More HB: No more Nets in Jersey

-We’ll start this off with the Nets wrapping up their stay in New Jersey last night. Of course they lost to the 76ers, who needed the game to clinch a playoff berth. Philly is now tied with the Knicks for seventh with identical 34-30 marks with two games remaining. Pick your poison for both. Chicago or Miami.

-Some of the all-time great Nets on hand were Albert KingKenny Anderson, Derrick Coleman and Darryl Dawkins, who all got the luxury treatment of having a Nets babe on their arm. Cute stuff. It was nice to see Chocolate Thunder back. You can never forget what a behemoth he was dunking that ball and well, breaking the glass in the good old days.

-I’m happy for Anderson and Coleman, who kinda got lost in the shuffle following a first round exit versus the Knicks. They were good Nets. All-Stars. If you put their childish behavior aside, both were a great combo. It’s just unfortunate we never got to see what those Nets could’ve been if Drazen Petrovic had lived. Petro was awesome. Lights out. A star in the making when his tragic death haunted the Nets for years until Jason Kidd replaced Stephon Marbury and led the franchise to consecutive NBA Finals appearances.

Rod Thorn was also there yesterday for turning the Nets around. Even Lou Lamoriello lent support when the Devils and Nets teamed up. In a way, it feels right that they’d finish up in the same building as the Devils, who later on play a huge Game Six against Florida. But it does feel a little blank with the Nets moving to Brooklyn this Fall at Barclays Center. No team in Jersey just doesn’t feel right.

-Sure. The Brooklyn Nets are a great sell. Basketball to one of the best producing boroughs where two-time PSAL champ Boys And Girls resides along with powerhouses Lincoln and Jefferson. Atlantic Avenue will be hopping once it gets going. I still wouldn’t mind seeing a third team rejoin I-95 down the road. New Jersey gets shafted once again.

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Why the Knicks are easy to hate

Despite what’s being said by fools like Daily News columnist Mike Lupica, the Knicks are still easy to hate. That’s just how Team Dumb and Dumber Clown Mgt 101 makes it.

Let’s face it! Compared to the hockey team which thankfully is run solely by hockey people, the basketball team that resides at 2 Penn Plaza remains a circus of epic proportions no matter who coaches and who is GM.

Need more proof? All you had to do was take a look at the over the top performance from rapper Q-Tip during the team’s introduction. As if the Knicks were back. Even the reception from rap’s birthplace was subdued despite some fancy lyrics and encouragement for them to get up and chant, “New Yooooork!”

Aside from the sideshow, at least they played Young Jeezy’s “Put On” for lineups. As for why it’s fairly simple to still despise the Knicks. Because Jim Dolan is still calling the shots no matter what kinda spin they’re saying about Stephon Marbury’s deactivation. Only the Knicks could turn Coney Island’s Finest into a sympathetic figure. Especially when you consider how lousy his Knick career has been epitomizing that the former Lincoln High standout never got it on or off the court.

However, how this situation has been handled by Mike D’Antoni is an absolute sham much like the over the top propaganda about how this team is gonna be so much more “exciting” quoting the former Suns coach’s mantra.

As if that actually can be translated as a winning brand of basketball. The quintessential hoops fan
isn’t a fool and knows better about what wins in the NBA. Did I just mention NBA basketball? The Knicks don’t deserve to be included because they’re really not going to win many games no matter what the hype machine says.

So, they put up 120 on the lowly Heat in their home opener yet nearly blew a 26-point lead needing to hang on for dear life just to get a ‘W.’ D’Antoni’s up-tempo offensive system should have success against teams who are on their level. Problem is there are only so many you can cite. Won’t it be fun when former coach Larry Brown brings his equally dreadful Bobcats to the Mecca? Rumor has it those match-ups will be renamed the Toilet Bowl!

So what if D’Antoni benched Eddy Curry? I could’ve become coach and sat out Fat Albert. The way too big man who probably has spent way too many trips to Burger King and McDonalds just doesn’t care enough about basketball. Was anyone surprised by the reaction he got when introduced?

For the pro-D’Antoni/Knicks backers, that’s the argument they can make when it comes to the decision to not play Marbury in the team’s home opener. This while the worst and ugliest NBA guard we’ve ever seen, Mardy Collins is getting PT along with Italian pet project Danilo Gallinari who didn’t even see preseason action and looks like a string bean on the court. Bet if you breathed on him, he’d blow over. The 2008 first round pick might want to join Fat Albert for some Big Macs cause he needs them much worse.

So, how does one explain D’Antoni’s actions playing Marbury during exhibition and coming away impressed enough to hint that he’d be part of the Knicks second unit? We don’t care how many shots Jamal Crawford gets, it’s Starbury who’s still the most talented player on the roster and fits the coach’s new philosophy to a tee.

Just how bad was it? When a part of an MSG crowd who booed Marbury last season began chanting for him to come into the game, the coach reportedly did a double take having a few choice words for those closeby.

So, is D’Antoni a liar or was this just another typical Dolan induced episode? What do you think?!?!?!?!?!

It’s clear that Donnie Walsh was never going to buyout Marbury, who now shall earn all 22 million while in the fancy business attire. He doesn’t believe in doing that. So, will the team find a suitor and unload the contract? Highly unlikely especially when one considers he’s in the final year which will allow any interested teams to wait it out.

The question is can a motivated Marbury still help another NBA roster which is a lot closer to winning than the Knicks. I don’t believe there’s any doubt that he can still play but his reputation will continue to linger until proven otherwise. Wouldn’t it be in his best interest to continue saying all the right things about how if this is the situation, then so be it? Absolutely. If he’s indeed on best behavior, he knows he might get out of jail and have another chance elsewhere.

And what better way than to stick it where the sun don’t shine to a faulty mismanaged organization which would probably blame him for the stock market along with current economy and how embarrassing the Presidential Election campaigns have become. Well, at least that nonsense will be over in a couple of days.

This isn’t about Marbury being a good guy. He’s clearly not but the Knick actions have actually painted him as the winner in this situation because it’s still the same old song and dance at the Garden no matter what their brainwashed PR tell you.

Was it any surprise that the Orange and Blue got blitzed in Philadelphia losing by 29 the other night? Come on. You knew better. Don’t believe the hype. This team is a long way from being anything. Clearly, the Nets are better and might even possess better young talent though it’s close.

So, where will these “new look” Knicks wind up? Where last year’s Lord Isiah ones did. In the Atlantic cellar because the Celts, improved 76ers and Raptors are so much better and even the Nets should win more.

Again, what is there to get excited about? Here’s hoping Michael Redd and Richard Jefferson combine for 60 later tonight.

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More HB: The Day After

-And so, the New York baseball season is over and it really does feel weird that both the Mets and Yankees won’t be playing meaningful baseball as October gets ready to hit. I just can’t remember what this felt like. Sure. The two teams both finished with identical records winning 89 games which meant they didn’t stink by any stretch but when you have the kind of payrolls they do, so many expectations come with it for this spoiled city which makes it all the more disappointing.

In the end, both teams despite big names proved to be flawed which was why they fell short in their postseason bids. Injuries aside, the Yankees didn’t have enough pitching or timely hitting. For some reason, they never hit the way they could’ve and too often couldn’t deliver in the clutch. That along with being a very streaky team which sometimes lacked energy kept them from putting together that run with their best ball coming way too late when the season was already lost.

The Mets also had their share of injuries but severely underperformed the first 10 weeks getting Willie Randolph axed before waking up under Jerry Manuel to get back in the race. Despite no pen to speak of, they persevered and once again were in great position to win their division before it all came crashing down in the final couple of weeks though not as badly as last year. While the pen could never be trusted and cost them a ton of games, what was most baffling was the offense which at times disappeared. How do you explain getting shutout 1-0 against the majors’ worst team the Nats? And what about scoring only five runs in the do or die weekend series against the same Marlins who danced on their field eliminating them last year? Questions will continue to linger about David Wright and Jose Reyes until they stop disappearing and carry this team back to October and beyond.

Now, it will be a long offseason for Omar Minaya with plenty of angry customers wondering why next year will be different at Citi Field. Getting a real second baseman while unloading Luis Castillo along with revamping the bullpen are just a couple of topics he must address with new record closer Francisco Rodriguez at the top of the list. It’s also likely Pedro Martinez pitched his final game as a Met after struggling mightily. And then there’s Oliver Perez, who will be seeking a deal in the neighborhood of $12-16 million per year under greedy agent Scott Boras$. Is he really worth that kind of money longterm? I say no. He’s just too unpredictable to get to that next level. What about Carlos Delgado? Do they pick up the $12 million option rewarding him for his brilliant second half or do they try to get younger going for better defense? If they let him go, it won’t be easy to replace his big bat.

As for the Yankees, they will need to decide on center field moving forward along with what they intend to do with Joba Chamberlain. If they make him a starter, then they must continue to shore up their pen. Bringing back 20-game winner Mike Mussina should be at the top of Brian Cashman’s list. Figure Andy Pettite to either retire or go elsewhere following a dismal second half. The Yanks of course need a real ace and should be in the running for C.C. Sabathia, John Lackey or A.J. Burnett with him expected to opt out of Toronto. There’s also the first base situation where they could be competing with the Angels and Mets for Mark Teixeira. Figure Jason Giambi to go elsewhere after a productive season proving he can still be a valuable DH somewhere. As for Bobby Abreu, he’s a solid run producer who gets on base but leaves something to be desired for in right which is why we see Xavier Nady shifting.

Whatever transpires over the next three months, New York baseball fans know full well their rosters won’t look the same following a quiet October.

Get ready for chaos.

-Just in case we forgot, there’s still one more regular season game to be played later today when the Twins visit the Windy City against the White Sox, who earned the one-game home playoff by getting a grand slam from overlooked rookie second baseman Alexei Ramirez in an 8-2 win over the Tigers in a makeup game Monday. They get the game despite winning their first in six thanks to the Twins dropping two of three to the Royals despite sweeping three from Ozzie Guillen’s club to pull half a game up. It’ll be John Danks going on three days rest against Nick Blackburn to decide the AL Central for the final playoff berth.

One team will advance to play the Tampa Bay Rays in the Division Series while Boston travels to California to meet the 100-win Angels.

The NL of course is all set with the Cubs taking on the Dodgers while the Phillies host the Brewers, who are in their first postseason in 26 years.

We’ll have more playoff stuff later on.

-It’s hard to choose one between each but our pick for NL MVP would be Ryan Howard for how he carried the Phillies the final month having one of the best Septembers eerily similar to when he clubbed 58 home runs and knocking in 149 to win the award two years ago. I’ve always been a huge fan of Manny Ramirez and he sure stepped up carrying the Dodgers in the final two months impacting their lineup while coming back to win the NL West. But it’s hard to pick him over Howard with how well the first base slugger finished leading his team to a 13-3 record over the final 16 pressure packed games in a very tight race.

-The same could be said for the NL Cy Young where worthy candidates like Johan Santana, Brandon Webb and Tim Lincecum all are in the running against Milwaukee rental Sabathia, who tossed a remarkable seven complete games pacing the league while turning in a money performance following Santana’s gem to get the Brewers in. For that, we’ll give the nod to Sabathia over Lincecum with Santana third and Webb fourth.

-AL MVP is a little easier and could depend on if the Twins win with Justin Morneau once again in the running against Boston tandem Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis. It’s hard to ignore Carlos Quentin’s impact with the White Sox, who haven’t been the same since he went down. To be honest, he would’ve been a lock had he not broken his wrist. If the Twins get in, Morneau should win his second MVP in three years this time edging another do everything infielder Pedroia, who resembles a young Derek Jeter. If not, give the award to Pedroia because he’s been his team’s best player since the Manny trade.

-As for AL Cy Young, Cliff Lee should get the nod handily edging out K-Rod, Dice-K and Roy Halladay. I know he won’t get a lot of consideration but Moose deserves a few votes for how well he pitched in the Bronx this year.

-What else can Joe Girardi be two-faced about and purposely hide from the media?

-It’s nice to see Brett Favre finally be allowed to open it up and get on the same page with Laveranues Coles, who caught three touchdowns for the first time in his career- half of Favre’s career high six in the Jets’ 56-35 win over Kurt Warner and the Cards. I just wonder if Gang Green fans can be pleased about their D turning a 34-0 halftime cushion into a game by allowing three straight TDs in the third quarter before Favre and the Jet offense put it away.

-Did anyone ever think the Bills and Titans would both be the only remaining unbeatens in the AFC looking like playoff locks?

-How come Terrell Owens always blames Dallas defeats on not getting him involved enough when it was about as believable as anything Sarah Palin says? Can’t he ever give credit to the opponent because the Redskins played a heck of a game and have certainly turned things around since the NFL Opener defeat to the Giants? But hey. T-Ho will always be a selfserving primadona who doesn’t care about the team concept despite his talent which is why I’d never take him on my team.

-I could do a better job than Scott Linehan did with the Rams.

-It sure took long enough for the Lions to realize Matt Millen wasn’t a good Team President. I wonder what keyed them in on that.

-When someone takes shots at the Yanks and Mets for not qualifying, just remember you could be the Tigers who gave up the world for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, who now looks like a serious rebuilding project. Tell ya one thing. Cameron Maybin sure looks good in center for the Marlins. And if Andrew Miller pans out, that’s gonna be one heck of a rotation in 2009. The Mets and Phillies might have some competition for the NL East.

-Just how ridiculous is Jim Dolan? Idiotic enough to continue bringing back Allan Houston while refusing to payoff Stephon Marbury to get him off the Knicks roster. That’s why no matter who’s running it, they’ll always be the same laughingstock.

-Now would be a good time to tell the Rangers that the NHL regular season begins in a few days over in Europe cause they have looked really bad so far. I wonder what Glen Sather thinks now of investing six years and six and a half per on Wade Redden. Just wait till the season starts up. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

-What I like about the Giant organization is they stick to their rules disciplining Plaxico Burress for missing two straight days of practice even if it was due to a personal family matter. The wideout still should’ve communicated better this way he wouldn’t be fined and have to sit out next week’s home game versus Seattle. However, there aren’t any excuses and no exceptions under Coach Coughlin which is why I believe this team can repeat. They get it!

-Someone might want to tell Jerry Jones that this isn’t the 50’s anymore when he last played organized football. He doesn’t belong on the sideline.

Boomer and Carton are a fun listen on WFAN in the morning because they work well and have solid chemistry. Listening to them rant over the Mets’ latest disappointment was good radio. Loved Carton’s nickname for Wright for failing to deliver in the clutch: “D-Rod.” A reference to Alex Rodriguez.

-I feel bad for diehard Met fans like Steve Somers, Tony Paige, Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno, who live and die with their team all year long. You can feel the emotion and terrible bitterness in their voices. Particularly Somers, who last week coming back from a great Weezer concert sounded heartbroken over a costly extra inning defeat to the Cubs. You could really tell how badly he wanted to see them get in and reverse last year.

They all did and showed so much. Maybe if the Mets had played with as much energy as they brought to the WFAN airwaves, they wouldn’t be sitting home instead getting ready for Lou Piniella’s Cubs. They might get paid to talk sports but they wear the Mets’ logo as a badge of honor as did outstanding play-by-play man Howie Rose.

Nobody ever likes to get their hearts broken. Especially by their favorite sports team which is what can make following sports so crazy. One minute, you’re as high as the sky and the next you feel like burying yourself under the sand.

It’s the real diehards who never abandon ship who shall always get my sorrows. Cause it takes a lot sometimes to stay with a team that constantly gives you heartache.

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LeBron goes for 50 in Cavs’ win at Garden

LeBron James lit up the Knicks. Well, is it really a stretch that the 23 year-old MVP candidate went for 50 in the Cavaliers’ 119-106 win at The Garden earlier tonight?

Come on. You know better. Especially when it comes to the Dumb and Dumber Clown Management 101 philosophy which excludes actual team defense along with any sort of logic.

Anyone who coughed up a few bucks to go was there for one reason only. To witness one of the NBA’s best superstars. Well, how about that? That Nike LeBron commercial looks prophetic:

“We are all witnesses.”

You knew James would lead his Cavs to victory. The two questions were by how many and how much would he get? He wound up with his second 50-point night of the season and fifth of already a brilliant career.

“I’ve dreamed about playing well in this building and it’s overtaken of how I could ever dream about,” the affable James expressed to the Associated Press after shooting 16-of-30 from the field including a deadly seven from downtown on 13 attempts.

“To get a standing ovation in the greatest basketball arena in the world, it was a dream come true for me. It’s one of the best things that ever happened to me.”

Hey. Still some of the most knowledgable hoops fans (despite losing braincells from how dreadful these Knicks are) have to find something to appreciate in such a pathetic season which now has their team a cool 25 under (18-43). 

The one and only Walt “Clyde” Frazier likes to refer to their team as “heroes.” Try more like zeroes as there’s nothing heroic about this NBA laughingstock. All you ever get is that same idiotic stoic look on Lord Isiah’s ghostly face. Yeah. He’s going to hell alright and taking the ship with him. Welcome to Team Titanic. Jim Dolan has a nice seat up above as the New York Knickerbocker boat goes down probably with some cheap cigar and one of his band’s third rate blues songs.

Did we mention that the Knicks only trailed by two entering the final 12 minutes before predictably doing what they do best. Tanking in crunch time. They were outscored 35-23 by the Cavs with James cashing four of his three’s when it mattered most.

He did all this after injuring his right pinky on a dunk attempt back in the opening quarter. No matter as he notched 20 first half points on an efficient 7-of-12 which included a fadeaway trey at the buzzer.

Just how special is LeBron? He also made history by becoming the first player to score at least 50, hand out 10 assists and grab eight rebounds since legendary NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Jan.19, 1975.

“The 3-ball for him, that’s the shot that you would hope that he takes,” said Dumb and Dumber Team President Isiah Thomas of James’ lethal shooting from long range. “However, when he makes them like that, he’s virtually unguardable because he’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast and he’s unselfish, also. He’ll give the ball up.”

Thomas’ club trailed by only a point with less than four and a half left but predictably got outscored 11-1 with James nailing three trifectas keying the spurt to put the game out of reach at 110-99 with over two minutes remaining.

James was even congratulated in person by a diehard fan after he exited to loud cheers with 23 ticks left.

“It was a great feeling. You get a fan to come down there to express the way he feels about you … told me I was his favorite player, that never happens,” he noted.

“I respect him, I respect his pride and for him to come out there and tell me something like that face to face, it’s like the (most) unbelievable thing that ever happened to me.”

His proud coach Mike Brown summed up the special night quite well:

“You can’t take it for granted because he’s that good. He’s just a great player. I try not to because coaching a guy like that, working with a guy like that, it’s probably a once in a lifetime deal. You just try to take advantage of every second that you’re with him.”

Now imagine LeBron playing on the grandest stage. On second thought, don’t. It’s enough to make you sick. He’d probably somehow be ruined.

Just ask Stephon Marbury.

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Marbury banned by Isiah from Knicks games

Stephon Marbury's Knick career hasn't gone quite the way he liked.Dumb and Dumber Clown Management 101 philosopher Lord Isiah somehow still keeps his job.

The circus is always in town at 33rd and Seventh in Manhattan. As long as the Knicks are around as an actual NBA franchise at least, there will be plenty of popcorn, cotton candy, refreshments and entertainment in NYC. If only that included a winning basketball team.

In case you didn’t catch last night’s Knick game, they fell in Atlanta 99-93 to a franchise that at least now has a pulse and wants to become competitive and maybe reach the playoffs. Though it’s still hard to get too excited about an NBA team eight under .500 who believe it or not are just a half game behind the 76ers for the final Eastern playoff berth.

Man. Doesn’t that make one realize just how pathetic these Knicks actually are. If they had a season like last year, they might have even been competing in the playoffs. Instead, the Dumb and Dumber Clown Management 101 tradition must be preserved as a once respectable NBA franchise sinks lower and lower under co-founder Lord Isiah while Team President Jim Dolan takes his second rate jazz band on the road to play more blues.

Maybe he should write a new song entitled, “Knickerbocker Blues.” It’s got a nice ring to it and could be an improvement over what JD and The Straight Shot are performing these days.

So, how would it go? I’ll just try a few lines cause this really isn’t the main topic of this entry which as per usual I haven’t gotten to.

“Knickerbocker Blues”

There’s a man sittin’ front and center

Who’s watching his losing team in complete misery

He have his head down watching Lord Isiah the mentor

And the losing basketball be makin’ him completely dizzy

Cause he’s got a bad case of dem Knickerbocker blues

And already lit like a Christmas tree needing even more booze

This CEO be so depressed and obsessed with not doing what’s right

Just to tick off the beat writers and booing fans catching so much spite

He got dem sad sack potato Knickerbocker blues

Alright, enough of that already! I’m good. If you sing it in a BB King blues voice, it doesn’t sound too bad. 😆

So, while Isiah’s team was finding another way to lose to de-prove to 18-40 despite Zach “Happy Meal” Randolph’s 29, 17 and even five dimes, the misplaced Coach/GM (General Moron) made some news off the court yesterday. According to New York Post beat writer Marc Berman, Thomas has banned former starting PG Stephon Marbury from attending games at Madison Square Garden.

Since having what appeared to be season-ending ankle surgery on Jan.22, the former Lincoln Railsplitter star began rehab 12 days prior at the team’s practice facility up in Westchester. Coney Island’s Finest wanted to rejoin his teammates and support them from the bench but has basically been shut out by the coach.

Thomas apparently wouldn’t discuss Marbury’s future with the club leading to speculation that he’s going to buy out the remaining $21 million left on the contract. He blames the Coney Island native for why the team fell apart citing the episode in Phoenix last November for how things turned out.

Maybe if Thomas would just look in the mirror and notice how badly he mishandled it, he’d inflict a ban on himself. He’s such a freaking hypocrite. Who polled the rest of the team asking if Marbury should be allowed back only to turn their back on players voting against the embattled guard returning???

Nothing’s ever Thomas’ fault. He needs about a 100 foot mirror for his ego. It’s always the players. Well, who assembled the NBA’s fifth worst team which lacks cohesion and leadership and also coaches it?

Who brought in Randolph to replace Eddy Curry, who basically sits on the bench most of the night while earning a big salary to do zilch?

How does this joker keep his job? He was a great player and knew what it took to win leading the Bad Boy Pistons to consecutive NBA titles. However, he’s just awful as an executive. Just ask the extinct CBA.

Some former star players just aren’t cut out for running a franchise. See Willis Reed.

Nobody would dispute how disappointing Marbury’s Knick career has been. He made an ass out of himself on national TV last summer with bizarre commentary while appearing on NBC’s Miked Up with Bruce Beck.

However, what Thomas is doing to Marbury here is completely wrong. Once again, he’s blameless. Hasn’t Steph suffered enough in losing his Dad and an uncle this season?

It’s never ever Lord Isiah’s fault. Nope. Couldn’t be. What’s that coaching record again the past couple of years entering tonight’s game at Orlando?

There’s a reason this team is an embarrassing 38 games under .500 (51-89) in Thomas’ two seasons behind the bench. Hey Isiah! You are what your record says you are no matter how many of Dolan’s paychecks you cash.

Time to wake the f up!

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