Wednesday, June 28, 2006

One More Year of Possible Frustration. A Future of Guaranteed Idiocy.

One Year.

After all the drama, after all of the controversy, it now comes down to one year for Isiah Thomas to turn around the mess that he created. Isiah has one year to improve the group of misfits that he has put together for an NBA roster.

One Year.

Good luck Isiah.

The fact of the matter is that the Knicks are a mess. They have become arguably the most embarassing franchise in sports. A collection of high-priced players with no resumes of winning else where combined with a lack of leadership on the coaching, front office and ownership level is a combustible formula for any sports organization. It's sad. It's sad to see an organization that is used to winning and has a history of greatness and class reduced to nothing. Guys such as Patrick Ewing, Clyde Frazier and Willis Reed all who have worn that illustrious blue and Orange "New York" across their chests with pride and dignity are now an afterthought. Madison Square Garden - the mecca of basketball, and most historic arena in the world has been soiled by a spirit of mismanagement, dissatisfactions and defeat. This is now the New York Knicks.

With all that has been said about this franchise as of late, it is interesting to see many take a side on the issue. Larry Brown, James Dolan or Thomas, who's to blame?

Many claim that Isiah is to blame. Yes, despite a few prosperous drafts, he doesn't have much claim to success as an NBA executive. He got fired from the Raptors, tanked the entire Continental Basketball Association, and has made the Knicks into a punchline for numerous jokes. He's at need for power, and will not stop until he gets what he wants.

On the other hand, there is Larry Brown. Brown, a future Hall of Famer has all the credentials you need as an NBA coach. Infact, he has the resume of all head coaches in basketball. Nonetheless, Brown accepted the 5 year, $50 million contract. In doing so he knew what he was stepping into. According to reports, he approved the trades of Jalen Rose and Steve Francis, two guys he apparently wanted to trade at season's end. Brown is at fault here, although everyone would like to make him out to be the good guy, a mere victim of evil Thomas' doings.

And then there is James Dolan. Creator of this mess. Son of Cablevision founder, Charles Dolan. Current head of the Cablevision empire. Head honcho for your New York Knickerbockers. And most widely known, yes, as an idiot. This man is incapable of making any correct decision regarding business and/or the New York Knicks. He has done everything wrong since daddy handed the empire over to him. Since the day he became the man, the Knicks have gone downward every year as fans have seen prices not only for Knick games increase, but service from Cablevision as well.

This entire spectacle of a sport management joke began when Mr. Dolan himself employed the anti-genius, Scott Layden. Layden was like a cancer to the Knicks organization. Doing nothing but inflate the payroll, draft horribly, make bad trades and feed his weird fetish for Utah players by constantly scouting them. Layden, who traded off Patrick Ewing for basically nothing, drafted Frederic Weiss (Who never ended up playing in the NBA) over Ron Artest, secured Alan Houston's retirement fund with a hefty and overpaid $100 million contract, ran a once NBA title contender year in and year out into the ground. Nonetheless, the cries of fans at each NBA draft of "fire Layden" didn't alarm Dolan. It took him a few more years to realize that the Knicks were in bad shape.

Layden is fired. In comes Isiah.

Isiah was indeed looked upon as a fresh of breath air for Knick fans. For years we've dealt with Layden and his antics, and at the time it seemed, anyone but Layden was a plus. Isiah made the move for Marbury which was huge. However, with Thomas followed the sign and trade for Jamaal Crawford and Eddy Curry, the signing of Jerome James and Larry Brown, and the trades for Steve Francis and Jalen Rose. After it all, we find ourselves full circle in this crisis.

And what does Dolan do throughout all of this? Nothing.

He simply takes for granted that ticket sales will be there, viewership will remain and the Garden will be sold out. Mr. Dolan needs to suck up his pride, admit his wrong doings in public (Not on MSG like his fixed press conference), clean house, and hire some real basketball minds.

But no, instead we get... one more year. It's like Dolan, a monster, wants New Yorkers to suffer.

With the NBA draft tomorrow, the pressure is now on Isiah. He's got full control of everything. This is where it begins and ends. Whether he fails or succeeds, it will definately bring to an end, numerous years of torment for the New York Knicks. Whether it ends with promise or failure, this "One year" will definitely end a chapter for the franchise.

Too bad the book is being written by James Dolan. A book destined for idiocy.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Denied Oppurtunties. Unanswered Questions: The Mess that is New York City Graduates


Congratulations New York City!!

To steal a phrase, the most controversial city is once again on top of the mountain. Did it break tourist records? Did it finally get more money for homeland security? American Idol is over, and well, the Yankees and Mets haven't won anything yet, so what's the deal?

Congratulations New York City, you have been rated as having one of the lowest graduation rate in all of the nation!! What have they won you ask? Well, New York City has earned themselves a future supply of criticism, unproductivity, and useless minds!

Seriously, this is one of the saddest things that has been reported about the greatest city in the world. The fact that a story such as this is located somewhere in the mid-section of the paper, where stories such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's baby make the cover of numerous papers. There is something wrong with that.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Think Reverse. Understand Today

"If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday."

This statement once said by Pearl Buck, a writer and Nobel Prize winner, is one that is precise and direct regarding the everyday challenge that is life. Many times we come to the proverbial fork in the road and ponder the effects of the next vital decision. What should I do? How does this effect things? What will happen now? These are all questions that arise after specific events occur in the course of history. However, these events and decisions do indeed alters things. It changes us, our world and the way we perceive it. That's just life. We learn, we adapt, we move on.

However, have you ever wondered what would happen if certain things occurred differently? How would things be different or if they would be different at all. The questions of "what if?" resounds in many of our thoughts and imaginations. With that said, I've decided to compile a top ten list of events which intrigue me, if they indeed occurred differently.

With that said, let's begin...

10. What if... Jeremy Giambi Slid? - Ah yes, the very famous "Jeter flip play". As a Yankee fan, this play has been a fixture in not only my childhood, but my entire culture. He's Derek Jeter. Who else can make that play? However, we can't be naive. Mr. Jeter had some help from Jeremy Giambi at home plate, who for a few seconds, forget his baseball instincts, smarts and common knowledge and elected to go into standing up. What if he slid? He without a doubt would've been safe. Mike Mussina, who pitched a gem in that 1-0 win to kick off the Yankees comeback from 0-2 must have gotten into trouble that inning. Maybe the A's put on a few more and put an end to the mighty Yankees dynasty. Maybe even a possible World Series birth with then, Mulder, Hudson and Zito. But no, Mr. Giambi did not slide and he was tagged out at home. From all New Yorkers, Thank You Mr. Giambi.

9. What if...WCW was purchased by Fusient Media? - Good ole' World Championship Wrestling. The company that had so many resources with great potential, yet, no leadership. WCW was once the number one wrestling promotion in the world. Yes wrestling fans, even at one time ahead of World Wrestling Entertainment and New Japan Pro Wrestling. However, in an evil part of wrestling history, Vince McMahon purchased WCW before Eric Bischoff could find a bidder for the fledgling company. WCW fell on hard times and was up for sale by AOL-Time-Warner. Eric Bischoff, who tried everything under the sun to find financial backers to buy WCW, wanted to guide the company back to prominence. He came close with Fusient Media, bought a deal could not be finalized. Before a deal could be agreed upon, Vince McMahon and the WWE swooped in and bought out its fiercest rival ever, monopolizing the wrestling industry in the United States.

However, what if Eric Bischoff got Fusient Media to purchase WCW? Would WCW be neck and neck with WWE right now? Would the program still be on Monday nights? Although the TNA and many other up and coming companies probably would not have been created, wrestling for sure would probably be a whole lot better. Nonetheless, as a TNA fan - Thank You Vince McMahon. Funny how irony works.

8. What if...Lebron James went to College? - Well I am sure you know this guy's story. Basketball prodigy. Number one draft pick. Millionaire. Husband and father. Next Big thing. And only twenty-one.

What if Mr. James wet to college? Where would he go? How many championships would he have won? From reports and interviews conducted with James during his first year, Lebron made reference to possibly attending Syracuse University alongside Carmelo Anthony - a good friend of his. If LeBron attended, would Carmelo still opt for the NBA? If not, is that duo fathomable in college? How unfair would that be?

Come to think of it, the long-term out come would probably be the same. Lebron would still be a child prodigy, number one draft pick, a millionaire, a husband and father, and yes - the next big thing. But that middle, short term is so much fun to imagine.

7. What if...Whitney Houston never married Bobby Brown? - Ok. Maybe this is unfair. Albeit, there is no hard evidence that Brown was indeed a negative influence on her, we're going to assume she never even met the guy. Pre-Mr."It's my Peroggative", Houston was an unbelievable performer. Whether it be through music or on the screen, she was gifted and an inspiration to many. On her way to being a possible cultural icon. Than the train wreck hit. A train named Bobby. Well hey, I guess it's just their perrogative.

6. What if...The Portland Trailblazers selected Michael Jordan? - Sam Bowie. Poor Sam Bowie is the cause for this question. Same Bowie was selected second, ahead of , yes, Michale Jordan in the 1984 NBA Draft. One has to ponder, what if the Blazers knew what they know now and selected Jordan with the second overall pick, how would the NBA's history shakeout? Nonetheless, if the greatest player to play the game of basketball played on the West Coast, how many people would have missed out on opportunities to see him. Without Pippen, would he have won a championship? How marketable would he have been in a city such as Portland, Oregon? Maybe Michael would have ruled the west and opened up the East for yearly snubs such as the Knicks and Pacers. Possible Knicks championship? I hate you Same Bowie.

5. What if...Tupac & The Notorious B.I.G. were still alive? - Without a shadow of a doubt, the two greatest rappers to ever grace a microphone and inner city legends to those on the east and west coasts. If they did not B.I.G. didn't die, would Jay-Z have become has large as he did? Would the east coast/west coast battles have continues? How many more movies would it have been before Tupac won an Oscar? How good would rap be right now? How great would rap be right now? Rap sucks right now. Their presence on the art form was larger than we though.

4. What if...OJ was guilty? - Oh boy, this one stirs the mind a little. The so called, "Trial of the Century" touched on many ethical and racial issues. It was seen as a trial that expanded ones thoughts on thinking beyond the box. Yet, at the same time, conformed one's thinking based on the color of their skin. The trial grew from an interesting and evidence based trial which captured the nation, into a racial divide which saw minorities begin to back OJ due to other injustices. Though, a very groundbreaking and dare I say, "revolutionary" trial because of its meaning to society, if the outcome was any other way than what it was, things might have gotten ugly. Riot, Protests or even Peace? Would Johnnie Cochran become Johnnie Cochran? Who knows? One thing is for sure, the nation would definately be different today.

3. What if...Darryl Strawberry stayed clean? - Now you may be wondering, why is Strawberry so high on the list? Here is why...Strawberry and Doc Gooden in there day were the poster boys for illegal drugs. They were those guys. Those guys than fans were just unbelievably upset with them because of their drug habits. Strawberry definitely cheated himself out of great career. Darryl was a 5 tool player. He was the epitome of speed and power and dare I say, could have been in that Barry Bonds' echelant in baseball. He was just so talented. It's a shame that we will never know. Drugs and sports. Such and ugly pair.

2. What if...Al Gore won the 2000 election? - Obviously, this election was as screwed up as Michael Jackson in his latter years, but with all the controversy surrounding it, especially during a very transitional and crucial time, what if Mr. Gore won? Who knows what state this country would be in? Would the economy be better? What would be our stance in world affairs? And most of all, how would he have handled September 11th and the post 9/11 effort?

With that said, it brings me to my number one "What if..." and its...

1. What if...The World Trade Center Towers never fell - definitely a hard concept for mostly all of us to grasp, especially with the emotional and spiritual attachments that come with it. However, just try to just place your self in a period where the Towers were still constructed. What if those hijackers never made it passed security to get on those planes? What would our alert level be of terrorist groups? How would our mind set be geared towards Muslims and people of middle-Eastern descent. Do we still take life for granted?



Tough call.

Sometimes, thinking in reverse and assuming the other possibility, helps us truly understand today.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

World of Cheats: King Bonds Welcomes Prince Grimsley


Jason Grimsley? Wait, lets back up one minute and analyze this again. Jason Grimsley? Yes, the beloved former Yankee reliever and MLB journeyman has been exposed as a cheat. It has been all over the news and sporting world and discussed with it's potential ramifications on the game of baseball. Many claim that MLB is in trouble and this situation will not go away.

They are correct, but not entirely.

The fact of the matter is that this situation regarding steroids, HGH and any other performance enhancing drugs is a plague on not just baseball, but the entire sports world and the culture that it creates.

Reports claim that Feds questioned Grimsley regarding their investigation of the illegal substances and requested names. In agreement and quick cooperation, Grimsely spewed out names in fear. Grimsley squeeled like a grade-schooler threatened with parental phone call. He told enough for investigators to move along in this ever-evolving case. Names were not released, but many feel they are essential towards the progression of this investigation.

Granted that much of this whole ordeal is a big mess wrapped up in a whole lot of illegal activity, the question remains, what shall we do now? Bonds continues to be the coverboy of what seems to be the entire force of cheaters in sports. He remains an on-going drama, a villain almost, of a compelling storyline in an epic drama of performance enhancing drugs. He is that guy. His presence now moves from being the leader of all cheats in baseball, to king of cheats in sports. The Feds want him, and they proved it with their failed attempt to lure him in with a wired Grimsley.

With 716 homeruns on his resume, it surely doesn't help baseball.

However, this is bigger than baseball. This has become an investigation that ranges across all sports. MLB made great strides towards strengthening their drug testing policy. With the sudden breakout of specific stories, Bud Selig is pursuing this problem and doing whatever it takes to remove the evil that is cheating, and restore integrity to the sport that we love so much. Regardless of what is publicized, MLB is making attempts.

Grimsely is experiencing that with his 50 game suspension.

Nonetheless, immediately after word broke about Grimsley's situation, the National Basketball Association and the National Football League refused to have blood tests for HGH. It is understandable that sporting leagues have to cater to unions and regulations. However, a sanction to not only clarify, but keep the innocence of their game is not important enough to review. There is something wrong with that. However, baseball remains at the forefront because of the Canseco book, Bonds' pursual of the homerun list, and now worldwide star - Jason Grimsely.

There is something definately wrong with that.

And the question remains, what shall we do now? The answer - take it all in. Yet, treat this situation fairly amongst all.

Drugs are slowly strangling the american sports culture. Afterall, there are many people in other sports whom we can assume are on something not served in your local pharmacy. Afterall, in this era of performance enhancing drugs, you are guilty until proven innocent. Not just in baseball, but everywhere.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Hockey vs. Soccer: Why Should We Care?

So its been a while...

So here we are on the start of the 2006 World Cup. Excited? No, I didn't think so. On the eve of the most anticipated sporting event in the world, it seems that America remains uninterested and unmoved by the cult-like movement that is competitive soccer. It continues be an amazement of the sporting universe of how a sport so loved and followed throughout the world can be so ignored in the media driven nation such as ours. We just don't care. It's the truth.

So why is that?

The other day on ESPN radio, the topic of discussion was a hypothetical question of "Which sport do you think has the ability to gain American interest - Soccer or Hockey?" After hearing many people's opinions, it seemed that hockey was the overwhelming victor, as many chose the wonderful sport on ice. How can this be? Well here are some logical thoughts on the question: