Ish Happens – Player Movement NYC to the Bay
January 14, 2012 1 Comment
Last night the Warriors announced that they were releasing Ishmael Smith, and I couldn’t stop thinking about all the Knicks connections. Sounds pretty weird for a guy who wasn’t rosterable on a 3-7 team, but trust me the Knicks of the past, present, and future are strongly connected.
It was only two short weeks ago that Ish started in place of Stephen Curry and helped torch the Knicks by scoring 11 points, grabbing 6 boards, and dishing 5 assists in a 92-78 Warriors win. The stat line doesn’t jump out at you, but the Knicks were utterly confused by Smith’s speed and his impact was far greater than what the boxscore reads. The game was also Mark Jackson’s first win against his former team and the team that nearly hired him three and a half years ago before D’Antoni became available.
If you watched the Knicks-Warriors game, you would have to think that Ish would have a place on the Warriors all season. But a funny thing happened on the way to a guaranteed contract. Former Knick, Nate Robinson was signed to provide more of a spark in wake of Curry’s continuing ankle problems and ended up taking all of Ish’s minutes. Nate, who is my wife’s favorite Knick and someone she still asks for updates on, has been averaging 14.5 points and 4.3 assists in 32.5 minutes per game with th Warriors.
Who could forget the good times with Nate who is the only player to win three slam dunk contests, and once blocked Yao Ming despite giving up nearly two feet in height? But with the Nate there were plenty of bad times as he passed as often as Iman Shumpert does in Memphis and feuded with coaches. Even Shaq thinks Nate needs to focus more on basketball. Even with all the off court distractions associated with Nate, it would have been nice to see Nate back in NY (instead of Mike Bibby??) rather than see him playing well for Golden State.
Along with Nate’s play, the upcoming return of Stephen Curry and “loss” of Kwame Brown gives the Warriors too many guards and too few bigs. So the Warriors released Ish to sign…wait for it…Earl Barron. Yes, that Earl Barron who averaged a double double for the Knicks in seven games at the end of the 2009-2010 season. Kevin Bacon would already be intrigued by all the connections, but I have one question: Shouldn’t the Knicks release former Warrior Jeremy Lin to pick up Ish?