Friday, February 16, 2007

E-City, Lift Up Your Weary Head!

It's the last night of NBA basketball before the end of the first half, and Ernie Johnson is being carried in to the outdoor Las Vegas TNT studio on a velvet sedan chair by, in a potentially awkward bit of racial imagery, four large black men dressed as Roman guards. Barkley and the Jet look on in disbelief, yelling "Are you kidding me?!"

You know what this means, folks: it's All Star time!

The Knicks don't have any all stars. Nate-Rob is returning to the dunk contest, of course, and Eddy Curry may have been close, by the numbers, perhaps. Or just by virtue of the long-lamented death of the True Center. But a few games ago one broadcaster -- I think it was Gus Johnson -- put it well, saying, basically, E-City can't be an all star while still playing this much shy of his potential. At this point he might well be the most depressing Knick, even if he's one of the best. In fact, it's probably because he's one of the best. You might roll your eyes at Nate Robinson's antics, but what else do you expect from the guy? Eddy Curry, on the other hand, should be absolutely shitting on people down low all the time. As it is, he only does it when he feels like it. He's a 6'11" 285-pound center who refuses to block shots or rebound (he can pull in six or seven a game be accident).

It's appropriate he's been tabbed by Isiah as the guy the team is built around, because that mood of depressed expectations that surrounds him also sums up the state of the team. Here at the halfway mark they have 23 wins, matching their total from all of last year. Progress? Sure. But can't you just feel that buzz rumbling up in New York about our rejuvenated hoops team? No? Me neither.

* * *
They Also Mourn Who Do Not Wear Orange and Blue

The sports blog That's On Point came out with a list of the NBA's worst players today, the Ira Newble All-Stars. I don't really know how to break this to you all, but Jerome James made the list. I'm not that familiar with T.O.P., but they had me at this line:
Isiah Thomas could’ve spent that $35 million better if he lit it on fire in Penn Station and doused it out with the contents of Jim Dolan’s liquor cabinet.
For a depressing end to a depressing post, let's do a little Knicks salary pop quiz:
  1. Who is the highest-paid Knick this year?
  2. How much are the Knicks paying Shandon Anderson for his contributions to the '06-'07 squad?
  3. How many McGriddles will Jerome James be able to by with his '08-'09 salary?
The answers:
  1. Allan Houston ($20,718,750)
  2. $8,500,000
  3. 2,831,050 McGriddles (based on $2.19 per McGriddle for the egg, bacon, and cheese variety)
The Ira Newble All-Stars '07 [That's On Point]