So You're A GM Now?
By: New York Knicks GM Scott Layden
"Jimminy Jillickers! I just pulled off a trade that
jeopardizes my teams future!"
Being a General Manager (or GM) is a very stressful job. Sometimes I
have to propose trades, sometimes I have to listen to proposals, and sometimes
I have to figure out what this salary cap thing is. However, I found some
spare time in my hectic day to write an article or a "how-to"
of sorts for all of you want-to-be GM's out there. I'm all about helpings
others, so without further ado, here we go:
Chapter 1: Work the Phones
First off, you cannot make a trade without working the phones. Always
make sure to call every team and make it as public as possible to the
media so that your star players will be agitated. An aggravated player
is a motivated player, remember this (a little psychological lesson for
you!). When you have found a GM to negotiate your trade with, make sure
the media knows as much as possible. Why keep this a secret? When the
trade does go through, everyone will know anyway!
Chapter 2: Proposing a Trade
Folks, the most important part of making a trade is considering who you
are trading for. Does he have a large salary? Is he on the downside of
his career? Will he cripple your salary cap room for the next 6 years?
Will you be fired if you make this trade? How many draft picks can you
get rid of? Does the player you are trading for have an injury-riddled
past? Has he choked his coach and attempted to kill him? If you answered
yes to any of these questions, you should definitely make the trade. If
you answered yes to more than one of these questions, what are you waiting
for? You have roster space to play with!
Chapter 3: Accepting a Trade
Remember now, always throw in a draft pick or two when accepting a trade
from your rivals. Think of it as kind of like a "thank you"
message for doing good business with you. The teams you just ended negotiations
with will, no doubt, appreciate this and will give you a call back in
the very near future. It's just a good gesture I like to keep up with.
Sure, it may cost the Knicks a player or two, but I make enough trades
to get us quality players so it really doesn't matter. The city of New
York is too impatient for a young player anyway, he might become a star
and he may not. Who needs uncertainty? A GM like myself does not.
Chapter 4: Reporting the trade
Always conduct a press conference for the media so that they will not
say as many bad things about you. In the past year or two, I've made a
couple of not-so-smart moves (my bad!) and I get a little criticism for
it. Hey, guilty as charged! Always say "We enjoyed watching <Insert
name> play the game of basketball and we wish him the best. We, as
an organization, decided we need to move on". I have gotten a lot
of practice with this statement and simply repeating it a few times a
day will drastically help you with your GM duties. When I'm in line at
the A & P I repeat this phrase to myself at least 10 times! Sometimes
I even practice on the coaching staff!
Chapter 5: Shielding Your Face When Fans Attempt To Kill You
Like I said, I've made my share of not-so-smart moves, but every GM has.
Are you aware that Michael Jordan was once cut from his high school basketball
team? I bet the GM of that high school team doesn't have a job anymore!
I heard that Wilt Chamberlain was traded, too. Boy oh boy, what a dope!
And that Orlando Magic GM that traded Shaq to the Lakers for Felton Spencer,
whew that one stinks! Felton Spencer is a good player, but Shaq is definitely
better! But we all make mistakes. From time to time, I take a little abuse.
This comes with the territory, folks. I'm the GM of the New York Knickerbockers,
it's a dream come true for me.
Chapter 6: Death Threats; Are they For You?
Personally, I am not a big fan of the death threat letter in my mail.
There is something very unsettling about them, perhaps it's the blood
they write with or the "I WANT TO KILL YOU" words in wingding
fonts but I really do not enjoy them. I wish I could trade a first-round
pick in order to get rid of these things, they depress me sometimes.
Chapter 7: Tendering Your Resignation
I have heard that a lot of GM's eventually resign or get fired. I have
made it my personal mission to not be fired, as this would have an adverse
effect on my resume. Being fired is very stressful, and I do not handle
stress very well. All I like to do is sit at home and play text simulation
basketball games with customized rosters. I'm not doing so well with that
either, but I still have my $4.5 million cap exception. Oh, and my star
player just got injured but I got a league injury exception for that,
too. One of my better overall players just broke his hand and didn't want
to tell anyone (the game isn't very realistic, who ever heard of such
a thing?). However, things may be looking up. I have my star shooter locked
up in a $100 million contract and I have these salary exceptions to work
with. Yes friends, things are definitely looking up.
Hopefully you have learned a thing or two from this. I don't live by
many rules, but I have lived by these during my tenure with New York and
I'm pretty happy with the results.