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Smack / Jul 6, 2010 / 12:09 am

Kings of New York: Amar’e, Lance Stephenson own the day

Born Ready

Best-case scenario: Amar’e Stoudemire is for the Knicks what Patrick Ewing used to be, a dominant interior force who can carry a slumping franchise back to its glory days. (Even better “best-case” is if he convinces LeBron or Carmelo to join him.) Worst-case: Amar’e is the next Allan Houston, New York’s $100 million letdown who will be remembered for effectively putting the ball in the bucket and not much else … Amar’e made the first real big free-agency splash of the summer yesterday, agreeing to a five-year, $100 million deal with the Knicks — putting NY back on the map and leaving Phoenix scrambling for a replacement if they want to keep contending for a championship. (No, Hakim Warrick is not the answer.) Now that their core consists of Amar’e, Gallinari and Chandler, it should be more enticing to that other free agent everybody wants … If you’re otherwise tired of free-agency rumors and rampant speculation (“I’ve been told by a source close to the Cavaliers that LeBron ate three bags of Cheese Doodles today!”), there was good news yesterday: The beginning of NBA summer league … As always, the rookies were the showcase feature. Lance Stephenson put in work against Orlando on its home (practice) court, running point for Indiana and finishing with 21 points and three assists in a win. Granted, Lance was often being guarded by 5-foot-10 Jerome Randle, but “Born Ready” showed a clean handle, good passing instincts and an almost Tyreke-ish ability to get to the rim. For years, Lance’s biggest supporters have said his game was best suited for the pros, and while it’s just summer league, maybe they were right … Not a good debut for Daniel Orton. His first scoring opportunity began with Orton getting his shot blocked, and ended with him air-balling a second-chance hook shot. It wasn’t long before Orton was out with foul trouble, and then he got ejected in the second half for fighting with Josh McRoberts. Stan Van Gundy was in the building, and seemed significantly less psyched about Orton than he did on Draft night … Vince Carter was also in the gym. NBA TV’s Rick Kamla spotted Vince and said, “He’s probably here working out a little bit.” Emphasis on little bit. Vince carried himself like somebody who just came by the office on his day off to pick up his check … Solid game for Indiana’s other second-round pick, Magnum Rolle (13 pts, 6 rebs). He looks like DJ Pooh on HGH, but he could see some real minutes for the Pacers’ big-league squad as a face-up power forward … Former UConn standout Jeff Adrien was pretty good for Orlando. He had 13 points and 10 boards and got to the line 15 times. Even Kevin Durant got sick of watching Adrien shoot free throws … Jazz/Bobcats came down to the last play, when Utah’s Sundiata Gaines missed a wide-open three at the buzzer that would have won it. Top-10 pick Gordon Hayward (8 pts, 5 rebs, 2-2 FG) seemed timid and out of his element all game long. He had a decent shot on that last play, but kicked it to Gaines instead. Some say Hayward made the right play, others say he didn’t want that last shot … We still like Sherron Collins (7 pts, 14 mins) to make the Bobcats roster, but he does appear a little closer to Khalid El-Amin than Ty Lawson out there … The big “head-to-head” matchup on Monday saw No. 2 pick Evan Turner up against No. 3 pick Derrick Favors in 76ers/Nets. Favors put up 8 points, 9 boards and 2 blocks to go with seven fouls in 24 minutes, while Turner had 12 points (8-8 FT), 8 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals and six fouls in 27 minutes. Philly got the win behind Jrue Holiday‘s 23 and 8 dimes … In the other game from Orlando, Byron Mullens dropped 24 points (12-15 FT) and James Harden added 19 in Oklahoma City’s win over Boston, while Luke Harangody led the Celtics with 23 points in the loss. Harden was rocking the mohawk and the Tali-Beard, and we swear he looks slimmer every time we see him. Maybe it’s because he’s got so much going on above the neck that it makes his body shrink by comparison … As for the free-agency stuff, no real movement yesterday beyond the Amar’e deal. LeBron showed up at his Nike camp rocking a Yankees cap and with Damon Jones at his side, which could mean he’s thinking hard about the Knicks and that he likes to hang around terrible basketball-playing loudmouths … Interesting rumor out of Atlanta: Shaq is considering a two-year deal with the Hawks for about $12 million. The one thing ATL really needs is a true center who can allow Al Horford to move to the four, and Shaq just might be the answer. Just don’t come lumbering into town guaranteeing championships … Speaking of bandwagon, look who’s a New York fan this week! Spike Lee posed with Fat Joe, Chris Rock, Allan Houston, John Starks, Mike D’Antoni and Amar’e in this pic below that was posted on Joey Crack’s Twitter. What on earth do you think D’Antoni and Fat Joe would talk about if they were the only two left at the table? … We’re out like Orton …

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  • That’s What’s Up

    The Knicks are giving 100M to Amare Stoudepuss…

    you will reap what you sow Knickerbockers

  • Tbeezy

    Amare claiming the knicks are back is a joke. It will take a lot more than him. He can’t lead a team to a title himself.

  • That’s What’s Up

    ….and how long before Wanda Sykes starts making Daniel Whoreton sit out games due to “personal issues”?

    DO is the next Medea…

    …and The Atlanta Shawqs…???

  • jackass

    first like kobe bitchezz

  • http://www.tpfsports.com Albert

    I was poster number 17 in this link

    http://dimemag.com/2010/06/top-5-biggest-nba-draft-losers/#comments

    “I have a feeling Lance is going to run the point”

    Lance is going to kill the league at it to.

  • WetNurse

    . What on earth do you think D’Antoni and Fat Joe would talk about if they were the only two left at the table?

    LOL HAHAHAHAHAHA, probably comparing the slumping album sales with season-ticket holders sales.

  • Chaos

    DDDDDAAAAAMMMMNNN! James Harden needs to wear a shit load of chains or soemthing, he got the Mr. T going on

  • Chaos

    BTW luke harangody done went into his brian scalabrine role and did nothin but shoot threes. the softness has already started. BJ Mullens might be a surprise for the Thunder this season.

    And shaq needs to retire man, he just way too old and he changes their rhythm up a little too much. He isnt active. he at least needs to drop weight

  • Bernard King

    How did I not get an invite but that cracker did? Cracker…

  • collarrboy

    byron mullens? who??

  • Murdog

    @ collarrboy

    Took me a minute to figure that out too… I’m thinking B.J. Mullens, who played a year or two ago at Ohio State and left after his freshman season. Any confirmation on this?

  • Sporty-j

    Shaq is clearly still in it for the money but i think he can be a good addition to a team like atlanta if any team wants to have any hope at beating L.A. QUESTION FOR DIME WRITERS??? WHY THE HECK IS A TEAM LIKE OKLAHOMA CITY NOT AFTER A GUY LIKE SHAQ AND HAYWOOD WHEN THEY ARE CLEARLY A BIG MAN AWAY FROM BEATING THE LAKERS???

  • Legend 33

    Lance is all hype, dude can’t dribble. Once you get an NBA defender that is his size guarding him he will get picked like a booger everytime.

  • Rafa23

    yes, it’s B.J. Mullens. funny that he was projected at #1 in the draft when he came out of highschool and now nobody knows what he is doing. maybe another steal for sam presti

  • yeahokayguy

    amare i believe would have a good season stat wise due to the type of offense they run…he will struggle without nash, but thats a given, but they are gonna give him a boat load of touches to increase his stats (mostly points)…so i think its good the knicks got him, but they are no where near title contenders unless they pick up more pieces or a huge lebron piece…i can see amar’e averaging 23pts and 8-9rpg…i would trade one of their 3s plus cap space for a quality guard…good to see the knicks have a more interesting team coming from a lakers fan..i miss the good/entertaining knicks team with chris childs, spree, h2o, campy, LJ, etc…with van gundy as the coach…2011 champs will be lakers where gasol is finals mvp…im out like wade in miami

  • 3ple2ble

    cant wait to see how amare handles this thing if NYK can’t get him another big name to play with… imagine running with the rooster and chandler and duhon and some d-leaguers and basically noone else… damn…

  • Showtime

    Even if you add Lebron to that Roster they still don’t win shit. There are way too many holes to fill.

    D’Antoni has no clue how to play defense and that’s what they playoffs are about. Amare always gets killed on D and on the boards. Even worse if you play him at the 5 which is not unlikely considering Mr Pringles 7-guy-rotation. No chance against the frontline of LA, Orlando or even Boston if they make some moves

  • LMNOP

    Im still not too convinced about the Amare deal. He could be great, but at the same time he is a big man who gets buckets and dont do nothin else…. so Al Harrington with an extra 2 inches.
    Im unsure.. and knowing the Knicks its pretty much a given that it will end up ugly.

  • Guitar Hero

    Really good deal for NY. Of course, a max deal may be too much for an inside player that doesn´t rebound OR defend, but in this context, it´s OK to overpay a little. It´s definitely better than to LOSE the player in question.
    And we all know Amare is a BEAST down low.

    So, the first domino has fallen. Now between LBJ,Wade,Ellis or Parker, someone will probably join Amare in NY.

    And yes, I believe they have a good chance of stealing Melo next season with Curry´s expiring and a player like Wil Chandler, for example. If Denver well go on desperation mode, which is possible.

    But for the coming season, if they surround Amare,Gallo,Chandler and Ellis/Parker with some good defensive role players, NY shall be OK, even if they strike out on LBJ and Wade.

  • john

    David Lee gave them 20 – 11 last year, how much better will Amare plays ??? Unless they sign other pieces or keep David Lee, I dont see a lot of improvement …

  • K Dizzle

    @ Dime
    y’all saw the Celts give up a 21 point lead to OKC in the 4th and lose the game right?

    Is it too soon to make a Phil Jackson joke about “that team loses more games in the 4th quarter than any other team in the league and they showing that to us right now?”

  • haslem

    will Gordon Hayward over Lance Stephenson be remembered as a silly, silly move one day?

  • That’s What’s Up

    @haslem
    Some franchises draft by the credo “if he’s white, it’s right”

    …but yeah, it’s a possibility

  • Diggity Dave

    Is Amare even that big of an upgrade over David Lee? Shrug.

  • Chris

    Anybody have any links to the box scores? I couldnt find any on nba.com…thanks!

  • Bandolero

    Yea! Knicks…! 2011 NY Knicks Starters:
    Stats
    Lee
    Gallo
    Ellis*
    Douglas

    *trade for Chandler

  • Chaos
  • haslem

    David Lee and Amare front court…I could drop 50 on that. (and that’s not bragging)

    and the Knicks rebounding team boxscore will be David Lee’s rebound numbers+4 added (2 from Amare and a couple by the guards)

  • DeBo

    Yo Dime, when you gonna pick the winners in the John Wall nickname contest?

  • Heckler

    uly 5th, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Heckler says:

    @ all of you and the knicks-

    first thing with amare stoudemire is defining his position. are you bringing him to your team as a center or as a power forward?

    he doesnt rebound well nor defend the paint well. so, this deal is only good if you define which position you want him to play and then fill the other position with a high flying high energy defensive big who just rebounds, blocks shots, and can play D straight up and protect the paint.

    if amare is your lone true big, and you pair him with a finesse player, then this is a horrible move. it wouldnt work and wouldnt be any different from what hes done in phoenix to this point.

    its not about pairing him with a great point guard. i mean, shit, he average 20pts a game with marbury as his point guard. its about defining his position and getting the opposite type player to compliment him.

    right now, the knicks center is eddy curry. thus making stoudemire the power foward.

    and the italian bum is the small forward. ugh. yuck. that frontline combo aint gonna win shit for them (gallinari, stoudemire, curry). and since the coach doesnt really know how to coach, the knicks are heading for the lottery.

    also, d’antoni likes his lil italian player too much. if the knicks dont sign anyone else, gallinari will be taking the shots at the end of the games. which thus makes amare a $100mil decoy.

  • that’s what’s up

    What nickname won? John “Balls To The” Wall ?

  • SJ

    Unless the Knicks pull another big name (Wade, LeBron, Carmelo), they are going to be a lottery team. Stat is not enough to get them the wins they want. Agree with Heckler.

  • Nyeme

    This actually hinders the team more than anything. Not only does he not rebound, or play any defense, but he also can’t pass so if they double him…..it’s TO city. I think it’s entirely too much money for a one-dimensional player and call him the cornerstone of the franchise.

    So now we need a PG, as well as a SG who can put the ball on the floor, a C who does grunt work and protect the paint. Seriously, Gallinari & Amare in the front court scares…..?

  • Paul Wall

    Melo is not going anywhere…

  • MoxWestCoastRep

    G. Hayward= A. Morrsion

  • SJ

    Pope John Wall!

  • control

    The most ironic thing about this whole free agency period, is as soon as NY started looking like they were being locked out…suddenly it’s all about Melo, Paul and 2011’s free agency crop. NYers are funny, it’s going to be as if it were all part of the plan to fumble this free agency period and over pay a one dimensional guy who can’t live up to his potential in the hopes of maybe securing a star next year…or maybe the year after that.

    Amare gets all emo and shit when he’s on the Suns and Steve Nash is getting more shine than him. How is he going to handle the hot lights of NY Media? He’s going to be tagged as the 9 figure man, savior of NY…and he’s going to be the same player he always has been, but without Steve Nash. Good luck Amare!

    I hope NY keeps getting locked out of FA, fuck NY!

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    If that’s the crew for Amar’e, who does LeBron get? Jay-Z, A-Rod, Denzel, Tony Soprano & Bloomberg.

  • Sporty-j

    I think it was a great move and pick-up for the Knicks in getting Amare because i had my money on them getting shut out and lost. If they save the other 15mil they have saved for Lebron or DWade whos not going there and save it for Melo who i think loves New York and wants to play there. They will be relivant again after they tank this season to get a high pick and they will also be able to add another allstar with Melo next season when Curry contracts expires. I think the Knicks being in the playoffs is good for BASKETBALL PERIOD and it looks like they might be finally moving in the right direction if the stay patient and even though i hate to say it. Will the knick fans really except tanking another season if it will be for the betterment of the franchise in the future???

  • laura

    fat joe may as well join the team too…

  • larry

    lance should have went number 1

  • larry

    ithis is be the first time in history that the first two picks in the draft are bust

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    hahahha, Oh man NY is a funny place. Wish i had $100Mill to piss away like that.

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    @Dime

    Why is it when talking about NBA players and this FA market, everyone just assumes that the players are out for money and money only?

    This article here http://www.nba.com/2010/news/features/shaun_powell/07/06/free.agents.staying.home/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt1
    Is just one of many that claims ALL the players only care about money. That extra $30mil.

    WTF kind of image is that to project to kids watching all this happen. I really wish Bron/Wade/Bosh all take heed to what guys like Al Jeffereson, Gil Arenas, and most recently Paul Pierce have done. All taking smaller contracts to leave more cap space to sign more players. Other than Pierce, most of them are so young that they’ll still get a huge contract on the back end of this deal (look at what Kobe just got extended for and Shaq also got a huge one from Miami well into his 30’s). DWade is probably the only one who should be looking to sign a hhuge contract, because with his long list of injuries, he’s bound to get hurt seriously the next few years (one of the reason I don’t want him in Chicago). But a guy like LBJ and Bosh can take a sub-max contract and parlee that into winning 2-5 championships by pairing himself with a team that has the talent to win now (NJ Nets, Chicago, Dallas, Miami). Only time will tell i guess

  • K Dizzle

    @ Chicagorilla

    good post. You can tell who really wanna win by their contract right now.
    Example are Dirk and Pierce. Pierce extends for 61mil/4 years but Dirk extended for 80 mil/ 4 yrs. Pierce knows they need to re-up Ray Ray and get a big to replace Sheed.
    Dirk took 20 mil more, but I’d say Dallas needs more help than Boston does…
    I’m all Lakers all day, but I respect how much Pierce wants to win cuz he coulda asked for 80 mil over 4 and Boston woulda given it to him…

  • e

    lance will end up being rookie of the year and whats funny is that kevin durant co-signed lance via twitter but the couch potatoes and lames who probably never picked up a basketball still keep hating SMH

  • hadoken

    i can see joey crack going on and on about what the knicks need to do while pouring his heart and soul into what he’s saying. then you can see d’antoni just nodding his head agreeingly wondering what the f*** this fat motherf***er is saying.