#36-#31: The Inept
36. James Dolan.
Remember last time, when Danny tried to make me argue that James Dolan, for all his faults, at least deserved credit for spending money on his team? That credit goes out the window when you fire your GM that constructed a team you admit you like better than last year’s, then misunderstand a basic rule about NBA trades in your first interview with a sports reporter in six years. Somehow, James Dolan made Frank Isola seem like a calm voice of reason. James Dolan is just the worst, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. -D.K. (Previous: 31)
35. Mike Woodson.
Oy. The house is crashing down around Mike Woodson, and you have to wonder how long it’s going to be before he’s out on his can. Here’s the thing: no one really knows if getting rid of Woodson is really going to do any good. It’s clear there’s something wrong, and when the something wrong with a team is as ambiguous as it is with the Knicks this year, the easiest route for management is to pin it on the coach, of which our evaluative measures are still downright rudimentary and not quantifiable.
Woodson’s probably a goner, and with him go his priceless reactions and glorious facial hair that is way too good for the Knicks anyway. -D.S. (Previous: 17)
33. Amar’e Stoudemire.
So sad. So sad. I hope he has a second to spare after counting his money to realize how sad I am he can’t play like he used to. -D.S. (Previous: 23)
33. Kevin Garnett.
Did anyone notice that crazy stupid writer who thought Kevin Garnett ran New York City basketball before the season? Haha! What a blundering, short-sighted idiot!
…Oh, wait. That was me.
Okay, so. There’s no justifying that ranking now. But at that moment, what mattered wasn’t on-court product. None of us knew what the on-court product would be. What mattered was culture: instilling a mentality, a respected force that would infiltrate the depths of the organization. To his credit, that’s what Garnett did. But once the season started, the team started losing. A lot. The Miami Heat game aside, the Nets are proof positive that culture doesn’t beat production, that a ferocious mentality can only take you so far. Garnett’s legs may have finally caught up with him, as he’s struggled to hit his patented mid-range jumper and the Nets have been nearly ten points per 100 possessions worse on offense with him on the floor.
So before the season, my KG pick sort of made sense, at least in my own head. But now that basketball has started, Garnett hasn’t come crashing down to earth so much as he’s been fired out of a cannon from sea level into the earth’s lower mantle. He’s got a lot of climbing to do if he — and the Nets — want to claw anywhere close to respectability.
But I fear we’ve seen the last of the Kevin Garnett we know. -D.K. (Previous: 1)
— 32. Cole Aldrich.
Tyson Chandler’s out and he’s still not playing. Would be last if it wasn’t for the guys behind him being… well, you know. -D.K. (Previous: 32)
31. Paul Pierce.
Paul Pierce is playing so poorly, I really wonder if he even wants to be in Brooklyn. His hand is and has been broken, so I hope that’s it. But a few early fun dunks aside, he really hasn’t looked like the same player, and the passion doesn’t seem like it’s there as much as it is for Kevin Garnett. The most energy he showed was in preseason:
Maybe some time off will get him back on track. The Nets are going to need him to post up some more. -D.S. (Previous: 6)