Updated: Feb. 9, 2006, 11:06 PM ET

My team is terrible

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- I'm a Knicks fan. And I'm jealous of the Nets.

And that's just straight up sad.

A New Yorker should have more pride than that, more dignity than to envy something that Jersey has, except maybe real estate. But it's come to that.

It's come to lusting over Kidd, Vince and RJ; to imagining them running the break, doing 360 layups and jams in the Garden, where showmen really belong; to riding their coattails to the playoffs and beyond.

It's come to longing for Knicks past: John Starks, with chipmunk cheeks pounding his fist to his chest; the Oak Man, throwing his body into the stands for a loose ball; and especially Hall of Famer Clyde Frazier, who, on this night, was the most prepared Knick of them all, looking over his pregame notes with eyebrows furrowed as tight as his wine-colored leather pants.

Because the Knicks on the floor just look that sorry right now.

Jamal Crawford overthrowing David Lee in the post. Sad. Channing Frye getting caught in the air and chucking the ball to an unexpecting Larry Brown. Sad. Losing 13 out of their last 14 games, with a number of those contests being over by halftime. Sad and sadder.

Said Frye: "We want to go out there and do the best we can, but we don't execute and we just don't make the right plays at the right time."

Things are so wrong even the Nets are pitying the situation in New York.

Said 39-year-old Cliff Robinson: "They have a lot of young guys. It takes a while to learn how to be a good pro."

Added journeyman Marc Jackson, "I'm not sure what's going on. They're trying to play as hard as they can play, there's a lot of confusion. They look nervous."

To the point they're unwatchable.

There was a fan in the stands at Continental Airlines Arena wearing a Knick jersey and a bag over his head with the words "Trade Me" in bold. He then attempted to shoot himself with his pointer finger and thumb.

And there was me the other day, flipping channels to "Scrubs" (not the Knicks, the sitcom) during the second half of the Clippers game, even with my team having possession with 2.2 seconds left and a chance to win the game.

Hey, I needed some laughs. Not another Knick joke.

But what's really not funny is that I found myself missing Stephon Marbury being in uniform during Wednesday's debacle. Only not because he would've helped the Knicks win or could've shown Jason Kidd how a playground legend plays. But because, with his jersey No. 3, the Knicks would've had a straight on the floor with Nate Robinson (4), Jalen Rose (5), Qyntel Woods (6) and Channing Frye (7).

Instead Steph was in street clothes. And the Knicks folded. Again.

This time to their cross-river rivals. Without even a fight.

Sure the Nets got beat up some, but most of the damage came from a blow to Vince Carter's nose delivered by teammate Scott Padgett.

Ha. Stupid Nets.

Matt Wong is an NBA editor for ESPN.com.

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Dimes Past: February 1 | 2 | 3 | 4-5 | 6 | 7 | 8


Striped Star: Dick Bavetta Refs 2,135th Game

Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images
Dick Bavetta, who set the record for most NBA games officiated, reaches out to the Knicks and Nets before Wednesday's game. Nets guard Jason Kidd, right, tied a season low in minutes played (28) thanks to a non-competitive 96-83 win for New Jersey.


Much Respect For Diminutive Canadian
brand

"White men control everything else in America,'' was the unspoken black battle cry. "Let us have hoop."

But y'all have to look past that. You have to put your racial pride aside, ignore the sociological implications of this, and be honest: Steve Nash is the MVP.

I'm hearing Kobe, I'm hearing Chauncey, I'm hearing Elton Brand, LeBron and Dirk Nowitzki (I know, I know, he's white too). But it's really a no-brainer. It's really not even close.

Nash deserves it again. I know this is a phrase usually reserved for brothas, but "that boy is bad.''

I firmly believe you could put Nash on any team in the league and he would turn them into a playoff contender. Not to slight Shawn Marion, but the way Nash has kept Phoenix not only afloat, but elite, without Amare Stoudemire is downright amazing.

Read Chris Broussard's full blog



NBA Intelligence Report
kg

Kings Like What They See In 'New' Artest
So far, Ron Artest has been true to his word. He has been all about basketball and instantly has become the on-court leader of a new-look Kings team. In six games with Sacramento, Artest is averaging 17.5 points and 5.7 rebounds. More importantly, he has gotten the Kings to focus on the defensive end of the court and about doing whatever it takes to win. He's also taken a few of the team's young players, including rookie Francisco Garcia, under his wing and stressed to them the importance of playing defense. -- Chicago Sun-Times

Riley: Phil's One Of The Great Complainers
Heat coach Pat Riley tweaked Lakers coach Phil Jackson for his criticism of the officiating after Los Angeles lost 102-87 at Dallas on Tuesday night. Jackson suggested officials are intimidated by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's practice of closely analyzing officials' calls and sending in his results to the league. "Phil has always been one of the great complainers of all time," Riley said. "I think he does it from a coaching standpoint. He definitely wants to get a mindset out there [if] in fact he ever plays [the Mavericks] in the playoffs." -- South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Could OKC Be Ready For Sonics?
The Sonics may be looking for a new home. And Clay Bennett said Oklahoma could step up. In an interview before Wednesday's game with Fox Sports Northwest that aired in Seattle, Bennett, an Oklahoma City businessman who is part of the investment group that helped bring the Hornets to Oklahoma City, said he would be surprised if Seattle couldn't retain the team. But Oklahoma City is ready, he said. -- The Oklahoman

Read the entire Intelligence Report on ESPN Insider Insider


Motion: Pistons Rebound
Three straight Ls for the Pistons was out of the question. Tayshaun Prince, whose 11 points early in the fourth quarter helped send Detroit past the L.A. Clippers, 97-87, stepped up as his team snapped a two-game losing streak.

Pistons snap skid



Banks Roll

Joe Murphy/Getty Images
Timberwolves guard Marcus Banks tumbles, and referee Sean Corbin still makes the call. With LeBron at the point, the final call for the game was Cavs 97, Timberwolves 91.


Extreme Behavior
okur

Wednesday's Best
Gilbert Arenas, Wizards guard: The All-Star candidate dropped 45 points on the Warriors in a 129-124 win. Made 23-of-25 free throws, but failed to can any of his five 3-pointer attempts. It was the sixth 40-point game of the season for Arenas, whose team moved over .500 (24-23).

jo

Wednesday's Worst
Ruben Patterson, Blazers guard: Looks like the KobeStopper inadvertantly turned his defensive powers on himself. Missed all five of his field goal attempts, helping make the Blazers' 69-point night possible as Indy won by 32.

jo

Quote of the Day
"We should've been frothing at the mouth, like pit bulls. I so much want to have a team that really, really, really wants to play every day, every night."

-- Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, suggesting his team was likely not giving max effort in an 89-78 loss to the Lakers.

-- Andrew Ayres

See how all 234 who played stacked up



Trade Polls

Should the 76ers trade Allen Iverson?
44.3% Maybe. They should be exploring their options
37.2% No, never
18.5% Yes, as soon as possible

Should the Celtics trade Paul Pierce?
45.6% Maybe. They should be exploring their options
38.8% Yes, as soon as possible
15.6% No, never

Should the Timberwolves trade Kevin Garnett?
44.6% No, never
28.0% Yes, as soon as possible
27.4% Maybe. They should be exploring their options

Total Votes: 29,740

Vote for your trade favorites



Elias Says
bobcats

The Bobcats have won three straight games for the first time in the 132-game history of the franchise. That's better than Charlotte's previous NBA team. The Hornets didn't fashion their first three-game winning streak until the 158th game in franchise history.

• Elias Sports Bureau | More from Elias Insider



Dime Mailbag: Star Debate
sf

Readers react to Greg Anthony's Feb. 7 story naming his choices for NBA All-Star reserves.

I don't get it. You wax poetic about the great, selfless play of the Pistons, and then turn around and say that one of the great, truly team-oriented superstars of the game, Kevin Garnett, shouldn't be an All-Star? Nothing against guys like Redd or Arenas, but they're just out there shooting. KG's at least still trying to get McHale's trainwreck of a team involved. (And, for the record, he scored 34 in a game this year, but apparently that single point doesn't cut it, huh?)
-- Andy (Portland)

You'd pick Michael Redd as Jermaine O'Neal's replacement? Over Chris Bosh? You're crazy. Bosh is the OBVIOUS replacement for O'Neal at the PF and suggesting Mike Redd for that position is FOOLISH.

The Raptors are a .500 team since the first month of the year and Bosh has been unstoppable (and consistently so), including by Rasheed Wallace, whom Bosh torched for 37 points in Motown (a career high I believe). As of today, Boston has the same record as Toronto and is on a six-game losing streak whereas Toronto is increasingly competitive. I can see Redd being picked over Pierce, but over Bosh and in place of O'Neal? THAT MAKES NO SENSE.
-- Nat Carnegie

 

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