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The Knicks have made a major change in philosophy, and it’s about to get its first big test with Jimmy Butler – Sports – Pulselive.co.ke

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  • For the first time in years, the New York Knicks are following a patient rebuilding plan.
  • Jimmy Butler’s trade request and reported desire to play for the Knicks may now threaten that plan.
  • The Knicks have said they won’t mortgage the future or give up assets to sign players they can land in free agency, but they must weigh the risk of not signing Butler at all if he goes elsewhere.
  • How the Knicks handle the situation will speak volumes about how they plan to rebuild and marks a big test for a new front office.

Jimmy Butler’s trade request from the Minnesota Timberwolves is about to provide the New York Knicks’ new regime its biggest test yet.

According to reports, Butler met with Timberwolves head coach and president and Tom Thibodeau and requested a trade from the team, listing the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, and Knicks as three teams with whom he’d sign extensions if he were traded. Butler can become a free agent at the end of this season.

For the Knicks, the timing is peculiar. The Knicks’ front office, with president Steve Mills, second-year GM Scott Perry, plus newly hired head coach David Fizdale, have been espousing the importance of rebuilding correctly.

This is a new message for the Knicks. If the Knicks have been known for anything over the past two decades, it’s been for chasing quick fixes. They’ve signed star players past their prime, overpaid free agents, or traded for players they could have picked up in free agency, giving up valuable assets in the process. Every time they’ve bottomed out and appeared to be starting from scratch, they’ve made moves to shorten the timeline to be competitive again, only to fail to reach that goal.

But this Knicks team has claimed to be different. They have a young superstar in Kristaps Porzingis, who, when healthy, has proven to be good enough to lead a team and keep them competitive (he’s currently rehabbing a torn ACL, and it is unclear whether or not he’ll return this season). They also have young and intriguing lottery picks in second-year guard Frank Ntilikina and rookie forward Kevin Knox. They have all of their draft picks going forward, plus cap space next year.

The Knicks plan for this season has been to develop their young players, create a new culture under Fizdale, and move forward gradually. A lack of talent should give them higher lottery odds this year to add another young draft pick. They can then use their cap space to add talented veterans, perhaps even a star player if things line up right. It’s a good plan! One of the rockiest franchises in sports finally seems to be stable.

And then the Butler trade request happened.

Now the Knicks face the challenge of deciding whether or not to take a swing at a star player who reportedly wants to play for them. At a town hall event earlier this week, Mills said the team would not trade any future first-round picks for players, particularly ones they could sign in free agency.

What we’re not going to do is take shortcuts … What we’re not going to do is trade away assets to get a [free agent] that we can go get on our own later,” Mills said.

At a press conference on Thursday, Mills and Perry seemed to refute the idea that they would veer off course for Butler.

“We’re committed to following the plan and not just shifting, pivoting because we see something that is attractive and might fast-track something,” Mills said. “I’ve seen that happen and go wrong too many times.”

League sources told Business Insider this summer that there is a considerable buzz about Butler and Kyrie Irving teaming up this offseason when both can become free agents, with the Knicks and Nets both named as rumored as landing spots for the two stars.

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The Knicks are gearing up to pursue big-name free agents next summer — they’ve admitted as much. But now, with Butler’s trade request, the Knicks have to consider at least whether making a move for Butler now is worthwhile.

Teams across the league face similar questions about trading for superstars. Is it worth it to give up assets for a player that might be a one-year “rental”? Can you convince a player to re-sign after trading for him, as the Oklahoma City Thunder did with Paul George? Can you risk not trading for that player when they may end up re-signing with another team, as the Los Angeles Lakers saw with George and the Thunder?

The Knicks have been preaching patience and not skipping steps in their rebuild. But they also face the real possibility of not landing any of the star players they’ve set their sights on next summer. If they don’t acquire Butler, perhaps Irving’s reported interest in the team dies down. They could continue the rebuild if they strike out in free agency, but would that affect Porzingis’ feelings about the franchise as he hits restricted free agency? Slow, patient rebuilds around young talent can only remain promising for so long.

After all, players of Butler’s caliber don’t become available often. If the plan is to add star players, then build a team around them, it’s worth considering whether the right move is to land them as soon as possible, even if it means giving up a future draft pick. The Knicks already have a young core in place.

Now, weeks before the season begins, the Knicks must decide whether to essentially blow up their plan to pursue the type of player they hope to one day get. Their decision might speak volume about whether things have changed in New York.



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Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’

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Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Monitor water pumps remotely via your phone

Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –

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Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised

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“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard

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Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

Won’t bear fruit

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