All Aboard The Train To Crazy Town
By Randy Renner
I was really hoping to avoid this talk of Thunder superstar Kevin Durant leaving for the bright lights of pick one (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles), or re-uniting with old buddy James Harden in Houston, or going back home to Washington, DC to play for his hometown Wizards.
I was hoping to avoid it until at least this time next year when his current contract would still have another year to run.
But with former teammate Derek Fisher headlining on Broadway now as head coach of the Knicks more and more people are hopping aboard the train to Crazy Town.
My colleague Jeremy Griffin wrote about this yesterday in his "Soap Box Blog" here on InsideThunder.com and I agree with the points he raised.
Despite the at times gleeful predictions from the national media that KD just can't wait to leave little 'ol OKC when his contract expires, I'm not all that worried.
I did a Google search this morning and came up with all sorts of stories on various websites and in various newspapers about the Knicks grand plan to hire Fisher so he can help persuade Durant to join him in New York and save the franchise.
Good luck with that.
The Knicks have had a few "grand plans" over the years but they haven't won an NBA Championship since 1973 and they haven't even played in The Finals since 1999.
Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler were supposed to be the guys who would change that. The guys who lead the Knicks back to the Glory Days.
Well they did win their first division title in 19 years last season so that's one thing but then they were knocked out of the playoffs by the Indiana Pacers in the second round.
This season they were back in the dumper, no division title and no playoffs. They fired their head coach and now 'Melo talks of leaving and the Knicks can't wait to get out from under the big contracts of Stoudemire and Chandler.
Deep pockets owner Jimmy Dolan has long been known for amazingly stupid decisions. It was Dolan afterall who signed off on the signing of Chris Smith leading up to the start of the 2011-12 season.
What? You don't remember Chris Smith?
Chris' brother is J.R. Smith and back in the summer of 2011 the Knicks were concerned J.R. would bolt the Big Apple they signed his brother to a roster spot for $500,000. Had Chris been as talented as J.R. maybe you could see it but one NBA GM told Yahoo! Sports at the time that Chris was, "maybe the worst player in the history of summer league."
Can you imagine Clay Bennett ordering Sam Presti to do something like that?
I bring this stuff up only because everyone else seems to be ignoring it now. Yes the Knicks play in the biggest city in the country and arguably the most famous city in the world and inside the most famous arena.
That's won them exactly two NBA titles, in 1970 and in 1973, and one division title in the last 20 years.
Kevin Durant wants to be a part of that? REALLY??
Yes Dolan appears to have made a solid move bringing in Phil Jackson as the Knicks GM, but remember Phil hasn't been a GM before. And yes Jackson seems to have made a solid choice in Derek Fisher as head coach but Fish has never been a head coach before and he was Phil's second choice at that.
Steve Kerr was the first and by all accounts the talks with Kerr broke off because Dolan didn't want to give him a fifth year on his coaching contract. Dolan then backtracked off that stance for Fisher.
Why do that for the second choice but not the first? Well, remember that Jimmy Dolan has been the mayor of Crazy Town for a while.
Oh wait, I forgot, Fish is part of the next great "Grand Plan" for the Knicks. Fish can bring his friend KD to MSG.
Kevin Durant wants to win a championship and then he wants to win some more. Why people think he'd have a better chance to do that with the Knicks in 2016 than with the Thunder, a team he's grown up with and that still would have both Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka under contract is baffling.
Personally I don't think KD is going anywhere except a signing party at his restaurant in Bricktown when he decides to put his signature on a new deal.
I think he likes living here and working here and I think he believes the organization has positioned itself to compete for championships well into the future. He has said that over and over and over again, why so many national reporters don't believe him, I don't know.
Maybe I'm the one on the train to Crazy Town. But I just have a feeling that by 2016 Durant and the Thunder will already have a championship and the Knicks will have moved on to Grand Plan version 42.0.