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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 –





  • 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.


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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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard




Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.


However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard




President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health




Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.


Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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