Henry Abbott won’t link to Playboy’s chat with Steve Nash as per an agreement with the WWL not to point to porn. I have no such guidelines to worry about, but Hef wants $5.99 for a digital download. And you thought ESPN Insider was a ripoff.
The New York Post’s Peter Vescey, watching the Knicks phone it in :
For whatever it’s worth(less), the Knicks caught a huge goaltending break Wednesday with about 40 seconds to go, Sixers up 90-83. Despite Marbury’s dry heave from 3-point range being conspicuously off-target and short, the refs penalized Steven Hunter for plucking it out of thin air.
My TV lip reading isn’t what it used to be, but in essence I could swear Maurice Cheeks’ message to the whistle blowers (you know they’re wrong when they let the coach rant on indefinitely before resuming play), “You never give Hunter a call. You’ve always had it in for him. You give him no respect.”
“You know it’s an ominous playoff sign,” column contributor Dino Dipietro underlines “when Keith Richards is walking around the Garden looking to snort Isiah.”
I was negligent in bothering to mention one of the tri-state area’s biggest hockey stories down the stretch, so I might as well let the Newark Star-Ledger’s Nets beat writer Dave D’Alessandro tackle it.
Dave: Do you think Lawrence Frank would still be coaching the Nets if Lou Lamoriello were in charge? I don’t agree with the Julien firing in hockey, but there’s a big difference between Lou and Rod Thorn that’s worth noting. Lou doesn’t tolerate anything less than excellence. Thorn, on the other hand, thinks losing is okay as long as you still make the playoffs. Why bother trying to win 50 or 60 games, if 35 wins can still earn you an 8th seed? For what it’s worth, the Nets had their greatest season when Lamoriello was Thorn’s boss and the Nets took the Spurs to six games in the Finals. The organization hasn’t been the same since. I know a lot of people in the Nets organization were glad to see Lou and his demanding ways leave the NBA, and I understand that it was Rod Thorn who built the Nets’ teams that went to back to back NBA Finals, but losing has become acceptable again in New Jersey. Excuse the hyperbole, but the Nets are the laziest team in the NBA. They don’t like to play defense and on offense all they want to do is stand around the perimeter launching outside shots all game long. The Nets are underachievers, and it’s exactly because Rod Thorn doesn’t demand excellence from his players and coaches. Lou Lamoriello demands it from his hockey organization and the Devils have three Stanley Cup banners to show for it.
Jose: If I knew anything about hockey and its alien culture, I might be able to present a cogent comparison — or at least fake it. But I don’t, so I can’t. I can only tell you while some might consider the GM who fires a coach one week before the postseason a take-charge-mover-shaker type, I would fire his butt for being an impetuous, dictatorial clod if he doesn’t deliver a championship. As for how the Nets operation looked under that Steinbrenner/Lamoriello cabal, I have to be honest with you: I got Jonestown vibe from the organization in those days, and I wasn’t the only one. And if you think their presence had anything to do with the success that Thorn himself had wrought, I can assure you that it was merely coincidental.