D-Nied: KnickerBlogger tries out for the Erie Bayhawks

Author’s Note: Every year since their 2008 inaugural season, the Erie BayHawks have hosted two open tryouts — one in the team’s home city, the other in that of their NBA affiliate (beginning last year, our beloved New York Knicks). Last Monday, The BayHawks held their first tryout in Manhattan. Being a lifelong cager myself, I wanted to see first-hand how well I could stack up against competition not incredibly far removed from the limelight of the NBA. As it turns out: Not very well.


“OK, what’s our next turn?” my wife, having nobly volunteered to drive us into Manhattan at 5:30 on a Monday morning, inquires.

Groggily grabbing the criminally unreliable Garmin GPS, my sleep-deprived brain does a double-take at the screen.

“In a little less than a mile you have to take Sprain Brook Parkway… Sprain Brook Parkway? That’s what it’s called? Sprain Brook Parkway?”

In the pantheon of bad basketball tryout omens, there are maybe two things that would’ve frightened me more:

No, I did not shoot this man in the back.

1) A net-less iron rim crashing through the windshield

2) Accidentally running over a hitchhiking Clyde Frazier

I made it into the city by seven, a full hour before the scheduled start time. This year’s tryout — Erie’s first in New York since officially becoming the Knicks affiliate last year — is held at Baruch College, a CUNY satellite on the corner of 24th and Lexington. Loping down two flights of stairs to the college’s basement gyms, I easily find the registration table, manned by one of the team’s trainers. Luckily, I’d paid my $150 registration fee in advance, determined to make sure I secured a spot. I introduce myself, adding that I was the guy that had emailed the front office about covering the tryout from a first-person, Plimptonian angle, and should I also sign in on the media …

“Oh we know who you are,” the trainer interrupts, cracking a wry, mischievous smile, the kind of smile that says “you, my friend, just paid the equivalent of a Knicks ticket for the privilege of puking in the bleachers.”…

Read the full story at ESPN’s TrueHoop column by clicking here! DO IT!

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Jim Cavan

Beyond his KnickerBlogger roots, Jim's work has appeared at ESPN.com, Grantland, The Classical, and the New York Times. He is currently working on a biography of Robert Silverman, entitled "Clownin' and Astoundin.'" Follow him on Twitter @JPCavan.

22 thoughts to “D-Nied: KnickerBlogger tries out for the Erie Bayhawks”

  1. Hahaha, thanks BBA. I actually totally forgot that we only had three dribbles to work with. By the time I picked up my second, I was in full-on “oh $#!&” mode. So I deserved whatever happened to me.

  2. Oh man, now I’m embarrassed. My bad for not having given credit where credit was due. I am, however, totally willing to part with half the $50 for the story that’s left over after the registration fee and hotel room. That, or you can name the next assignment, and I have to do it, no matter what — with full, due credit.

    But seriously, thanks for planting the seed!

  3. After nearly jumping off a bridge tonight due to the Yankee game, I realize how much easier it is rooting for the Knicks where just making the playoffs is a successful season lol

  4. I know it is not basketball but the sewing of seeds and the fulfilling of a sports dream makes it not completely OT. Besides it is something to read while we wait for our beloved Knicks to return. So I will share this personal experience.


    What blog post doesn’t tell was that after 2 bouts of Rheumatic Heart disease by age 6, the doctors said I would never be able to do anything strenuous. I went on to become a decent basketball player and an even better runner.

  5. Gotta say, Chris Paul has some chemistry with Amar’e and Melo on the basketball court :-)

    Amar’e with the highlight of the night so far dunking all on Durant for an And1 plus Melo dunked an alley-oop. Both assists by Paul.

  6. Amar’e with 2 big baskets down the stretch. This has been a fun 4th quarter and OT.

    We desperately need the lockout to end lol

  7. Melo is standing by the bench and looks fine now. THANK GOD lol

    BTW your all welcome for the updates lol, it is being shown live on TV down here in Miami and with the beyond awful weather today here nothing better to do but stay home and watch this fun game lol

  8. Thanks for the updates, BBA.

    Anyone know if / when / where the game will be available for replay?

  9. Jim Cavan (@JPCavan):
    Thanks for the updates, BBA.

    Anyone know if / when / where the game will be available for replay?

    Apparently the game was shown live online at CBSMiami.com and will be archived within 24 hours. So hopefully tomorrow night you can go there and see the entire game.

  10. Here’s what worries me. You see the discussions, and it seems pretty likely that the compromise will be having something like a 50/50 revenue split (which the owners want) based mostly on the previous system (you know, mid-level still being there, Larry Bird rights still applying, etc.) (which the players want if they’re giving up 7% of the revenue), but if that is the case, doesn’t that effectively screw the Knicks out of any real chance to sign a free agent after this year? If they go to a 50/50 split, the cap will come down enough to take away any real surplus the Knicks would have for next season and would put them in a situation where Amar’e and Melo would be counting $40 million out of a smaller cap. That worries me.

  11. I guess “having an NBA season” should have been an even bigger worry for me to have.

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