The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘New York Knicks’

Ship B Sinkin’

Posted by keithosaunders on February 16, 2017

The subject of my post is, admittedly, wishful thinking, but anytime I have the opportunity to quote the great Knick, Michael J. Richardson, I jump at the chance.

Less than a month into the Trump administration it is in a disarray of epic proportions.  Just perhaps, and I’m going out on a limb here, it might have been best to hire people who had some actual experience working in government.  At any rate, this miserable group of generals and billionaires are by any measure rotten to the core and we, the people, are going to have to batten down the hatches to make it through the next four years.  Is there a class I can take in battening?

With Michael Flynn’s resignation the first domino fell.  He was on the phone with Russia more often than I call my bookie, but I’ve said too much!  There isn’t a chance in hell that he acted on his own but the question is will a public grown accustomed to suckling on the teat of 140 character tweets have the attention span for a Watergate-esque scandal.

Just to be on the safe side I’m brushing up on my Prokofiev sonatas.

trump-putin-puppet

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Taping’s finest hour

Posted by keithosaunders on April 21, 2011

 This is a great time of year for sports — the baseball season is in full swing and the NBA and NHL playoffs have begun.  The overlap can be overwhelming, but thanks to the miracle of the DVR, taping multiple ongoing events is a reality, making it possible for the sports fan to live the dream.  Of course, even with modern technology all it takes is for one caveman to spoil your evening by divulging the score of a taped event.  There are numerous other pitfalls to avoid as well.  Here then is a recounting of one of my most successful taping days:  This past Sunday, the 17th, in the year of our sports god 2011.

 
I had a gig, but wanted to see game two of Rangers/Captitals, and Knicks/Celtics, as well as catch the end of Rockies/Cubs.  As long as I was already taping the Knicks, I figured I may as well set the DVR to record the second half of the NBA doubleheader, Nuggets/Thunder.  The baseball Giants were playing, but I knew they would be on the TV at the bar I was gigging at, so I opted not to record their game.

When I started the car, I turned on the Giants game on the radio to hear the 9th inning — they were leading the Diamondbaks 5-4 at the time.  The first thing out of Jon Miller’s mouth was,  “It’s over in Colorado….”   Quick as a cat, I whipped my hand to the radio and turned off the volume, avoiding hearing the score.  I then (carefully) changed the station. 
 
As predicted, the Giants game was being shown on the TV at the bar.  It was an extra inning game and I was thinking, “good, let it go 20 innings and they’ll never change it to the Knicks)  BUT…by the first break the game had ended and the Knicks was on one TV, and Sportscenter was on the other.  Fortunately I live in a town where people don’t give a rats ass about any teams other than the locals, so I was in little danger of anyone commenting on the games.  What’s more, this fellow ex-New Yorker sax player came in.  He had also taped the Knicks and he warned me not to tell him anything.  Me, spoil a taped event?!  Did he realize who he was talking to?
 
At one point I accidentally looked at the TV showing Sportscenter  and of course the Rockies/Cubs highlights were on, but miraculously I didn’t see the score.
 
The rest of the night passed without incident and I arrived home to savor my spoils.  I stayed up late watching everything except for the second half of the Denver game, but I finished watching it the following day at lunch without knowing the ending. 

And that’s how you record multiple events.

Posted in sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Mellowing on Melo

Posted by keithosaunders on April 19, 2011

Back in February when the Knicks made the blockbuster deal with Denver, trading half of their squad for Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, and a cast of thousands, the sports punditry proclaimed, “When you have a chance to obtain someone of that caliber, you must make the move.”  I ask you, what caliber?  Where is the brilliance we were promised; the prodigious scoring, and the seven rebounds per game?

All I see is a player who chucks up threes with reckless abandon.  To be fair, that’s all any Knick, save for Amare Stoudemire, does.  Never mind that there isn’t a team in the history of the NBA that has won a championship by relying on the trey as their main line of attack.  Coach Mike D’antoni is committed to this style of play, and his team has bought into the system.

The Knicks should have won game one of their playoff series with Boston.  They let a 12 point lead evaporate by eschewing penetration while chucking up brick after brick from beyond the arc.

When you have a player with the reputation and the stature of an Anthony, I expect more than just a three-point shooter.  WIth four seconds remaining in the game, with his team down by two, Carmelo’s answer was to fire up yet another desperation three.  You would think, without a clear look at the basket, he would try to get to the line to tie the game and send it into overtime.  Not this player, and not on this team.

Posted in basketball | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

A different take on the Melo trade

Posted by keithosaunders on February 27, 2011

A few days ago I posted about the Carmelo Anthony trade, saying that the Knicks had mortgaged their future.  Shortly after posting I received a great rebuttal from Sherm, whose blog is called The Widening Geier. 

Mortgaged their future? I think you have it exactly backwards. This was about getting another bona fide scorer to build around in the future irrespective of the needs of this year’s team. True, this year’s team can’t rebound or play defense, but they’ll try to compliment Melo and Amar’e with guys who can over the next couple of years. Trading away young players and sacrificing cap space for guys who would fill the holes in this year’s team (rebounding and defense) would have been mortgaging the future. Clearly, the plan is to save cap space to add either Chris Paul or Deron Williams after next season and then get some cheap role players to defend and rebound. And lets not forget that Melo is a premier rebounding small forward as well.

The only player of any value they gave up was Gallinari. Chandler is a restricted FA at the end of the year and they were not going to waste cap space resigning him. Randolph has no offensive game at all. Mozgov was a project with terrible hands. Felton is a nice player, but a dime a dozen point guard and only under contract for one more year (same as Billips). They gave Felton two years knowing that Paul and Williams would be free agents after 2011-12 season.

Sherm makes a great point about Melo’s rebounding — in his Knicks debut he pulled down 10 boards versus the Bucks.  This to go along with his team-high 27 points.  Another great point is that after years of being saddled with salary-cap restrictions, the Knicks are finally in a position of having room to sign star players.  Clearly they will be able to augment this lineup in the offseason.

My problem with this team continues to be the coach — Mike D’antoni —  who is content to live and die by the three-point shot.  No matter how many great shooting forwards or point guards that the Knicks add, I cannot see them winning more than one round of playoffs playing the level of D that we have grown accustomed to under D’antoni.

Posted in basketball | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Clusterfuck of the stars

Posted by keithosaunders on February 23, 2011

I remember when sports used to be fun.  You rooted for your team year in and year out and for the most part it had the same cast of characters — turnover was gradual.  Growing up in Los Angeles, come spring we could count on the Dodgers fielding an infield of Garvey, Lopes, Russell and Cey.  In the fall we would look forward to seeing Jack and Jim Youngblood anchoring the Rams defense; a few years before that it was Deacon Jones and Merlin Olsen.

These days it is rare to have a core group of players playing for the same team for a sustained period of time.  Recently we’re seeing a trend of high-profile players, who through collusion, or the desire to play for a championship team, have managed to find a way to circumvent the NBA’s salary cap and play for the same team. 

We’ve seen this for years with the New York Yankees and Boston Redsox.  Players such as Roger Clemens or David Cone would come to New York after denying trades to other teams in order to pick up their ring.  (the Yankees didn’t win a Series with Johnson, largely because he was terrible in the playoffs)

Last year, when Lebron James announced he was leaving Cleveland for South Beach, and Chris Bosh followed suit from Toronto, I said to myself, “this stinks on ice.”  How great would it have been had Lebron stayed in Cleveland and brought them to the promised land?  He would have been an all time hero.  Instead his ring will be reduced to the staus of foregone conclusion.

With yesterday’s blockbuster trade of Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks we have a grouping of stars that is as puzzling as it is annoying.  Why would a team that is second in the league in scoring trade for another offensive player?  The Knicks can’t rebound and play defense — now they have mortgaged their future for a one-dimensional player who is anything but a proven winner. 

It turns out that last summer, at Anthony’s wedding, New Orleans Hornets point guard, Chris Paul, made a toast in which he suggested that he, Amare Stoudemire, and Anthony team up in New York.  Two thirds of that ring-seeking triumvirate are in place.   

Carmelo Anthony

Posted in sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Clyde

Posted by keithosaunders on January 13, 2011

Those of you not lucky enough to live in the New York area have probably not heard the greatest color commentator in the NBA.  I am speaking, of course, of one-time Knicks guard Walt Frazier.  One the things I miss most about living in New York is not getting to hear him on a regular basis.

As a star point guard he quarterbacked the Knicks to their only two championships in 1970 and 1973.  At one point he held Knick records for assists, points, free throws, field goals made, and free throws made.  Most of these records would later be eclipsed by Patrick Ewing but his assist record stands to this day.

As an announcer there is no one like him.  Not only does he have a mellifluous voice but his cadence is extremely rhythmical.  There is something musical, not only about the words he chooses, but how he delivers them. 

He has a way of working rhymes into his analysis.  Some people find this corny — I think it’s great.  

The Knicks are dishin’ and swishin; Ewing is dupin’ and hoopin. 

He has a great vocabulary and he uses words in interesting ways and his metaphors are vibrant.  You can tell that Frazier would have been a great jazz musician; he is improvising with words.   

It’s not just the rhymes, it’s the delivery and the timing.  When you listen to Clyde you feel as if you are stepping into a time machine and emerging in the early 1970s.  He’s got an aura of flash and cool about him.  It’s as if you can hear the mohair suit and the mutton chops!

“He [Raymond Felton] diligently works on denying his man the ball.  He’s become the catalyst for the team’s improved defense.  Then the other teams’ big guys have to try to orchestrate, but then they’re in disarray and turn the ball over.”

Recently I’ve stumbled upon a Clyde impersonater on twitter.  You can tell that this guy has immersed himself in Frazier-isms and his feed is a loving tribute.  Here are a few samples.  His name is ‘notwaltfrazier’ and if you are on twitter he is worth following.

Just saw the #Lakers-#Cavs score! This embarassin’ has little comparison’!
 
Came back from the bathroom to see Mike Breen messin’ with my chair. Not trustin’ his adjustin’!
 
Amar’e and Nor’easter. Partners in creatin’ random punctuatin’!
 
What’s with Portland turnin’ your knee into debris? Playin’ for the Blazers is riskin’ your meniscin’!
 
Carmelo’s lookin yellow with all this talkin’ and balkin’!
 
Got me thinkin’ about Willis in Game 7. His limpin’ was pimpin’!
 
Skippin’ breakfast got me stumblin’ and grumblin’! Appeasin’ with ham ‘n cheesin’!
 
Mike Breen is still mad I re-scheduled his wake-up call for 4am LOL. My prankin’ got him crankin’!
 
 Finally I direct-tweeted him this:
 
Keith:  Clyde, your tweets are delightable and recitable!
 
 And he responded
 
notwaltfrazier:  C for grammar, A for glamour!  

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Where are the good announcers of the NBA?

Posted by keithosaunders on December 26, 2010

I was watching a little of the Magic/Celtics game this afternoon on ABC and Hubie Brown was doing the color commentary.  When I moved to New York back in 1984 he was the coach of the Knicks.  His first two years he coached them into the playoffs but the next two, which led to his firing, were awful 24 and 23 win seasons.  These were the Knicks of Rory Sparrow, Michael Ray Richardson, and Trent Tucker.  I remember going to the Garden,sitting in the upper deck, and being able to hear Brown yelling at his players, exhorting them at the top of his lungs to pick and roll, foul, and play defense. 

Maybe he was a good coach but he is a terrible announcer.  Simply put he doesn’t shut up.  He fills every single second of dead air with his nasally, raspy, drone of a voice.  There is no such concept as ‘letting the game breathe’ when Brown is behind the mic.  He has a didactic way of intoning, as if he’s talking down to us. 

Outside of Marv Albert I cannot think of one good basketball announcer.  I used to love Walt Frazier who does color commentary for the Knicks.  There must be some other good local announcers that I am unaware of, but nationally they are either grating, like Brown, or generically bland. 

In baseball and football I can name several announcers that I enjoy listening to.  I am not a big hockey fan but I have watched enough games to know that they have a much higher caliber announcer than basketball does. 

So I ask you:  Who are they, and where are they?

 

Hubie Brown

Posted in basketball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

The NBA has some juice!

Posted by keithosaunders on December 19, 2010

This post’s subject contains words I thought I would never say, at least in this order.  For the first time in several years I am excited about the NBA —   regular season NBA!  In the past it would sometimes take me until the second round of the playoffs for me to become interested.  I’ve long thought of the NBA as something to watch after that Early May Mets/Brewers game.  For that reason I have watched a lot of the Western Conference playoffs.  The eastern playoffs were usually not as compelling, consisting of power forwards from Detroit and Boston banging and smashing each other into the double bonus. 

This year there is a lot to be excited about, and since I find myself in a new city bereft of steady gigs I have more time than ever to devote to ESPN, TNT, or whatever network happens to be showing a game.  (there are quite a few of them)  For starters, the Knicks got good again.  Well, they’re better.  They recently rattled off a startling 12 of 13 wins sending me into a frenzy of whining.  [“Why did I have to move this year?!”]  I was all excited that this week’s games–  ESPN was broadcasted Knicks home games versus the Celtics and the Heat on Wednesday and Friday respectively.  The Celtics game, which was decided on a Paul Pierce 13 footer with .04 seconds remaining, was tremendous, but two days the later the Knicks would be destroyed by the star-laden Heat.  For the moment they have been exposed as a sharp-shooting team that plays little defense.  But damn, they are fun to watch, and are at last relevant.  They should make the playoffs and are a team on the rise.

The kid on the Clippers, Blake Griffin, is a lot of fun to watch and should be a force for years to come.  If only the Clippers could ever have two or three good drafts in a row; they are the most hapless of organizations.  It would be great for the league to have both them and the Lakers good at the same time.  Do you remember, about 15 years ago, when the Clippers had all of these overweight players and were known as “The Phat Farm?”  Good times…

Blake Griffin

Oklahoma, with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook is a good young team that should be a force for years to come.  They’re probably not ready to challenge the Spurs or Lakers quite yet but they’re close.

The Spurs are amazing.  Manu Ginobili, at 35, is having his best season, and Tim Duncan, although he is not quite the player he once was, is still plenty good.  Throw in Tony Parker and Reggie Jefferson, and a great supporting cast and you have the team with the best record in the NBA.  I never liked the Spurs that much but that’s probably more to do with the fact that I’m an idiot than anything else.  They have been an unselfish team that has maintained a standard of excellence over the decades that few teams can rival.  Since they drafted David Robinson, over 20 years ago, there haven’t been many down seasons for this organization. 

The Celtics are another team that refuses to get old.  I have to give it up to Kevin Garnett, who is having a bounce-back season, as well as Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.  Rajon Rondo, if he stays healthy, is one of the best point guards in the league. 

Then there is the Orlando Magic, who with todays trades with Phoenix and Washington, may have catapulted themselves, at the very least, into the conference finals.  They traded Rashard Lewis to Washington for Gilbert Arenas and acquired Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu from the Phoenix Suns for Vince Carter.  Arenas, who was already having a comeback year with the Wizards, should be rejuvenated now that he is playing on a contending team.  Throw in Dwight Howard who is one of the most exciting players in the game, and away you go!

All of these watchable teams bodes extremely well for me in the upcoming dark period between the Super Bowl and opening day of baseball.  I’ve always dreaded this six-week trudge through the NBA and NHL midseason.  This year is different.  Bring it on!

Gilbert Arenas

Posted in basketball | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Mr. U-Turn works his magic. Congratulations San Francisco Giants!

Posted by keithosaunders on November 2, 2010

The data you are about to read was complied by my best friend and greatest-ever Yankee fan, Jeff, of Where’s Mazzei fame.  None of the names have been changed to protect the innocent.  That’s because nobody is innocent.

Jeff writes:

 So it occurs to me that before you came to New York, the Mets were horrible, the Yankees were in decline, the Rangers were the Red Sox of the NHL while the Devils were the ultimate doormats.  The Nets and Knicks were going no place fast, and the Giants and Jets were inconsistent on the negative side. 

While you were here, [New York] the Mets became immediate contenders and won their first series in 17 years while the Yankees eventually turned themselves around for one of their best runs since the fifties.  The Rangers won their first cup in over 50 years while the Devils followed with 3 of their own.  The Nets and Knicks made it to 4 NBA finals, the Giants went to 4 Superbowls winning 3, and the Jets at least were able to win some post season games and make it to the AFC championship game which hadn’t happened in ages.  And now you are 3 months in the Bay Area and the Giants win their first World Series in over 50 years.  And when was the last time the Raiders and 49ers won on the same Sunday? 

 It’s ironic, however, that when you arrived in New York, [1984] the Islanders were the 4-time defending Stanley Cup champions.  The first year you were here for the hockey playoffs, they set the all-time  NHL record by winning their 19th straight playoff series only to get swept in the finals.  Except for that 4-overtime game 7 thriller in 1987, it’s been all downhill for them which is why when you come to town, the sports franchises call you “Mr. U-turn”.  Expect a call from the Clippers.

And so, as we bid a fond adieu to the 2010 baseball season and turn our full attention towards the  winter sports I would like to say congratulations to the most unlikely of champions — The San Francisco Giants.  Who would have thought way back in  April — even as late as August — that this team, whose highest profile player, Barry Zito, did not even make the post season roster, would emerge on top.  We also have to give it up to the Texas Rangers, another unlikely contender.  Though they finally ran out of gas this past week, they have had by far the best season in their franchise’s history and with any luck should be able to compete in the foreseeable future.   

San Francisco, my work here is done.  I am now weighing offers from Washington D.C., as well as Seattle.  Chicago called to enquire about the Cubs but I respectfully declined saying that this is beyond even my powers.  Now…how about those Oregon Ducks?!  

Edgar Renteria

Posted in baseball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »