The Knicks went into this week with a six-game losing streak. Suddenly, instead of leading the NBA’s Atlantic Division, the Knicks have to worry about falling behind such perennial standings bottom-feeders as the New Jersey Nets and the Washington Wizards.
Following the team’s dispiriting loss to the Phoenix Suns last Wednesday, head coach Mike D’Antoni used the word “crisis” to describe the state of affairs. When I asked if that might be a tad too dramatic, given the fact that more than 50 games were still to be played this season, he corrected himself: “Crisis may be overstating things. Right now I just feel like I’m on a ledge.”
D’Antoni feels like he is on a precipice because the Knicks’ big trio of Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler have forgotten how to put the ball in the basket.
Knicks forward Landry Fields admitted that the team has been fortunate to have endured a slump while the Giants have been distracting area sports fans with their Super Bowl run.
Fields did not mention that the Knicks started to go off the rails as soon as Cablevision, owner of Madison Square Garden and the MSG Network, took their games off Time Warner Cable, the leading TV provider in the city. I guess it’s safe to say that Knicks fans are not tying up TWC’s phones begging them to cut a deal with Cablevision at any cost.
My guess is that Cablevision and TWC will reach a pact as soon as area politicians start threatening to institute a la carte pricing for cable channels because that’s something that would adversely affect the bottom line of both telecommunications giants.
While this city will understandably be obsessed with the Giants-Patriots Super Bowl rematch in two weeks, another sport will try to carve out a little attention this week. The Track & Field U.S. Open will be held at the Garden this Saturday, as the best in the world gather to compete in such events as the pole vault, shot put, high hurdles and distance running.
Since this is a Summer Olympics year, there will be more attention paid to track & field by both the media and athletic apparel companies. New Balance launched its British Miler line of running shoes by bringing in five top distance runners from the United Kingdom, who hope to represent their country at the London Olympiad, to meet with the media in New York last week.
I spoke with British runner James Brewer and told him how his countryman, retired tennis star Tim Henman, hated playing at Wimbledon because he felt the pressure of representing the hopes of an entire nation on his shoulders. “I can understand how he felt since he had to do that every year. This is a once in a lifetime experience for me, so I am in a different situation,” Brewer replied.
Benjamin Cardozo High School will field one of four boys’ basketball teams competing at the SNY Invitational Friday and Saturday at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus.