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NBA - sad state of Knicks II

by james on October 13th, 2007

NBA Obsessed takes you into the hit and run game of NBA Basketball.

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Willis Reed against the Boston Celtics

You have heard in Isiah Thomas - sad state of Knicks I about Isiah and James Dolan the owner, so now it is time to discuss the importance of the New York Knick franchise.

To open this discussion, you will be taken back, back, far back in the past to what some would call the early glory days for the NBA, when several of the Legends were formed. The Old Ones were playing in the league.

This was a time when TV had very few games on at all and even if you were lucky enough to get a chance to catch a game; it was not usually your local team. How odd that must seem now to the saturated television menu available these days, where sometimes an entire season plus interview shows, pre-game shows, and post-game shows are available.

No, in these days, there was a Saturday or Sunday afternoon game and it usually involved the Boston Celtics, New York Knickerbockers, or Los Angeles Lakers. Those three were the dominant teams with Boston having an awesome stretch of titles in a row and Los Angeles winning close to half of all the NBA titles given out.

Living in the mid-west, your intrepid author often caught the Boston or New York game and only very rarely would get to see the Detroit Pistons, my local team.

The Knicks became my favorite team to watch and there was good reason for that. There was no 3 point shot and often teams worked hard on offense to get a mid-range jumper.

The mid-range jumper is almost a lost art nowadays with the incredible 3 point shooting exhibited by even the big men of today. Big men rarely left the post in those days.

The Knicks were led by Willis Reed and Walt Frazier, with Walt being my favorite player for the way he could control a game and manage it until the right time came to take it over.

Bill Bradley, later a Senator, Dave DeBusschere, from close by Detroit, Jerry Lucas, now writing memory books, and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe made up the rest of that team.

They also had a free spirit forward by the name of Phil Jackson. Yes, that Phil Jackson, of Chicago and LA coaching fame and a guard from the great UCLA team called Henry Bibby, yes that Bibby, the father of Mike Bibby.

They were a star studded team in an era where there was very little player movement and the NBA was struggling to stay alive. It was long before the Magic/Bird high network ratings era.

Players would stay with teams for their whole career or until they were on the downside of their career. Trades were huge events. The early drafts even protected certain college players in your region from being drafted outside of your region. Your gallivanting author’s mind was quite young at that time and does not remember which years that took place.

The NBA needed New York with its large television market and semi-national appeal as it was basically marketing 3 teams to keep the league alive.

Today there are many powerful franchises like Dallas, Phoenix, and even small market teams like Detroit and Chicago, but still… still… You can hear David Stern, the NBA commissioner weeping over the demise of the once heralded New York franchise.

If Stern had his druthers and he must, because he has everything, doesn’t he? If he had his druthers, you can bet he would make the New York franchise great again.

Right now is scares David Stern to have all the goofballs running the Knicks and even playing for them. The demographics of the TV audience are asking for high speed selfless team play basketball epitomized by Dallas, Phoenix, and even San Antonio to a lesser degree. The very selfish, think only of my stats, ESPN slam dunk basketball, exhibited by the Knicks right now is not a big sell and they don’t win.

That last part, they don’t win, is especially bothersome to the NBA marketing execs.

Don’t be surprised if something comes down from the Commissioner’s office one day to clean up the Knicks and somehow grant them a great Center to build around and if that sounds like conspiracy, it is.

The NBA needs the Knicks, a healthy, happy, winning Knicks!

NBA Basketball Fan Question Do you remember the days when the Old Ones played?

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POSTED IN: San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Willis Reed, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Legends, Isiah Thomas, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Basketball

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