By John Schmeelk
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Naturally, however, it came with a price. Carmelo Anthony twisted an ankle and his availability for Christmas is now in question. Raymond Felton came back too quickly from a hamstring injury and hurt the groin in his other leg.
I decided it was time for me to play part Santa Claus and part Wizard of Oz and give the Knicks much better gifts than they have ever given their fan base.
Poor Felton, with two bum legs and a medical staff that won’t save him from himself. For Felton, I present him with a year’s worth of salad. Perhaps cutting down on the calories will help cut down on the injuries.
The Knicks’ medical staff gets a calendar. Felton was supposed to be out for two to three weeks with a hamstring injury. He missed 12 days and had no practice time before coming back and promptly pulling a muscle in the second half of his first game. Next time a player is hurt, maybe they actually hold him out for enough time in order to get him ready to play at full health. I’ll be even nicer — the calendar will be a Knicks City Dancers calendar. They are free! Ladies, run wild and free!
Somewhere along the way, Iman Shumpert lost his courage, swagger and confidence. We saw glimpses of it on Monday night. If he can get it back he can be a very useful player again. The Knicks need it in the worst way. Shump gets back the ego he had as a rookie that made him think he was the best player on the floor even when he wasn’t. Shump also gets this DVD, because he can reminisce about the days of his flat top.
J.R. Smith gets a bonus gift. The self-confidence I gave to Shumpert I took away from Smith. That’s what happens when you land on Santa Schmeelk’s naughty list. But to make up for it, I’m giving Smith a conscience. I really think he is going to like feeling bad about doing things like staying out until 4 a.m. the night before games and allegedly smoking ridiculous amounts of marijuana. That conscience might also transfer to the court, where his shot selection could improve as he actually realizes what a bad shot is and decides not to take as many of them. Smith, you are going to start to care! To help, you also get this. Because, dude,17 threes? Your elbow must be killing you.
Amar’e Stoudemire gets one good knee. You say he is asking for two? I’m only Santa, I’m not a miracle worker. I also give him a dictionary. He needs a new word to use besides phenomenal.
Tyson Chandler doesn’t need a whole lot, so I’m going to give him what he wants more than anything. I’m going to instill in his teammates just half of the defensive fervor, attitude and effort he gives on a nightly basis. He deserves guys on the floor that give the same amount of effort as he does. He also gets a beard trimmer, because let’s be honest, he needs one.
For Kenyon Martin, I give him one free tattoo removal of his choice. I suggest he uses it wisely. The lips, man, choose the lips.
Pablo Prigioni gets an Xbox One. He’s awesome and deserves the coolest gift possible. Enjoy, Prigs. And what the hell, here is a new toe, too.
Andrea Bargnani … oh Bargs. There are so many things you can use. Perhaps a pogo stick to grab some more rebounds, some arc on your inconsistent jumper or maybe a shred of defensive instincts? There are so many options, I just don’t know what to give you. Wait, I know! I’m going to erase this video forever.
To you, young Tim Hardaway, Jr., I give more minutes on the floor since you are the only guard on the team who can actually hit a jump shot. Also, just for fun, a full DVD set of the 1999 first-round series against the Heat. Pass that on to your dad when you get the chance. Cool?
Anthony, the man of so many talents and so many skills, it is hard to find a gift for you that you truly need. After much searching, to you I give something you didn’t even know you needed. I give you the humility to accept less money on your next contract, whether it’s with the Knicks or someone else, so you can be paired with other great players and be given a real chance to prove if you can win a championship. Also, please take this gift card to, well, any clothing store in the world. You need to stop wearing stuff like this. Or maybe you just want Mao’s Little Red Book?
Metta World Peace, I give you back your old name. You are Ron Artest again! You owe me, big time.
Cole Aldrich gets a chance to play, while Toure’ Murry gets the same. Both play defense and perhaps the coach will soon recognize that.
Chris Smith, I get you this. Because dude, let’s be honest — you need to get better at basketball.
To Mike Woodson, the leader of this motley crew, I grant him a magical device known as a calculator. By using this mystical device he will do many calculations, and learn which combinations of players play best together. He will learn that big does not mean better. He will understand math, and use it to his team’s benefit. All will be happy.
Finally, to James Dolan — I give the greatest gift of all. I give you the ability to let go. You will hire a real basketball executive, and let him run the Knicks intelligently. You will remove the ridiculous media policy that makes fans feel like you don’t give a damn what they think. In the end, Dolan will get what he always wanted: a winner that he can take credit for. Fans will love him. New York will love him. All he needs to do in order to get everything he ever wanted is to let go. I grant him this, and Knicks Nation will rejoice.
I hope everyone who celebrates the holiday has a Merry Christmas, and hopefully the Knicks won’t put too much of a damper on it.
You can follow me on Twitter @Schmeelk for the latest on the Knicks, Giants and everything else New York sports.
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