Kallas Remarks by Steve Kallas – Hard to believe what has happened to the Knicks and the NBA in New York City:
Whether you think Carmelo is a selfish athlete or not, this All-Star weekend took the cake. After decades of athletes in all sports deciding to “skip the All-Star game to get healthy” or “to rest” or whatever, Carmelo went the opposite way – he decided to play in the All-Star game and then decided it would be best to have knee surgery and miss the rest of the season.
To say that decision is inexplicable is to be kind. What’s also inexplicable is the fact that Phil Jackson (you never really thought that he would coach this team, did you? see Kallas Remarks, 4/22/14) seems to be fine with the decision.
To add insult to injury (that would be a literal knee injury), Carmelo had a horrific All-Star game. Is it really possible to shoot 6 for 20 in a 163-158 game where defense wasn’t even optional? Hard to believe (as was his playing 30 minutes) that this actually happened.
But it did. The silver lining in all of this, of course, is the Knicks now have an even better chance to get the top draft pick in the next NBA draft. Even if they get that pick, however, the Knicks are so far away from a championship that Knick fans can’t even see one.
Thankfully, “1973” can’t be chanted in visiting arenas like “1940” was – once upon a time (too many syllables). Having said that, there seems to be a good chance that the Knicks may very well get to the 54 years that Ranger fans had to wait for their championship – the Knicks are at 42 and counting.
Down is up, up is down. Which brings us to …
It’s hard to believe, sometimes, the lack of intelligence that some team owners in sports show when it comes to dealing with fans. Irving Bierman, a 73-year-old (frustrated, and rightfully so) Knick fan living in Florida, sent a complaining e-mail to the Knick owner, probably never thinking that Dolan would read it. Bierman’s thought that Dolan should sell the team is a good one (ask any real Knick fan).
But the gazillionaire Knick owner, in his infinite wisdom, inexplicably decided to reply to someone he knew nothing about, typing gems like “You are a sad person” and “You most likely have made your family miserable. Alcoholic maybe” (apparently, Mr. Bierman doesn’t drink).
The stupidity level in that reply e-mail is hard to quantify. But suffice it to say that one might expect the 73-year-old Knick fan to write the unintelligent stuff and the owner of the team to brush it off or reply with class or simply ignore it.
No such luck at MSG.
Down is up, up is down. Which brings us to …
The latest NBA Commissioner became almost a national hero of sorts when he dropped an anvil on an over 80-year-old fool (the former owner of the Clippers) after a less than 72-hour investigation. While virtually everybody agrees that Donald Sterling shouldn’t own an NBA team, in that sick world (NBA team ownership), Sterling was paid two billion dollars (yes, with a B) to just go away. Whatever you think of free speech, Silver was anointed the new sheriff in town.
But then came his ill-timed comments when New Jersey was trying to have limited sports betting at Monmouth Park. Silver essentially said that he, too, thought it was time for legal sports betting across the country but that he just didn’t agree with the way that New Jersey was going about it.
So, while he was arguing in court (through NBA lawyers in New Jersey) against New Jersey for their attempt to institute limited sports betting, he was writing an op-ed in the New York Times supporting what he was arguing against in court (albeit in a different way than New Jersey was attempting to do it).
So certainly the brilliant (by many accounts) new Commissioner of the NBA would smack down James Dolan, fine him $50,000 (chump change for Dolan, to be given to a charity, no doubt), reprimand him and talk about how passionate NBA fans, and especially Knick fans, are. Right?
Well, not exactly.
Inexplicably (there’s that word again), Adam Silver came to Jim Dolan’s rescue, actually stating that (according to the New York Post) “Jim is a consummate New Yorker. Jim got an unkind email and responded with an unkind email.”
While Adam Silver apparently grew up in the beautiful Westchester town of Rye, New York, he doesn’t quite understand what a “consummate New Yorker” is – indeed, he plays into a national stereotype of what New Yorkers are. Maybe it’s different if you grew up in the suburbs, but the consummate New Yorker has a clue, is passionate about the teams he or she roots for and expresses his or her opinion in an intelligent way. In no way, shape or form is James Dolan a consummate New Yorker (talk about an insult to all New Yorkers).
Down is up, up is down.
One would hope that the owner of a professional sports franchise would take the high road or at least say nothing at all.
One would hope that the commissioner of a major sports league would see the obvious, reprimand and fine the owner and stick up for the 60-year Knick fan who vented his frustrations.
One would hope that the star of the local NBA team would skip the All-Star (meaningless exhibition) game and try and get healthy to help his team win games that, you know, count.
But when down is up and up is down, no such luck in New York City.
© Copyright 2015 by Steve Kallas. All rights reserved.