Part of being a credentialed member of the NY media is that you have to be opinionated and very good at what you do, in my opinion. People get paid to be heard. I’m very lucky and have a ton to be thankful for and I am fortunate to have a platform to speak my mind about a sports team in this city.
I was one of the first credited “bloggers” to be able to attend MSG in 2008 and I will never forget how cool it was. I soon learned that, like most things, the idea of something awesome somehow and sometimes doesn’t quite meet expectations. At my job we call it “looking under the hood” or an inside perspective and as a fan of the Knicks I didn’t like what I saw.
Having played, coached, scouted and written about basketball I can say this the media room is not the locker room. This is to say not everyone is on the same page or the same team. In fact, it’s incredibly competitive and that can often make it all pretty uncomfortable, but everyone in the media room has a gift and a talent as you all choose who is your favorite point of view.
Carmelo Anthony is in New York because he wants to be here. Like A-Rod. I’m not a fan of A-Rod, not because he isn’t an all-time great player, but because I like to poke fun at my sensitive Yankee fan friends. I got into a fist fight for calling him “Double Play Rod” in my younger days when he bounced out against the Angels in the playoffs. As a Mets fan I knew my only chance to hold anything over the Yankees was in 2000. They could keep their 20 something rings if we were 1-0. “You never beat us,” was what I so desperately wanted to say as Derek Jeter flipped the ball to home plate setting up the Subway Series collision course. But that’s me. I wanted the Yankees even though it was a stacked deck. I got what I wanted and lost.
Carmelo wants to be here. He wants the pressure (I think) and, like A-Rod and especially Eli Manning who wanted this franchise and this city thus passing on the sleepy surf of San Diego, Melo will have to toughen his skin as the big bad New York media sharpens its sword.
Think about Manning, a guy who I defended for years. He was one of my idols’, Ernie Accorsi’s, guy from the second he scouted him. Read this over the next two weeks if you’re a Giants fan it will give you chills. Manning was a momma’s boy. His dad was a loser. His brother was superior. A whiner. Doesn’t have swagger. Wanted to be traded on draft day…a total joke. Yeah, he wanted to be traded to NY, was what I would say. What an idiot. Now he’s in another Super Bowl.
You know who else wanted NY and all that came with it? This guy.
Let’s get one thing straight. Lebron James is in Miami because of this reason. He wasn’t tough enough to handle it. He and his high school buddies turned business associates made a deal with ESPN (anyone check this lately to stay up to date on the big 3 SMH @ journalistic integrity) to do a TV show and have his favorite beat writer come along for the ride… at the expense of a little criticism. Again, the “Heat Index” sits on the NBA dropdown menu under Truehoop. Check for yourselves.
Moreover, ESPN threw softballs at James when he couldn’t close games during last season, instead urging us to be patient on their programming. “Great teams take time to build” was the mantra.
The Knicks get laughed at on SportsCenter.
The fact is the Giants are doing the Knicks a huge favor by keeping their horrid play out of the limelight, but two weeks and 1 day from now it’s going to be turned up. Anthony better be ready and I think he will be. He’s not making injury excuses, he’s not pointing fingers at anyone besides himself. And you have to respect that. Now just raise the standard of the on court play and teammates and all should be fine in Knicksland.
Remember, it takes time, but as we’ve always said since the lockout ended with expectations come the heat. Pun intended.