Friday, January 25, 2008

"No, baby. That's just jokes. That Ed sure is funny."

Or, how the Knicks are officially a source of humor far and wide.

The Knicks have been laughed at for a while now. Looking at this season as a whole (and, yes, a case can easily be made that the team has been a joke for a longer time) I would say with certainty that the tipping point from mediocrity too punchline occurred on November 29, 2007.

That, of course, was the night of the epic loss at the hands of the Celtics. Two days earlier, our old friend Reggie Miller primed the pump with these choice (and accurate) words on the ball club:
"Right now, they are a league-wide joke," Miller said. "It's sad because they are an historic and iconic franchise. But people think they are late night comedy jokes."

Within hours of those words being uttered the Knicks were down by 52 points in the second half on national television, Sir Charles and Kenny the Jet were in hysterics at the ineptitude and the damage was done. From that point on the team has been late-night monologue fodder. Just a week and a half ago Letterman took another shot at the team in a monologue. Isiah, Dolan and everyone else associated with the franchise has seemingly gone out of their way to find every banana peel since then. In other words, kicking out fans hasn't helped the image problems.

Just when you think it can't get worse, when you think that we're putting some things together and Nate is looking good, it invariably does get worse and these two recent events showcase that nicely.

1. While on a road trip to LA Suns guard Leandro Barbosa fell victim to a hoax where his hotel gave him a message saying that Suns GM Steve Kerr wanted to meet him to discuss a trade to the New York Knicks. Barbosa, understandably, freaked and went storming off to track down his coach. He later said the joke about being traded to the Knicks was a "terrible thing... Every time I hear the word ‘trade,’ … it’s just not a comfortable word for me at all. This is my team. I went a little crazy.”

The Punchline: The Knicks are now a threat. If you misbehave...we'll send you to the Knicks. Nice.

2. LA Clippers coach, Mike Dunleavy said, responding to owner Donald Sterling saying that the 12-5 Clippers could be a playoff team despite not having All-Star Elton Brand all season, that the Clippers would be foolish to make trades that would only help them this year. This seems like a fairly benign and sensible statement. But, Dunleavy then justifies his feelings with this gem:
"I would only make deals to help our future — anything else is suicide. Anything else and you become the New York Knicks. Now if you want to do that and take on big contracts and long-term deals to potentially hit a home run or get some kind of turnaround, that's not the direction I would go as a businessman or if I owned the team."

The Punchline: Your management style is so foolish you could work for the Knicks. Oh! Snap!

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