The first phase of the $850 million renovation of Madison Square Garden is just about done and will open when the Rangers start their season soon. It will be ready for the Knicks whenever the NBA gets around to having a season, too.
We don’t know how good the Knicks will be once the season rolls around — they have some guys who can score, but role players and defense remain questions — but we know one thing for sure:
Knicks fans are going to eat well.
Interesting story (at least for us wanna be foodies) in the New York Times detailing the new food options in the renovated Garden.
Sausage Boss by Andrew Carmellini is one of four new concessions that high-end restaurateurs have created to serve mainstream food at the 43-year-old arena. Jean-Georges Vongerichten will offer Simply Chicken, Drew Nieporent will serve up burgers at Daily Burger and Jeremy Marshall of Aquagrill will open Lobster and Shrimp Roll, which pretty much describes his fare.
Also coming will be pastrami, corned beef and knishes from the Carnegie Deli; chopped brisket — and hand-carved prime rib — sandwiches from Hill Country; kosher food from Carlos & Gabby’s; a gluten-free concession; and desserts from Magnolia Bakery.
It’s one of the next wave in arenas — more than just boiled hot dogs and crappy nachos. Real food, with real flavors, and not just for the people sitting in the luxury boxes. Granted, this is a way for the building owners to make more money — it’s always about the money — but this is good for fans.
Well, unless you like crappy nachos.
Going to have to check this out next time I’m in the Garden.
The second round was supposed to be when things got exciting. Instead, the San Antonio Spurs put on an absolute clinic at home, blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-92 to take a 1-0 series lead.
Just about everything went in for San Antonio, particularly for LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 63 points. How dominant were they?
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.