We still don’t know whether Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony can co-exist, but it is clear that Knicks General Manager Glen Grunwald was sufficiently worried that he imported 39-year-old point guard, and certain future Hall of Famer, Jason Kidd to act as an on-court arbiter.
Kidd, who won his first NBA championship in 2011 with the Dallas Mavericks, and led the New Jersey Nets to back-to-back appearances in the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003, has a knack for finding the open man and for making even the most selfish players start taking a team-first attitude.
The problem for the Knicks is that Kidd is now a bench player who will relieve the reacquired Raymond Felton. It is yet to be seen what kind of respect he will immediately command with his new team.
The Knicks have to hope that Kidd is still better at driving to the basket than he is at driving on eastern Suffolk County roads. He did not exactly help his public relations image by getting arrested on a DWI charge after smashing his Porsche into a utility pole.
One thing in Kidd’s favor is that the Knicks have brought back a couple of their former players, Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas, who, like Kidd, are geezers by NBA standards. One has to wonder if John Starks and Larry Johnson will try to suit up during training camp.
All the hype surrounding the future of Jeremy Lin masked the fact that the Knicks lost Landry Fields, one of the best young players they have had in years, to free agency. Fields, who could play point guard, shooting guard and forward, signed a very lucrative three-year contract with the Toronto Raptors.
I will miss Fields, a Stanford University grad, in the Knicks locker room. NBA players as a rule are a reticent bunch with the press, but Landry enjoyed the give and take with the media and was more than willing to converse on subjects other than basketball.
Our new neighbors, the Brooklyn Nets, have certainly enjoyed a better July than their Manhattan rivals. The Nets added one of the NBA’s best shooters, Joe Johnson, in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks, and re-signed their All-Star point guard Deron Williams, who most thought at the beginning of the year would ditch the team to sign with his hometown Mavericks.
Nets General Manager Billy King told me that Archbishop Molloy High School alum Sundiata Gaines, who did a fine job as a backup guard for the Nets the last two years, won’t be back with the team.
Now that it has been two weeks since the All-Star Game, doesn’t the vitriol that was aimed at National League manager Tony La Russa for not starting RA Dickey seem foolish? La Russa said that he wanted to pair starter Matt Cain with his San Francisco Giants battery mate, catcher Buster Posey. Given the fact that the National League won 8-0 was vindication for La Russa.
I wonder how many Mets fans were bothered by the fact that Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval hit a three-run homer to aid the NL. Sandoval overtook David Wright in the fan balloting at the 11th hour.
Matt Cain may have started and won the All-Star Game but Dickey got to go on CBS’s “The Late Show with David Letterman” the following day. You have to give Letterman credit for being able to handle most of Dickey’s knuckleballs without the aid of a mask or shin guards.