Try as they might, imitators still won’t be able to hang with Warriors

New York

From where I’ve sat, courtside or cloistered, the National Bizarre Association has never not been a copycat league … though replicating Bill Russell’s dominating defense 11 of 13 seasons proved somewhat impossible.

An NBA team that takes success to the limit more than once in a row is guaranteed to procreate a congregation of impersonators:

The Bad Boys reigned with ruthlessness, the Knicks and Pacers adopted comparable callousness.

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Calling out Porzingis on home turf spelled end for the Zen Hen

New York

Had Phil Jackson not suggested Kristaps Porzingis was available if a trade wind blew him away, if not for publicly stating it more than once, the last on Madison Square Garden Network, of all places, the Zen Hen would still be president of the Knicks, I assert with complete certainty.

Airing his annoyance at KP for the utter contempt demonstrated by not showing up for his exit interview was understandable, I submit. Especially since KP’s disrespect served to intensify the dysfunction that troubled him enough to have the consummate gall to boycott his boss.

The fact Porzingis’ flagrant contempt didn’t earn him more than a mild admonishment (I’m being generous), by anyone in the local media, was less of an endorsement of the franchise favorite, than it was an indictment of Jackson.

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LeBron’s ‘commitment’ has Gilbert in tough spot

New York

Ah, to be young and hung, indecently affluent and artistic … and positively pissed off.

This is what happens when I spend five NBA seasons on the shelf. Without my consent, the American dream has been redefined.

Ah, the bad old days, when I’d mock the Cadavers and racist owner Ted Stepien, the forerunner of Donald Sterling, because they damn well deserved it! Who would’ve thought that once the franchise actually won a title, reaching The Finals for two out of three June Swoons, the Cavaliers would become similarly sorry?

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LeBron more likely to be gone before Kyrie

New York

While planetary and intergalactic NBA reporters scramble to unscramble Kyrie Irving’s rationale for asking Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert to trade him, I’ve uncovered a far more pressing issue:

Sources say Dahntay Jones has demanded the team validate his parking.

Naturally, credentialed and fantasy folk immediately reacted hysterically to the news seepage of Kyrie’s bid to bolt, and then appropriately overreacted, consistently the media’s foremost function in such situations.

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Carmelo only interested in boosting Rockets

New York

Unlike so many pro basketball writers these days, I am capable of providing readers with up-to-date coverage without having to use Adrian Wojnarowski as the significant source.

Four Facts regarding Carmelo Anthony, courtesy of a confidant, who spoke to me last night:

1. Melo is currently in Los Angeles where Kyrie Irving, before a trip to Asia, had been hosting a delectable daily full court run. Jimmy Butler was also participating. Reeling with the feeling of feeding off Kyrie’s perfectly placed passes, there’s absolutely nothing Melo don’t love about Irving’s game.

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Cavs better deal LeBron before it’s too late

New York

The Cavaliers’ off-season is going so poorly, Dan Gilbert just faxed his resume to Pat Riley.

This is what happens when you’re pressed full court by LeBron James, last heard voicing displeasure with his team’s stagnation since being bounced in five Finals’ games by the Warriors, who’ve added Omri Casspi and Nick Young to their indomitable core.

Gilbert deftly parried those signings by breaking up with David Griffin, who’d been making telephone moves on Carmelo Anthony, Jimmy Butler and Paul George in an effort to even up the odds with the best in the West.

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Back in action with a message from Phil Jackson


New York

Lock the windows, close the door, I have returned from five years of self-imposed exile…actually three were self-imposed, two were court-ordered.

Why, you may ask, am I resurfacing now? All I can say is, …

1-Damn community service got old real slow.

2-Class actions aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

3-I was tired of not knowing what’s real, imagined and vindictive in today’s shamelessly leaked info-for-protection from lethal criticism NBA.

There’s a shocking lack of truth serum out there, and I’m the antidote, I say in all immodesty.

Doesn’t matter who takes me into their confidence—agents, executives, coaches, players, assistants, video coordinators, trainers, equipment manages, members of the media or past and present commissioners—and plants melodious or nasty nothings in my brain to make themselves or their loved ones look good, or others look bad, nobody will be above getting exposed should they deserve a can of ass whipping.

While I’ve not been writing, and only paying peripheral attention to the radical changes in the game and roster rotations (trusted column castigator Frank Drucker promises to carry me, as usual, for as long as it takes me to pretend to catch up), what better dysfunctional district to start opining about than the fake franchise known as the Knickerbockers.

Accomplishing less than the Republican-led Congress—and with about as much in-fighting—the Knicks ended last season, er, last week, as such a total train wreck, it gave the MTA something to shoot for.

So much disarray to dissect, it’s a good thing Al Gore invented the Internet.

But today you’ll only get a preview.


I contacted Phil Jackson to tell him I was planning to make him the subject of my first column. Here is the response I got from the Zen Hen:

Peter, I heard your message via voice mail. I’m glad you’re going to get back in the mix and begin writing again. It’s a new world out there, but I don’t consider it journalism.  However, sports writing has always been a mix of opinionating and you were one of the best.

For my own part, I’m not able, yet, to begin opining. However, I’m still on hold about WTF just went down the past 3 years of Knick basketball. In that regard, I’m not angry, but disappointed I couldn’t fulfill the mission. Winning is a priority in NY and I couldn’t get those guys into at least a 500% season so we could get some free space to rebuild.


cc-by-sa-2.0/keith allison


Say whatever you want about Carmelo Anthony (and we shall), but give him props for this…he’s achieved way more player movement off the court via proposed trades than he’s ever achieved on it.

Here’s the problem staring at the tap dance team of Mills and Perry. They’ve openly declared they’ll be ‘no buyout’ and, as of yet, no suitable witness relocation places have been identified. I say, unequivocally, stop shopping Melo immediately!

Phil Jackson, the local media and the majority of Knicks’ fans may crave his vaporization, but you can’t deny the undeniable; his most influential teammate, Krispas Portzingis wants him back, as does Tim Hardaway Jr., and others.

Yes, there’s no question Melo wants to join the Rockets or the Cavaliers in order to compete for real for a title. But there’s also no doubt about his love for New York. So, unless his suitors abruptly reverse their tag sale mentality, hopefully Olympic Melo comes to Knicks’ camp happy, hungry, humble and hydrated.


Two days ago, Leslie Alexander announced his intention to sell the Rockets, which he bought for $88 million halfway through the 1993-94 season ready-made (by Steve Patterson, whom he quickly fired) to win a title. Dave Checketts, I’m told, is headlining one of a number of groups poised to purchase.

Last year, his same group tried to buy the controlling interest in the Nets. Nyet, said Makhail Prokhorov.

Full control of the Rockets, who are worth 1.65B, according to Forbes, will merely cost Checketts’ backers $2 plus billion dollars. That’s what Steve Ballmer paid for the Clippers. Alexander, I’m informed, is dead set on surpassing that number, which was deemed outrageously high at the time.

To ensure maximum sale price, Alexander arranged to have himself recorded slurring minorities.


Depressed to report, Sidney Green, 56, suffered a stroke three days ago. A product of Brooklyn’s Thomas Jefferson High School, where I first met him, the 6-9 macho forward was chosen by the Bulls out of UNLV in 1983 with the fifth pick of the draft. For the last ten years or so, following head coaching jobs at Southhampton, the University of North Florida and Florida Atlantic University, Green has been working as an team ambassador for the Bulls.