D’Antoni’s Shortcomings Exposed

by Eddie Mayrose

Was actually encouraged by the way the New York Knicks started the season.  Not that I had any expectations about a championship or even a playoff appearance, for that matter. Rather, I was just happy that the roster was now populated with players that I could actually root for; a stark contrast to the band of miscreants that wore the uniform over the course of Isiah Thomas’ reign of error.  Gone were Stephon Marbury, Nate Robinson and Jerome James, replaced by hard-working players like Toney Douglas and Ronny Turiaf, not to mention A’mare Stoudamire,the biggest talent to hit the Garden floor in a long time.  However, my optimism was dashed very quickly last week after I sat through Knicks-Warriors. Continue reading »

Dolan Continues To Destroy Knicks’ Tradition

by Eddie Mayrose

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

Remember when we thought that failing to sign LeBron James was the worst that could happen to the Knicks this summer?  Now come whispers from Madison Square Garden that owner James Dolan has taken under consideration the rehiring of Isiah Thomas, perhaps the most incompetent employee the Knicks have ever seen.  Fans can only hope the rumor is a test balloon being floated by Little Jimmy to gauge public reaction.  Prayers might be more appropriate.

Thomas’ bumbling as President and coach was epic.  So much so, that, burying the Knicks in a salary cap mess that required the sacrifice of two full seasons to undo was not even close to his greatest failure.  Nor was the trading away of  so many draft picks that the roster was barren of any players that might have James consider coming to the Big Apple.  Rather, it was his sexual harassment of team exec Anucha Brown Sanders that resulted in a settlement of $11 million and a blight on one of the league’s most storied franchises that is Isiah’s legacy.

So, if Dolan is actually mulling Thomas’ rehiring, if he continues to act like the little rich boy born on third yet thought he hit a triple, if he refuses to acknowledge that New Yorkers paying the league’s highest ticket prices deserve more than one playoff appearance per decade, why should any player, fan or league executive take him seriously? Continue reading »

New York Knicks Seem Unlikely Choice for James
by Eddie Mayrose

Now that they’re finally here, after sacrificing two full seasons, the New York Knicks‘ chances to win the LeBron James sweepstakes seem as slim as their hopes to win an NBA title at any point since 1999.  While President Donnie Walsh has done a miraculous job to clear the salary cap room required to pursue two premier free agents, he’s only had two years to repair what Lil’Jimmy Dolan has had a decade to destroy.

No matter how convincing the pitch to the king might have been yesterday, the Knicks have nothing to offer but Manhattan. Sure, it’s the greatest city in the world, but not so much when you’re losing every night and getting killed on the back page.  If only the Knicks had paid even a little attention to the NBA draft instead of annually whiffing on productive players, James might have a different view of the team’s existing roster.  Ironically, David Lee, the only good pick New York has made since the Lincoln administration, is now being completely disregarded by management, as if guys who get twenty points and twelve rebounds every night are a dime a dozen. Continue reading »

by Eddie Mayrose

NBA Finals Dilemma

It seemed like such a simple choice.  As the NBA Finals began, I stood firmly behind the Boston Celtics as two of my favorite players, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett led Doc Rivers’ squad into another Finals matchup with the Lakers.  That Los Angeles features both Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant, a pair of NBA figures for whom I’ve never had any tolerance, made the decision to back the boys from Beantown all the easier.  Until I realized, however, that Nate Robinson, longtime headcase acquired in mid-season from the Knicks, would garner a championship ring should the Celtics triumph. Ouch. Now I’m left to pull for the impossible during tonight’s Game 7.  Can both teams lose? Continue reading »

By Eddie Mayrose

St. John’s Basketball May Be Out of the Norm

If this is where it ends for St. John’s Head Coach Norm Roberts, if yesterday’s loss to Marquette; his 100th, is the one from which he is not permitted to return, he need only to look in his own backyard as the reason he was unable to return St. John’s to the upper echelon of college basketball.

Charged with cleaning up the scandal ridden mess left by his predecessor, Mike Jarvis, Roberts has been every bit the classy, gentlemanly face Red Storm administrators had hoped when he was hired.  Despite their lack of success, his teams have been the kind of hard working, blue collar squads appreciated by coaches everywhere.  What they lacked, however, was that star player to put them over the top. The player that bails you out on a bad day.  The player that brings your school recognition with a successful NBA career.  The player that draws the media to practice and the fans to Madison Square Garden.  The player that, sadly, toils in High School gyms throughout the Metropolitan area but hasn’t decided to bring his game to Queens.  Having gone his entire tenure without recruiting a player that went on the the NBA, Roberts may have had his fate sealed last month, when just 3,500 showed up at the Garden on the night the Johnnies honored the 1985 Final Four squad led by Chris Mullin; the most recognizable player in their history. Continue reading »

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