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Why being a Knicks fan is still lit even though they’re basura

Sometimes (every year) being a Knicks fan is heart-wrenching, stressful, and can even flat out cause a man to question the meaning of life.

Every year seems almost promising as we sign and trade for players with “big names” that have played well in previous seasons, but then become a sack of shit the moment their jersey reads “New York Knicks.”

We tend to sign players like Joakim Noah, who used to be good but is now a washed up “walking injury,” for four-year $72 million contracts. Noah played 42 games last season…

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Not only do the Knicks sign and trade for players that can’t play in the NBA’s fast-paced style of play and struggle to close out simple games, but we also have an owner who doesn’t know the names of his own players.

SB Nation author Charlotte Wilder wrote a piece called “I watched Knicks owner James Dolan play a blues concert on the night of the NBA draft” and that pretty much sums up the organization right now. In it she explained, “James Dolan and his band, JD and the Straight Shot, played 3-and-a-half miles away from where the Knicks were deciding their future.”

You get the point.

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Even if you are a Knicks fan or a fan of another team, reading this may force you to question, “Why be a Knicks fan?”

New York is the most influential, trend-starting, and original place in the world.

Not only do people want to live in this diverse city, but they want to be New Yorkers. Being a Knicks fan, whether you like it or not, is always going to be a part of New York Culture.

Being a Knicks fan is more than basketball, it’s a part of who we are.

The Knicks organization struggles to make ends meet just like us. Real New Yorkers have never had anything handed to them on a golden plate, we shed blood, sweat, and tears just to get by.

Unlike most teams, the Knicks have authentic fans who will give an arm and a leg just to see the Knicks make the 8th seed. In New York, loyalty means everything.

Even though the Knicks had a lousy 31-51 season, MSG’s home attendance was a whopping 99.3%, according to Cheat Sheet. Although it hasn’t seemed so recently, New York is the Mecca of basketball.

New York has bred some of the best NBA players the league has seen including players like Stephon Marbury, Carmelo Anthony, and even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. But as the years go by, less and less players are interested in signing with the Knicks.

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It appears to be foolish how an NBA player wouldn’t want to be the face of a city like New York, but then players like Carmelo are the perfect example of why a player would avoid the Knicks.

Carmelo did everything he could the past few years to help us win, even if he didn’t succeed, he truly tried everything he could. He was repaid by criticisms and constant insults by the staff of his own team.

Real fans (like myself) have much respect for Carmelo and thank him for all he has done. No player is going to want to go to a team that will turn on them the moment things don’t go as planned.

Now that the New York Knicks have made changes to their staff and Carmelo Anthony is gone, New York will be making very big movements in the next year or so.

Kristaps Porzingis will be taking the role as the face of the City for now, but we are still waiting for that one huge signing that is going to make the organization into a winning one again. It is only a matter of time that the best city in the world is going to have one of the best basketball team in the world.

It takes one smart move at a time, just like the Celtics and their team now. The moral of the story is that if you are a tired, helpless Knicks fan now, it isn’t that bad. Stick in there and have faith. Our time is coming.

Melo said it best before he dipped,

“New York equipped me to make it in any other place in the world.  It taught me how to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable.  Saying Goodbye is the hardest thing to do.  I never thought I would, especially to you.  No one will ever take your place. It’s hard to find someone like you, so know you will always be missed. You helped me laugh. You dried my tears.  Because of you, I have no fears.  You came into my life and I was blessed.  It’s time to raise my hand and say goodbye.  It’s not the end, because like I’ve always said, NYC ‘til the end.”

We’ll be back!

The WNBA Finals is very low key the best kept secret in sports right now

The WNBA is currently showcasing some of the best basketball in league history and not nearly enough people are hype about it.

Last night the Minnesota Lynx tied the best-of-five series with the Los Angeles Sparks at 2-2 with a decisive 80 to 69 victory, setting the stage for what should be a must-see game 5 Wednesday, October 4th.

But that doesn’t scratch the surface of the competitiveness and quality of ball that’s been on display.

First of all, it’s a grudge match from last year’s WNBA Finals which went down to the wire.

We’re talking about series-deciding, last-second, step-back buzzer beater (courtesy of Ogwumike) game where the Los Angeles Sparks escaped the Minnesota Lynx 77-76.

Seeing that the culmination of the Lynx’s entire 2016 campaign was decided in a match with 24 lead changes, 11 ties, and a last-second shot, they clearly have revenge on their minds, making Wednesday’s game five that more epic.

Since Game 1 of the 2016 WNBA Finals, the teams have played 12 times. In those 12 games, the combined score is 908-908.

And to add to the dramatics, the games are panning out the same way.

Game 1 – 2016 – LA wins on the road
Game 1 – 2017 – LA wins on the road

Game 2 – 2016 – MIN evens the series at home
Game 2 – 2017 – MIN evens the series at home

Game 3 – 2016 – LA wins and is one game away from a championship
Game 3 – 2017 – LA wins and is one game away from a championship

Game 4 – 2016 – MIN wins on the road to force a Game 5
Game 4 – 2017 – MIN wins on the road to force a Game 5

Game 5 – 2016 – LA wins Finals on the road on a game-winner from Nneka Ogwumike
Game 5 – 2017 – ????

I’m not sure what else you could ask from a basketball game.

Four league MVP recipients out of the last five years.

Four former Rookie of the Year winners.

And the two most recent Defensive Player of the Year selections.

And the talent has not disappointed.

Game 1 was crazy, if y’all don’t watch the WNBA finals then you’re bugging. These games are good!!

It’s almost a crime not to be watching the games at this point. I understand it’s the playoffs season in baseball, football is underway, and NBA pre-season just kicked off, but damnit, if you love sports, you can’t pass these games by.

What makes a good professional sporting event? Stars? Competitiveness? The match-up? This series ticks all the boxes.

Between Mya Moore, Sylvia Fowles Lindsay Whalen, Candace Parker, Ogwumike, and others we’re getting top tier talent backed by a heated rivalry on the highest stage.

It’s funny, when the L.A Clippers were “lob city” their biggest critique was that show-off basketball couldn’t win games. But when women don’t dunk, it’s a big detraction, despite world-class skill and technique.

Whatever stigma surrounding women’s ball that has served as a deterrent for you, I urge you to block them out, at least for game five Wednesday night.

The NBA is not here yet, and while all of our tongues are collectively salivating for opening tip, it’s blind for us not to take a peek at what the women are doing on the national stage of their own. It might even be a more impressive product.

The Stephon Marbury redemption tour is coming to the NBA

Stephon Marbury, one of the most exciting, entertaining, and enigmatic players in recent NBA history is making a comeback to The Association.

After 9 (!) years in China, Starbury posted a long message on Instagram writing that this would be his last year in basketball and that he wants to play his final season in the NBA.

Marbury wrote:

“I’m making a #nba come back for the fans who want to see me play my last year as a pro. After hearing so many people say come back I finally prayed about it and gave it major thought. I thought the perfect ending would of been retiring with the Beijing Ducks but it’s clear the GM had other thoughts which is fine. My love for the ducks will always be A1 from day 1. I still have a lot of go in me as a player and at 40 being able to play at a high level is a gift.”

It’s interesting that Marbury was down to retire with the Beijing Ducks but the GM of the team seemingly wasn’t down. If Starbury isn’t wanted in China where he won 3 championship rings and had a statue built for him, it’s unclear if he’ll be up to the level of the NBA.

To that end, Marbury wrote on Instagram about the grueling training regimen in China where they practice constantly, which isn’t allowed in the NBA. Marbury claimed that this practice schedule has him ready for the NBA.

He also referenced his accomplishments in China, which are not limited to the basketball court, but also include an ambassadorship, a statue, and most importantly internal peace. Marbury wrote,

“So I’m ready and prepared to take on a challenge I once faced but with chips under my belt along with all that has come with winning chips in China. Statues, museum, green card, Honorary citizen, ambassador for the environmental protection bureau, key to the city, only 30 people ever to receive the key to the city of Beijing and MY PEACE something no one can ever take. So with all of these things I feel complete and ready to turn towards the last page of my basketball dairy that I’ve been writing since 95 when I left Lincoln High.”

Marbury is a legend in China, but we can’t forget how dominant he was at one point before it all kinda fell apart for him. The Coney Island kid still has a career average of 19.3 ppg in the NBA and he electrified courts with his vision, athleticism, and knack for the spectacular.

In January 2005, Stephon Marbury was traded to the New York Knicks in a homecoming that seemed like a match made in heaven. He averaged 19.8 and 21.7 ppg in his first two seasons in New York, but things soon fell apart.

Public feuds with head coach Larry Brown and then Isiah Thomas saw Marbury benched indefinitely.

His last NBA season came in 2008-2009 as a member of the Boston Celtics. In limited minutes Marbury contributed to a Celtics team that lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Then that summer, Marbury livestreamed himself to fans while openly crying and eating vaseline in a bizarre incident that became a viral sensation.

So, not only did Marbury contribute to the changing style of point guards who can score the ball, he also kind of revolutionized athletes and celebrities livestreaming and interacting with fans.

Marbury would later admit to being suicidal and depressed as his NBA career fizzled out.

It was a precipitous and dramatic fall going from one of the most electric players in the league to eating vaseline on the internet, but Marbury’s redemption in China over the years was beautiful to see.

I have my doubts that a comeback to the NBA is possible, mostly because I’m not sure what team would sign him, but dammit I hope it happens. Marbury was one of the most entertaining players of the early 2000s.

Shoutout Starbury.


Basketball never sleeps: Your guide to this summer’s best pro-ams

If you’re anything like me, then you too feel like the end of the NBA season is cruel and unusual punishment and should be against the Geneva Convention to endure.

I mean, basketball is hands down the best sports product out right now. I’m sorry, it’s just true.

Baseball is just as they said its always has been: a “pastime”. It’s something to do when you’re folding your laundry, washing dishes, or punishing little kids. Even Sports Center can’t dress up the entertainment of baseball with their daily top 10 sports segment. It’s dry.

And not to be a kill-joy, but football has about ten years left in the tank. Beyond being dubbed the ‘No Fun League’ for things like penalizing player celebrations and even banning  NFL team twitter and Facebook accounts from sharing their own video clips of action within NFL stadiums. The average length of NFL careers is decreasing. The game is just too dangerous.

That leaves the NBA as lone king, at least in America. Between continuing a history of promoting social activism, the prevalence of the NBA in pop (hip-hop)  culture, and the ever-increasing popularity and skill level of basketball overseas, the NBA could improve on what was a record-breaking year revenue-wise in 2016 and surpass the NFL as America’s top sport.

So whatever are we supposed to do when it leaves us June 18th? I mean, there’s the NBA summer league that starts in July, but surely we can see top tier talent elsewhere? Right?

Fret not. If you’re anything like me and bloodthirsty for all things basketball, there are other options for feeding your hoop fix.

Pro-am leagues are the one thing that makes waiting for the next NBA season bearable. When the NBA had its lockout in 2011, these semi-pro leagues became popular. Pick up games with Kobe Bryant game-winners and Kevin Durant weaving in and out of ordinary players reminded us just how ridiculously talented these guys are.

And when the NBA resumed, the pro-ams remained. They did not have as many NBA stars, but other celebrities and former players who have game came out and really showed us what they had. They were there long before, and they’re not going away.

So here are some leagues you can check out this offseason to hold you over. You’ll never know what you will find.

Drew League

South Central L.A. is home to so many local legends. In 1973 Alvin Wills, the basketball coach at Charles Drew Middle School decided to start a summer league for the school’s alumni who had since moved onto high school and college.

The six squads that birthed in that alumni reunion have since expanded into the Drew League, a 28-team staple of sports and life in Watts.

Players like (now retired) Kobe Bryant, Brandon Jennings, James Harden, and Nick Young are regulars. In addition to being a hotbed for basketball, this Los Angeles institution routinely attracts L.A. natives to come and dazzle fans with their incredible gifts throughout the offseason.

Goodman League

When it comes to street hoops you cannot overlook the Southeast D.C. George Goodman League. All summer long, games are played six days a week at the Barry Farms Dwellings courts.

Home of D.M.V. natives Victor Oladipo and Kevin Durant, this pro-am definitely attracts big names. But what makes it unique is the Commissioner Miles Rawls who handles the play-by-play.

The ‘Dancing Referee’ — which is what he’s referred to as —  is among the main characters as he gives animated commentary on every move.

Nike Pro City Run

Running from June until August, this high-level pro-am basketball league out of New York features talent at every level, from high school to the NBA.

Although Nike Pro City is often known as a streetball league, it’s run indoors and often features some pretty well-known players, including celebrities like Chris Brown.

Nike Pro City basketball in New York City is played in the Hunter College gym at 68th street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan and full of promising surprises every summer.

San Francisco Pro Am

The Kezar Pavilion in Golden Gate Park has been providing local basketball fans top tier entertainment going on four decades. Pros, college players, and international stars come here every summer to battle in a highly competitive brand of basketball.

Supported by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, the league runs from June through August and features evening games Monday through Thursday for the men’s teams and on Saturday afternoons for the women’s.

Players from Aaron Gordon, Jeremy Lin, and even Stephen Curry have all come through to show off their skills in the Bay area. And the best part of all? It’s free.


The Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League (AEBL), was founded by Jahi Rawlings in 2013 and is Atlanta’s newest live sports and entertainment attraction for competitive basketball played by current, former and aspiring NBA players, celebrities, entertainers, and local athletes.

NBA players and Atlanta natives like Lou Williams and Josh Smith are just some the names who have shown up and the league has shown promise of growth.

Rucker Park’s Entertainers Basketball Classic

The Entertainer’s Basketball Classic was established in 1982 and has featured some of the biggest names in NBA history. Michael Jordan, Dr. J, Kobe, Durant, and Lebron are just a couple who have step foot on this legendary blacktop court.

You can say Rucker and the EBC is the godfather of streetball leagues. Most tournaments built their tourneys based on their model with the MC running up and down the court, the sponsorship, even how the courts look. They were the first with fiberglass, they were the first with bleachers. And that’s the way it should go as New York is considered the mecca of basketball.

The Harlem court is rugged and as authentic as they come, with the crowd often times being an arm-length away. In fact, the court is so legendary, many films and television shows, such as Above the Rim” with Tupac Shakur, and MTV’s “Real Rucker Park Legends”, have been filmed on location.

You see, basketball doesn’t have to be completely over. There are pro-am leagues in most major cities, and while no one knows whether, or which, celeb or NBA player will show up, being able to be a part of a competitive atmosphere brings an excitement that we all need during the long summer months.

Most entries are affordable and if you have skill there are ways to enter the league yourself.

Having more games to watch is never a bad thing, especially if you can get catch a pro or two. Let’s see what this summer has to offer.