Unless you are reading this in the backseat of a Manhattan cab, you probably haven’t seen the Madison Square Garden ads promoting the New York Knicks around the city, on bus stops and such places. Here is what they said:
“It’s Friday night. You can either go out and attempt to pick up sixes and sevens or stay home and watch Kidd dish out dimes.”‘
“It’s Friday night. You can either watch East Village poets do battle or see real artists slam.”
“It’s Friday night. You can either see a Broadway harness malfunctioning or you can watch real men fly.” (This is a reference to the troubled “Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark” production.)
Note to young marketing majors out there: Rule No. 1 is the same as doctors — do no harm. Insulting women, calling the population in your city that you are trying to get to buy tickets/tune in to games ugly, and slamming other things for which your city is well known — arts and Broadway shows — does not go over well. Also, if you’re going to go after Spiderman because of serious injuries to actors in the production, you may not want to put Amare Stoudemire’s pictures on the ad.
The ads created a buzz in New York, but not in a good way for a team trying to promote its product. It’s 3-0 product. Turns out not only were poets incensed they know how to use social media, too. They hammered the Knicks online. The people on Broadway were not thrilled.
So MSG — which owns the Knicks, Madison Square Garden and the network on which their games are broadcast — has pulled the ads, reports Darren Rovell of ESPN.
On Tuesday, the company said it would take down all posters associated with its recent advertising campaign, which generated buzz but also was considered controversial.
Keep winning and the Knicks will have no trouble getting people to go to games and tune in to broadcasts. In an Eastern Conference where the Pacers just took a blow, we can start to think that maybe the Knicks are a top four seed in the conference. Long way to go but right now you can see that path for them.
So maybe a little less is more marketing? Let the product speak for itself? If not, at least do no harm.
League executives, players wince watching this Kobe Bryant
Over the last few days, we’ve written in more detail about Kobe Bryant‘s shooting troubles. He’s jacking up threes his fastest pace ever, he can’t create space to get off clean shots, he’s hitting 31.1 percent overall and 19.5 percent from three. There are flashes of vintage Kobe, but they are fleeting (and mostly because poor shot choices are falling). Byron Scott is still in Kobe’s corner, saying they just need to get the veteran better looks.
However, talk to people around the league about Kobe and you hear some variation of the phrase “hard to watch.” After 20 seasons, more than 55,000 minutes on the court, and coming off two major injuries, Kobe clearly is not the same player everyone admired for so long.
“Man, I don’t want to see Kobe go out like this, looking this bad and not able to do what he once could do,” said a retired guard who faced Bryant. “He doesn’t have anything else to prove to anybody. He was one of the greatest. I know he’s owed that $25 million, but he should just walk away now. He ain’t got it anymore.”
“He’s one of the few players in NBA history to have gotten everything possible out of his body. Now his body has nothing left to give,” (an Eastern Conference executive) said. “But that’s life in the NBA, in professional sports. At some point, the body just can’t do it anymore and Kobe’s body can’t do it anymore.”
One West scout said Bryant looked “disinterested” at times. A current player in the West went a step further.
“Yeah, I’ve seen him play and it’s disgusting,” he said. “He’s one of the best of all time. But he really hasn’t played that much in the last two or three years. He’s got nothing left. It’s sad to watch because he used to be so great, and I mean great.”
Kobe is not going to walk away mid-season, and nobody wants an injury to force him out of the game.
But it’s hard to see how anything is going to dramatically change. Kobe may shoot a little better than his current but it’s not likely going to change in a meaningful way. Which will just make things hard to watch for a full season.
Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver
That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.
Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.
What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.
Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.
By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.
Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.
How’s that going?
(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.