Thanks again for chatting with me. We'll have to do it again sometime next season. Enjoy the rest of the Finals and the upcoming draft.

Comments: 326 • Responses: 78  • Date: 

urfaselol52 karma

do you visit /r/nba at all?

HerringWSJ70 karma

I've had to at times in the past, because of the crazy rumors -- sometimes completely bizarre and true -- that originate here. Also, over the past month and a half or so, as I've prepped for this, I've checked in to see how these discussions were handled. But yeah; I try to pop into fan forums a lot. Helps inform me about what's important to you guys, and what has you all talking. Always informs me about how fans feel about certain subjects.

jnussbaum9032 karma

If you had to predict Knicks starting 5 on opening day what would it be?

HerringWSJ61 karma

Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I'd like a lineup of Beverley, Danny Green, Justise Winslow, Melo and Robin Lopez. I think they could feasibly do that, and still have plenty to spend the following year. It's a lineup that has some offense and some defense. Wouldn't be great, but it'd be a solid start and a team folks could enjoy cheering for after last year's disaster season.

BaconOnBaconOnBacon22 karma

Who wins the Finals and why?

HerringWSJ71 karma

LeBron has been other-worldly, as he always seems to be, but I still have a hard time picking against a historically strong team like Golden State. I can't imagine Curry shooting THAT poorly for the remainder of the series. But I readily admit that Cleveland is putting up a better fight than I ever imagined they could without Kyrie.

Photo680221 karma

Would you rather be on a date with Stephen A and Skip Bayless or converse with Christopher Russo?

HerringWSJ64 karma

Plead the 5th?

flyingcrayons20 karma

Do the beat writers ever hang out outside of work? I assume during the season y'all are a little too busy with deadlines and stuff but I see you, Ian Begley and Al Iannazzone tweeting at each other every once in a while. Ian and Al seem to like taking shots at each other lol

HerringWSJ35 karma

Every now and then we do; particularly when there's a big event happening that we all have to be on the road during. So we'll watch the Super Bowl together in Milwaukee if the Knicks are on the road that weekend. Or we'll get Thanksgiving dinner together if the Knicks are in Oklahoma City. I wouldn't go as far as to say these folks become my family when I'm on the road, but when you are away from your family, it's nice to spend time with someone so that you aren't completely by yourself on those days. (And yes; I'm friendly with a couple guys in particular. Me and Ian have hung out on our own and actually were just texting yesterday. We have good relationships with each other in many cases.)

dadsspaghetti19 karma

Hi Chris.

Thank you for taking time out of your day for this AMA.

Could you describe how you got to where you are today?

Edit: spelling

HerringWSJ35 karma

Sure. Have known I wanted to do this since high school, when I wrote for the paper there. Then, when I got to Michigan, I basically beat the editor's door down there, begging them to let me write. While I was in college, I got a number of summer internships, including one at the Cleveland Plain Dealer and then eventually at the WSJ. Got hired full-time at the WSJ out of that internship six years ago, and initially covered law and crime before moving over to sports to cover the NY Jets and then the Knicks.

Tankye_West17 karma

Do you find it crazy that the Knicks are still part of headlines regularly even though they were awful this season? Also, any better fans in the league? #KnicksTape

HerringWSJ29 karma

No surprise at all here. Biggest media market in the country, and tabloid coverage. Constant rumors flying around, in part because of how the organization doesn't really refute stuff. So I get it and have come to expect it. And I think the Lakers are similar in that regard, with the exception of having a long history of winning. The Fact that the Knicks have been talked about so much without that history is really telling. Part of what makes it so fun when they are good -- the buzz is even bigger when that's the case.

sportsajm15 karma

I believe that the best option at 4 is Justise Winslow. What do you think & what current NBA Player does he resemble the most?

HerringWSJ23 karma

Winslow is my favorite player in this draft, and is the guy I would take at No. 4. His attributes remind me of a few different people: He's def not Harden on offense, and possesses the ball for way shorter periods of time than JH. But he does use the jab step similarly, and drives about as much while getting to the line a lot. His chasedown blocks remind me of LeBron from a few years back. His tendency to get involved in skirmishes reminds me of Wade. You hear the comparisons with Butler and Kawhi, but I think he's a little too short to put him with that duo. But if his floor is Kidd-Gilchrist, I think he's a great pick at 4. He shot 41% from three, and while his shot is still a concern (his splits without Okafor on the court were a bit concerning, as was his 64% FT% and his 19% FG% from the elbows), it's not as if he simply can't shoot. I think he's the most complete player in the draft who can help someone right away.

AlphakirA15 karma

Any chance Wade winds up somewhere other than Miami? Or is this all a rouse to get a bigger contract?

HerringWSJ34 karma

If they are as far apart on money as the reports suggest, maybe. It's probably a bit of posturing from both sides. Would be sad to see him go elsewhere because of what he's meant to that community, but it certainly could happen. We've all seen the pictures of Hakeem in a Raptors uniform against Ewing in an Orlando jersey, and Michael in a wizards uniform guarding Scottie in a Blazers jersey. Weirder things have happened.

m_schenker14 karma

Any surprise free agents do you think the Knicks go after?

HerringWSJ28 karma

Not really any surprises, so to speak, but I do think that the Knicks will go after DeAndre Jordan, and there's been more talk about that recently. In the aftermath of trading Tyson Chandler, going after Jordan is a good sign that they aren't going to value the triangle above all else going forward. They recognize athleticism, and the pick and roll specifically, is still important to the game, whether it's a play they utilize every time down or not.

aagave11 karma

Thinking back to Chauncey Billups' point that Melo is not a natural locker room leader, and seeing how well JR and Shumpert are playing with Lebron, are there ANY vets on the free agent market who Knicks are looking at to sign and fill that leadership role?

HerringWSJ16 karma

Those guys are rare, and I can't think of anyone offhand who's also still a big-time contributor. But yes; I'd like to see that, too. I think the Knicks have put too many volatile players around Melo in recent years, which is kind of the opposite of what you need to help him.

Thementalrapist5 karma

Do you think the Knicks can ever return to their former glory like in the days of Starks and Ewing, Houston and Sprewell or as an organization is this what we should expect from now on?

HerringWSJ12 karma

It may be awhile before we see that. Like it or not, Melo is around and will be the face of the club for a few more years, and he doesn't really fit the personality/style of any of those folks you just mentioned.

yracuse_10 karma

Why is Isiah Thomas allowed to be anywhere near a WNBA team and why hasn't there been anything done about it?

HerringWSJ18 karma

I wish I knew how to answer this. For some reason, it always seems like MSG/the Knicks can't just let us all relax without some sort of noise. They ended a disastrous season, and I figured maybe stuff would remain quiet until the draft and FA. Then Isiah happens.

Everyone has a right to work, and I understand that. But the Isiah hiring and ownership thing was really, really tone deaf. And I was pretty irritated when I got an invitation to apply for a season-long credential the day after that announcement was made. Felt like a ploy of some sort, and MSG didn't seem to mind the attention it got as a result of the news. To me, it's unfair to the players, who now are getting attention for something that has nothing to do with basketball or their accomplishments. Which is why I'm generally ignoring it in terms of my coverage. Not fair to them, and a weird situation all the way around, really.

bengayfever9 karma

What do you think of Langston Galloway? Does he have a future with the organization?

Which current players on the Knicks have the best chance to be there long term?

HerringWSJ9 karma

I think Galloway had a really, really nice first season, and am interested to see how he does going forward. Curious to see how his play changes based on who he's playing next to. Some guys thrive when they're the only player capable of making a play. Others raise their game when they're placed alongside other talented guys. It'd be great if the Knicks pieced together a good enough roster to allow Galloway to come off the bench and slowly progress over time. But his rebounding and his defense made me a believer, and his offense clearly is good at times, too.

chicanos9099 karma

Chris, love your work. Been a Knicks fan for me 24 years on this planet and recently they've been killing me. Who was your favorite Knick to cover that is no longer on the team? Does the "Lebron changed JR" narrative bother you as well? I loved JR when in his first year and 2013-14 and then we know what happened after..seems like it's his pattern. He will break down mentally at some point. Anyway, love your a lot of the other writers around town..cough Frank Isola

HerringWSJ23 karma

I really miss talking with the veterans from that 12-13 team. Sheed, Kidd, Chandler. I used to have the luxury of being able to approach several different people depending on what sort of story I was writing. If I had a piece that was going to focus on defense, I could go to Marcus Camby -- a former Defensive Player of the Year winner -- or to Tyson, who'd also won the award. Last season, once they traded Shumpert, there wasn't anyone left on the roster skilled enough on defense for me to be able to ask about anything. For that reason, the losing season eventually got to be just as frustrating for me as it was for a lot of you. Felt as if it restricted my writing, and forced me to look elsewhere for stories. That's why I worked on a series of college-scouting profiles instead, and I felt those turned out well.

HerringWSJ8 karma

Alright, y'all: I've probably worn out my welcome here after almost three hours. But thank you so much for chatting with me and following along with my work. Really wanted to do this, because I know I can't always get to all your tweets. If you're at a game or anything in the near future, be sure to say hello. Enjoy the rest of the Finals.

newyork898 karma

Hi Chris, I usually bother you alot on twitter (rhk_tn). Do you believe the influx of injuries in the nba has any correlation to the new HGH testings?

HerringWSJ7 karma

I don't think that's what it is. Really, I just wonder if the athletes nowadays are too explosive and too strong for their own good. That's always my initial thought when I look at guys like Rose and Westbrook. But this year, it's even impacted a number of guys who don't depend solely on their explosion. I have no clue what would explain all the injuries this season, but it really sucks and has taken a huge toll on the playoffs as a whole.

roonz7 karma

Chris, fantastic job covering the Knicks and the NBA this season.

Who do you believe will be the "steal" of the 2015 NBA Draft and why?

HerringWSJ15 karma

I think Cauley-Stein, if he falls toward the lower part of the top-10, could be a steal. He will give some team the ability to defend totally differently than they otherwise would.

I'm also a big fan of Jerian Grant from ND, too, and think he can really help someone's offense. Has great size.

Kevo57667 karma

Hey Chris love your work, I think you're a Chicago native and presumably a bulls fan? And I know you're a writer and like to be unbiased as possible but Im wondering if you'll ever see yourself rooting for the Knicks seeing as youve been covering them for 3 years now.

Also how are we gonna talk in other fans into buying in the WCS hype?

HerringWSJ15 karma

I was a huge Bulls fan as a kid, because I grew up in Chicago during the Jordan era. I think fandom generally fades as you observe the league from my seat, though. I watch the Bulls a lot still (in part to be able to have conversations with my friends from home about what's wrong with them), but I don't find myself rooting for them much at all. And I don't really root for the Knicks, either. Doesn't mean I pull against anyone. More than anything, I think the longer you cover the league and view this as a livelihood for people, you care less about who wins and put more emphasis on the stories you're writing. I just want to do a good job reporting, really. And that's been my biggest concern since joining the NBA beat.

lefr796 karma

What is your best James Dolan story?

HerringWSJ7 karma

I actually don't have any, as sad as that sounds. But I've never spoken to him before. Most of us reporters probably haven't. He's only spoken with reporters in a Q&A setting maybe three times over the last 6 years, so it becomes difficult to learn much about him on a personal level. Probably by design, to some extent.

NYSportsGuy46 karma

Hey Chris!

Any indication Melo plays the 4 this season instead of primarily at the 3? Probably depends on free agency but not sure why Phil Jackson is so hell-bent on having Melo play SF given his age and how he matches up with players on defense.

HerringWSJ13 karma

There's a sense a lot of the time that Melo himself doesn't enjoy playing the 4 all that much. It's easy for us -- myself in particular -- to look at stats and efficiency. But when you have the kind of confidence that Melo has, and are one of the best players in the world, you feel you can be successful anywhere, at any position, and probably think the positional talk is overblown. As for Phil, I would hope he knows it's past time for Melo to move to the 4. Teams shot 42% when Melo was the closest defender to the opposing 3-point shooter last year, because he struggles to close out and defend the perimeter.

NYSportsGuy41 karma

Thanks for your response! Just hoping the Knicks build a strong team defensively and help their youth develop, something that hasn't happened in years. I know he's young but trying to sign Monroe and his defensive flaws worry me. Any update on him and all that backchanneling?

HerringWSJ4 karma

Yeah. Ive heard some of the same stuff regarding Monroe, too, which bothered me a little because ... we don't even know who the Knicks are going to draft yet!

Like, what if they'd won the second pick? Would you really draft Okafor AND sign Monroe to put next to Melo at the 3? That would be a disaster of a defense; particularly with Calderon and Tim on the roster.

So, who knows? Maybe the talk of Monroe has been somewhat overblown. But you'd certainly hope that Knicks are taking their draft into account before they make an ironclad decision to target someone like Monroe in FA.

emceebugman6 karma

Do you have a sense of Phil Jackson and Steve Mills' relationship? I'm very concerned after the botched Chandler and Shump/JR trades (the latter trade was less botched but Knicks still only got back a second rounder).

HerringWSJ9 karma

From my understanding, Mills is kind of the first point of contact when it comes to any deals other teams are making with the Knicks. Several agents have told me they don't deal directly with Phil much at all -- that he prefers to get involved in potential deals only once it's ready to be stamped for final approval. Some folks express frustration about that, but it just seems to be the way Phil operates, for better or worse. As for how Jackson and Mills get along, they seem to have a good relationship; particularly for someone like Mills, who was kind of relegated to Phil's sidekick a few months into getting the job as president.

Patty_chewing5 karma

Hey Chris, really huge fan of your work. Between a homer like Berman and a hater like Isola, I find your commentary on the Knicks extremely refreshing and unbiased, which is an accomplishment when you cover a NY team. What does your gut tell you the Knicks do with their pick, and if they trade down what's a best case scenario? Thanks!

HerringWSJ4 karma

Thanks for the kind words (though I think Marc and Frank deserve more credit; they each break a ton of news). I'm beginning to think more and more that they trade down for someone else. Personally feel that they should stay put and take Winslow, but we are starting to hear more about guys that they'd potentially trade down and take a look at.

jbhands5 karma

How much do you think mudiay's jumper is actually hurting his draft stock? Any chance one of the projected top 3 fall to us at 4?

HerringWSJ17 karma

With Mudiay, I think probably his biggest question mark is his jumper. He looks like he'll develop into an at least average defender, if not a good one, and his ball skills are fantastic. Very good pocket passer, and can seemingly get where he wants to on the floor. If he was the kind of shooter D'Angelo Russell is, we'd probably be talking about Mudiay being in the conversation for No. 1 overall pick. He's that good outside of his shooting.

francoliu15 karma

If you believe that Willie Cauley Stein can have a serviceable 15 foot jump shot like he showed in his workout (and can do the offensive rebounding and basket cuts and PNR dives that he already did in college), shouldn't he be the Knicks pick at #4? 7 feet, guards 1-5, does the dirty work. It's exactly what the Knicks need. 3 and D wings can be found more easily than 7 footers like WCS.

HerringWSJ13 karma

Cauley-Stein is fantastic, and I really wouldn't have a ton of complaints if they took him at 4. (Actually wrote about that scenario here:

I think a lot of people JUST fell in love with him because of the jumpshooting clinic he put on the other day. But his jumper has always looked fine. Look at his FT% numbers over the past three years -- he's made huge improvements in each of the past two seasons that might suggest he's going to be fine in that regard.

I genuinely feel like he may figure out the offensive side in the years to come. And if he does that, he'd be a fantastic player for a long time. Even if he doesn't develop offensively, he has the kind of defensive skill set that I think would be of great value to any team; especially the Knicks.

unone12165 karma

Hi! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to a seer some questions. Here's mine:

As someone who has no focus whatsoever on following professional sports, and I while I work in a warehouse environment, I'm consistently finding myself having to tell people that I just plainly don't watch sports. What should I say about the NBA finals the next time someone asks? Something general enough to pass but knowledgable enough to seem legitimate perhaps?

HerringWSJ7 karma

Lol. Today would be a good day to ask, "Damn, how did Curry miss all those shots last night?" Or "LeBron is pretty dope, isn't he?" Your safest bet when you don't know much about the sport itself is just to mention the names of star players. I took my ex-GF to a Knick game once, and she tried to pull a fast one on me by just mentioning Melo and Stoudemire over and over again. Then I was like, "Babe, both of them are on the bench, you know..." Might have worked had she only used the trick once or twice.

jcush3134 karma

Who are the Knicks picking?

HerringWSJ2 karma

If I knew the answer to this, I promise I'd report it!

Mister_Glass_4 karma

As a Raptor fan for years, curious what your take is on Bargnani?

HerringWSJ17 karma

I really, really don't like his game, and felt the trade was borderline disastrous from Day One. I think if you Google "Myth" and "Andrea Bargnani," you find the story I wrote about him the day after the deal was made. I didn't understand it then, and I still don't understand it. He may be a useful player to the right team, but it definitely wasn't the 2013-14 Knicks. His injury history alone should've been enough to pump the brakes on a deal like that, let alone his declining 3PT%, which had lagged for years. He's good at some things: A solid midrange guy and a good one-on-one post defender. But he got mauled in switch situations, and wasn't a good fit for what the team needed in 2014.

AlphakirA4 karma

Any bold predictions for free agency?

HerringWSJ5 karma

Nothing too bold. Would guess that LaMarcus Aldridge is the most likely to leave, though. Think it'd be cool to see him go to San Antonio.

TriteContrivity3 karma

Hi Chris, how out of the ballpark is the idea the Melo could be traded?

HerringWSJ7 karma

It's still far-fetched, if for no other reason than his no-trade clause. I see no way that he's dealt on draft night, because what rebuilding team would take on his contract at that sort of money with his health issues? If he shows himself to be healthy this coming year, and the Knicks are horrible again, maybe he starts to quietly look for a way out so he can contend before he retires. But even then, I'd be a bit surprised if that happened just two years into his deal.

Notningamaster3 karma

I am certain over time particularly because you write about one specific team you gain friendships and working relationships with the players, coaches and front office.

Have you ever run a story that is negative about a player, coach, and then gotten a call from the person and they're like I thought we were bros! Why did you run that story? Has that happened too you? Or do most of the players, coaches understand its just your job. I could also see where if you made the wrong person angry at a press conference you're not going to get your questions answered.

HerringWSJ11 karma

Every now and then, sure -- you certainly hear from someone who feels I could've been more fair or measured in a story. If you all follow my work, you know I use a lot of numbers as supporting evidence to back what I'm saying or seeing. So I've gone in on Raymond Felton before, and suggested that the Knicks are struggling mostly because of him. Or said that the Knicks are losing several games bc of Mike Woodson's game management. I will never say that if I can't prove it. But if I can prove it -- and at least give the person I'm writing about a chance to respond via quote, so that I'm not blindsiding them -- I have no problems potentially making someone mad. My job is to report fairly, even if it ruffles feathers here and there. And I think I generally do that most of the time.

physicsishotsauce3 karma

Is being the beat writer for the Knicks as depressing as it seems?

HerringWSJ11 karma

Nope. It's frustrating at times for a number of different reasons, but covering an NBA team and writing for a fan base that's as passionate as this one is a dream job for me, and I truly mean that. I'm really blessed to have this gig.

karshokr3 karma

Hey Chris. First things first, I love the work you do covering the Knicks and I'm sure we all do. I wanted to ask about your fellow beat writers - how is it being the only non Knicks fan? Berman vs Isola one on one, who wins?

HerringWSJ6 karma

Am I the only non-fan among the beat writers? I dunno if that's true! I know several of them grew up in the NY/NJ area, but I don't know if that means they somehow root for the Knicks because of that. I think most writers can separate those things. To your other question, about Frank and Marc, I honestly get asked about this a ton, and think it's funny. In real life, Marc would win. On Twitter, Frank would win, because he'd just tweet about BOTP until the end of time and win by TKO, I guess. (As to why those two have the rivalry they do? I have no clue. Your guess is as good as mine. Ive asked around and honestly don't know. But they're fun/interesting to work next to.)

E-Miles3 karma

How difficult is it, as a professional, to weed through leaks/rumors coming from agents, teams, and players to form a complete story?

is there any player you've interacted with that seems markedly different than they let on in the media?

HerringWSJ7 karma

It's very difficult to weed through the agenda-based stuff. A couple times, I've fallen victim to it myself. It's part of the learning process, and hopefully it's helped me grow some as a reporter. In terms of a guy that's different off the court than he is on it, I'd probably argue it's Kurt Thomas. Nicest guy off the court. Crazy eyes on the court.

karshokr3 karma

What would it take to move you into the Knicks front office, replace Phil maybe? In all seriousness PJax hasn't impressed me- have you any thoughts on how he's done?

HerringWSJ6 karma

I don't think Phil has done enough to evaluate him fully yet, but there's obviously a lot for him to improve on. People are probably right to say that most of the criticism of the Chandler trade has been made in hindsight. Still, to trade a player of that caliber and not get back any first rounders at all was pretty eye-opening. Ive said a few times now that I haven't liked this idea of trading away a useful player (Tyson, Shumpert) largely to get rid of an undesirable (Felton, JR). And honestly, Phil's tweets about the 3PT shot give me some pause, too. Just seems like a weird argument to make as the league is trending more in that direction.

None of this stuff will matter if Phil nails the draft pick and fields a good team this summer. But yeah: the first year was pretty ugly. He clearly has some work to do.

AnthonyDBK3 karma

Chris, if the Knicks were to trade down within the Lottery (top 10 really). They should look to acquire players still on rookie deals - acquiring a guy that will eat into their cap, unless it's a star makes no sense. To that end - the only logical players I see behind them, within the top ten are Ben MacLemore, No one on Denver, Maybe KCP and Vonleh or Zeller on Charlotte. Thoughts?

HerringWSJ5 karma

I think there are guys you could target in Denver (Chandler, Lawson), but I hear your larger point. There aren't a ton of teams that it would make sense to trade with, and on the flip side, I don't know that it would be totally worth it for a team like SAC to trade a starter, rotation piece and the No. 6 pick just to move up to No. 4. A lot of moving parts, and in the end, not clear if it would even be worth it for both sides.

Junckyarddog3 karma

What are your thoughts on Jim Harbaugh having taken the CFB world by storm at your Alma mater?

HerringWSJ6 karma

Still in disbelief that it happened. But couldn't be happier that it did. Michigan football was strugglin, bruh

fowlerr143 karma

Do you see any of this offseason' top free agents as realistic possibilities? Tobias Harris maybe?

HerringWSJ10 karma

I may be alone here, but aside from Gasol -- who seems like a perfect fit, but also a longshot -- I'd really prefer to see the Knicks target second-tier guys like DeMarre Carroll, Khris Middleton or to take a flyer on a Wes Matthews type. I think wing players are becoming more important in today's game, and Knicks desperately need one to put Melo at the 4. I wouldn't like the idea of Harris, as I feel he's a bit too similar to what Melo brings to the table already, and will be expensive on top of that.

IKetchBodies3 karma

As most people realize asset allocation is as key to NBA franchises as it is to corporate business. Do you think Langston Galloway has proven to be "good enough" to start for a playoff team and therefore should the Knicks ignore upgrading the PG position at least in this offseason? Or should the Knicks look to upgrade that position as well as the other glaring holes they have?

HerringWSJ6 karma

No, I don't think he's shown that yet. They should look to upgrade, though the free-agency pool for PGs isn't great this summer. More than anything, Knicks should avoid the idea of going for it all right this instant. If they come up short, use that money next year. Have to start thinking big picture as opposed to accomplishing everything all at once.

ShadyCrow3 karma

Serious question: does it ever get old? Going to games, interacting with players and coaches, writing and thinking about basketball for a living -- how often do you think "wow, I'm blessed" vs "I spend half my life traveling"?

HerringWSJ6 karma

There are parts of it that you get used to, or probably take for granted. Traveling alone can get lonely; particularly during the holidays. But yes: It's important to step back and realize how cool an opportunity it is. I know I make a point to do that every now and then, even publicly with you all. I'd hope that players do the same, although their jobs and the scrutiny they endure gets intense at times.

wjbc3 karma

Did the Cavs shut Curry down, did Curry have an off night, or was it a little of both? Is Kerr getting outcoached? Are the Warriors nervous? Are they choking? What is going on? How can an inefficient LeBron and a bunch of scrubs win against what looks like an all-time great team?

HerringWSJ6 karma

I think there's a tendency to overreact to one game in the Finals, because there are the gaps between the games. Curry was horrible, and I think Delly defended him well, but I think everyone is entitled to one bad showing. Kerr has done well, and you notice that they've made furious comebacks whenever he goes with small ball at the ends of these games. Couldn't be more impressed with LeBron and Cleveland, but I still think the series is Golden State's to lose. If the Ws hadn't come back and handled Memphis after falling behind, Id have more questions about their ability to win the series against LeBron and Cleveland.

montani3 karma

What would've happened if RichRod were given one more year at Michigan?

HerringWSJ2 karma

Denard Robinson probably would've died.

angrycarptbager2 karma

Which Knicks assistant coach past or present was your favorite to talk to?

HerringWSJ2 karma

I really like Rasheed Hazzard, who's a current member of the staff. As a Michigan guy, I love the story of Austin Hatch, the basketball player who survived two plane crashes. Rasheed helped him rehab, and we've spent considerable time talking about that process. Seems like a really interesting guy, and has a great story to tell about Austin.

El_Cynic2 karma

Hey Chris, love your articles and tweets.

Do you think the Knicks may take a stab at any international players who are ranked within the top ten of the mock drafts? If so then then who?

HerringWSJ3 karma

I could be wrong, but I'd be really surprised if the Knicks took one of the international players in the top 10. I get the impression they've scouted those guys, but there may be concerns about how much longer it might take them to develop/adjust to the American game as opposed to the collegiate guys.

ShadyCrow2 karma

Is Zach Lowe as chill/cool/giddy for the game as he seems? You two are my favorite NBA writers by a mile, and the fact that you're kindof pals just makes my day.

HerringWSJ3 karma

Zach is the best. I really admire his work, in part because I think we came up in the reporting game in similar fashion. He wasn't a sports reporter at first, either, and I think he, too, covered crime before moving over to sportswriting, like I did. He watches games like a coach or a scout, and I know he's kind of the gold standard when it comes to how I approach my own film/numbers-based reporting. No one does it better, in my opinion.

loves2spooge892 karma

Given the wolves will probably snag Towns, what are the chances you think the lakers actually forgo Okafor in favor of a guard? If that happens, do you expect Philly to stick w/ need and draft the remaining guard or stockpile Okafor onto Noel and Embiid? Is Winslow still you're fav pick for the Knicks if this goes down and Oka's available at 4?

HerringWSJ3 karma

I think you'd have to take Okafor if he was there at 4. But I'd be borderline shocked if that actually happened. Also, teams could try trading up ahead of the Knicks if there was a sense that either of the top-two bigs was available past No. 2. And if that was the case, NYK could be out of look, as they likely lack the assets to move up any higher.

xarziv2 karma

Here Chris you are like the only bearable Knicks reporter, thanks for that. I have a few questions

Isent Winslow a better shumpert? Sure he can shoot threes and defend decentley, but he's undersized and can't create for himself.

Also why would they take willy cauley stein? If defense is all they are looking for why not get robin Lopez

what are the odds they take Mudiay? A lot of Knicks fans want him.

Also thank you for doing this!

HerringWSJ2 karma

Winslow strikes me as a bit more athletic than Shumpert, and is a lot more consistent defensively. Doesn't gamble as much. Was Duke's best defensive rebounder based on percentage. And even for his weaknesses, I think Justise can create his own shot better than Iman could. (That said, even if No. 4 is too high for Winslow, I wouldn't rip Iman too much here: Statistically, he and Melo often were the Knicks' best duo for much of the past three years. You need that sort of wing player to help Melo on defense.)

TheBigTargeowski2 karma

Might just be because I'm a cynical Knicks fan, but what is the worst case scenario you see developing for the Knicks on draft day?

HerringWSJ2 karma

Them drafting Lyles at No. 4. I don't think they'd ever be foolish enough to do that, but obviously if they want him they can get him somewhere in the teens. (As I've noted a handful of times, going all the way back to mid-April, they definitely like Lyles; just probably not enough to take him at 4)

SSLantern2 karma

Hey Chris,

Love following your twitter feed. Do you think a Finals game/series at MSG could top last night's debauchery at the Oracle Arena?

HerringWSJ2 karma

Tweeted this the other day, but I literally can't imagine what the Garden would be like for the Finals. I was at the Garden for the game against the Bulls where Melo went nuts. I was there for the playoff run two years ago. Both were awesome, but Im sure there's absolutely no comparing that to Oracle. But Id love to see and hear the Garden with the Knicks in the Finals. Would be unreal.

monofurioso2 karma

Can you get in on the Seth Rosenthal and Netw3rk podcast? ...and also get them to record more often. Maybe get in some WSJ money for a decent microphone? I'd love to have my 3 favorite Knick's writers commiserate a few times a month!

HerringWSJ3 karma

LOL. Maybe! I have had conversations about starting my own podcast at some point, but no clue whether that will ever gain enough traction or whether enough people would be interested in listening. But yes: Seth and Jason are the best. Those two make me laugh an absolute ton each day on Twitter.

3benji32 karma

Chris! Love your twitter and body of work.

Do you think Melo made a mistake in not signing with the Bulls?

Also: Bang/Marry/Kill: Stephen A, Skip, LeBatard

HerringWSJ3 karma

I honestly thought that was his best move, yes. They had the sort of defense that would be perfect for him, and he had the sort of offense that would have prevented the terrible lulls they endured during the Eastern semis.

But it's hard to now whether that would've been best. Maybe he still would have had the knee issues, and perhaps Thibs would have played him too much. He would have been compelled to play the entire season as opposed to just until the All-Star break, and maybe that would have been bad for his long-term outlook.

Hopefully he can make it work with the Knicks, but he definitely had better opportunities to compete right away in other places.

xarziv2 karma

I agree on some points! Winslow is obviously better for the triangle, but there is concern that the triangle is ancient. Probability they take Winslow out of 10, and probability they take Mudiay out of 10? As always have a good day.

HerringWSJ2 karma

Winslow: 7. Mudiay: 4. Cauley-Stein: 5. Trade-down: 5.

2drums1cymbal2 karma

What do you make of Brian Wildhorst's complaints about Steph Curry bringing his daughter Riley to post-game press conferences? Do you agree it's "unprofessional" or is it a welcome change of pace to an otherwise tedious and repetitive ritual?

HerringWSJ5 karma

Me and Brian are friends, and chat a decent amount when we see each other at games. Big fan of his work, too: When I was interning at the Plain Dealer back in 2007, the paper was trying to figure out how it could hire Windhorst away from the Akron Beacon Journal, because he so consistently dominated the scoops here in Ohio. But he and I disagree on Riley. I get where he's coming from, and how that occasionally could make our jobs more difficult. But as someone who wishes I could spend more time with my family, I'll never complain too much about the someone having their kid at the podium. (Also, my first job was at a daycare, and I absolutely love children. So maybe I'm just biased and like to smile. I dunno)

haahaahaa2 karma

Whats the trick to staying sober while sitting through so much Knicks basketball?

HerringWSJ3 karma

Plead the 5th.

BriscoMorgan2 karma

How angry is the Knicks front office about ending up with the 4th pick? I'm assuming there's not a lot of joy about missing on a top two choice.

HerringWSJ3 karma

They definitely weren't happy. Makes you wonder what would have happened if Knicks had held onto the worst record in the league and had a few more lottery balls.

YoKemosabe2 karma

What do you think about Knicks considering Cameron Payne in this year's draft? Think they will trade down or maybe even just pick him up straight up for one of our players? Right now most mocks have him going to OKC @ 14

HerringWSJ2 karma

I can be honest in saying that I don't know much about him. Up until a day or two ago, I hadn't heard all that much about his game. Will read up and watch some film of him later this afternoon, though. Am more familiar with the guys that have been discussed 1-10 or so. Have watched every game that the top 4 or 5 collegiate players have played (some of their games, Ive watched twice), and have interviewed those players, so Im far more familiar with them.

logdeezy2 karma

If you're flip saunders, who do you select first overall?

HerringWSJ6 karma

I think you have to take Towns, for several reasons, if you're Minnesota. I don't think it's the most cut-and-dry decision in the world, but I do think he's got the most potential and would make more sense for the up-and-down style they seem to be putting in place out there than someone like Okafor. And if they're relatively committed to Rubio long-term, then I think you have to grab Towns

ComplacentClarence2 karma

What do you think Cleanthony Early's future role will be like?

HerringWSJ2 karma

Will probably be dependent on how he develops offensively. He's got good size, but he came into the league as a scorer first and foremost. To get consistent minutes, he has to be less tentative about putting the ball on the floor. He had a nice performance or two toward the end of the year, so hopefully that carries over into camp.

SirMorty1 karma

Hey Chris, What do you think the NBA needs to do to get calls right?

I find it's becoming a disservice to the fans when we all know better sitting at home and one team is getting hosed. The most recent thing that comes to mind is last nights crucial Jumpball with Draymond Green.

Do you ever see a coach's challenge being an option? or adding another official just on the baseline?

HerringWSJ2 karma

A coach's challenge would be a cool touch. Just not sure how it would always be used -- especially if it's a mistake that happens with no whistle involved. But yeah; a review might have rectified the jump ball with Draymond and LeBron.

TheKeyNextDoor1 karma

BEST 3 PGs in the NBA?

HerringWSJ1 karma

Paul, Curry, Westbrook?

Cockrocker1 karma

Hey Chris! Do you have faith that PHIL Jackson is the answer to the Knicks setting up a successful future or is this another era the Knicks have to get past (ala the first Isaiah Thomas era)? What % of chance if you are not sure?

HerringWSJ3 karma

I'll put it this way: If the Knicks settle for names this summer, and fail to get better on defense, I will lose considerable faith in Phil. I'm sure many fans would be thrilled with someone like Aldridge, but I would probably lose a ton of faith in a signing like that. To me, would replicate a ton of Melo's best and worst qualities and clog the cap. I know they need a ton of help, and some star power, but you also have to avoid redundancy with how you build the roster.

Mannymannymanny31 karma

What is the most interesting thing that happened to you NBA wise?

HerringWSJ11 karma

Long story. My dad tried to buy us Bulls playoff tickets during the Jordan era. Tickets were obviously hard to come by, and expensive. So we stood outside the United Center waiting in line. They were so popular that they didn't even sell tix straight-up: The Bulls held a raffle for the RIGHT to buy tickets. And if you got the correct raffle color, you could then get in a separate line to buy playoff seats for the games.

We didn't get the right raffle color, but my dad ponied up the money, and bought raffle tickets off a scalper. We took those raffle tickets and got into line. Then, after another hour of waiting, we get to the front. The ticket guy looks over them and says: "These are fake. Sorry."

I start crying, and feel terrible for my dad. The world is cruel like that.

Anyway, last year for Father's Day, I flew my dad out and secretly teamed up with my stepmother to buy him a ticket to Game 5 of the Finals in San Antonio, so he could attend his first-ever playoff game.

I bribed one of the security people to let him sit in the media section with me. Then after the game ended, and all the confetti came down to celebrate the Spurs winning, when my dad and I were going to walk out to media bus, we literally bumped into Tony Parker as we were walking off the elevator. He was still in his uniform, and was holding the Larry O'Brien trophy. My dad reached out and grabbed the trophy, and the elevator security officer got pissed at him.

So for him, I know that was probably his most memorable Father's Day ever, and as someone who born in Texas, I know he won't ever forget it. Will always be one of my favorite memories, too.

TheKeyNextDoor1 karma

How do you think OKC will do next season?

HerringWSJ1 karma

So much of it probably depends on health. Was so, so disappointed when both KD and Ibaka were ruled out for the season. Can you imagine watching a 1 vs 8 series with this Golden State team and a full-strength OKC squad? That could be a WCF most years.

azizinator251 karma

What are you hearing, if anything, in regards to the Knicks potentially trading down?

HerringWSJ2 karma

That they're obviously open to it, as Phil has said. Key question is what they'd be getting in return, and from whom. But it's something they're absolutely going to consider.

Jewtheist1 karma

It seems that "Phil Jackson has no idea what he's doing" has become somewhat of a popular view nowadays. Coming into the year there was the general idea that he's trying to revive an outdated system and thus will overlook great players in favor of those who can fit into the triangle, and then there were those tweets about three-point shooting.

Personally, I think the idea that Phil doesn't understand "today's NBA" or know which players would be smart to target has become completely overblown, but what do you think? Fair to have concerns, or do we really need to see what happens this offseason to truly judge?

HerringWSJ3 karma

It's becoming my cliché answer here, but I think we'll know completely by the end of this coming season whether he knows what he's doing. This team will be completely his by then, with all the old contracts off the books. I've been careful not to judge him fully yet, but I think by next year or the year after, depending on who they draft and sign, it will be fair to start filling in some of those blanks. That said, Phil has forgotten more about basketball than I'll ever know, and I think of myself as pretty knowledgeable about the sport. He's a genius, even if that fact doesn't manifest itself in a competitive Knicks team.

WatcherOnTheWeb1 karma

Hi Mr. Herring!I Often read your articles when I have the chance, and hold you in high regard.

My question: What do you think of the ridiculously critical opinions Frank Isola has of the Knicks?

Personally, I don't enjoy the ramblings of a mediocre writer at best who provides no insights on the topics he writes, whilst consistently highlighting the bad side of everything. I mean, it's one thing to write an opinion piece every once in a while, but an entirely different thing to write as though he is perennially on his period.

I realize that you being a journalist limits what you're allowed to say, however I'm giving it a shot in any event.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!

HerringWSJ2 karma

I'll vouch for Frank here, even though we've had our differences in opinions (and he's found his way into my DMs, like many of yours). He breaks more news than anyone on the Knicks beat. He's not just making stuff up, obviously. People from within the org talk to him, and do so frequently. I wish I could break half the stuff he does.

Also, I think his tone is considerably different in his columns than it is on Twitter, which is all the average person takes the energy to read. His columns are more nuanced and level-headed. When it comes to Twitter, he doesn't mind playing the troll, and I think people engage him back, so he continues to do it. It's almost an art form at this point.

I get why a lot of people don't like him, but I don't necessarily think it's fair to knock his reporting because they don't share his opinions and hot takes.

jrzang891 karma

Hey! I am working on writing a few articles for a sports team's website and I was wondering what advice you could give to other writers? Maybe your process, how you formulate a story, do you have a beginning and end you're trying to get to, etc? What makes a good topic to write about? Any advice would be super cool. Thanks!

HerringWSJ5 karma

My best advice: Try to think a bit differently than other people. If and when there's an obvious angle, think about how you can approach it differently. When you go to read about something, Id assume you don't want the story to be a rehash of what you already know. Instead, you want new information, or research that's coming from a different angle somehow. Thats what I generally try to do in my own work. At least put enough thought into it so that you can teach or explain something differently to readers from what they've come to expect in the past.

LuciferJup1 karma

Hello Sir, your thoughts on Thanasis?

HerringWSJ3 karma

He's still raw offensively, but I think you've got to give him a shot because of his motor and his skill set on defense. Hopefully they get enough depth this summer in the draft and FA to where they don't have to give him big minutes right away. It may take awhile with him, despite how good he looked at times at the D-League level. Can't wait to see him play in the NBA.

SlugandPlug691 karma

Assuming you were watching the finals last night.. How did you feel about the officiating in that game?

HerringWSJ2 karma

It was pretty bad in some spots. I feel like Mozgov had a pretty clear travel that wasn't called, and I remember a key play where Iggy smacked the hell out of LeBron (on a play where it also appeared that LeBron traveled). Folks are going to miss calls, but I guess it all probably balanced out in the end.

SmellMyDirk1 karma

JVG dropped "The Dirk" during broadcast last game for the one legged fadeaway. What's your opinion on the name?

HerringWSJ1 karma

I think that's fair. Melo has begun using it a ton, and so have several others (Curry included, I think). But Dirk is the first guy I know of who was doing it first/regularly.

TheCurseOfJamesDolan1 karma

Which player do you think is the best fit for the Knicks at 4?

Which player do you think has the best potential at 4?

If different, which one should the Knicks draft? I think NYK has only a small shot at winning a ring over the next 4-5 years, so they might as well draft for the future.

HerringWSJ6 karma

I think it's Winslow. And with regards to potential, I actually think it could be Winslow, too.

Mudiay is intriguing; particularly if he becomes consistent with his jumper. I like him, just like everyone else, though I'm a bit concerned about how point guards throughout the league seem to dropping like flies from a physical standpoint. Am beginning to think teams should start stockpiling PGs like NFL teams do with running backs.

Still, I think Winslow could very easily become a 15 PPG scorer and a near-lockdown type of defender. There are very few players like that in the NBA. On top of that, the Knicks absolutely need to hit on this pick, and I feel like it's very unlikely that a player like Winslow would be a bust. He has a skill set that will provide some sort of value every single night, regardless of whether his shot is there or not.

H3llPixie1 karma

What's your interaction with Derek Fisher been like? Is there any specifically he has done with the team to impress you or, conversely, something that made you seriously question his hiring?

HerringWSJ5 karma

I really like and respect Derek. He's respectful and makes it a point to answer my questions (although he can get a bit wordy and gloss over them at times). I liked the decision to hire him at the time, and thought a change from Woodson was necessary.

I like that he's being open-minded, and allowing the players to go outside the triangle some with the more modern pick-and-roll stuff. I like that he's not afraid to bench Hardaway when he fails/refuses to defend or rebound. I like that he doesn't just go off randomly for no apparent reason, even though a lot of people would like to see him explode, apparently.

Still: He has a ton of room to improve. I wonder at times whether he takes too long to get his point across during timeout. (I noted in a story that the Knicks had 14 shot-clock violations that happened immediately after a timeout or to a start a game, and that I stopped counting after Melo had his season-ending surgery) Stuff like that is unacceptable, and to me is a clear reflection of the coach rather than the players. I do think he'll get better, though.

NateThomas19791 karma

Being a Pacer fan (yeah yeah, I know) I have a different angle of questioning for you. I remember when our rivalry was HUGE and you couldn't stand seeing people even in Knicks colors. Since then the Knicks have just gone to hell in a hand basket year after year.

Which part of the front office do you blame the most for the Knicks decline from the power years of Ewing/Mason/Oakley/etc. to what is now its present form?

Thomas? Dolan? Someone else?

HerringWSJ2 karma

On a general level, I think you have to point the finger at ownership. Outside of the Pistons, I think, the Knicks have had more coaches than any other team over the past 15 years. They've turned over leadership immediately after the most successful season in over a decade. They actively sought to move away from a team that broke records for three-point shooting in an era where three-point shooting is a good, if not great, thing. You can blame Melo if you want, I guess. We can point the finger at Phil, and say he doesn't know what he's doing. But the only constant here is Dolan, and he's had a hand in a lot of those decisions.