By Sam Rubenstein

Don’t worry, we’ll be previewing more than just the Knicks and Sonics this season. I chose to slow it down yesterday because of the MSG verdict, but we’re back with more team previews in a little while today. The plan is to do one from the East and one from the West every day.

If it’s not obvious, one of my sports teams has forced me into a despondent cocoon of self-pity. I haven’t exactly moved past it yet, but I’m trying. Yesterday I was so out of it I walked right into a metal pole on the street and nearly broke my face like Francisco Elson. I deserved the pain.

As for the Isiah verdict, look, we all know the Dolan regime is shady to put it kindly. James Dolan knows that people will keep coming to “Madison Square Garden!!!!” no matter what the product is like. The latest round of embarrassment is just piling on. Remember, he got rid of Sprewell because he objected to Spree’s character, which was odd because he was the only guy on that team that seemed to care enough to be a leader. That was like 20 bad decisions ago. But MSG the venue is still supposed to be one of the sacred theaters of the world, not just because the Knicks or Rangers won some memorable championships, or classic Big East tourney games were played there. Every meaningful performer is supposed to aspire to play the garden stage. Whether it’s Jay-Z’s “retirement” concert, George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh, AliFrazier I, whatever. My biggest problem with what’s become of the Knicks is that the Dolans are destroying the sanctity of MSG. Me and my brother saw Rush there recently, and as we were walking down the steps to leave, some guy who couldn’t make it to the bathroom on time just started pissing. Thousands of people had to walk underneath as a disgusting rainbow lingered over our heads. It was the act of one random drunk, but that is what Madison Square Garden has become to me. So, allowing Anucha to go to trial and take $11 mill or so of his money? That is embarrassing, but if you’ve been following the work of the Dolans and MSG, you know the one truth is that things can always get worse.

I need another metal pole to walk into.

In other news, yes I watched Heroes the other night in an attempt to cheer myself up. SPOILER GUARD UP: Even Hiro’s humorous adventures in feudal Japan can’t save me. It was an okay episode. I liked the dark parts with the demon that’s powerful enough to kill the devil, and I felt a little better when Claire defied the laws of science and was able to cut her toe off with a common household scissor. That felt good, and it’s always nice to have The Haitian back. It was okay. I also got to watch that Geico Caveman show that people claimed was wildly racist. Um… interesting choice ABC.