As we whittle away our NBA playoff hours dreaming of an MSG All-Star game and wondering whether Donnie Walsh is hiding in LeBron James’s guest house somewhere, waiting for him to return from Chicago, we got to thinking: How many Knicks exiles are in the playoffs? We saw Larry Hughes playing in crunch time for Charlotte and thought that if it were possible for Larry Hughes to look happy (and it isn’t), he would look happy not to be playing for the Knicks.
Hughes’s playoff Bobcats career is almost certain to end tonight against Orlando (who’s up 3–0 in the series), which, considering his six-point-seven points per game in the playoffs, probably won’t make anyone weep too much. Anyway, who else is not missing life at the Garden?
Marcus Camby, Portland Trail Blazers. It’s a shame Camby re-signed with the Trail Blazers, because he would have been ideal for the next-gen D’Antoni Knicks. Alas. Camby is one of the main reasons the Trail Blazers are surprisingly tied with the Suns after four games.
Jamal Crawford, Atlanta Hawks. No one has more immediately enjoyed life outside the Garden than Crawford, a major contender for the Sixth Man of the Year award. He’s had a slow three games in the playoffs, though, shooting poorly en route to a 2–1 Hawks lead over the Bucks.
Channing Frye, Phoenix Suns. One of Isiah Thomas’s draft triumphs — before being traded with Steve Francis for Zach Randolph — Frye is shooting only 19 percent from three-point range during the postseason, far behind the 43 percent he hit during the regular season.
Antonio McDyess, San Antonio Spurs. Just to be mean, we like to remind Knicks fans that McDyess did actually play sixteen games for the Knicks in 2003. For the privilege, the Knicks gave up Marcus Camby, Mark Jackson, and the draft rights to Nene. The good news? Trading McDyess helped bring Stephon Marbury to town. Anyway, McDyess is starting for the Spurs who are about to advance to the conference semifinals.
Quentin Richardson, Miami Heat. Sometimes we wonder if Q and Dwyane Wade ever sit around and just giggle about Darko Milicic; Wade was famously drafted after Darko, and Richardson was traded for him before this season began. Richardson is having a nice little postseason so far, averaging 11.3 points and scoring twenty in the Heat’s game-four win over Boston yesterday. Plus, he got Kevin Garnett suspended for a game, which is probably his real job.
Nate Robinson, Boston Celtics. How is Mr. Spark Plug Off the Bench going? Well, he has played three of the four Celtics’ games against the Heat, for a total of twelve minutes and seven points. He has no assists, two turnovers, and a rebound — in case you were wondering where the Natrix stood in the grand scheme of matters.
We think they’re all probably still much happier where they are.