2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Nets

This will certainly be a strange game, with the entire NBA world struggling with the shocking and tragic death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gigi, in a helicopter crash, along with one of Gigi’s teammates and their parent (as well as the pilot, of course).

Julius Randle, in particular on the Knicks, played with Kobe during Kobe’s final seasons, so he’s probably a wreck right now.

Kyrie Irving took the game off as soon as he heard the news. He and Kobe were good friends.

Our condolences to the families of the crash victims.

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49 thoughts to “2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Nets”

  1. For all the years of criticizing him on and off the court, it’s hitting pretty hard. It’s mostly the thought of his family trying to process this. Losing your father and sister in a single moment — just painful enough to imagine the depth of that grief.

  2. i just reflexively opened up a boxscore on the nba app. for me, probably like a few of you, boxscores and basketball in general are usually an endlessly neutral refuge from real life demons and general late night existential dread. but just now seeing one tick mindlessly forward felt sickeningly empty and inexorable. i don’t think you have to worship everything about kobe to feel this. when i was young and stupid i eye rolled people for laying narcissistic claim to celebrity tragedy, like princess diana. today i feel old and sad instead.

  3. I was a staunch Kobe lover. I knew he was overrated and inefficient but I thought he was an incredible showman and the game is about being entertained. That guy fucking entertained. I rarely missed one of his garden visits bc he was always brought it at MSG. It felt like it was out of respect for Knicks fans and MSG.

    I also appreciated what he did for USA Basketball. He was undeniably the alpha male on that Beijing team, whether he was the best player or not (and he wasn’t).

  4. People talk about lack of progress by the Knicks young guys this year…but is it fair to say that Frank is better this year? I know he still has some awful games, and not sure how he ranks relative to an average NBA PG, but he seems like he’s heading in the right direction?

  5. lmao dennis smith sitting at the end of the bench with his hood up. fuck off

    I doubt he’s worth as much as Mudiay was when we traded for him. He’s definitely worth less now. How our management liked him as a centerpiece is mind numbing. It’s not a hopeless situation. He’s young and very athletic. But I’d way rather someone else was trying to turn him around. if we could get anything at all for him I’d take it.

  6. I was never a huge Kobe fan because Laker hate flows through my blood, but Kobe was an all time great player period. If you don’t understand that, IMO you are misunderstanding part of the game. Regardless, this is a tragic loss for several families.

  7. People talk about lack of progress by the Knicks young guys this year…but is it fair to say that Frank is better this year? I know he still has some awful games, and not sure how he ranks relative to an average NBA PG, but he seems like he’s heading in the right direction?

    He’s certainly gotten better, but the issue is that when you’re starting from such a bad place, “getting better” doesn’t mean a whole lot. Games like this are few and far between for him still.

  8. I like RJ Barrett long term, but it sure feels like we are a lot better team when a real NBA player is on the court and he’s not playing.

  9. Condolences to Kobe’s family

    Yeah. RJ sucks right now, just like most rookies. It’s why most teams don’t start rookies and play them for 36 min every night. Did we not know this?

    BulLOCK in the starting lineup puts us in legit contention for the 8th seed over a full season. Probably too late now, but not impossible

  10. The Kobe Bryant news destroyed me today. I was far from his biggest fan, but Kobe Bryant’s on court success and greatness helped a lot of my friends choose a basketball gym instead of the streets. Hearing about him, his daughter, and the rest of the people on that helicopter was very very tough.

    ————

    RJ Barrett isn’t the problem, but he doesn’t fit between Morris and Payton as well as a guy like Reggie Bullock. Certainly.

  11. He’s certainly gotten better, but the issue is that when you’re starting from such a bad place, “getting better” doesn’t mean a whole lot. Games like this are few and far between for him still.

    When you are terrible on both sides, the journey to being a good player is a long and tough one likely to not end well. When you are terrible on one side, but a PLUS on the other side (with stretches of being an impact player on the good side at times), you are NOT that far away from being a useful pro. You don’t even have to be average on the bad side, just reasonable.

    If you should somehow get to average or better on the weaker side, you can become a key role player on a contender.

    Frank’s handle and skills are slowly getting to the point where he can get to his spots on the court and to the rim better with both hands. When he first came up it was touch and go for him to even bring the ball up the court if the defender pressures him. lmao.

    The gap between where he is now and being a good player is his SHOT.

    That’s no small problem, but it’s not like loads of 21 year olds don’t eventually improve their shot over time. He IS inching forward. A lot of guys that didn’t get into the league until 22 or older didn’t get in to begin with because it took years for them to develop a consistent shot.

  12. Miller was coaching this like it was the 7th game of a playoff series……no Kyrie…he smelled blood…Robinson getting 17 minutes is a joke..even Breen commented on “it is time to get Mitch back on the floor as you likely want your best defensive guys out there” at like the 9 minute mark in the 4th qtr…I think he put him back in at the 4 minute mark…

    Given my disdain for the Lakers…was not a Kobe fan when he had that uni on (unless they were playing the Celtics in the finals)…. but in the 08 and 12 Olympics…he was the main reason we won…he willed us to the one win in 08…was a huge fan of his when he played for team USA …very sad for his family…

  13. Mitch did foul out in those 17 min so I’m not sure we can really blame this one on Miller. But yeah, Mitch needs to play more if for no other reason than Taj doesn’t add much.

    RJ is terrible this year. I don’t know how you can say otherwise. He has a negative WS/48, TS% below Knox, and the same AST/36 as Portis. RJ sucks, just like you would expect a rookie to suck.

    BulLOCK does fit better than RJ, but I don’t think that’s the only issue. RJ should take Knox’s place on the bench and Knox should never touch the floor.

  14. As crushing as today has been, here’s even more to it:
    One of the other 9 that was on the ‘copter was a longtime baseball coach for Orange Coast College. We (ELAC) played them in football back in September – I met their sports information director and he was a great host as I learned pointers on tracking stats during a game.

    The Orange Coast SID is that baseball coach’s brother.

    Damn, yo…

  15. Also lost in the crash was a college baseball coach, his wife and his daughter, leaving behind a son and another daughter. Damn, is it hitting hard. It gets me thinking of all the anonymous families who suddenly lose multiple loved ones in accidents, commercial plane crashes, mass shootings, etc.

    Sometimes when things aren’t going well, I tell myself, “I’m not having a bad day….I’m having a great day where some pain in the ass shit happened.”

  16. @27 John Altobelli also managed Aaron Judge in the Cape Cod League.

    I remember seeing a video of Kobe sitting courtside with his daughter Gianna, the two of them deep in discussion about what was going on the court. And another video of her nailing absurd pull-up jumpers just like her dad. It was a hopeful glimpse of what the future might hold. Now ripped away.

    It’s so much loss.

  17. “We” can celebrate the life and achievements of Kobe Bryant, or anyone else, however “we” feel like it. Pretty much all human beings are flawed. Bottom line is, Kobe was larger than life, and everyone knows his flaws as they were in the paper, on TV, on the radio, and on the internet in ways that few of us can imagine. Pointing that out on the very day of his and his innocent teenage daughter’s horrifically tragic death strikes me as rather petty and self-aggrandizing.

    For the record, I was never much of a Robert Silverman fan.

  18. I don’t think pretending his rape charges never happened help us live in reality. Kobe ruined a 19 year old woman’s life. Fame doesn’t shield a person from the consequences of committing sexual assault.

    Kobe was a human being and to strip him of his full humanity simply because he entertained us for 20 years isn’t for me.

  19. I had to jump in here even while far away on vacation. The news of Kobe’s tragic death was shocking and let’s not forget the others on the flight. Truly tragic and sad. RIP.

  20. It’s simply too big of a part of who he was as a person and public figure to omit from our small obituaries of him. It also is unrelated to the horrible and tragic death of his daughter with whom he seemingly had a great parental relationship and the others who died.

  21. Everyone here knows about it, just about everyone out there knows about it. Nobody is pretending his rape charges didn’t happen.

  22. Strong co-sign on the idea that however uncomfortable grappling with Kobe’s full persona may be for some, it’s a necessary part of any proper memorial of the person. I can’t imagine being a survivor and reading some of the unqualified fawning going around. The Pierce and Silverman pieces both do a tasteful job.

    It’s also true that his daughter and others passing away is a completely separate, unambiguously awful event.

  23. Assuming Payton and Frankie stay healthy….I wonder if Frank keeps up some semblance of respectability/improvement (in Miller’s eyes) does that mean DSJ just rides the pine for the rest of the season assuming they can’t trade him? I would think Pills might put pressure on him to get DSJ some minutes…will be interesting to see how it plays out…then again DSJ is just one strained groin away from the rotation…

  24. When discussing his life, the sexual assault is relevant. When discussing his death, it’s not. Seems pretty simple to me.

  25. I think there’s something to be said about respecting a person’s legacy, and that legacy includes the highest and the lowest points. It’s fairly obvious that Kobe was a polarizing figure, but even people like me, who were disgusted by the way the media and the fans seemed to forget rather quickly about the rape, can recognize the tragedy behind this accident.

    I think it’s in bad taste to keep talking about his lows right after his death, and I think that’s what most people like Z-Man are complaining about, the timing of it. I would wait until the emotions are less visceral to really go into his entire legacy, specially since the accident also involved his daughter and obviously his wife and other 3 kids are still alive and grieving.

    In other words, I would rather discuss the tragedy of his death for now, while we can obviously discuss the legacy of his life in more appropriate circumstances, to put it into the terms jowles used. It’s not rape apologism to simply hold off on bringing the episode right after the guy’s death, especially considering we’re not talking about a guy like Weinstein, where the sexual abuse was a repeated constant throughout his life; as far as anyone knows, with Kobe, it was a single event that obviously should never be forgotten or glossed upon, and is a part of his life story, but has nothing really to do with his death.

  26. Everyone grieves in their own way, so I’m fine with limiting the discussion for now out of respect for that.

  27. Ask the woman he raped when she was 19 and then used his wealth and fame to smear as a money hungry whore about his fucking legacy.

    When asked by police how she knew Bryant had heard her, she replied, “Because every time I said no he tightened his hold around me.”

    At one point, when police described the accuser as “attractive,” Bryant corrected them. “She wasn’t that attractive,” said Bryant. Then, when officers asked him about “finishing,” he replied, “I didn’t finish a fucking thing,” adding, “I jerked off when she left.”

    The accident today was a tragedy for a lot of reasons but the way the media protects Kobe’s legacy is disgusting.

  28. interesting discussion…how is all the good and evil performed during a lifetime examined and accounted for…can there ever be balance between those two…or, is it simply one or the other…

    imagine if it was possible for us to all share our very worst moment(s) with the world…how would we each view one another then…

    I’m a pretty strong believer that at some point we all must answer for our deeds…that though may just be a simple manifestation of my own beliefs and fears and not true at all…

    is there such a thing as redemption and forgiveness…if so, by whom, when…

    the “cult of personality” is real…and, life doesn’t promise to be fair…

    no doubt kobe touched a lot of people, and, at least one he should not have…is there any amount of good that makes up for some types of bad…

    every once in a while I’ll wonder that very thing about dot…I know he’s done some community work back where he grew up, can he ever though make up for his previous actions and the harm he committed against another human being…

  29. @45 that’s a good question you raise.
    Perhaps the ultimate answer is between the victim, the accused, the law and God. I won’t appeal to the authority of the law because we know it’s not fair for all, although it’s not nothing that the law found not to purse Kobe criminally. Take that for whatever it’s worth to you.

    Perhaps it’s naive to ask this, but do we know if that woman went on to forgive him at some point? Has she been able to heal from the incident? Generally speaking from a spiritual (Christian) standpoint, any sin can be atoned for. I believe that atonement and forgiveness isn’t meant to erase bad or heinous acts, but to allow for healing and correction of bad decisions and behavior. I mean, we live in a society where victims of a slain loved one have found it within themselves to forgive the assailant. Maybe we haven’t gotten to the point where society can forgive rapists because we’ve only recently heightened our national awareness and there’s been too many cases that have gone unreported. That’s fair. But I believe everyone should be allowed atonement in some form.

    As my grandmother has told me several times, there’s a time and place for everything. As Bruno and Jowles stated, there will be a time to address Kobe’s lows as well as his highs. Today just isn’t that time. Not yet.

  30. I do not believe that a discussion about Kobe’s alleged rape is appropriate at this time. My arguments would be considered distasteful and I vehemently disagree with CDiggy. Then again, my religion has a very different take on forgiveness.

  31. I thought A lot about Kobe’s complex history.
    My sister, who knows very little of his basketball talent, said she cried. I chose not to fill in his bio. I just left it alone.

    I think when someone dies, it becomes about the family, who simply grieve. In this case there was a 13-year-old child also lost who had barely begun a life of promise. And there is a family and other children who lost a husband/father/son, etc. They harmed no one.
    While I’m quite certain my words would never reach that family (who am I?) I think what I choose to say and not say is more about me.
    Still, I think people can say what they wish.

  32. I recall Kobe sitting courtside, IIRC on Xmas day with Gianna and the utter joy on both of their faces, as well as the proud look on Kobe’s face when he was coaching her in a game. Neither of them will ever have those blissful moments again and as a parent, I can connect these types of moments with Kobe, who I otherwise have little in common with. A profound sadness washed over me each time I viewed these videos.
    We are all human with differing degrees of foibles, and I agree with waiting until the grief subsides until we reflect on Kobe’s legacy.
    The outpouring of genuine deep grief from so many disparate sources reveals that Kobe impacted a multitude of lives in positive ways and for now that is how I will think about him.

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