Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

$11.6M

Folks, I’ve spent the last 2 days trying to find how I feel about the verdict. I’ve probably written about 2,000 words, and deleted 1,900 of them. Today I spent about 15 minutes being interviewed by a local newspaper, and what appears in print doesn’t really capture what I feel. I’m sure I said each one of the words, but they seem to be out of context and don’t represent my feelings. Since not saying anything on this blog seems to put me in the same league as Joseph Goebbels I guess I have to publish something, whether I like it or not.

Often I crave to see the inside of sports. I loved the HBO series on the KC Chiefs. But in cases like this, I can’t look away quick enough. I don’t like to see the ugly side to sports. I’m sure I’ve cheered for players whose morals were lacking. Patrick Ewing found adultery to be acceptable. Houston and Ward’s publicly aired their bigoted views. Larry Johnson had at least 4 children out of wedlock. I cheered heartily for Latrell Sprewell, even after he choked his coach. Yet these acts didn’t stop me from openly rooting for these people. I didn’t do this because of their morals, but rather because of their athletic ability.

What the Knicks did was reprehensible and is a black eye on the organization. It’s certainly a low point for MSG which has put the team in a slow and painful nose dive since gaining full control in the summer of 1999. Today during my phone interview I was asked if I was embarrassed by the team. Flummoxed, I said that I wasn’t embarrassed because I wasn’t the person behind the actions. But in the end, I find that I am embarrassed. Although I’m not responsible for what goes on in the front offices of the Garden, since I support the team I am represented by their actions. While no one became a Knick fan because of their progressive stance on feminism, if the organization performs unseemly acts it projects onto their fans. In a way, what the Knicks did was give all their fans a black eye.

40 comments on “$11.6M

  1. Lefty

    Thanks Mike K. There will be lots of fans who will root for the knicks no matter what. A lot of them will trot out angry statements attacking anyone who says anything bad about IT or points out what an arrogant, incompetent, asinine organization MSG has become. The yellers will claim it doesn’t matter, it was Brown’s fault, we don’t care enough, everyone does it… They should be ashamed of themselves. I’ll sheepishly continue to follow the team but the truth is, I’ll feel ashamed for doing it. It’s too bad the fans can’t take the team back from Dolan. Sigh.

  2. Adam F

    I wholeheartedly agree with you Mike K. I think its crazy to say “who cares” with this situation, because it just adds to the list of negativity associated with the knicks. I’m not ashamed to be a knicks fan, but i really think its unfortunate that when people think of the knicks they think of embarassing management – both in terms of basketball and off-the-court incidents

  3. JK47

    The Knicks are a special kind of bad. A unique, compelling, perfect storm of bad. It’s impossible to look away from the trainwreck.

    Next year’s team promises a lot more hilarious shenanigans. This team is built around Eddy Curry and Stephon Marbury– it ain’t winning anything anytime soon. So we might as well sit back and enjoy the absurd soap opera until Isiah Thomas is fired and the next regime takes over.

  4. Z

    The main difference, for me, is that Ewing, LJ, Spree, Starks, Kurt Thomas, et al, were all helping the Knicks win basketball games, and, therefore, turning a blind eye to their off court behavior was made easier. Isiah, Dolan, and Mills were detrimental to the organization before it became public that they were acting like total idiots behind the iron curtain of the Garden backstage. My biggest problem with isiah is not that he calls women bitches or has extramarital affairs. My biggest problem with him is that he is a bad GM who has failed to rebuild the organization in his (almost) 4 years in NY.

    I think, in a perverse way, this trial may actually make it easier to stomach another losing season.

  5. ScottD

    I feel as if the peoples team has been hijacked by some foul pirates.
    Unfortunately Dolan probably wouldn’t sell because he obviously has a gargantuan ego, and wants to be recognized as the owner of the “New York Knicks”
    His attitude is probably “from my dead hands”

    Wish us luck!

  6. Win

    Let only those of you who are sinless/guiltyless or whatever throw the first stone. The rest should just hold their peace. The Knicks are a basketball team, they play basketball period. And that’s is what we root for (or not) Fans support or critique the team play. The personal stuff has to be debated in another context.

  7. Donald Trump

    Mike,

    Respect for the post…thought you were committed to pushing this to the back pages.

    There are three primary stakeholders in this mess — Dolan, Thomas and the Team — and it’s only the latter and their performance that I care about.

    I believe the team has some really solid citizens (Q, Crawford, Lee, and even Curry to name a few), well grounded with solid morals .

    I’ve followed Isiah for a long time and believe he’s a bad, manipulative a**hole. He’s destroyed a lot of what he’s touched and its never his fault.

    Dolan is a schmuck pure and simple. What good can you say about this clown?

    With the NBA saying it won’t touch this, the key issue for me is how the team reacts over the long-term. Dolan is clearly going to keep Thomas and if the good guys see right through him, he’s lost the team. That would be a shame because the Knicks are loaded and sans this trial I believe were poised for another big step forward.

    A real danger is that with a few bad characters on the team, not the least of whom is the reborn Marbury, MSG’s continual denial and assertion that it did everything right may be viewed as a free pass for bad behavior.

    There’s a difference between the “Knicks” and Dolan. While Dolan is f***ing up the Knicks he is NOT the Knicks and I do not accept that we should be shamed for that fat f***s ignorance and incompetence.

    It’s going to be a tenuous next couple of months and there is a part of me that hopes the Knicks slide so that Thomas gets canned and a legitimate leader is brought in.

  8. Tom

    Let me preface this by saying two things.
    First, I’m a Bulls fan so I’ve clearly seen my team benefit from the, gag, stewardship, gag, of Isiah.
    Second, I’m an IU grad which means that on a similar level, Isiah’s blackeye affects me as a fan.
    My take on this is that is that Dolan and Thomas are a pair of lousy thieves. NY has some of the most dedicated fans a team could hope for, not to mention the true Mecca of Basketball. Your’s is an organization dripping with tradition that reaches all the way back to the inception of professional basketball. Seeing what the organization has done to that pains me… ..and I’m not even a Knicks fan.
    To make it worse, we have to see that this Basketball personality that shines so brightly in front of the cameras transforms into a rotten mess when the lights go off. It suggest a dynamic that’s probably more pervasive than any fan wants to admit to. Sir Charles was right: these guys are not role models. They just pretend like it on TV.
    I’m sorry for you guys that your team has been hijacked by a know-nothing who’s only claim to fame is that his daddy gave him a ton of money. And I’m really sorry for Isiah that he appears to have sunk so low as to bastardize a team that has so much more pride than he.
    You guys have no reason to be embarrassed. You tune in and root for a team that is a big part of basketball. I do root against the Knicks because I just follow another team. But this isn’t a “What’s wrong with the Knicks” issue it’s a “What the f@#K are these assholes thinking!” issue. What I wouldn’t give to make a living in the basketball industry. ..watching people like Dolan and Isiah (and the innumerable others like them) piss all over themselves-it just disgusts me.

  9. Caleb

    I’m with Mike K… it is embarassing, sleazy, you name it – but Renaldo Balkman’s ankle will have a lot more impact on the team than this does.

    btw does anyone remember what happened to George Shinn? Didn’t he face a discrimination lawsuit with the Hornets? Or Donald Stirling, who was either accused (convincingly) or successfully sued for racial discrimination as a real estate developer.

    I don’t recall any league action in either case – David Stern won’t touch this.

    p.s. I can’t believe I haven’t seen better reporting on Sanders – back when she first sued, I rememember reading a story (planted by the brass, no doubt) that all the players hated her – she was constantly asking guys like Sprewell and Camby and Marbury to do events, when they had already said no – supposedly players would hide in the shower instead of staying late after practice, and that’s what turned Isiah against her. I wish I’d seen reporting on whether this version of events was true. Not that it would in any way excuse sexual harassment, but as a curious fan, I want to know thwhat really went down.

  10. STEVE

    BEFORE you crucify Isiah, lets go back to Scott Layden (who didn’t let Ewing’s 14 mil just go off the Cap?) then Dave Checketts (who gave Allan Houston all that Money?), and on and on and on….Isiah started with Crap, there was NO WAY the Knicks were getting, Kobe, Shaq, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett or LeBron James in the Last 5 years. People get over it!!!. The roster he has now is TEN TIMES better than it was 5 years ago!!!If it were that easy EVERYBODY would be in the Finals!!!. Anyone that says they didn’t think the Knicks were going to the playoffs last year before the injuries is LYING!!. If Isiah blew up the team 5 years ago and the Knicks were 20 win wonders, these same fans would want to blow up MSG! Hoarding Cap room and High Draft Picks don’t guarantee Champions, if it did the Clippers would have more trophies than the Celtics. This is a Mediocre League with average Players and paper Superstars. When the Knicks win or lose a few games, keep it in perspective. 5 years from now everyone will be blaming someone new. You same fans ran Ewing out of town, hated Houston because his Knees blew out, you hate Marbury, Isiah is the Devil, Eddy Curry will NEVER please you. You are all so looking forward to picking the bones of Zach Randolph you can taste it!!!. You know who you are!!! Only 8 teams have won Championships in the last 27 Years!!!!. If the Knicks make the 8th, or 5th or 3rd seed you know it won’t be enough! You all won’t quit until you bleed the every ounce of pure joy out of this season and the next and the next!!! Start getting behind your team NOW!!!. Here’s a tip, ROOT for the NETS. I don’t own the Knicks, I don’t have to be embarrased by something I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER. I know my role, I”M A FAN!!!!. The rest of you haters hit the road and don’t let the doornob hit you where the good lord split you!!!!

  11. Cody

    I agree completely with Donald Trump. I mean I agree word for word!

    Unfortunately, the Knicks have had a history of tolerance for various indiscretions (Patrick Ewings testimony during the Gold Club trials anyone??).

    I also agree with the fact that the people that come out the worst on this are the Knicks fans. We are the ones with the black eye, we are the ones that have to justify rooting for the team, buying the merchandise, buying the tickets, etc. That’s becoming more and more challenging.

    What really sucks is that this team is so close right now; Curry’s continued maturation, and excellent team guys like Q, Lee, Crawford, Balkman, etc. I don’t agree with the Randolph trade, but how many other teams can have a solid post presence in the game for 48 minutes, and two post guys flanking the basket? Who would teams double team? Someone will be open; and if this is done right, these guys will flourish. I really love this team, I do (with one exception of Stephon Marbury, of course).

    Anyway, this is a frustrating mess and there is just no end in sight.

  12. Marc R

    I’m not saying the behavior is acceptable, but I am saying that I just don’t care all that much about it. I see lots of movies starring people reprehensible in their business and private dealings. And, I dare say, most of the athletes in the sports I follow are not exactly models of behavior. Hell, Kirby Puckett turned out to be a nasty jerk.

  13. xduckshoex

    I don’t care much about what Isiah does either, but I’d like to see him fired because of this. I don’t understand how a company can retain somebody who has been found guilty of sexually harassing coworkers.

  14. NYKat

    AHHHHHH… get a grip, you pansies, this’ll be a distant memory when we’re in the Eastern Conference Semis this year…

    what will y’all cry about then..?

  15. Count Zero

    Amen xduckshoex.

    That’s what is most annoying about it all to me. Forget everything else Sanders brought up in court — just take the things IT admitted to: the kiss, the “bitch” and “ho” forms of address. In any corporation in the US, he would have been fired for any one of those actions. And he has the balls to say, “I’m innocent,” to everyone? Is he effing crazy or stupid or both?

    I find it despicable that Dolan would defend this behavior. I find it despicable that IT still has a job this morning. I find it despicable that Stern won’t even slap these assholes on the wrist, but he’ll fine someone for wearing a bandanna on the bench. I’m embarassed for everyone involved in this entire sordid affair.

  16. Z

    “who gave Allan Houston all that Money?”

    Checkets gave him a fair market contract in 1996. Layden was the one who over spent dramatically.

    “Start getting behind your team NOW!!!. Here?s a tip, ROOT for the NETS.”

    Thinking back, there are only two Knicks that I actively stopped rooting for. For some reason I hated Rod Strickland. It was a long time ago and I was a kid and I have no idea what it was about him that turned me off but I wanted to see him fail despite his Knick uniform. Maybe it was because I thought Mark Jackson was the best player on the face of the planet and Rowdy Rod was cutting into his playing time. I remember the garden had turned against him with me– there is one clear memory of Rod on a fast break and he got fancy with a layup (since he couldn’t dunk) and missed it and the arena came down on him. It made me happy that other fans shared my sentiments, though I’m curious now as to whether he was actually deserving of my youthful wrath.

    The other Knick I turned on was Charlie Ward. I see sports as a secular endeavor and got sick of his infusing his religion into the team. I didn’t root for him to fail, as he was a decent player for a team I would have given my right arm to see win, but I really wanted him to leave the team and never have to watch him or listen to him again.

    I guess that’s where I am with Isiah right now. Except for the right arm. I wouldn’t lose it for this current roster. But ask me again in April and maybe my right arm will be back on the table…

  17. Frank O.

    This all feels silly. When fans support a team, their support translates into money earned by that organization through TV, advertising, ticket sales and concessions. That money, oodles of money, fills the pockets of the people that perpetrate these crimes, and affirms them.
    Let’s face it, if and when the Knicks start playing better ball, the PR machine and the press will write how the great Zeke has triumphed over adversity to lead the Knicks to…whatever.
    There will be stories of how MSG, the mecca of basketball (when will that cliche be put to rest), is again hoping.
    In the meantime, they will appeal this woman’s case until they bleed her dry with legal fees.
    MSG’s tolerance of this kind of crap undermines the sport in the end, and leaves us all with a bad taste in our mouths.
    The NBA needs to change its name to Cell Block-B.
    Stephen Jackson, and other violent folks, who have had run ins with police, or have been found guilty of crimes, and then walk into multi-million dollar contracts, simply underscore the problem in the NBA. I’d love to know how many NBA players have been arrested, how many indicted, and how many found guilty of crimes. I suspect the numbers would be astonishing.
    Why should they change? Their way gets them the money, the bling, the cars, the women.
    No one even batted an eye when it turned out that Marbury – who has now found Jesus Christ, apparently – slammed some young intern in the back of his car, and, oh, yeah, he’s married to LaTasha…and let’s not even talk about the abuse of power. Did the intern really have much of a choice, even if she says she did? And, oh, by the way, she’s still on the Knicks’ payroll.
    Dolan and Isiah are not only incompetent they’re abusive pricks, too, who, if they were to behaved even remotely like they do in MSG in our work places, they would be escorted out faster than you can say lawsuit.

    The Garden simply cannot fire Isiah right now because it would undermine its appeals.
    And Charles Dolan cannot simply remove his son from running the Knicks for the same reason.
    But for me, this feels like the beginning of the end. Unless Charles Dolan cleans house, moves his son out and sheds the Knicks’ cadre of executives that promulgated this crime, the break is inevitable.
    I have been a fan of one team in each sport my entire life. I’ve been a Yankees, Jets, Knicks, Rangers guy since the late 1960s. I have no idea how to cheer for another team because my links to these teams are tied to my childhood, meaning it’s somewhat emotional.
    But the Knicks have me exploring just how that will happen. How does one suddenly cheer for another team, without those child-like loyalties that lend such passion to my enjoyment when they perform well?
    I’m going to watch some other teams this year and try to foster some new allegiances.

  18. Caleb

    “I?d love to know how many NBA players have been arrested, how many indicted, and how many found guilty of crimes. I suspect the numbers would be astonishing.”

    I would bet my bottom dollar, and the rest of it, that the NFL crime rate is much, much higher than the NBA. But hey, it’s America’s game and all.

    Marbury’s wife might be po’d, but I also bet (if I have any $ left over) that a lot of guys would behave the same way if they had women offering themselves up all the time. That is not too different from the point that True Henry was making.

  19. NYKat

    Frank O. you hit it right on the nose–

    …you will leave until they start winning again, and then you’ll hop right back on the bandwagon as will everyone else who feels “embarrassed”

    I’m looking foward to the media eating their words when Zeke “wins” again, which is what he ultimately does.

  20. xduckshoex

    NYKat, when did you become a Knicks fan? The Bernard King years? The Ewing years? The Marbury years?

  21. Donald Trump

    I’m an optimist.

    Today’s Truehoop reports on rumors that the comish of both the NBA and NHL are going to have a sit down with papa Dolan and reign in his son.

    http://myespn.go.com/nba/truehoop

    I’ve separately read that the judge is rock solid on procedure and the law so while appeal talk sounds great to some…this suit is cast in stone. MSG is paying all the legal bills fellas.

    In addition, it’s the insurance companies that pick up a large part of the tab and they will have something to say about management and operations. Or, they won’t insure.

    All good for the Knicks…this house is now going to be put in order whether they like it or not (or so I can dream).

    Frank O., Like all sports, the NBA has a lot of very young kids with a lot of money and not much sense. Look at the Cardinals pitcher who got sauced and almost killed someone with his car. Or those crazy wrestlers who did kill someone. Or the QB of Arizonb – Lienhart – who is a complete cad. The NBA has no monopoly on young, stupid and/or sexist behavior. And the root cause of the Knicks ills is a white rich
    guy — Dolan — who has never been disciplined and so doesn’t know how to discipline.

  22. Frank O.

    NKat: You missed my point. Go back and read my post.

    Trump: I realize this is a broader sports issue. It doesn’t make it any less heinous. This is a basketball and, more specifically, a Knicks blog. I confined my comments to basketball and the Knicks.
    Having said that, broadening the problem to sports – and I do believe it is a broader issue, Caleb – in general doesn’t make this any less a problem.
    Yes, these are young people, who grow into adults, so-called, and continue to commit crimes.
    And, by the way, most of these kids probably came in with issues, such as criminal records.
    And who the hell said anything about race?
    Yes, most players in the NBA are black, but this isn’t a race issue. The league commissioner, the recent ref arrest, Dolan…all white.
    No argument from me that this is a purple issue, meaning it’s everyone.

    My feelings about the Knicks would change a lot, if they shit-canned these fools and put in new leadership because it would send a clear message, a chill if you will, that this kind of misogynistic and criminal behavior is no longer acceptable.

  23. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “My feelings about the Knicks would change a lot, if they shit-canned these fools and put in new leadership because it would send a clear message, a chill if you will, that this kind of misogynistic and criminal behavior is no longer acceptable.”

    I’m saying this for all the folks out there that feel this way. If you’re this angry, do something about it. A year ago selltheknicks.com made a pretty big splash. From what I’ve read, the owner doesn’t have the time to pursue that endeavor anymore, but they do have a forum/blog that’s still alive. The mechanism is there for an easy public protest. All that is lacking is for someone to take the lead. Just contact the site owners, get access to the blog, plan a day of public protest. In all honesty, you won’t have a better opportunity to find angry Knick fans that have the same hopeless feeling about the team. If you’re not the one to lead, then even just joining their forum & airing your feelings might get others to do the same.

  24. Michael Zannettis

    There’s that saying in sports, “You root for the laundry.” It applies here, for me.

    What went on in the front offices is horrible and despicable, and I’m disgusted, that in the heart of one of the most progressive places on Earth, but it’s not going to make me root for the Nets.

    Like an annoying family member I’ll stick with the Knicks in my life, but loyalty shouldn’t be misconstrued as satisfaction.

  25. brian quinnett's left nipple

    the coldest basketball reality in all of this is that, even with this latest (and most inhuman) abhorration on his resume, isiah is still not going anywhere. he is indestructable. and the guy who keeps him in place is even twice the monster he is.

    lucky us.

  26. Brian M

    Sorry, but the behavior of the Knicks front office does not project onto the fans. Fans are fans because of what goes on on the basketball court, not because of what goes on in the MSG offices. The two are orthogonal to eachother and so the projection of one onto the other is simply zero.

    Paul Gauguin was a sexual deviant, an abusive husband who had a penchant for impregnating young girls, likely spreading syphilis far and wide along the way. Far worse than anything Isiah Thomas did. Does this poor behavior reflect badly on fans of Gauguin’s work? It’s absolutely absurd to say that it does. Likewise here.

  27. Brian Cronin

    Certainly bad news for Knicks fans.

    Anyhow, what’s this news about Allan Houston possibly coming back? Fuck the heck?!?

  28. Frank O.

    Brian M:
    Gauguin died utterly destitute, his work largely unrecognized by popular culture during his life.
    Also, his behavior was not widely known as this was a time before the internet…:)

    In this case, Isiah’s and MSG’s behavior is well known,and the support they enjoy from fans makes him and it filthy rich.
    I don’t see it in the same way.
    You admiring Gauguin’s art can no longer enrich him and potentially enable him. He exists in the abstract for you, if you will, in the art he has left behind.

    Gauguin for you is a concept, a post impressionist, a Cloisonnist. If you knew him then, and were aware he was spreading disease and had abandoned his family, and indirectly caused the death of two of his kids I suspect you would have viewed his art quite differently.
    Familiarity in this case, most certainly would have bred contempt.
    So it is with Dolan and Zeke and some Knicks’ fans.

  29. Hector C.

    I can’t stand how u so called fans love to bash the Knicks. Last season when Isaiah had the Knicks on the run for the playoffs and finally gave the team unity, it was quiet. Here and there you would hear people saying that he made a better coach than GM. As soon as the injuries plagued us, it thundered and rained; “I knew it! Isaiah’s incompitence has cost us the season.” The worst thing Isaiah has done since coming to NY was hiring Larry Brown, though I was for it as everyone else was at the time. This teams landslide begun way before Isaiah got here. For example: Scott Layden dumping his Utah Jazz buddy’s garbage onto our roster, for a high dollar not to mention.

  30. Peter

    I don’t know if I can really get myself to not root for the Knicks, but I’m going to try; at least until management changes (and by that I mean “different people”, not “change of heart”).

  31. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “And some people say you are always hating on the Knicks. Where do they get that from? LOL”

    And others accuse me of being a propagandist for the Knicks not reporting on this issue fast enough. So I guess I must be right in the middle then.

  32. Moe

    I’ve been a Knick fan for the entire 29 years of my life and this verdict hasn’t changed that for a second. The Knicks have been one of the few things I’ve been able to share and enjoy with my dad and my kid, I won’t abandon that because of something that happened at some company, that just happens to own my favorite team. Over the years, there have been bad coaches, bad players and even worse executives. And just like the others, eventually Thomas and Dolan will be gone. But I’ll still be here. I hope the Knicks have a great season and make New York basketball at least respectable again…that’s all I care about.

  33. T-MART

    “Since not saying anything on this blog seems to put me in the same league as Joseph Goebbels I guess I have to publish something, whether I like it or not.”

    “And others accuse me of being a propagandist for the Knicks not reporting on this issue fast enough. So I guess I must be right in the middle then.”

    Pardon my knit-picking here but your omitting facts by not saying anything does not make you a propagandist, you have to actively present those facts spun as false information which will influence the audience. Simply not saying anything doesn’t make you the most famous propaganda machine of all time, I think you meant to compare yourself to Scooter Libby on the witness stand.

  34. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “Pardon my knit-picking here but your omitting facts by not saying anything does not make you a propagandist, you have to actively present those facts spun as false information which will influence the audience. Simply not saying anything doesn?t make you the most famous propaganda machine of all time, I think you meant to compare yourself to Scooter Libby on the witness stand.”

    I stand corrected.

    Nice.

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