2002-03-02 / Sports

Are The New York Knicks This Bad? Yes, They Are!

By Elio Velez

By Elio Velez

It doesn’t take a crystal ball, tarot cards or the magic eight ball to predict that your New York Knicks will finish this season with a losing record. After 10 consecutive playoff seasons and two championship appearances, their downfall is a reality pill that hit the fans too hard and too fast.

When Jeff Van Gundy was barking a little too much about the team before he quit, flash warnings was given out. He jumped the ship and not too long after that, the players jumped with him.

If there was a police lineup, and fans had to choose who General Manager Scott Layden was, no one would have a clue. MSG workers don’t have a clue. After another embarrassing loss on national TV to the Lakers, Layden tried to get to the Knicks’ locker room. He was stopped by security because they weren’t sure if he was the GM or the Garden accountant.

Layden is a recluse GM, who recycles the same statements of "I like my players" and "Don’t call me for information, because I won’t call you." NBA general managers don’t like him and the Dolans of Cablevision are becoming a little impatient with Stonewall Layden.

For Cablevision, the Knicks’ doldrums takes place in the wrong time for the cable conglomerate. The Yankees left the MSG network to join the YES network, the Nets and Devils will soon follow to YES, and the Rangers are in danger of missing the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year. No playoff money makes for unhappy campers at the executive boardroom.

Cablevision needs to make a commitment to Layden or find another answer in rebuilding this squad. There must be no more reckless contracts such as the ones they gave Allan Houston for $100 million or the $40+ million contracts for benchwarmers Howard Eisley and Shandon Anderson. Contracts such as those placed the Knicks in a bigger hole that they can’t climb out of.

It is a given that Coach Don Chaney will not have the interim head coach tag taken off and he will mercifully be let go. Layden most likely in the end doesn’t seem to be the man for the Knicks.

Who can save the sinking ship? I don’t believe there are many people who are clamoring to painfully gut and rebuild this team. If there is one guy to at least ask or bribe, try the retired Jerry West.

Jerry West, the Lakers’ GM and architect of the Magic/Kareem/Riley Lakers of the 80’s and Shaq/Kobe Lakers of the present. He is also one of the NBA’s 50 Top greatest players, winner of seven championships as a player and GM and is represented on the NBA logo. West is a bit successful, don’t you think?

The Dolans of Cablevision proclaim they don’t know basketball but if they heard of West, they should offer him oodles of dollars, stock and control of this team. West should have the carte blanche to get rid of anyone he desires. It might not be easy to coax him out of retirement, but if the Garden doesn’t want to see viewers turn to the Nets for excitement, West is the logical and rational answer.

It’s time to play, Guess that Age!!

Little Leaguer or Big Leaguer Danny Almonte was 14 years old and not 12. I sure didn’t know that dozens of baseball players would be revealed for fibbing about their ages. The Mets’ Rey Ordonez is 31, not 29 years old, the Yankees’ Enrique Wilson is 28, not 26, and it will be soon revealed that El Duque Hernandez is 42, not 32 years old. Ok so El Duque is not that old. I think.

The reason for the rise in ages is since September 11, the INS has been asking for the original birth records to post work visas for foreign-born players. Many players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and other Latin countries lower their ages to better market themselves to the teams.

The Olympics are over. In 2006, the IOC cannot allow KISS or Christina Aguilera to show up at the closing ceremonies. They were, to quote Comedian Jim Norton, awful!!!!! Until next week, Peace!

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