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Black Suits and Knickerbockers

A bad idea, by any other name. Creation Date Sunday, 05 May 2013. Hits 13638

Black Suits and Knickerbockers
Kenyon Martin. Are you implying this guy isn't a class act?

If you think political talk radio is a brutal place, you should try sports talk radio. In the world of news talk, you have a biased hosed with a political agenda attempting to spin current events to make you see them his way. In the world of sports talk, you largely have a field of minds so jammed with statistics and dates that they are unable to form a point of view on anything other than a simple Vegas line, let alone manage to try to find a way to spin the event for the mindless masses who tune it. This can make listening to channels like Mad Dog Radio on Sirius and XM Radio an exercise in frustration. Yet it is an exercise that I perform almost daily, and occasionally I call in to try to straighten some of these guys out. My latest beef? The New York Knicks.

Let's try this one on for size. When I say that I am a long suffering New York Knicks fan, your knee jerk response should be "Is there any other kind?" If you are a Knicks fan, then you know a few things well. Of course there are the obvious things... agony, anguish, despair, embarrassment, frustration, pain, and suffering. On top of those things, you also know haters. And let me address those Knicks haters out there for a second, in hopes that one or more of them could clear this up for me. The Knicks had not won a playoff series in 13 years prior to their victory over the Celtics Saturday night. How in the heck are you managing to still hate the Knicks? Doesn't a decade and a half of bad basketball take some of the bite off of those tough, dirty teams of the 90's? Get over it already! Back to the present.

Following the Knicks loss to the Celtics in game 5 I was alerted to this funeral wardrobe malfunction of the New York Knickerbockers by Evan Cohen on the morning show "Evan and Phillips." For those of you who don't know who Evan is, imagine Adam Carolla. Now, add 100 pounds and subtract 20 years and 75 iq points, and you have Evan Cohen. Evan repeatedly read this article from the New York Post and ripped the Knicks for their insensitivity.

Back in the Knicks’ locker room, a string of black suits was hung with care in the players’ stalls. This could simply have been a fashion statement, a sartorial expression of unity. Except it came with a purpose: The Knicks weren’t here simply to deliver a knockout punch, but a message.These were their funeral outfits.
Yes. That’s as galling as it sounds, especially given the events in Boston 17 days ago. Nice. Very classy. 

Now this article coming from the New York Post is to be expected. They have to comment on it, and the New York Press is known for being tough on their teams. There are plenty of reasons to criticize this move by the Knicks, but one of these listed reasons stands out as being a bit ridiculous to me. For those of you that didn't catch it, here is the part to which I take exception. "That’s as galling as it sounds, especially given the events in Boston 17 days ago." You're going to go there, and you suggest that the New York Knicks have a problem? Yet this is the point that Evan Cohen focused on as well. So did Dino Costa who hosts the night show. Now in fairness, I only heard the weekend blurb of Dino's comments, as I am not nearly masochistic enough to sit down and listen to his show in its entirety. But both of these guys were making comments along the lines of "You shouldn't use "Boston" and "funeral" in the same sentence in light of the recent events there. But isn't that overlooking the obvious? Consider this.

  • The Knicks and Celtics have a heated rivalry that goes back decades.
  • The Celtics have owned the Knicks for the last decade.
  • The Celtics are an aging team that it is widely believed would be broken up after this season, with even the status of Head Coach Doc Rivers up in the air.

Now, understanding these facts, isn't it much more likely that the intention of the players was to symbolize the end of an era in Boston than it was to make any type of reference to the Boston Marathon bombings? Now one could say that it is in poor taste to make such a reference, and perhaps it is, but did a bombing have to take place for a funeral joke to become taboo? I guess what I am asking here would be is it ever in good taste to joke about death or funerals? If the answer is no, then why latch on to the tragic events in Boston just to sell your brand of New York Knickerbocker Haterade, especially if you know the real story of how this actually came about, which you should know if you are going to talk about it. Check this out. This article was posted on Tuesday, April 30th, the day before the Wednesday May 1st game in question.

According to New York Knicks big man Kenyon Martin, Terry said before Game 4: "You're not dancing at my funeral today."
The guard then backed up his words, scoring Boston's final nine points in a 97-90 overtime win. The Celtics will enter Wednesday night's Game 5 still needing a win to prolong their season. That alone should provide enough motivation, but just in case Boston requires any additional lift, New York provided it.
Martin told his teammates to wear "funeral colors" to Game 5, saying, "We're ending it."  

Now, notice the website is MassLive. Perhaps they knew this in Massacheusetts and not in New York. Maybe that is why the shock and horror after the game? Or maybe not. Here's the NY Daily News from Sunday, April 28th.

“The guy was mouthing off before the game,” Kenyon Martin said. “He told me, ‘You’re not dancing at my funeral today.’’’
And?
“We’re ending it Wednesday,” Martin said.
He even made it a point to tell teammates what to wear when the Knicks look to win this series in five, then get ready for the winner of Indiana-Atlanta. “Wear black,” he said. “Funeral colors.’’  

So this was common knowledge in the media in both Boston and New York 72 hours before the game was ever played. Why weren't concerns about the images of funeral garb in light of the bombings brought up then? Because it wouldn't have made any freaking sense, that is why. Because the funeral reference was made by Jason Terry of the Boston Celtics, and it would be idiotic to pretend that he was making an offensive reference to the people of Boston when they would, in fact, agree with his sentiments. But a mere 3 days later, let some bottom feeder sports talk jocks like Evan Cohen and Dino Costa get a hold of this story and don't you dare expect them to put forth any effort to educate themselves on the subject before they jack their jaws about it.

Here is the bottom line. I don't care that the Knicks wore their funeral suits to the game. What pisses me off is that they forgot to bring their shovels. Don't let your mouth write a eulogy for a franchise that your ass can't bury. Others are offended by the immaturity of the very act, telling the Knicks to "act like you've been there before." Hello! This is the Knicks we are talking about. You have to have been there before to know how you're supposed to act when you have been there before. Chalk this one up as a lesson taught by experience. And if their immaturity embarrasses me again were they to beat Indiana and act rudely again? I'll take it. And if they beat Miami and again show a lack of class? I'll embrace it. And if they win an NBA Championship and come off as a bunch of immature jerks that nobody could possibly be proud of? I'll take that any day of the week and twice on Sunday. 

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