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Thursday, July 21, 2005
Page 2 Quickie: July 20, 2005

The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Larry Brown is the wrong pick for the Knicks.

Oh sure, he's glamorous enough for New York. He might even want the challenge that Phil Jackson was apparently too intimidated to take.

But he's the wrong coach around which to rebuild.

Just when Isiah Thomas finally admitted the Knicks were rebuilding, he's going to pursue a coach temperamentally unfit to do exactly that job?

Brown's specialty is the quick fix. After all, he doesn't like to stay too long. But he's a master of getting the most out of his roster.

Here's the problem: Even if he leads the Knicks to overachievement, fans are still looking at a 45- to 50-win team (max) with no hope of winning the East, let alone a title.

That kind of short-term thinking is what has gotten the Knicks into trouble in the first place. (And that's as close to "first place" as they've gotten.)

The team finally realized that fans -- even in New York -- are willing to muddle through some lean, lottery-bound years...

...If they can enjoy incremental improvement each year and the promise of a playoff payoff down the road.

"Win Now" was Brown's last gig; ironically, it's the worst mind-set the Knicks could import if they really want to return to glory.

Unless Brown is willing to stick it out for the 5-7 years it'll take, he's just the latest version of the Knicks' misguided Band-Aid strategy.

AL East Update
1st: Sox in, Yanks out. As it is only July 20, I refuse to watch standings obsessively day by day for 10 more weeks, when the division title is meaningless.

The real story is whether one of these teams doesn't make the playoffs. So the most compelling Standings Watch is the AL wild-card race.

The O's acquiring A.J. Burnett was supposed to be a done deal, keeping them in the WC hunt; fans just knew they would screw it up.

And, yes, there's a snag: Why was Burnett pitching a W for Florida last night, not watching the O's blow it vs. the Twins?

Because Baltimore is balking at picking up throw-in Mike Lowell's hefty salary, a new twist on Angelos' record of penny-wise, pound-foolishness.

OK, here's a NYY-BOS update: Schilling got his first save as Boston's closer; Yankees lost to Texas on a Blalock HR. Sox back in 1st. Whee.

Meanwhile, the NL East might not have the cachet of the AL East, but the Nats held on to 1st (Patterson gem) after the Braves lost (Kolb dud).

MLB Wrap: AL Aces?
Rich Harden, AL's best? Continues building case, allowing 1 run (with 8 Ks) in Oakland's 3-1 win over Angels.

Or is it Jesse Crain? Twins' middle reliever continues to rack up "right place, right time" wins, earning team-high 9th vs. O's.

Or maybe it's Jeremy Bonderman? It's like we're clearing out under-publicized AL aces today ... Tigers' stud wins 12th with gem vs. ChiSox.

NBA "Free" News
Cavs land new PF: Not able to outbid with cash, Cleveland lured Donyell Marshall with a 4-year deal, longer than anyone else would offer.

So in three years, he'll look great teamed with Larry Hughes when LeBron is playing in New York or L.A. (But a solid move for '05-06.)

Signing Euro PG, too? Sarunas Jasikevicius is a mouthful, but the Lithuanian stud (you saw him torch the U.S. in Athens) will be the steal of the offseason.

Antonio Daniels to D.C.: After averaging career high in points with Seattle, guard will join Gilbert Arenas in Wizards' backcourt (5-year/$30 million deal).

Bigger Big East
Observation after Media Day for the renovated Big East:

Don't be shocked if it's the Big East in the BCS title game vs. USC come January, ironic given that many wanted to boot the Big East from the BCS last year.

One word: Louisville. The C-USA refugee could be this year's Utah: Quietly going unbeaten with a sick offense (560 ypg, 1st in NCAA).

Actually, given the lack of respect for the Big East, the Cards could end up more like Auburn -- unbeaten, but dissed out of the title game.

50-in-50: IA
Impressions of Iowa:

Field of Dreams: Nostalgia isn't a bad tourism gimmick. The movie turned it into a cliche, but what else is there to do there?

NCAA Wrestling: What the state of North Carolina is to college hoops or Alabama is to college football, Iowa is to college wrestling.

Vote Best of Iowa here!