Eddy Curry is done. Never has an injury been more of a relief for player, coach and crowd than this one. Word came down yesterday that he will go under the surgeon's knife to repair torn cartilage in his right knee. If Isiah is back as coach next season, meaning I will have to come to grips with the fact my prayers have been unanswered and the reality that aetheism is an available life-choice, then it seems likely that Curry will not be. We may never see that big posterior in a New York Knicks uniform again. Which, as bad as he's been this season, I think is a shame.
His average dipped below 14 points for the season as he got buried further down the bench. It is a pity that his amazing 2006 had to be followed by a year as bad as this one. It's my opinion that Isiah has ruined this kid. I'm not sure if he did it just by brining in Zach Randolph or whether it was telling the press that old-fashioned Big Men are like dinosaurs. Either way, Isiah ruined this kid this season just when he looked poised to break out. It's a shame. For the Knicks and for Eddy.
Last night at Chelseas Piers in Manhattan was the ninth annual Knicks Bowl, the ballclub's charity bowling event. I was not there. And, not because I don't like bowling. Or, the prospect of hanging around with Mardy Collins.
I was not there because the price for an individual ticket for this affair was $1,250. Yipes. That ticket price gained you entrance to the lanes, the chance to bowl with undisclosed Knickerbockers and "celebrities." You're also entitled to dinner, drinks and a gift bag. Hopefully the gift bag is just filled with some of the money you paid to get in.
Of course, if you couldn't scrape together that sort of scratch for a solo ticket then you could get together a group of eight to reserve your own lane for the night. You and your seven richest friends would also get to bowl with undisclosed Knicks and "celebrities" while eating, drinking and complaining about the crappy gift bags. All of this could be yours (and your seven friends') for the price of $10,000.
But, this is a charity event so I guess there is no complaining about the ticket price. And, since this is the ninth time that they've held this event they must be able to round up enough dough so that it is fiscally feasible for Chelsea Piers to push off Thursday's League Night for one week. The money raised goes to benefit the Garden of Dreams Foundation. This is a non-profit that uses the money it raises to put on "make-a-wish" sort of things for impoverished or terminally ill kids in the New York City area. The fact that it is run by the Garden makes me a tad bit suspicious that they do much good but you can't really take any shots at a group pledged to helping kids who need help.
In the past the "celebrities" have included Jay-Z, Dave Chappelle and Spike Lee. David Blaine and Matthew Modine have knocked down a few pins and likely a few cocktails with well-heeled Knicks fans too.Based on the few pics I saw there were Knicks players, their wayward, smiling coach, DJ Clue, D'Brick of the Jets and a lot of models and Knicks Dancers in attendance last night. I guess bowling with leggy models and limber dancers is probably way better than doing the same with David Blaine and Matthew Modine. Although I guess we could have all had blast remembering our favorite scenes from Modine’s HBO movie And the Band Played On. Or not.
And, then in the middle of all of this is charity and model-y goodness is Isiah Thomas smiling his chesire cat smile. I think seeing him smile that smile makes me want him gone even more. Even when the team was winning 50 games you were never going to see Jeff Van Gundy smile like that. He would look like he had just been robbed and bludgeoned with Karl Malone's ill-gotten 1997 MVP trophy. I guess Billy Shakespeare was thinking of Isiah when he wrote, "One may smile and smile and be a villian." And, doesn't Nate look like he knows it here? Robinson has the look on his face of a guy getting caught at the local movie theater on a week night with the fat chick from high school during that first Christmas break at home during freshman year of college. Fatty, in this case Isiah, is totally psyched and having a great time, while Nate doesn't want to make eye contact with anyone. He was never even going to tell his friends that he went out with this girl. He just wants the conversation to end so that everyone can go there separate ways and he can act like this didn't happen.
And, lastly, it would seem like a missed opportunity to actually write about bowling and not mention Big Ern. Right?
Speaking of being around the Internets, What Would Oakley Do? has been traveling around this series of tube lately. Wednesday night it was Deadspin, yesterday morning it was The Big Lead and sort of ESPN. And, it is the whole brouhaha with the Worldwide Leader that got this very site mentioned again today over at Milk Was a Bad Choice. If you haven't seen this blog it is just as good as its name sounds. Check it out.
1. Amare Stoudemire. With the Big Stoplight tethered to the bench with foul trouble, Amare showed the Warriors and a national television audience that he is the Suns frontcourt player that every team best be game-planning for. He ran and jumped and dunked and blocked and rebounded the Suns to an important win. When the final whistle blew on the 123-115 Phoenix win, Amare had amassed 36 points, 11 boards, 4 blocks and 6 assists. Not only did the Suns show Golden State (who had taken three on the trot from the Suns) that they are still the best at the up-tempo game but they moved themselves back into striking distance of the teams ahead of them.
2. Tyrese Rice. This guy. If there was ever a doubt about Boston College coach Al Skinner’s ability to teach the game of basketball and turn out well-rounded players then the career of Rice should dispel them forever. Rice arrived at Chestnut Hill as a chucker. As a freshman he would come off the bench and shoot and shoot and shoot and shoot. He would make a lot of these shots but he was a smaller, leaner Zach Randolph. Except with even less of conscience on the court. And, now, he is the poised, upper classman leader doing his best to hold together a team with 10 freshman and sophomores seeing most of the minutes. Yes, he can still fill it up with the very best of them (his 45 against UNC two weeks ago prove that) but he understands the flow of play and manages the game in a way that is remarkable if you watched him two seasons ago. And, last night he put a floundering group of freshman and sophomores on his slight but muscled shoulders and scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half of an upset win over Maryland in the first round of the ACC tournament. BC is still two wins under five hundred but if Rice can lead the team on Gerry McNamara/Syracuse type run than perhaps they could squeak into the NIT in this rebuilding year.
3. The Big East Tournament. While other conferences are playing their games in places with names like the FedEx Forum (C-USA), Boardwalk Hall (A-10), Sprint Center (Big 12) and the creatively named Charlotte Bobcats Arena (ACC), the Big East is playing their tournament in the Mecca. They get to play in Madison Square Garden. How can it not seem like a bigger deal? And, perhaps inspired by the hallowed boards the players tread, the games more often than not live up to the venue. Yesterday and last night were no exceptions. Georgetown hit 17 3-pointers to hold off Villanova. Pittsburgh upset Louisville in overtime. West Virginia shocked UConn. And, we’re just getting started.
4. Baron Davis. Though his team lost last night Davis once again showcased his revitalized game. He has truly been a revalation playing for Oakland. His combination of strength and speed and beardedness set him apart from every other point guard right now. He is really a BIGGER version of an in-his-prime Marbury (although he can’t pass quite as well as Steph). He scored 38 last night and was one rebound and two assists shy of a triple-double.
5. Caron Butler. After being out so long he must have had to drop ten grand on new suits, the All-Star guard finally returned to the Wizards lineup last night. And to my Fantasy team. His 16-games of injury started out as a day-to-day hip flexor issue. He scored 19 in his first night back, which is pretty impressive and had one nice behind the back dribble along the baseline to show that he didn’t rust over too much. Oh, and the Wizards held of the Lebronaliers for a narrow win.
Benched. ESPN.com. If you read this site then you know that I fought the law yesterday. And, I guess, it was a draw. I fought the law and it was a draw. Not quite as catchy as that song. While I can take some satisfaction in the fact that there were people seemingly scrambling to change stuff for an hour or two up in Bristol, I surely didn’t win anything. I didn’t get an apology for anything. Anyways, I can only hope that the drama was entertaining on some level and apologize for letting that dominate the day at WWOD?.
Benched. Bubble Teams. I don’t know if I remember a day when so many teams with a win-one-and-they’re-safe game ahead of them spit the bit before. Syracuse lost. Florida lost. Maryland lost. Oregon lost. Baylor lost. Arizona State lost. Villanova lost. And Mississippi lost. Now, I guess since virtually every bubble team lost yesterday this means that it’s a wash. Or, does it mean that we can finally extend invites to the twenty-something win #2 teams from the smaller conferences rather than the #7 or #8 teams from the power groups.