By Eddie Mayrose

Knicks and Johnnies Bring Life Back to World’s Most Famous Arena

After the Golden State Warriors visited Madison Square Garden on November 10th and beat up a defenseless Knicks squad that saw its record drop to 3-8, it seemed as if the faithful were in for another terrible season of basketball on 32nd St. and 7th Ave.  Making matters more painful was that this was the year that Knicks’ brass had targeted for a turnaround.  But, they’d failed to land either LeBron James or Chris Bosh during the offseason and, worse, were floating the idea of bringing back Isiah Thomas; the very face of the debacle that had been the last decade.  A playoff berth, let alone a championship run, seemed like a fantasy.

Around the same time, I was discussing the decline of the St. John’s basketball program with Nolan Adams, assistant men’s basketball coach at the College of Mount Saint Vincent who opened my eyes with a comment that was both obvious and unbelievable at the same time.  When I suggested that the downfall of both Mike Jarvis and Norm Roberts was their failure to recruit kids from New York city, he pointed out that there was now, “… an entire generation of players that has never known St. John’s as a basketball power.”  It was a sad realization, but true nonetheless.  No one under the age of 20 would have seen the legendary Big East battles between the Johnnies and Georgetown, Syracuse or Villanova.  None would have watched them in a NCAA tournament game and, certainly, never have followed a St. John ’s alum through the first round of the draft and into the NBA. Continue reading »

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 »

Swallows Return to New York Sports

By Eddie Mayrose

Each year, around the feast of St. Joseph (March 19th) the famous cliff swallows of San Juan Capistrano return from their winter vacation spot 6,000 miles south in Goya, Corrientes, Argentina. While it is truly one of nature’s wonders, it isn’t as unique as many might think. Here in New York, we annually celebrate the return of our own type of swallows; loony birds with no capacity to remember past failures who are destined to perpetuate their own suffering.

New York Jet Fans Return to Capistrano

My heart goes out to Cheap Seater Lou Ricciardi. He’s been mentioned before in this space as a long suffering Jet fan that can’t stop himself from being sucked into the hype. Perhaps in an attempt to conceal his gullibility, Lou sent me a blurb that he found on a Jets blog, rather than put his own name to the same, misguided optimism. Anyway, some poor slob submitted a long post about the death of the “Same Old Jets” and mocking Gang Green’s naysayers. As if his heart won’t be broken once again. 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 »

New York Knicks Must Have Plan B

By Chris Ippolito

Since Donnie Walsh’s first day as president of the New York Knicks, he made it clear that the best way to end the team’s streak of futility was to get under the salary cap for the first time since 1996.  Although it has been two painful years since his April 2008 proclamation, Walsh has executed his plan.  Today the Knicks are approximately $35 million under the salary cap, an enviable position considering the plethora of talent in this year’s free agent class.  Only the Miami Heat, who essentially dismantled their team for this purpose, have more money to spend this off season than the Knicks.

Apparently, fair weather fans of the Knicks, who probably spent the last five years or so denying their orange and blue affiliation, look at this cap space only as an opportunity to sign LeBron James, by far the most coveted free agent on the market.  This idea is not a far-fetched one.  In my opinion the Knicks should do everything they can to recruit James to New York.  He is a physical specimen who I believe will end up averaging a triple double for a season at some point in his career.  The problem is that Chicago, Miami, the L.A Clippers, and James’s former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, all want the King as badly as the Knicks do. Continue reading »

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