense in the paint will open up the court for Houston (if he signs) and the oh-so-immobile Glen Rice. Trust me, with the league allowing zone defense next year, you’re going to want a guy like Rice.
And how about signing or trading for a point guard? There’s rumors of a Charlie Ward – Howard Eisley deal. Huh? The Knicks need a starting point guard. I couldn’t keep a straight face and call either Ward or Eisley a starting point guard.
You know what? At this rate, the Knicks will turn me into a full blown Nets fan - Jersey stench and all.
Alas, that is my (leftist-free) recipe for New York Knickerbocker success. Listen to the hippie, and the championships will come.