Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When The Garden Was Smoking

The NBA opens its season tomorrow, and the Stoop will be watching the Nets closely this year. While they won't contend for the championship, the Net roster is filled with young players with a lot of upside. Memo to Coach Frank: Let these young colts run.

The start of the season also coincides with the release of Bill Simmons' "The Book of Basketball". I read the excerpts on ESPN.com, and can't wait to buy it TODAY.

As for the Knicks, they will suck. (I just copy and pasted the last sentence from my last 8 years of Knick season predictions.) Even worse, they have no number one pick next year. Why? Isiah traded it in the Marbury trade 5 years ago! The harm Isiah has caused the Knicks is like one of those crazy bullets that break up and spread once it gets in your body. And Knick fans, Lebron ain't coming to your team next year. The Liberty have a better chance of landing Lebron than the Knicks.

Speaking of Knick number one picks, the last time that they drafted anyone decent was in 1987 and '88 with Mark Jackson followed by Rod Strickland.

Now in '87, Jackson was the local kid who thrived in Rick Pitino's uptempo style, and he won rookie of the year.

The next year, the Knicks drafted Strickland, another point guard, but with a different game (more of a scorer) and many people thought Strickland should start.

So the controversy was on: Jackson vs. Strickland.

Everyone took sides.

During the controversy, a couple of my Stoop pals were big Knick fans and used to hang around the players entrance to the Garden. Let's say that these guys were way ahead of California when it comes to medical marijuana.

One day, while these Stoop pioneers were hanging at the Garden wearing their smoking jackets, who strolls up to them on his way to work: the one and only Rod Strickland.

By all accounts Strickland was very kind, there were high-fives all around, and Strickland turned down an offer to self-medicate.

After Strickland continued on his way to the player's entrance, one of the fellas had an important message that he wanted to convey to Strickland.

"Yo Rod!", he yelled, and Strickland turned around. "F*ck Mark Jackson!"

That Garden is gone for good.

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