These Knicks full of tricks
Posted: Monday May 31, 1999 11:49 AM
Feeling the squeeze: Jeff Van Gundy's questionable future with the Knicks has put a stranglehold on the team's remarkable run in the playoffs. AP
Race for the title | Storylines | The Bandwagon
By Andy Johnston, CNN/SI
Check back every week for "The NBA at a Glance."
Just what the heck are the New York Knicks doing?
After finishing the regular season with the Eastern Conference's
eighth-best record and an offense as powerful as a Yugo, the Knicks are
just three wins away from the NBA Finals.
It certainly doesn't make much sense.
But what makes their feat even more remarkable is the fact that Coach Jeff
Van Gundy doesn't even know if he'll be around next season.
Reports have Madison Square Garden president Dave Checketts all set to
replace Van Gundy with former Chicago Bulls coach Phil
Jackson, unless the Knicks advance to the NBA Finals. That's if Van Gundy
even wants to return to the team.
There was another report last week that Van Gundy had given his agent, Rob
Ades, permission to begin inquiries into the coaching vacancies in Orlando
and Washington. Van Gundy denied those rumors.
With the official company line of "no comment" coming forth daily from the
Knicks' front office, there will be no cleaning up this mess until the
season's completion. If then.
| Race for the title |
| Knicks (8) vs. Pacers (1)
Why you should care: Because the Knicks may actually reach the NBA
Matchup to watch: Kurt Thomas vs. any Pacer
within shoving range
| Blazers (2) vs. Spurs (1)
Why you should care: It could be a classic
Duncan vs. anyone who dares to guard him
Storylines We'll Be Following |
Trade rumblings |
Phoenix, with the No. 9 pick, is said to be offering it to
Washington for guard Mitch
Richmond, and the Wizards reportedly want Orlando's Penny Hardaway. The
Raptors have the No. 5 and No. 12 picks and want to move up to select guard
Steve Francis. Cleveland is looking at guards and may choose William Avery
or Jason Terry if it cannot trade up for forward Wally Szczerbiak, who also
may still be around when the Cavaliers pick at No. 8. Vancouver may trade
the No. 2 pick for a veteran.
| No violations here
Dallas coach/GM Don Nelson calls it "recruiting with no
rules." Any way you put it, Nelson and the Mavericks are doing everything
within their power to keep forward Gary Trent, who can
become a free agent on July 1. The club sent Trent, his fiancee, infant
son, parents and future mother-in-law to Maui for a week of fun in the sun.
Will it help convince Trent and his 16 points and 7.8 rebounds to stick
around? Who knows? Nellie will keep trying. "We just want to rub his belly
and let him know we love him," he said. Good luck. He'll need it.
| The Bandwagon
| Jeff Van Gundy ||For
getting the most out of his team when it counts|
| Dave Checketts
say anything else|
| Phil Jackson ||Next king
of New Jersey?|
| Doc Rivers ||Candidate
for two head coaching jobs|