Sunday, 18 January 2015
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
Cut some holes into those paper bags of yours Knickerbocker fans, because you wont be taking them off for a while yet. Things are really rotten in the Big Apple right now...all the way down to the core. New York City may be the Times Square neon hotbed of the whole planet, while the worlds most famous arena, Madison Square Garden may be the Mecca, but the team that play in it and call it home are certainly not. Still working on their worst losing streak in history, this team couldn't even impress in England's capital city of London last week. Megastar Carmelo Anthony must wonder just what he signed on for...again. Between ageing stars like Stoudemire, the son of a more famous ballplayer in Tim Hardaway Jnr and a cast of D-League call-ups there's not much here right now. Even bringing in legendary 70's, Frazier/Monroe era champ and legendary head Phil Jackson to the front office fold, with his former Laker clutch winning champion Derek Fisher as coach hasn't helped much. The most impressive yard work the Garden has done these past few years is give itself a lick of paint. It sure has been a long time since the golden era of Patrick Ewing made this Garden of basketball eden bloom. This new "Knicks Tape" today has its reels caught in the deck as it all unravels. 90's kids know how annoying this is. So as you read all about our new 'New York Times Series' celebrating N.Y.C., Big Apple ball we collaborate with our musical, sister blog Amps & 808s 'Tape Deck Shuffle' special to give you mixtape highlights and a playlist melody of some of the best intended but worst ended plays (and their song tributes) in recent Knick rundowns. Let the players play...
Latrell Sprewell (50 Cent-Don't Push Me): Sitting on the 23's of his rim business and some Jordan heir, lofty expectations, Sprewell's on court play was as explosive as a hand grenade (you saw the basket for basket duel with Vince Carter). Pity his off court activity was like a negative, C4 equivalent. From choking out a coach in Golden State to begin, to claiming all the millions in Minnesota wasn't enough to feed his family for his career curtain call. At that point no one was spending that on Spree! Now where is he? Did he sail away on that yacht?
Allan Houston (Jermaine Dupri-Money 'Aint A Thing): When it comes to Houston there wasn't really an on-court problem. Allen was one if the best three point shooters in recent history and memory and on his night he was as pure a scorer as he was from downtown Manhattan. The problem remained (and still does to this day) and lay with the massive contract the Knicks offered him as he signed up to his biggest payday that Spree could only have dreamed of. Its a corrosive contract that eat into the Big Apple teams salary cap and their ability to sign more core players. It still haunts them to this day and age of expectation defiance.
Marcus Camby (Johnny Cash-Hurt): The Camby man was ready to make it all candy land in the Big Apple. Still it wasn't all toffee apples or Knickerbocker glory once they started the post, Ewing big man age early by traitor trading their legend to the Seattle Supersonics, which was just never right. Camby's defensive blocks of the year and dunk exciting game overcame his wiry frame but so did chronic injury. He made comebacks to the M.S.G. court, even after he left. But like 33 it was never the same.
Remix-We all remember the time Heat, All-Star MVP and Laker champion Glen Rice passed up that shot. Or when Denver Nuggets great Antonio McDyess came as a big signing and then blew out his knee on his debut and then again on his comeback. While when it came to Chris Childs and Charlie Ward these good players and the Knicks didn't quite get the point.
Stephon Marbury (Nas-N.Y. State Of Mind): Coney Island birthed one of the city of New York's greatest players from a playground famous for its Point Guards, from the Pee Wee of the Rucker to Tiny Nate Archibald. Marbury stayed pretty close as a New Jersey Net with his impressive and inspired career start. Then traded to the Suns for future Brooklyn Nets (a team Steph would have been perfect for) coach Jason Kidd it would take a few years before he'd rise again from the ashes like a Phoenix. Coming home finally to New York as a Knick under the coaching tutelage of P.G. general legend Isaiah Thomas it looked like the perfect storybook ending, but read the last chapter of the book 'The Last Shot' and you'll know just how close this kid was to tragedy. Some big trouble and little teams in China followed and recently this week gone Stephon has opened up about depression and past thoughts of suicide. We just hope he knows how much he means to New York basketball as a whole.
Eddie Curry (Lupe Fiasco-Food & Liquor): Another big a## contract that liked to eat away at the Big Apple. When Eddie entered the league he was currying favour in Chicago, alongside fellow Baby Bull drafted Tyson Chandler (who would end up having a much better career in blue and orange and is sorely missed by the Knicks today) as the new Duncan and Robinson twin towers in this post age...if you replaced the admiral with Shaq. Still despite all the potential and flashes of brilliance, by the time the hot Curry hit New York he shaped up to being...well out of shape and playing for the city whose hot dog stands on every street corner never sleeps wasn't the most excellent menu choice. The weight of Curry's career could have been so much more...if he just gave up some.
J.R. Smith (Kanye West-Cant Tell Me Nothing): 'Sixth Man Of The Year', dunking dynamo, scoring machine, power house player at his peak! What's not to like? How about a laundry list of problems when it comes to Mr. Smith? Who's going to give J.R. a shot when he causes his team as much trouble off the court as he does when he's trying to shoot through a streaky slump with more bricks building a wall of Knick stink round the Garden like manure on roses? Their was that 'Casino' betrayal, passive aggressive meme when his called up brother was cut and that's just what the public saw. Locker room cancer is unfair but he was far from a remission when it came to unifying his squad in chips down times. Wearing the number 8 in his pre-trade New York Times, in more ways than one he was the second coming of Sprewell and you just know how much the Knicks wanted and needed more of that. Look, this Cavalier guy is truly a great player and spark plug at his best...but at his worst? Lets just say he's Cleveland's problem now.
Remix-Larry Hughes, Baron Davis, Tim Thomas, Channing Frye, Jerome James, David Lee, Zach Randolph, Jamal Crawford, Al Harrington, Jared Jeffries, Quentin Richardson, Nate Robinson, Mike Sweetney, Wilson Chandler, Landry Fields, Iman Shumpert and of course the Linsanity. Need we say anymore on this deep, guest star posse cut? Too many ballplayers, not enough balls.