New York Notes: Toppin, Harden, Thibs, Kyrie

Knicks rookie forward Obi Toppin is making his Slam-Dunk Contest debut tonight. His father, Obadiah – an international pro who was nicknamed “Dunkers Delight” – was his top basketball reference point in his youth, and his primary dunking influence, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

“I grew up watching him,” Toppin said. “Every team he played on he was — his name was Dunkers Delight, so that speaks for itself.” The 23-year-old rookie, the No. 8 pick out of Dayton in 2020, is averaging 12.7 MPG for the upstart Knicks.

There’s more out of the Big Apple:

  • All-Star (and potential MVP candidate) James Harden has already proved his mettle on the Nets, writes Greg Logan of Newsday. The Nets boast a 17-6 record across Harden’s first 23 games Brooklyn, and Harden’s 345 total assists (11.1 APG) this season currently lead the NBA. “So far, so good,” Harden said Wednesday. “Everything I signed up for. Top to bottom, it’s been great. Adversity has hit us . . . we’re affected by injuries, guys in and out of lineups, crazy, weird things happening. But I think we’ve fought through adversity and we’re in a really good position.”
  • The addition of new Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has helped New York return to respectability eight years after its last playoff appearance, but the team is not yet close to actual title contention, writes Zach Harper of The Athletic“(I) wouldn’t say (Thibodeau) wasn’t considered a good coach anymore,” a Western Conference executive said to Harper. “People know he can coach. But it’s tough to gauge how much of that was the Wolves organization with their issues and how much of it was Tom not being a modern coach.”
  • Nets All-Star Kyrie Irving opted out of his mandatory media video conference today before the All-Star game in Atlanta this evening, without notifying the league ahead of time. Marc Berman of the New York Post wonders if Irving may receive another fine from the league, which penalized him with a $25K charge for skipping his Media Day press obligations.
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17 thoughts on “New York Notes: Toppin, Harden, Thibs, Kyrie

  1. Sillivan

    IMO
    The top 3 overachieve coaches are
    Popovich
    Stotts
    Tom Thib

    Snyder should win COY

    • dave frost nhlpa

      You cannot be an overachiever with that many titles.
      Yes Snyder could be COY.

      • I think you have this backwards. He would be an overachiever *because* he has so many titles. Overachieving = winning more than you should.

    • bigguccisosa300

      It’s pretty hard to judge COY at this point.

      If we’re doing that tho I think Doc Rivers will win. And I hate the sixers, lol

  2. Kyrie Irving really comes off as such an arrogant jerk time and time again. I’m starting to think that it might be the case

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Knicks actual contention???? After 31 gms. OK
    Then in same paragraph…… they didn’t know if he was still a good coach or not ???? Why cause Butler spoke the truth about team. Minny last time they were good was under Thibs. He shouldn’t have been GM. The Butler thing cause of trade really did mess it up. They gave up a lot for Jimmy. Then had to move him. I like KAT as player. But that team has no leadership. Leadership has to come from your best players.

    Thibs has always been a good coach. It’s his style that GMs think might not work anymore. When you can teach n coach. You will always be in style. Men have to held accountable this ain’t college. Athletes should all want to be better every yr. Otherwise don’t play on my team. I’m thankful we signed Thibs. Just keep rebuilding don’t rush it.

    • WallyWood

      If you consider the fact that only 6 games separate 4th place from 14th place in the east, the entire conference has very few serious contenders.

    • formerlyz

      Rofl Butler was the reason they were any good, and that was ana amazing trade for Minnesota. Before Butler got hurt that year, they were a 2 seed for a while…

      This has literally done nothing different from Fizdale, which I said would happen when they fired him. The only differences are pieces that were moved that never made sense, and the added young pieces from the most recent draft, but especially the overall improvement of Randle, which has been slowly manifesting for a couple of years already

      • x%sure

        Tbibs and Fiz are about as different as it gets. They used Randle differently for instance; his only improvement is in passing. From what I’ve read, Thibs makes sure Randle always has an out and gets minutes. Fizdale likes youth and spreading minutes.

  4. formerlyz

    Even I have to admit that Harden is having his best season of his career. If anything, it proves my point from the last several years that he didnt have to play the way he did, and he would be a lot better if he didnt. It always bothered me b/c he is the only player I’ve ever had no respect for the way he played, and I really thought he could have been a Manu Ginobili type otherwise, which he is showing now. Being the 3rd option when KD is there, a lot like he was in OKC, is best for him, and is a lot easier to watch…part of that is what they have around their 3 main guys, as it fits well in the modern offense, but it’s still worth mentioning b/c he had similar teams previously, and didnt do these things

    • WallyWood

      It will be interesting to see if he’s in the MVP race this year or not.

      • formerlyz

        Shouldnt be. If Durant hadnt been out, he would be for sure. Embiid was my main pick these last 2 years, so I’m sticking with him for now, although Jokic is literally putting up Miami Lebron numbers right now, but his team hasnt been as good. Then there is Lebron himself, which is obvious

    • Cap & Crunch

      I hear what your saying, makes ya mad he was only giving Hou 75% after handing him a whole org for soo many years

      Not a Harden fan, but really, upon Brooklyn arrival, hard to argue he hasn’t been the best player in the league

      What seemed like a Science Experiment months ago is now looking a whole lot more smoothed over and pristine . Cant wait to see the 3 together in turbo mode come playoffs

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