Tag Archives: New York Knicks

Good News Friday: Will Ferrell reinvents the P.A. announcer job, hilariously. Big Man’s nephew to play with E Street Band. And Jeremy Lin, the NBA’s Harvard superstar

To start off Good News Friday, here’s Will Ferrell, being Will Ferrell. He was the guest P.A. announcer at the New Orleans Hornets-Chicago Bulls game Wednesday night, and here was his hilarious performance. I love the Bulls’ introductions better, but the Jarrett Jack one from the Hornets is awesome, too.

**Next up we have some great news from the world of Bruce Springsteen. No, it’s not that he’s excited that I’m going to see him for the first time ever (whoo-hoo, can’t wait until April 9).
It’s that as many hoped, he has decided to tap a relative to fill the enormous shoes of Clarence “Big Man” Clemons, the hugely important saxaphone player in the E Street Band who passed away last year.
Jake Clemons is an accomplished saxaphone player in his own right, and has played with the E Street Band before. I’m sure he’ll do an awesome job, though there’ll only ever be one “Big Man.”

**I loathe just about everything about the New York Knicks, but it’s impossible not to love this Jeremy Lin story. Lin is a Knicks rookie guard who was cut by two other teams and buried on the Knicks bench for the last several weeks, only to finally get a chance to play last week.

He’s responded with three straight awesome games, scoring 20 or more in each, and leading the Knicks to a trio of wins. But Lin’s story is even better: He’s from Harvard, which doesn’t exactly produce a bevy of NBA players. He’s a great kid who totally deserves all the attention he’s been getting.

Here’s a great take on Lin and his background from SI in 2010, and a new story from the N.Y. Times’s Howard Beck on the Asian star.

An amazing ESPN movie about the O.J. chase. An abominable Game 7. And Sarah, oh Sarah.

Before 9/11, it was my generation’s “Where were you when it happened?” moment.

June 17, 1994. Early evening. My father and I are watching Game 5 of the New York Knicks-Houston Rockets NBA Finals series, and all of a sudden, NBC News breaks in and shows us O.J. Simpson, in a white Ford Bronco, fleeing police on a California highway, with a gun to his head in the backseat.

It was unbelievable, the first live reality TV show. It changed everything about how the media covers news, about how we see celebrities, and about how voracious our appetites are for controversy. (Side note: Can you freaking imagine if the Internet was around during the O.J. trial/chase? We think the hysteria was nuts then, it would’ve been nothing compared to what it would be now!)

ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary series has been lavishly praised by me before, but they’ve outdone themselves with Wednesday night’s “June 17, 1994” film. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.

That was a historic day in sports, with so much going on, as the movie details. Arnold Palmer played his last round of golf in a major. The New York Rangers held their first Stanley Cup parade in 54 years. The World Cup started in the U.S. The Knicks and Rockets played Game 5.

But of course, O.J. was the biggest thing of all, and the movie focuses on him. The brilliant touch of the director, Brett Morgen, is that there are no talking heads or commentators looking back on the day from 16 years later; the whole one-hour movie is comprised of clips from that day.

There’s some fantastic off the air footage of NBC’s Bob Costas and others, completely flummoxed about how to handle this situation. Hilarious moments, like when NBC’s Tom Brokaw, while talking about O.J. pulling up to his Brentwood house, slipping in the score of the Knicks-Rockets game for fans.

But the best part of the movie, for me, anyway, was the long excerpts of the phone conversation between O.J. and LAPD detective Tom Lange. Lange pleads with O.J. to throw the gun out the car, while Simpson cries and begs to be allowed to end his life.  It’s amazing footage (here’s a link to some of the transcript of the call).

I immediately ordered “June 17, 1994” on DVD from Amazon after seeing this film. I want to be able to answer my grandkids when they study the O.J. Bronco chase in history class one day by saying “Watch this. This is what really happened.”

The documentary is on again Saturday at 12:30 p.m on ESPN2, and again on June 30 at 11 p.m. on ESPN2 . Watch it or DVR it; you’ll be glad you did.

**I’m not an NBA fan. I frankly haven’t cared much about these playoffs, save for a few teams that I like watching (Phoenix) and of course, my man LeBron James.
I’ve watched very little of the Finals, like, maybe 10 minutes total. But still, as a sports fan and a sports journalist, I felt obligated to watch the second half of Game 7 between the Celtics and Lakers.

Good God, what an abominable display of basketball. Missed shots, bad foul shooting, bad passes, everything. I know Game 7s are sometimes like this, because both teams are so nervous and so amped up. But this was, like, Knicks-Heat mid-1990s bad.
I couldn’t root for either team, because I hate Kobe Bryant (the unconvicted rapist) so much, and thanks to my New York DNA, I can’t ever really root for Boston.
I guess I should congratulate the Lakers, but my heart’s not into it. Damn you, Kobe.

***I try. I really, really try not to pay attention to Sarah Palin. But it’s hard sometimes, especially when three of my friends email me the YouTube link below, her interview with Fox’s Bill O’Reilly Tuesday night.

Seriously, can someone translate what she’s saying for me? I watched it twice and I truly think she’s a robot just spouting words when people push buttons on her stomach.

I ripped O’Reilly the other day, but I have to give him some props here: He seems as confused by Palin’s unintelligible speaking as the rest of us. And he does try to press her a little:

Very little about the Jets game, and a rabbi storms a basketball court (sort of)

Bills Jets Football

So I really can’t bring myself to discuss yesterday’s hellacious Jets loss to the awful Buffalo Bills; I fear if I write too much about it I may start retching into the garbage can at my feet, and quite frankly I don’t need that clean-up job.

My beloved Gang Green were so inept, so pathetic, and so just … awful that for a minute I thought the ghost of Rich Kotite had emerged onto the sidelines of Giants Stadium.

Three quick thoughts before I move on and try to purge those four hours I spent watching this fraud of a team go from 3-0 to 3-3:

1. Someone tell me exactly why the Jets have a backup quarterback if the coach doesn’t put him in after the starter, Mark Sanchez, throws FIVE interceptions??? Just wondering what it would take for Kellen Clemens to have seen the field.

Decapitation?

2. If Kris Jenkins is out for the season, that’s a huge, huge blow to the defense. They might not make the playoffs without him, that’s how huge.

3. At the end of OT, I was honestly hoping the Bills kicker, Rian Lindell, made the field goal. Because the Jets deserved to lose that game, absolutely and without question. What a disgraceful performance. It was one of those losses that happen once or twice a year with this team, that makes me mutter, “What the hell am I doing rooting for this team, and why can’t I quit them?” (Actually, it’s usually my father who says that. But I agree).

**Some other quick-hit NFL thoughts from a really good day of games:

—  Um, yeah, I guess the Saints are pretty good. Hanging 48 points on a really good Giants team? Amazing performance.

— To paraphrase the great Warner Wolf from the New York CBS TV newscasts, if you had the Titans getting 58 points from the New England Patriots, you lost! Hard to believe one NFL team could be 59 points better than another.

— Always, always, always love the first game of the NFL season played in the snow. That was beautiful, seeing the Pats and Titans slide all over the field. Actually, snow in New England always makes me think of this bizarre moment in NFL history.

— The Eagles should send Ryan Howard and the Phillies a gift basket today. Because if not for the Phils’ 11-0 NLCS win Sunday night, Philly would be aflame with how pathetic it was that the Eagles lost to the Raiders. For a few minutes in that game, JaMarcus Russell actually looked like a legit, backup NFL quarterback.

— Finally, hell of a win for the Vikings over the Ravens. So far, me and a lot of others have been wrong about the Favre signing, he’s been terrific (the preceding was written while biting my lip remembering how awful he was for the Jets at the end of last season).

**What, the balloon boy thing was a hoax? His parents made up the whole thing just to get some publicity and get their own reality show? No way. Next thing you’re going to tell me is that Republicans love poor people, Jews will dominate the NBA one day again, and there are people out there who really, truly can’t believe it’s not butter.

rabbi.knicksgame

*** OK, this is one of those stories that sounds completely made up but actually happened. Sunday at a New York Knicks-Maccabi Tel Aviv exhibition basketball game at Madison Square Garden, the Tel Aviv coach was ejected and then refused to leave the bench. So after 10 minutes of arguing, a rabbi comes over from his seat in the stands and, with ex-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert looking on, the rabbi tries to convince the coach to leave.

Seriously. Check out the bizarre details here.