Right now those of you who read my twitter timeline are probably thinking: “Jon, that headline is pretty hypocritical. All you’ve been doing for the past 48 hours is worrying about Chris Paul.” I know it seems that way, but it’s not the case.
Truth be told, I’ve never been fully convinced that an Amar’e/Melo/Paul big 3 was the best idea and I’ve registered those misgivings in this space before (Dan has too). What’s been getting my dander up and causing me to have a very CP3-centric focus has been the reactionary nature in which certain corners of the mainstream media have sought to put down the CP3-to-New-York uprising while being only too willing to indulge even more far-fetched rumors and the lusting of fan bases from other corners of the NBA universe deemed more deserving. I summarized my point yesterday with this tweet:
Today’s meme: Knicks fans have no right to covet Chris Paul even though Chris Paul made a toast telling Knicks fans he’s going to be a Knick
And that’s really the point. The guy has made no secret of his desire to play for New York, he has the same representation as Carmelo Anthony, and over the past two days he’s been following the exact same script as Carmelo Anthony did forcing his way to the Knicks. To quote Michael Corleone: “Who’s being naive?”
The point is, while it’d be fun to watch Chris Paul run pick-and-rolls with Amar’e for as long as their four knees hold up, if it doesn’t come to fruition I won’t be crying in my Alpha-Bits (everyone always goes “Cheerios” there, when you can really do any cereal) because I don’t necessarily believe that’s the best way to assemble a roster that can compete for titles and, for me, that’s the goal. I thoroughly enjoyed the Ewing era–I loved that team as much as a person can love a group of strangers–but ultimately, it left me hungry to taste ultimate basketball glory, and that’s an NBA title. There’s no secret formula for winning a title and sometimes when you do all the right things it still doesn’t work out, but I want my team to try.
The Knicks find themselves in a position where they have two amazing offensive players and little beyond that besides some limited financial flexibility to build a roster that will best support their strengths and offset their weaknesses. If the goal is to win championships (for what it’s worth, I don’t think that’s the goal), the best way to do that is to use the bulk of their remaining cap space on a stalwart defensive big man.
If you’re looking to just have a lot of fun and sell some t-shirts–and I do suspect that James Dolan and Scott O’Neil believe that a basketball game is little more than a 48 minute infomerical for t-shirts–CP3 is definitely your man. Should the Knicks get Paul, I’d fully embrace the CP3 era and enjoy the beautiful basketball–and I cannot deny that a Paul, Melo, Amar’e triumvirate is going to sell a lot of gear.
But if it doesn’t work out, I’m just saying the alternative could be good too, because it could end up being a championship caliber roster.