“Everybody in New York thinks the Knicks are Playboy bunnies, and I have been telling them for years the Knicks are a rabbit. They’re closer to a Playboy bunny this year but for the last few years these guys are like, ‘We have a really good team!’ And I say, ‘You really think that?’ And I say, ‘No, they don’t.’ But this is the best team they’ve had in a while.”
— Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley, speaking to Newsday, admitting that these Knicks are good. Best team they have had in a long while (hat tip to SLAM).
But if you read the entire Newsday post, Barkley has concerns — that the Knicks are regularly getting beat on the boards, that their three-point shooting will cool off, that fitting Amare Stoudemire back in with Carmelo Anthony is another hurdle to climb. Every one of those is a legitimate concern and why we should all be careful about reading too much into December results.
But even Barkley admits these Knicks are good. We knew some team in the East would break out of the pack to be the side to challenge the Heat come the playoffs (the road to the finals still goes through Miami). It looks like the Knicks could be that team. And if they keep playing like this they could pose a serious challenge, not just a paper one.
First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.
Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.
The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.
Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”
“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”
The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.
It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.
I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.
Somebody is in midseason form.
Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.
Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.