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The 7 - Basketball - RUMOR: Kobe to the Knicks BUT...
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Kawshen
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#1 Posted on 24.3.04 1151.41
Reposted on: 24.3.11 1151.55
http://www.nydailynews.com/ front/story/176658p-153730c.html

Wednesday, March 24th, 2004

Another rumor wafted in on the trade winds yesterday, hardly creating a Another rumor wafted in on the trade winds yesterday, hardly creating a stir at Knick practice. Some Laker players had mentioned to an L.A. reporter they expected Kobe Bryant to become a Knick next season, and then a New York paper hypothesized that it could only happen if the Lakers sign and then trade Bryant for Allan Houston.
So there was Houston in Tarrytown yesterday - a month after the trade deadline, more than three months before any deal can even be discussed - answering to flimsy deductions based on logic and wishful thinking. He has heard these trade reports forever, and he was asked whether his health might determine his future with the Knicks.

"I don't worry about it, because it's not in Isiah's control, and it's not in the Knicks' control," Houston said. "I've always said that. If God wants me to be somewhere else, that's where I'll be. If He wants me to be here, that's where I'll be."

Whether or not it is by divine intervention, Houston figures to be around the Knicks for some time to come. He is a 32-year-old shooter with bum knees and three more seasons on a contract that escalates to $20 million in the last year. He didn't practice again yesterday, he definitely won't play tonight against Memphis, and he is questionable for the rest of the season.

Houston is one artifact from the previous regime that Isiah Thomas will not be able to remove so easily. He is a salary-cap hog, a by-product of the Knicks' misplaced, free-spending era. The next time anybody will want to take Houston from the Knicks, even with a first-round pick thrown in for enticement, is when there are two or three months left on his contract, and when that other team wants to deal an equally high-paid star with a longer-term deal.

It is pointless for New Yorkers to dream about Bryant playing at the Garden. Pointless and, frankly, a little tasteless. The guy is facing a rape trial. Though he deserves the presumption of innocence, the alleged victim deserves her prosecutorial day in court to determine Bryant's future. It is conceivable Bryant will not be playing basketball for anybody except a prison team, so it is probably best that we avoid the subject of Kobe's next uniform until the jury speaks its collective mind.

In the meantime, there is this uncomfortable marriage with Houston to endure in New York. If there were ever a nicer man than Houston, then he didn't wear a Knick jersey. Yet at the same time, it is perfectly understandable why Thomas would love to dump Houston from both his roster and payroll.

Houston began this season as team leader, by default. Latrell Sprewell was gone, and Keith Van Horn was not going to step on any toes. For the first few weeks, Houston showed he still had the radar, and the ambition. He scored 39 points on a special night at the Garden to beat Sacramento in November, with 13-of-22 shooting. He sank 28 of 48 shots in a two-game stretch, and Don Chaney kept saying he could see Houston emerge as the designated star.

But even then, there were signs that this wouldn't last. Houston warned he wouldn't take over games too often, that "you don't want to go out there and overdo it. There are five players out there." More importantly, even at the start of the season, he was limping after games with big ice packs wrapped around his back, and his knee.

The injuries moved from one side of his body to the other, and then the team changed chemistry and metabolic rate. Stephon Marbury was anointed leader. Houston was in no shape for long to take advantage of Marbury's pace.

For all of this, Houston can still be a useful scorer in the future. His days as a 36-minute player are probably done, but his strengths are not necessarily dependent on great wheels. Houston never created his own shot, anyway. He just floated into open space, spotted up quickly and drained the 20-foot jumper. He can still do that, though his defense may become more of a liability.

Houston is a long-term Knick, in street clothing or in uniform. Whether you like his game or not, whether Isiah likes his game or not, divorce is not imminent.



* * *

Kobe, or not Kobe ...

Kobe Bryant plans to opt out of his contract this summer and become a free agent, but the Knicks have almost zero chance of getting the Lakers superstar if he decides to leave L.A. NBA columnist Mitch Lawrence looks at the obstacles facing New York in getting Bryant:

Money issues

The Knicks have a history of spending zillions, so money isn't a problem. But they are already committed to $94.25 million in salaries for next season, according to official NBA figures. So being at more than double the salary cap (projected at around $45 mil), they just can't go out and sign him as a free agent on July 14. Several teams will be under the cap and able to give him a full slot - starting at around $14 million - or close to a full slot. (He's not taking anyone's mid-level exception of around $5 mil). Those teams are San Antonio, the Clippers and the Suns.

Although Bryant might want to leave the Lakers so that he can be the No. 1 player for his new team, he still wants to win titles. That's why the Spurs, with two-time defending MVP Tim Duncan, are seen in some circles as the leaders. Forget Denver. Kobe doesn't do well when he has idle time on his hands in Colorado.


Lakers outlook

Know one thing: Despite Bryant's legal troubles, the Lakers are vehemently opposed to dealing him, according to people familiar with their thinking. They've never lost a key player to free agency. They're actually used to stars wanting to come play for them (see Shaquille O'Neal, 1996; Karl Malone and Gary Payton, 2003). That anyone would want to leave them is unconscionable. That attitude starts right at the top, with owner Jerry Buss. So you can almost rule out a so-called "sign-and-trade," which would allow Bryant to move onto the team he wants to play for, while also allowing him to make a maximum contract. As one Laker insider put it: "They might end up saying to Kobe, 'You can leave,' but they're never going to help him get his money, too."

Houston a problem

Even if the Lakers do a 180 and decide to move Bryant, they're going to want a lot in return for the best wing player in the game today, and one of the NBA's top three players. The Knicks don't have what's necessary to get Bryant in a deal, but that hasn't prevented rumors from circulating.

Allan Houston's name has been the one most linked to a sign-and-trade for Bryant, but that has to be wishful thinking on Isiah Thomas' part. Houston's knee troubles, age (he turns 33 next month) and contract make him unattractive. He still has three seasons left on his $100 million extension. The breakdown: $17.53 million next season, $19.13 mil in 2005-06 and $20.72 mil in '06-07. Stephon Marbury makes top dollar, but is not seen as a viable option because of his track record of not being a winning player.


Making a trade

Earlier this season, Bryant first indicated that he would like to explore free agency this summer, when his contract expires. That has given hope to several teams, including the Knicks, that they can work out a deal with L.A. Problem No. 1 for the Knicks: Bryant has not mentioned New York as a destination in the little he has revealed about his plans to the few people he talks to. Why would he want to play for the Knicks anyway? It's not like they have a dominant big man Bryant can win with. A couple of his L.A. teammates believe he wants to play in New York, but they're probably just guessing.


Few trading partners

Despite Bryant's rape case, almost every NBA team would line up to deal for him.

Realistically, however, trading partners for the Lakers are few and far between, if any exist at all. O'Neal wouldn't be opposed to playing with Tracy McGrady, who lives in the same upscale Orlando development. But who's to say that Bryant wants to agree to a deal that would put him in a rebuilding situation with the Magic? Philadelphia could be looking to part ways with Allen Iverson, and Bryant has roots in suburban Philly.

But Iverson has been more difficult to handle this season, and has been more prone to injuries than ever before in his career. Again, Bryant would have to be willing to join a team with little chance of competing for the Eastern Conference title. Vince Carter could be on the move this summer, but he's always injured and Kobe has never said anything about wanting to play in Canada.

(edited by Kawshen on 24.3.04 1254)
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It's False
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#2 Posted on 24.3.04 1852.53
Reposted on: 24.3.11 1853.25
I'm betting New York is feeling really stupid about signing a mediocre player like Allan Houston to such a ridiculous contract right about now. It'd be a nightmare scenario to see Kobe defect to the New York Machine, but it'll likely never happen.
ekedolphin
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#3 Posted on 24.3.04 2338.12
Reposted on: 24.3.11 2339.16
I think we're all in a lot of trouble if God is really behind all the transactions being made by the New York Knicks, as Allan Houston would have you believe.

Then again, with his massive, undeserved contract, perhaps nothing short of divine intervention (or a Bobcats expansion-draft pick) could pry Houston away from the Knicks.

Acquiring Kobe, though? Fuhgettaboutit! With what salary-cap space?
ekedolphin
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#4 Posted on 25.3.11 0232.37
    Originally posted by ekedolphin
    I think we're all in a lot of trouble if God is really behind all the transactions being made by the New York Knicks, as Allan Houston would have you believe.

    Then again, with his massive, undeserved contract, perhaps nothing short of divine intervention (or a Bobcats expansion-draft pick) could pry Houston away from the Knicks.

    Acquiring Kobe, though? Fuhgettaboutit! With what salary-cap space?


More than that, Past Self, but who in their right mind would do a straight-up trading of Kobe Bryant for Allan Houston?! Even back in 2004!

Let alone knowing what we know now: That Houston would play only one more season in his NBA career, and only 20 games out of that season, for that matter, while Kobe would go on to win at least two more NBA championships.
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#5 Posted on 25.3.04 1101.02
Reposted on: 25.3.11 1101.02
Isiah Thomas has pulled off a lot of miracles this year, but I am afraid this one is just too much for him. He already has a bloated contract on his roster (Starbury) and the last thing he needs to do is get an overpaid player who is so fragile physically, that it just gives him poor judgment off the court (the Rape of course). So I think that Kobe will end up going to the Clippers, if not Life in Jail. All I can say is I hope the Blazers don't end up with him, because then we would be paying a guy to be in a jail cell, and well, speaking for all the Blazer fans, we're a little tired of that lol.
DJ FrostyFreeze
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#6 Posted on 25.3.04 1109.19
Reposted on: 25.3.11 1109.49
    Originally posted by BlazerManiac
    ...an overpaid player who is so fragile physically, that it just gives him poor judgment off the court (the Rape of course).
1: Werent you here under a different name yesterday?

2: Kobe Bryant is not overpaid (Unless you're implying that all NBA players are overpaid).

3: Since when is Kobe "fragile physically"? Because he hurt his shoulder? Trash.

4: You're not actually saying that Kobe allegedly raped that girl because he is "physically fragile", are you? That just makes ZERO sense.
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#7 Posted on 25.3.04 1115.38
Reposted on: 25.3.11 1116.30
I knew I would get some backlash from this, but that is the fun of forum's.
Answer to number 1: yes
Number 2: I am saying all Players are overpaid, yes.
Number 3: I seriously think he is a fragile physically player, not that I can talk with Derek Anderson on my team, but still, I think he is a fragile player. He has yet to play 82 games more than once.
Number 4: No I am saying that he DID rape that girl because he is MENTALLY fragile. I know I didn't say that, but that's what I meant. Anyway, please throw back another comment because I love swapping opinions.
ekedolphin
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#8 Posted on 26.3.04 0111.05
Reposted on: 26.3.11 0111.07
Well y'know something brothers, I'm not a fan of Kobe or the Lakers. Nor am I easily confused with one, unless the Lakers are playing a team that I want to lose (I was in the strange position of rooting for them to beat the Kings a couple of nights ago).

But one thing I am a fan of is the American doctrine that everyone is innocent until proven guilty by due process of law.

In other words, get the hell off of Kobe Bryant unless he's found guilty. If he's found guilty, feel free to heap all the shit on him you want to, 'cause he deserves it. Until then, how about laying off? Why does everyone assume that an athlete accused of a crime must be guilty?

Furthermore: Though Kobe has an ego problem, and has to be The Guy on his team, I challenge you to name five guys you'd rather have on the court for your team when the game is on the line. I don't like the guy, but I have to give him his due.

[Bleh: I just made a post that could be read as defending the Lakers, which certainly is not my intent. Someone shoot me now... LOL...]

(edited by ekedolphin on 26.3.04 0212)
BlazerManiac
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#9 Posted on 26.3.04 1145.01
Reposted on: 26.3.11 1145.28
I challenge you to name five guys you'd rather have on the court for your team when the game is on the line. I don't like the guy, but I have to give him his due.

5 guys I would want on the court with the game on the line huh? Well I am going to have to go with, Shaquille O'Neal (even though I wouldn't cheer if he got the winning basket), Damon Stoudamire, Predraq Stojakovic, Nick Van Exel and Wesley Person.

In other words, get the hell off of Kobe Bryant unless he's found guilty. If he's found guilty, feel free to heap all the shit on him you want to, 'cause he deserves it. Until then, how about laying off? Why does everyone assume that an athlete accused of a crime must be guilty?

Well I am just making a prediction of wether he is guilty or not, so I am saying he is guilty. It's an opinon, and I am saying it. That's it.

[Bleh: I just made a post that could be read as defending the Lakers, which certainly is not my intent. Someone shoot me now... LOL...]

I am very Dissapointed in you.
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#10 Posted on 28.3.04 2022.56
Reposted on: 28.3.11 2024.41
    Originally posted by BlazerManiac
    I challenge you to name five guys you'd rather have on the court for your team when the game is on the line. I don't like the guy, but I have to give him his due.

    5 guys I would want on the court with the game on the line huh? Well I am going to have to go with, Shaquille O'Neal (even though I wouldn't cheer if he got the winning basket), Damon Stoudamire, Predraq Stojakovic, Nick Van Exel and Wesley Person.


Damon Stoudamire? You have got to be kidding right? He makes more than Kobe for being a part-time player, and then is stupid enough to try and get pot wrapped in aluminum foil past a airport checkpoint.
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#11 Posted on 28.3.04 2116.34
Reposted on: 28.3.11 2120.07
For that matter, Nick Van Exel? Give me a break.
ekedolphin
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#12 Posted on 29.3.11 0142.14
And Wesley Person?! Really?

I certainly hope BlazerManiac feels like an idiot nowadays for insisting that Kobe was guilty. But it's easy to forget nowadays that back then, everyone thought Kobe had a legitimate chance of being found guilty of rape and going to prison for a very long time.

Knowing what I know now, however, I figure that even if he had been found guilty, he would've gotten out of serious jail time via the "I'm a celebrity, I'm immune to incarceration" clause that's cited so frequently in these cases.
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#13 Posted on 29.3.04 1030.09
Reposted on: 29.3.11 1030.38
    Originally posted by ekedolphin
    For that matter, Nick Van Exel? Give me a break.


Oh hush. You KNOW that when it's March and his team has been eliminated from the playoffs for 6 weeks there is NO BIGGER MONEY PLAYER IN THE NBA than Van Exel (aka Milk Dud Head).
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#14 Posted on 29.3.04 1038.59
Reposted on: 29.3.11 1039.27
    Originally posted by JayJayDean
      Originally posted by ekedolphin
      For that matter, Nick Van Exel? Give me a break.


    Oh hush. You KNOW that when it's March and his team has been eliminated from the playoffs for 6 weeks there is NO BIGGER MONEY PLAYER IN THE NBA than Van Exel (aka Milk Dud Head).


I will go on record as saying I'm very sad that the Mavericks won't have NVE come playoff time. He's a crunch time player.
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#15 Posted on 29.3.04 1043.03
Reposted on: 29.3.11 1045.03
    Originally posted by JayJayDean
      Originally posted by ekedolphin
      For that matter, Nick Van Exel? Give me a break.


    Oh hush. You KNOW that when it's March and his team has been eliminated from the playoffs for 6 weeks there is NO BIGGER MONEY PLAYER IN THE NBA than Van Exel (aka Milk Dud Head).


The king of that category was Eric "Sleepy" Floyd, actually, who played for a lot of bad, non-contending teams, but wanted the ball the most at the end of a game as much if not more than Van Exel did.


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#16 Posted on 30.3.04 0113.46
Reposted on: 30.3.11 0113.46
If I had a big shot to take, I'd get Robert Horry.
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#17 Posted on 30.3.04 0229.27
Reposted on: 30.3.11 0229.37
    Originally posted by ekedolphin
    For that matter, Nick Van Exel? Give me a break.


Sadly, out of that horrible list, I think i'd like to have Nick the MOST. Shaq? Come on, he's dominant, but you don't want him taking a last second shot over Kobe.

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#18 Posted on 30.3.04 0252.03
Reposted on: 30.3.11 0252.03
You certainly don't want Shaq to get fouled attempting the last shot. Oops, should've had a better free-throw shooter in there.

I think when you talk about clutch players, you have to talk about Reggie Miller first and foremost-- even at his age. Naturally, I'm biased, but I think there's simply no one better-- crunch time is Miller Time.
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#19 Posted on 1.4.04 1758.26
Reposted on: 1.4.11 1758.31
    Originally posted by The Amazing Salami
    I will go on record as saying I'm very sad that the Mavericks won't have NVE come playoff time. He's a crunch time player.


... Completely agree. Van Exel is a heart and soul player, and as a Laker fan -- on the court, I miss him terribly.
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