The last time Mike D’Antoni’s job was on the line, he lucked in to Linsanity, riding the Jeremy Lin wave of awesome “like friggin’ Secretariat,” as D’Antoni himself said. It was a legendary time, celebrations were heard around the world and Mike D’Antoni mustache hairs were going for four digits on eBay. We all got tattoos and smiled about it. Nothing bad could ever happen to us. We were young and invincible.
But ever since the All-Star Game, something’s changed. After knocking off the Cavaliers in their first post-break contest, the Knicks have lost five straight and D’Antoni has even benched his high-priced starters Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony in the fourth quarters of a couple of the losses. Basically, the Knicks are now a basketball hybrid of “The Road” and “The Hunger Games” trilogy and there is a lot of sadness and hunger. We lost a lot of good men out there.
So now Mike D’Antoni needs his job saved again. Which needs Mike D’Antoni needs to find another miracle that’s been buried somewhere far away from NBA eyes. Maybe that miracle comes from the Knicks’ bench, maybe it comes from somewhere else. The only thing we know is that Mike D’Antoni needs to find that player and exploit him. Here are the most likely prospects:
Jerome Jordan — Center, New York Knicks
Perhaps the problem with the Knicks is that Tyson Chandler is too good at defense. This allows the rest of the Knicks to be lazy, which in turn leads to a bunch of points because even Tyson Chandler can’t cover for four other guys, no matter how hard he tries. That’s why Jerome Jordan is a perfect substitute. Like Lin, he basically never plays. Like Lin, he averages less than three points a game. Like Lin, no one else in the NBA really cares about him. He’s the perfect, most Jeremy Lin-y choice on the Knicks. I expect he’ll start every game from here on out.
Mike Bibby — Point Guard, New York Knicks
Kind of like a reverse psychology thing here where the Knicks will start playing Mike Bibby again in the hopes that that will refresh him, kind of like how farmers rotate crops every year to keep the soil fertile. Bibby is a hardened veteran who has been a great shooter from long range and I can’t even pretend to do this because it’s Mike Bibby and uuugggghhhhh come on he’s still in the league? Criminy.
Armon Johnson — Point Guard, Unsigned
Johnson was just released by the Trail Blazers, meaning he’s already got the prerequisite first cut from an NBA team under his belt. He’ll obviously need to be picked up by a team with a well-respected GM (the Thunder, perhaps) and then cut before ever playing a game if he truly wants to succeed. Nonetheless, Johnson is talented and seems like he might be on the path to bouncing around the league, which is exactly when you want to sign a potential Jeremy Lin.
Crandall Higginbottom — Shooting Guard, David Rivera’s Psychedelic Sons of Funk
It would be an unprecedented move to bring in a college student who hasn’t formally declared for the draft, but it’s probably something that isn’t covered by the new CBA and is therefore a loophole through which the Knicks should jump. Higginbottom is averaging nearly 33 points per game on 28 percent shooting in the Concordia University intramural league, so he should be able to provide exactly what J.R. Smith has been since his return from China. And since Carmelo Anthony apparently hates J.R. Smith, the Knicks might as well replace him with a reasonable facsimile.
Spike Lee — Fan, New York Knicks
He already has the jerseys, so this will be a cheap signing. Huge marketing implications as well.
Tony Forkleson — Made the Guacamole Today, Chipotle
If you want two tortillas with your barbcoa burrito, Tony Forkleson has your back. You want to mix pico de gallo with the habanero salsa? That’s fine too, Tony will hook you up. And hey, if you think a combination of black and pinto beans is a good idea — it’s not due to excessive liquid syndrome — Tony will do it, no questions asked. And since Amar’e Stoudemmire has lost most of his explosion, the Knicks should bring in someone with more diverse skills.
Seth Rosenthal — Blogger, Posting and Toasting
Seth’s a big fan and a really funny guy, so it might do wonders for the Knicks’ ticket sales if they brought in someone like that. I’ve seen “Eddie,” so I know this is a legitimate possibility. I only need 7 percent for negotiating the contract.
Ron Ronaldson — Actuary, Country Companies Insurance
In high school, Ron Ronaldson averaged 12 points a game and eight rebounds for the Wilmington High School Yellowhammers, while also playing center for their football team. Ever since then, he’s been saying he could play pro if someone would have given him a chance. Mike D’Antoni is desperate, so a reach like this isn’t entirely unthinkable. At the very least, Ronaldson could set massive picks for Lin, considering he’s gained just a few pounds (65) since graduation.