Knicks want Ridnour


ridnour.jpgThe Knicks have plenty of guards on the roster, but none of them can get the job done. Chris Duhon is shooting 35.2% on the season. Nate Robinson dropped an F-bomb on his coach during the game. Toney Douglas is a rookie. Larry Hughes is shooting 36%, and he’s Larry Hughes.

Luke Ridnour would be an upgrade. And according to Alan Hahn of Newsday, the Knicks are very interested.

Ridnour has had a good year in Milwaukee, something going unnoticed in the Brandon Jennings hype. Ridnour is averaging 11 points a game on 48% shooting (most of those shots from 16 feet and out), and is hitting 40% from three. He is averaging nearly three assists to every turnover.

He’s not only an on-the-court upgrade in NYC, he fits the long-term plans for the Kicks to save cap space — he is an expiring deal. He is owed the remainder of his $6.5 million this year, then is a free agent.

This might be a smart pickup for the Knicks, but what is on the New York roster the Bucks would want? Jared Jeffries is owed $6.8 million next year if he picks up his player option, meaning the Bucks are taking on salary long term. Duhon? Why? The Knicks are going to have to throw in a young player or a pick to make this make sense in Milwaukee. And those are things the rebuilding Knicks are loathe to give up.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.