The Making of a Die-Hard Knicks Fan

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New York Knicks logo

New York Knicks logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My husband, a loyal, die-hard Knicks fan, can tell you most every fact about the Knicks dating back to when he first became a fan back in the 1980’s.  I recently asked him what solidified him as a fan for life.  He said it was when the Knicks drafted Patrick Ewing in 1985.  He gets all nostalgic and goes on to tell me how, back then, defense was their game and for 12 years they made the playoffs.  He boldly states that if not for Michael Jordan, the Knicks would have had a chance at the championship title.  The drafting of Patrick Ewing made my husband a Knicks fan for life.

Now, some 25 years later, the next generation of Knicks fans in our family experienced a player acquisition that had the same effect, but quite a different outcome.  My oldest son has followed in his father’s footsteps and is a die-hard Knicks fan.  For several months he told me how the Knicks were going to win it all next year because the Knicks were going to acquire LeBron James.  Now, granted, we are a sports family so I knew who he was talking about but, even if you weren’t a sports fan, after all the fanfare this summer, you would have to live in a box in a remote country not to know who LeBron James is.  My son talked about nothing else for months.

When July finally rolled around and the big announcement was due, we were away on vacation.  Ironically, we were vacationing with family from Cleveland.  We all watched the news reports and listened to the speculation for days prior to the announcement.  As the day drew nearer, and my oldest son waited with the rest of the world, he remained confident that LeBron would seal the deal with the Knicks and bring his favorite team a championship title.

Throughout all the hoopla, my youngest son, who had not yet shown a big interest in all-things basketball and the Knicks, got caught up in the excitement. He listened adeptly as his father and brother talked about the Knicks’ bright future.  He eagerly awaited the big announcement and excitedly shared his enthusiasm with his friends. Then, the unthinkable happened.  LeBron James made the decision not to come to New York and play for the Knicks.  My oldest son was in shock.  He was angry, disappointed and frustrated.  LeBron was somewhat of a hero and he had let him down – big time.  Seeing and feeling his big brother’s pain, my youngest son rallied around his brother and against LeBron James.  He now declares that name cannot be spoken in our home.  And he also declares his die-hard loyalty for his New York Knicks.  They are no longer just his dad and brother’s team, they are his team.  LeBron’s disloyalty led him to be a loyal, die-hard fan for life.  Just like his dad and his brother.  Two generations, two players, with two very different outcomes, created two Knicks fans for life.

Kathy Rothaar is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on online colleges and universities for the Guide to Online Schools.

Niblets for August 2010

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Best comment of the month:

From Tena

I’m not a baseball fan, but this whole episode stinks to the high heavens. WHY in God’s name is congress (A group of liars if there ever was one) WASTING their valuable time on a baseball player who allegedly lied about taking drugs that may even kill him someday. The country is in the grip of a horrible mess caused by the inattention of politicians for the last 30 years. That boil is getting ready to burst,and here we have Congress trying to “look busy”. It’s really disgusting. It’s impossible for Congress to hold anyone in contempt, because that is the feeling that the entire country has -against THEM!…..

You must also become a reader of because I made EXACTLY the same argument. Well done.

Updates on previous columns:

LeBron, Gilbert, Miami and Cleveland LeBron came back to Cleveland for a bike fund raiser. He was roundly booed and expressed disgust that the city wanted to be paid to provide police protection for the riders. LeBron, if you though that was a bad welcome, wait till the Beach Boys come to play.

The NFL, NFLPA, and an 18 game season. If you watched any of the preseason games you saw a lot of fans wearing empty seat costumes. In most games it looked like the average attendance was around 20% of capacity. I have not found league published attendance figures but it had to be very low. That makes it even more likely that we will see the 18 game regular season in 2011 or if a lockout occurs 2012. The injuries that have continued to pile up make the players even less likely to accept 18 games without a major fight.

Fantasy Football Sleepers, handcuffs and avoids in the NFC WR Bryant DA is expected to be the 3rd WR game 1 for the Boys. Move him up on your fantasy draft lists.

As I forecast months ago, AZ QB Leinart is likely not to be the starter. I suggest you take him off your list altogether. QB Anderson might be a bye week fill in available late in the draft.

Texan RB Tate is on IR.

Bengal TE Gresham has convinced me he is the real deal. Add him to your list.

See the comment about Hawk WR Houshmandzadeh below.

Raider RB Bush hurt his thumb so badly it required surgery. He will be out 4 to 6 weeks.

Niblets fresh from the cob:

Browns RB Hardesty on IR He has a history of injury and blew out his left anterior cruciate ligament and has been put on IR. Browns fans can just hope this is not a sign he will often have injuries.

Seahawk WR Houshmandzadeh could be traded or cut. This has to be a HC Carroll issue. Wherever he goes he should be productive. The uncertainty will move him down your draft chart. Carroll wants to prove that WR Mike Williams, the former 1st round pick of the Lions and USC player, is not a bust. Look for several teams to be interested because he is a solid WR and the Hawks will have to pick up the big guarantee given to Housh by the previous administration.

Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension cut to 4 games. We predicted this weeks ago. Meanwhile, one candidate to replace him, QB Leftwtch, went down in preseason game 4. One report from the team said he will but out with a knee sprain 2 to 4 weeks. But his agent’s company said he tore his MCL and will miss the season.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL Football,Fantasy Football,Fantasy draft,Fantasy draft notes,sleepers,LeBron,James,NFLPA,DeMaurice Smith,Browns,Texans,Bengals,Raiders,Cardinals,Bush,Tate,Leinart,Houshmandzadeh,Roethlisberger,steelers

Niblets for July 2010

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NOTE:  We will finish our question mark review for the NFC South and West Thursday.

Best comment of the month:

teeth whitening gets the comment of the month again. Comment on LeBron is LeGone to Miami I wonder if the incentives in the contracts for the beach boys are going to impose problems during their season? What if one of the players decides to pad their stats instead of playing team ball and set off the egos.

TW, I think we have a new name for the guys in South Beach–the Beach Boys. Well done and thanks for reading our site.

Updates on previous columns:

LeBron, Gilbert, Miami and Cleveland The Heat added F Juwan Howard, Joel Anthony, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Jamaal Magloire and rookies Dexter Pittman and Patrick Beverley. Z is nearly useless and was at the end of the bench during the Cavs run in the playoffs last season. Howard is not what he used to be but will help. Magloire gives the heat some physical play inside at C.

The Cavs have done very little to add talent despite owner Gilbert’s statement. The fact is that if the team could not attract a top UFA with LeBron on the roster, they will have no luck getting one now.

Baseball Heads Down the Back Stretch The rich (Yankees) get richer and traded for Lance Berkman and Austin Kearns, along with reliever Kerry Wood. The Cubs and the Indians continue to be some of the best minor league teams in baseball by giving up talented players for nothing. Even so, the Rays took sole posession of 1st place by beating the Yankees 2 out of 3 last weekend.

The Rangers got the best pitcher on the trading block by getting ex-Indian and former Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee from Seattle and catcher Bengie Molina from the Giants.

Questions in the NFC East and North training camps The injury to Cowboy 1st round pick WR Dez Bryant is the feared “high ankle sprain.” He may be ready for the opening game but that will give WR Roy Williams a chance to earn his money and establish himself as the starter. He won’t but will start for the first 6 weeks.

Niblets fresh from the cob:

The Raven’s D backfield took another major hit when Domonique Foxworth’s season ended with an injury. They traded QB John Beck to the Redskins for unproven CB Doug Dutch. Beck was at one time the QB of the future for the Dolphins.

The latest rumor is that Bret Favre is not coming back. We have heard that before and we will see. If he is not coming back, the Vikes will struggle to win their division let alone get deep in the playoffs.

The Pats have taken WR Wes Welker off the PUP and he is expected to be close to 100% by the start of the season. That is great news for Tom Brady.

There are only a couple of rookies unsigned as of today. That includes 2nd over all DT Ndamukong Suh. He was reportedly asking 50M guaranteed. But according to his agent, that is not the case.

Raven 2nd round pick LB Sergio Kindle fell and will be out for several weeks with a cracked skull. He has been diagnosed with Narcolepsy.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: LeBron,NBA,NBA Playoffs,Heat,Cavilers,Cubs,Yankees,Indians,Rays,Rangers,Beach Boys,Trade deadline,Ravens,Patroits,Favre,Vikings

LeBron is LeGone to Miami

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LeBron announced tonight that he is going to play for the Heat next season. It was a good decision for him but could be fatal to the Cavilers.

In Miami he will play with both Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh and a cast of rejects and no names.

In Cleveland, there is a hole the size of the Pacific Ocean right in the middle of the starting lineup.

Miami now has a total of 6 guys on the roster. PG Mario Chalmers and C Joel Anthony will join the Second 3 (the first big 3 was the Celtics) as starters with utility man Michael Beasley most likely to be traded for multiple vets. James is used to playing 35+ minutes a night and unless the team can find a few cheap vets, he will have to. The starters should be among the best in the league. But very often, championships require a decent if not strong bench. This team will be DEEP into luxury tax land and will have to find a bench willing to play at league minimum. They do have a couple of rookies they can sign.

The Cavs now have enough cap room to sign a top free agent. But they won’t be able to do that. According to multiple reports, LeBron tried to recruit FAs to come to the Cavs including Bosh and G Ray Allen. According to one source he even tried to get the often injured Amar’e Stoudemire to come. He had no success. The result was the same for the Cavs new regime. The question is now that they have a championship quality coach, what will they do to rebuild the team?

The Cavs are rumored to be trying to sign Ryan Gomes, Jonny Flynn and Acie Law. F Gomes was a recent cut of Portland who started 64 of 76 games for the Timberwolves in 09-10. He averaged 10.9 points and 4.6 rebounds last year.

G Flynn also played for the Wolves and started all 81 games he played. He scored 13.5 points and had 4.4 assists per game.

G Law got a lot of airline miles changing teams in 2009-10. He played for Chicago, Charlotte and Golden State but only played in 26 games.

In addition, they have a couple of former draft choices in Europe including Christian Eyenga (1st round 09) and Sasha Kaun (2nd round 08).

The Cavs need some top draft choices. Based on their roster as of now, they will in the lottery for several years to come. New HC Scott should be able to get the most out of whatever talent he is given but I’m not sure that will be enough to make the playoffs next year.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: LeBron James,Miami,NBA Free Agency
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  • Published: Jun 29th, 2010
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Sports Buffet for 06/29/10

Sports Buffet for 06/29/10

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Lions president Tom Lewand was recently charged with DUI. That got him a not so friendly visit with Comm. Goodell this week. While there is no decision yet on punishment for the charge or from the league, the players and NFLPA Ex. Dir. DeMaurice Smith will be watching this case very closely. They will want to see if management is held to the same standard as the players.

UFA RB Brian Westbrook was charged with DUI in February but has been found not guilty.

Bengal RB Cedric Benson is in trouble again. This time he was charged with assault with injury resulting from an altercation at a downtown Austin Texas bar. He reportedly punched a bar employee in the face. He paid his bond but the charge is a class A misdemeanor. It will get him a ticket to meet with Comm. Goodall sometime soon.

Steelers OT Willie Colon’s hurt his Achilles’ tendon and will miss the entire year. He had started 54 straight games. The team is searching for a replacement but the good ones are gone.


We are getting closer to knowing where the big name UFAs will be going. One thing that looks fairly certain is that LeBron will leave Cleveland. Current bets have LeBron and Bosh in Chicago, Wade and Amar’e Stoudemire in Miami, Boozer in New York or New Jersey. Sorry Clippers, it doesn’t look like any of the top level will be going there.

Dirk Nowitzki has reportedly officially opted out of his player option with Dallas. The team believes they will be able to resign him soon. Don’t hold your breath. Nowitzki is going to get a max deal from a team that misses out on the big 3 UFAs.


If the Cubs don’t have enough problems, SP Carlos Zambrano threw a temper tantrum last week. Unfortunately, it was the best thing he has thrown all year. He has been suspended indefinitely by the team and has yet to hear from the league. He is paid like an ACE and thinks of himself as one. He has never thrown like an ACE. At some point the team is going to have to just cut bait with Zambrano.

The Red Sox have more injuries and that will keep them out of the playoffs. Victor Martinez was added to the list yesterday with a broken thumb. Perhaps the biggest loss was Dustin Pedroia who went down a couple of days ago with a broken foot.


The US team is out of the World Cup. But that won’t impact the interest in the sport in the US. Just like the NHL failed to capitalize on their international success, the US team wouldn’t have impacted pro soccer here even if they had won the World Cup. The lack of interest prevents both leagues from getting a big time TV deal for regular season games. Soccer doesn’t have a big enough fan base despite the fact that young adults from 20-40 grew up playing the game.

Part of the problem is that the best athletes go to the NBA or NFL for both the money and the glory. MLB is next in line and what is left over falls to soccer. That limits the interest of Americans that expect to see the very best from professional sports.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NBA,MLB,World Cup,Westbrook,Benson,Goodell,NFLPA,DeMaurice Smith,ufa,LeBron,Nowitzki,Stoudemire,Bosh,Cavs,Heat,Nets,Clippers,Bulls,Cubs,Red Sox,Zambrano,Pedroia

There will be more chairs than players for NBA max contracts in 2010 free agency

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Trying to grade the NFL draft right after it is an effort in futility. The NBA draft is even worse because we have so much less information about the players. I won’t try to do that. Instead let’s look at 2010 free agency because that is where the rubber of the NBA ball meets the court.

There are 3 premiere UFAs in the 2010 free agent class. Those are 1. LeBron James SF (26 years old), 2. Dwyane Wade, SG (28) and 3. 3. Chris Bosh, FC (26). That is it.

There are 3 blue chip UFAs including 4. Joe Johnson, SG (29 a late bloomer that has really come on in Atlanta) 5. Amare Stoudemire, FC (28 but injury prone and not much of a defender) 6. Dirk Nowitzki, PF (a very old 32).

Then there is the rest who are at best a “Pippen” that requires a Jordan to get you a championship.

There is no question that the first 3 deserve the max contract of about 16.6 mil over what ever length of time you can sign the guy for. In the second group Johnson deserves the max but I would not give the other 2 max deals for more than 3 years. There is a really good chance they won’t be productive after that.

Here is the problem: There are 9 teams that have been working feverishly to create cap room to sign UFAs this year. They have traded away good players and virtually decimated their rosters to take their shot at a FA home run. Here is the list as of draft night:

Miami 43M

New York 35

New Jersey 27

Chicago 21

Washington 20

LA Clippers 18

Sacramento 15

Minnesota 15

Oklahoma City 12

Miami is trying to get into position to sign 2 max plus keep Wade. Who says you can’t buy an NBA title? The list above does not include Cleveland that is trying their best to keep LeBron.

That adds up to a total of 206M. But at best there are only 99.6M worth of max contract UFAs and that includes a couple of marginal max guys. The teams listed have all had trouble filling their arena with their 09-10 rosters. Those teams that don’t get one or more of the top 3 are going to struggle even more in 2010-11 because they will be left with guys that no one else wanted.

Suppose LeBron and Bosh go to one team and the others sign elsewhere. That leaves 4 teams and 105.4 M without a dance partner. What will happen is that some of the “Pippen” guys will get max 7 year contracts that will allow their new team to save a little face. But those guaranteed contracts will hang around the necks of the GMs like a C4 explosive collar. It is just a matter of time before those teams will have to blow the team and the organization up and start over.

The job security of an NBA GM makes Greece Bonds look solid. The Trail Blazers fired GM Kevin Pritchard effective at the end of Thursday’s NBA Draft because he took Ohio State C Greg Oden with the first pick in the 2007 draft. Oden who had injury problems at OSU in his 1 season there has played only 81 games since he was drafted. But there were at least 20 other GMs that would have taken Oden if they won the lottery.

Just to add one more uncertainty to the mix, the current NBA CBA expires after the 2010-2011 season unless the league exercises its option to extend it through the 2011-12 year.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NBA Draft,NBA Free Agency,NBA Collective Bargaining agreement,LeBron James,Wade,Bosh,Stoudemire,Johnson,Nowitzki,Pippen,Jordan,Miami,New York,New Jersey,Chicago,Washington,Los Angeles Clippers,Sacramento,Minnesota,Oklahoma City,Oden,Trail Blazers,Pritchard

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