The ongoing grotesque carnival of human misery that is the New York Knickerbockers “basketball” franchise is at it again, with reports surfacing that the team met with 11-time NBA champion and maniacal guru Phil Jackson about possibly becoming the next head coach to stroll the sidelines of Madison Square Garden. No word yet on incumbent Mike Woodson’s reaction yet, though I have an idea of what it might look like. Elsewhere, the Lakers receive a full-on franchise posterization courtesy of their in-house rivals, and LeBron is not into sleeves.
1. The New York Knicks reportedly met with Phil Jackson about their head coaching position: And so it goes. Knicks general manager Steve Mills flew to Los Angeles two weeks ago to discuss the job, which spells doom, predictably, for Mike Woodson, who has been a lame duck since about December. According to Stephen A. Smith, for what that’s worth, Jackson was slightly put off by the fact that Mills met with him rather than renowned basketball genius and Knicks owner James Dolan. These rumors fly each time the Knicks have a vacant or soon-to-be-vacant coaching position, what with Jackson having won two rings as a member of the Walt Frazier-Willis Reed Knicks teams of the 1970s. What seems to halt it each time, however, is the fact that Dolan will not relinquish enough power to Jackson to properly entice him. This is a man, I remind you, who willingly handed over basketball operations to Isiah Thomas and, at any moment, seems like he could do it again, gladly. How this sways Carmelo Anthony’s contract decision come summertime remains to be seen, and the coaching situation will undoubtedly be taken into account. This all comes on the heels of reports that a Knicks fan protest will take place outside the Garden on March 19th, when the Indiana Pacers come to town. Dolan, can you hear it?
2. The Clippers annihilate the Lakers 142-94, handing their storied roommates the largest loss in franchise history: Let’s say you are Kobe Bryant. Now, now, stay with me here. You are, by most measures, the most accomplished basketball player left in the game and the fiercest competitor on the planet this side of Michael Jordan. You love winning and hate losing with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns of mercury. You’ve delighted in beating the Clippers, whom you consider to be barely a professional franchise, and have lost to them only 17 times out of the 68 games your Lakers have played against them. You’ve never lost a season series to the Clippers with you in the lineup. You laugh, probably in a different language because you’re Kobe Bryant and laughing in a different language is entirely conceivable, from the bench of your ridiculous custom piano at the mere mention of another Los Angeles basketball franchise.
So now, this season, you’re injured. I know, I know, it’s tough to watch your comrades battle without their commander. Is Pau getting traded, finally and mercifully? Has Nick Young ever felt like a prospective shot was a bad idea? Can we even field a full team? You’ve just watched your beloved buddies lose a game to the Clippers. But more than that, you’ve watched your team hand over a gigantic exclamation point on the Clippers taking over L.A. campaign. The Clippers not only won their first season series since the 1992-’93 season (in a sweep, I might add); they destroyed every notion that this Lakers team, with this roster, could be competitive in their hometown without you.
3. LeBron shoots poorly against the Spurs, blaming his performance in part on the sleeved jerseys: I’m not really a fan of the sleeved jerseys myself, and I often wonder what kind of impact they have on the players. These guys shoot basketballs all their lives in glorified tanktops, exposed from the shoulder, and now the NBA is introducing sleeves for the simple purpose of pushing product. This isn’t a simple case of WMD-yellow top/pandemic-blue top. There is probably a marked difference between the shooting motions, however slight, of these players. The NBA presumably didn’t consult any of its employees before making the switch, and though LeBron could just be making excuses for, you know, playing basketball like a mere mortal instead of like LeBron James for once, the sleeves might really play a part. Someone should do a case study on this (looking at you, Kirk Goldsberry). If the sleeves do interfere with natural basketball motions in any way, they should get out of the game. I will not have restrictive fabric getting in the way of this magnificent game.