If Alan Iverson can’t start ahead of Mike Conley, would he get more minutes than Chris Duhon in New York? Newsday’s Alan Hahn calls a mooted (by him, anyway) Knicks approach towards the iconic, yet embattled point guard “the equivalent of the franchise selling its soul”, while in the following breath, promising, “at least Iverson still has some go-to caliber game and star cachet among fans.” Hey, if Isiah Thomas was still running the show, I bet this deal would already be done.
It could be an ideal situation for both parties. Iverson wants to go to a team that will allow him to dominate the ball, score and, of course, start. D’Antoni’s system will put Iverson in several pick-and-roll situations with plenty of shooters to kick to on the perimeter. No one will ever demand he play great defense and, of course, produce anything more than merely a playoff berth.
But you can understand the hesitation within the Knicks’ hierarchy, especially after they just cleared the locker room of the Marbury megalomania. Perhaps Iverson would be too much, too soon. If so, then perhaps the Knicks should keep close tabs on yet another of the fading divas, Tracy McGrady. It is believed that the Rockets, once McGrady is ready to return from his knee injury (perhaps by December) would be open to soliciting offers for his $23.2-million expiring contract.
D’Antoni’s system can’t survive without a capable point guard and so far this season, confidence in Chris Duhon has been ripped out by the root. Duhon’s game against the Bucks on Saturday was so alarmingly poor, at one point D’Antoni had to yank him off the court early in the third quarter when Duhon blew two defensive assignments. All Duhon could offer was that he didn’t make an effort on effort plays. In hockey, that’s enough to get the “C” ripped right off your chest.
Utah make their annual visit to the Garden tonight, a circumstance that has the Daily News’ Frank Isola reminding us the Jazz possess the Knicks’ 2010 first round draft pick, a selection previously obtain by Phoenix as part of the Stephon Marbury trade. Said doomed deal (in Isola’s words, anyway) sounds awfully familiar to what Hahn is proposing (“the Knicks were desperate to give the Garden some life so Isiah jumped the gun for a short term gain”) while Isola also cites former GM Scott Layden as part of his list of persons (ie. Anucha Browne-Sanders, Mike D’Antoni) who benefited in some way from the ill-advised swap.
Layden was working on a Marbury deal in the weeks before he was canned. Isiah swooped in and sweetened the deal for Phoenix with a couple of first round picks, one of which eventually was traded to Utah where Layden now works.
Come to think of it, maybe Layden was working as a double agent the entire time.