Most NBA teams will do just about anything to cater to celebrities and the cachet their bring by attending games.
The New York Knicks are not most teams.
They have a few superfans/celebs that are regulars but now one of them — famed director Woody Allen — has gotten in hot water with the owner James Dolan, reports the New York Post (take this with the appropriate salt considering the source):
Sources say Dolan had the Oscar-winning director banned from Suite 200, the VIP lounge at Madison Square Garden, after Allen refused to do any promotion for MSG Network or the Garden of Dreams Foundation.
Allen had been a regular for years in the suite, where models, pop stars and pro athletes gather before games and at halftime for free drinks and food.
According to the report the MSG Network (owned by Dolan and which broadcasts the Knicks) bought the rights to several Allen films to show, they wanted him to come on and talk about them before hand, give a little insight. Allen, who can be publicity shy, declined. The Knicks told him maybe he shouldn’t be in the VIP lounge anymore, Allen said fine.
When the Post called for comment, the Knicks wouldn’t say anything other than to point out Allen has never done any work for Dolan’s youth charity, Garden of Dreams.
Whatever. Unless it the VIP room has Miley Cyrus performing with a huge image of a kitten behind her, who wants to go anyway?
The VIP lounge of the Garden was expanded during recent upgrades to the building. That’s all I can really tell you about it, that’s not the kind of place I get invited.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.