Last night’s LeBron eruption at MSG sealed the deal for me. His line was amazing, the performance one of the best you will ever see. 50 points and 10 assists. The last two players to accomplish that feat were Michael Jordan and… wait for it…
No seriously wait for it…
In 2001, when he was a Net, against the Lakers. LeBron, MJ, Steph. Three of a kind.
But I digress. If you saw the highlights, it was LeBron raining open threes, breaking down guys that are already broken down. It was kind of like cruel and unusual punishment for the Knicks. Fun for the fans to watch, but they could have just watched him in warm-ups and it would have been the same thing. To put it bluntly, the Knicks are so bad that they demean the value of one of the great NBA performances. When Jordan dropped his double-nickel for instance, it was against a good team, so it meant more.
The grand stage of MSG has been tainted, and I’m here to tell you why. This is an IM conversation I had with an anonymous friend who does not watch even one second of basketball, dated December 18, 2007.
AIM IM with Anon.
12/18/07, 12:32 PM
Anon: Carl from ATHF is my new source on all sports developments. You have been replaced
Sam: that’s fine
Anon: You two actually agree on most things, so it’s even better
Sam: I hope he’s calling Eli a (derogatory term)
Anon: He’s raging against the Mitchell report
Sam: the giants replaced that for me
Anon: Maybe they’ll take out the pats perfect season. Or at least blow out Brady’s knee.
Sam: that would be sweeeeet
Sam: they actually ruined the Broncos 12-0 season back in ’99 I believe
Anon: That’s a plan: ruin the pat’s playoff chances
Sam: only if they injured Brady
Sam: Giants too soft to do that though
(NOTE: WHAT A DIFFERENCE THE GREATEST CHAMPIONSHIP EVER MAKES!)
Anon: They need to hire Isiah as their coach
Sam: I have a budding crackpot conspiracy theory about Isiah
Anon: Do tell
Sam: I think I know why he won’t be fired, and why he’s so bad at his job
Anon: He’s addicted to crackpot?
Sam: no. It’s a lot like the movie Sleepers, and Isiah is Brad Pitt
Anon: … Is that the one where they were all abused in prison?
Sam: yes. But this is about the aftermath
Sam: Brad becomes a prosecutor, and he tries the molester Kevin Bacon
Sam: or that is to say he tries his old friends who kill Kevin Bacon
Anon: I thought they murdered him and Pitt helped stymie the prosecutuon
Sam: He throws away his career in order to shed light on the subject
Anon: So Isiah is somehow exposing something?
Sam: ok, here goes…
Sam: When Michael Jordan was a rookie, playing in the All-Star Game, Isiah was the captain of the Eastern Conference team
Sam: he organized a freeze-out so nobody passed the ball to Jordan
Sam: Then, after the Pistons beat the Bulls three times in a row in the playoffs every year by beating up on Jordan, they finally lost
Sam: Detroit refused to shake hands with Chicago, stormed off the court in a show of poor sportsmanship, led by captain Isiah.
Anon: I think I follow. Isiah is a d–k.
Sam: Yes. Soon after that, Jordan became the biggest star in the world, and the legendary “Dream Team” was assembled.
Sam: Jordan, Magic, Bird, Ewing, Pippen, Barkley, etc.
Anon: That was the olympics thing, right?
Sam: Yes. 92 Olympics. Isiah obviously belonged on that team. He was one of the best PGs ever, a 2 time champion as a pro, won the college championship.
Sam: The reason Isiah was not on that team, was Jordan took a hard line
Sam: Told the NBA he wouldn’t be on the team if Isiah was on it.
Sam: And Jordan was bigger than the game, so they had no choice.
Anon: Okay… Sounds like a lot of nonsense back room politicking, but I follow
Sam: And other NBA icons fell in line.
Sam: Isiah was coaching the Pacers in the 2000s
Sam: the first thing Larry Bird did when he took the job there as GM, was to fire Isiah
Sam: The NBA establishment outside of Detroit HATES Isiah.
Sam: He’s never said anything about it, but I suspect Isiah hates the establishment.
Anon: So his lackluster coaching style is a big f–k you to New York, and through them, NBA brass?
Sam: okay… so the Knicks owner James Dolan…
Sam: is the most defiant person alive
Sam: he’s a recovering addict, son of the cablevision dynasty, a real (similar term used to decribe pre-champion Eli Manning)
Anon: This is quite a tale you are spinning. Continue.
Sam: so… I see the two of them as kindred spirits who would like to bring the NBA down
Sam: James Dolan makes money no matter what
Sam: He’s been a billionaire since he was born
Sam: Isiah is angry
Anon: That must be nice. The billionaire part
Sam: Yes. And so, how do you take down the NBA?
Sam: Well… they say the league always does well when the Knicks do well
Sam: Because not only is it a major market…
Anon: Who says?
Anon: The man?
Sam: It’s a saying that people take as fact. But I’ll explan
Sam: the stage of MSG is the biggest one in the game, cause of the combo of the history and the media
Sam: When the Lakers are in town, it’s a show to see how Kobe will perform on the grand stage.
Anon: Perhaps you’d be happier submitting this in thesis form
Sam: it’s almost over.
Sam: So, the way Isiah has it, MSG is no longer that showcase
Sam: instead of celebrating the greatness of Kobe, LeBron, Garnett, etc.
Anon: It celebrates the suckiness of the nba, writ large
Sam: no, it celebrates how sad the Knicks are,
Sam: like oooooh Kobe scored 50, so what. Look who he did it against.
Sam: And it takes away the only remaining stage like that in the sport
Anon: So he’s manchurian candidating it
Anon: Like Bush
Sam: cause Boston has a new arena and so do the Lakers and so do the Bulls
Sam: Yes, it’s kind of like that
Anon: Won’t the mantle of power move to some other city?
Sam: Never. NY bias baby. This is the stage.
Anon: But newer stadiums? Larger stadiums?
Sam: Nope. No history.
Sam: The Patriots field is great, they are a dynasty.
Sam: But it will never be Lambeau or Texas stadium
Anon: I see
Sam: with MSG it’s even more critical because of all the non-basketball history
Sam: every entertainer who’s anyone has performed there
Sam: It’s a shrine
Anon: I think I understand. Stepping out to possibly buy another Rockband controller
So there you have it! As good a theory as any!