Tag Archives: New York Knicks Memes

Knicks Slammed in ESPN “Franchise Rankings” (REACTION)

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Analyzing the Knicks’ qualifications

By Tommy Rothman

ESPN has just released their yearly “Ultimate Franchise Rankings” list, which ranks the 122 teams in the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB on a 9-category scale. The rankings implement both statistical data and survey responses from fans. (Link at the end of this article)

The Knicks were ranked 121st on this year’s list, ahead of only the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and directly behind the NBA’s reigning cellar-dwellers, the Milwaukee Bucks. Rounding out the bottom 5 were the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and the MLB’s New York Mets. The NFL’s New York Jets and the NHL’s New York Islanders also finished near the very bottom of the rankings.

The Knicks ranked last in both “Fan Relations” and “On-Field Player Effort + Off-Field Player Likeability,” second-to-last in “Affordability,” fifth-to-last in “Ownership,” 112th in “Title Track (championships won and expected during life expectancy of fans who responded),” 108th in “Coaching,” 91st in “Stadium Experience,” and 8th in “Bang-For-Buck,” leading to their ultimate ranking of 121 out of 122.

The Ownership ranking jumps out at me a bit. For one, the NHL’s New York Rangers rank much higher in Ownership, despite the fact that, unless I am mistaken, Knicks Owner James Dolan is also the owner of the Rangers. The Rangers also rank much higher in Fan Relations, which seems odd, and they are also significantly higher in Stadium Experience, despite the fact that the Knicks and Rangers share a stadium.

In addition, James Dolan has one vastly under-appreciated trait: his ability and willingness to spend money. Dolan is ranked as the 118th best owner. The Wilpons, who own the Mets, are ranked 119th. As a fan of the Mets, I can testify to the fact that the Wilpons’ tight pockets have sunk their franchise into the pit of despair and it is unclear when, or if, they will spend the money needed to put the Mets back into contention. Of course, the NBA has a cap and the MLB does not. But James Dolan wants to win. Many NBA owners make decisions that hurt their teams to keep their payroll low and stay as far away from the luxury tax penalties as they can. Dolan is willing and able to open up his wallet and, with so many owners who cannot say the same, I think he is deserving of a higher ranking than 118.

As for Player Effort and Off-Field Likeability, it’s hard to look at this when considering “Franchises,” because a team’s roster is one of the things that changes most often, as opposed to ownership, organizational philosophy, pricing, stadium experiences, etc. While certain players put in despicably low amounts of effort this past season, the most glaring examples are no longer on the team, and the Knicks aren’t particularly unlikeable off the court compared to some teams (for instance, all 32 NFL teams).

When it comes to Stadium Experience, the Knicks should probably be higher. Their arena is legendary. Things are pricy, but if you’re in the stadium it means you have and are willing to spend money on the Knicks (although the horrible affordability ranking is completely valid). The entertainment is good, the food is good, the atmosphere is terrific, and it’s right in the middle of Manhattan, rather than a swamp in New Jersey.

The Knicks are probably rated too highly in Bang-For-Buck, if I understand the category correctly. It seems that it is based off of how well the team turns the fans’ money into wins. The Knicks haven’t been very successful, and they certainly reel in a lot of money from their fans. So I would have thought that category would be lower… I’ll look into that a bit more.

I don’t think of the Knicks as having the worst Fan Relations in the league, but it depends how you look at it. The demand for tickets, merchandise, and everything else related to the brand is very high for the Knicks. Thus, they don’t need to be handing out free seats and hot dogs and t-shirts and jerseys, because people are willing to buy them. If you’re running things right in New York, you don’t have to be nice to make money. In a business, kindness is plan B (The aforementioned Wilpons are on plan B). However, the Knicks are not very open with the fans from a management and PR perspective, which is frustrating, even if it is somewhat understandable. I wouldn’t put the Knicks last in this category, but I wouldn’t put them very highly either.

As for Title Track, the Knicks are ranked far too lowly. A team in a huge market (again with the exception of the Wilpons) has an advantage over other teams in its ability to lure in, spend on, and retain top talent. Due to the salary cap, the shaky reputation of the front office (even with Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher— whose low coach rating can’t really be debated against without further evidence— newly on board), the Knicks aren’t as well-positioned as a big-market, properly-owned, non-capped team like the Yankees are to win a title. But they definitely have an edge over more than 7 teams.

Knicks fans are a bit disgruntled these days, and in an entertainment industry, the company charging through-the-roof prices isn’t going to be the most beloved when the survey responses roll around, even if people are willing to pay those prices. But their ranking as the 2nd-to-worst team in American Sports seems a bit harsh.

Rankings aside, the Knicks, of course, are the most valuable team in the NBA, and had the highest revenues last season. The fans who responded to the survey, and all other fans, are spending, and as long as the cash is flowing, the only thing for the Knicks to truly be worried about is their pursuit of a title.

You can read the rest of the rankings here.

Interview with Knicks rookie Cleanthony Early


By Tommy Rothman

Earlier this week, I reached out to Cleanthony Early, who was taken 34th overall out of Wichita State by the Knicks in this year’s NBA Draft.

Early, a 6-foot-8, 219 pound forward, has made a name for himself with his great athleticism, a dangerous 3-point shot, and his solid defense. Cleanthony helped lead Wichita State to the Final Four in 2013 and was a key member of this year’s squad, which went an undefeated 35-0 before losing in the 2nd round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Cleanthony was terrific in that final game against Kentucky, scoring 31 points on 12/17 shooting and pulling down 7 rebounds. Most projections had Cleanthony, 23, going in the mid-to-late first round, but New York managed to snatch him up in round 2 with one of the picks acquired in the Tyson Chandler deal.

Cleanthony, a Bronx native, was kind enough to agree to answer some questions for me. Check out what he had to say:

Tommy Rothman, New York Knicks Memes: How did you get started playing basketball? How did you fall in love with the game?

Cleanthony Early, New York Knicks: Started just watching my brother when I was real young and following after him. It then just escalated with the sport just being so easily accessed at all times, and from then on I played it so much… the interest in it just kept growing!

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Tommy: What was the entire draft experience like, from the combine, to the interviews, to the draft itself, to the moment you were drafted? How did you find out the Knicks were taking you? Did you get a call, or did you have to wait until your name was announced like everybody else?

Cleanthony: It was a great experience, everything you ever asked for. I was happy to be a part of it all. I got a call a couple of picks prior [to being drafted] so I kind of knew.

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Tommy: A lot of people expected you to be picked Early (insert pun here), but you fell to the Knicks at 34. How does it feel to be selected to your hometown team? Do you feel more motivated after falling in the draft to prove people wrong?

Cleanthony: It feels great, whatever team picked me up [at] 1 through 60 would of been a blessing. Not too many people get to live that moment of hearing your name called [on draft night] in general. Obviously the later you fall the more motivating it is for you… or at least me. I feel I have something to prove. I think I should of went earlier. But I didn’t. So therefore I have to make them remember the kid that was overlooked once again.

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Tommy: Do you think you are ready to handle the pressures of playing in Madison Square Garden, on the biggest stage in the NBA?

Cleanthony: Yes sir.

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Tommy: Who on the team have you gotten a chance to speak to so far?

Cleanthony: Tim, Swish, Shump, and Shane.

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Tommy: What is the best advice anybody has ever given you, as an athlete or as a person?

Cleanthony: Keep God first, keep working hard, and make good decisions.

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Tommy: How do you feel about working in a system created by Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher, two established NBA champions?

Cleanthony: Blessed. Those are two people I got a chance to admire and observe as good and educated people at a real young age, honestly, and now I get to learn from them. [That] is the ultimate advantage on my side.

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Tommy: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Cleanthony: My Mom, and great people with a vision and work ethic to make what they believe in happen by the energy they put out into the world and into themselves. A lot of things motivate and inspire me on a daily basis.

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Tommy: What should we expect you to bring to the floor when you are on the court?

Cleanthony: A good basketball player giving his all to get those wins and hopefully a championship.

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Tommy: With the Las Vegas Summer League approaching, how excited are you to get on the floor as a Knick for the first time, even if it isn’t an official game?

Cleanthony: I’m excited just to be out there with the guys, going hard, learning the offense.

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Tommy: Do you have a nickname? “Earl The Pearl” is taken.

Cleanthony: (Laughs) Most people call me “Cle”.

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Tommy: What was your pregame routine in college? How about your postgame routine?

Cleanthony: I listen to music and say a prayer before the game and after. But I do that a lot regardless so I don’t know if that counts.

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Tommy: What advice do you have for young athletes out there?

Cleanthony: Keep God first, keep working hard and make good decisions. Watch who you keep around you, and the things you might say or do, because someone is always watching. Be smart.

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Tommy: What are your hobbies outside of basketball?

Cleanthony: I like to watch movies, listen to music, read here and there, just chill and relax.

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Tommy:  Bonus Question: Are you ready to get some serious fashion tips from Clyde Frazier?

Cleanthony: [Laughs} I’ll take it.

*End of Interview*

Thanks to Cleanthony for taking the time to answer these questions for us! You can follow Cleanthony on Twitter here and Instagram here

You can follow Knicks Memes on Twitter here and Instagram here

-Tommy Rothman

CARMELO ANTHONY’S (FAKE) G-MAIL INBOX

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You guys might remember the Fake Gmail Inbox we made for Mike Woodson a couple months ago. Carmelo Anthony is our next victim. Check out the image below, and click on it to zoom in if you need to!

*Reminder: This is not real*

Carmelo Gmail Inbox

Enjoy!

-Tommy Rothman

If you want a version without all the watermarks to post on your site, contact us on Twitter.

Postgame Reaction: Knicks Beat Raptors To Stay Alive… For Now

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The Knicks (34-45) beat the Raptors (46-33) by a score of 108-100 in Toronto. 

Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Knicks, scoring 30 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, and notching 3 steals.

Amar’e Stoudemire was fantastic as well for New York, pouring in 24 points and pulling down 11 boards. 

Iman Shumpert had another solid game, with 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals.

It was nice to see Carmelo have one of his usual games tonight, after having 2 awful games against Washington and Miami. His shoulder looks much healthier after 4 days of rest. 

Stoudemire’s resurgence has been the best story of the 2nd half for this Knicks team. After all he has fought through, seeing him get back to being a force on the offensive end is inspiring. Hopefully he can finish the year strong, and contribute again next season. 

The Hawks won last night. This simplifies things. If the Knicks go 3-0 (against the Bulls, Nets, and Raptors), and the Hawks go 0-3 (against the Heat, Bobcats, and Bucks), the Knicks will make the playoffs. In any other scenario, the Hawks would make the playoffs. If the Knicks go 2-1 and the Hawks go 0-3, or the Knicks go 3-0 and the Hawks go 1-2, the two teams would finish tied. But even though they split the season series 2-2, the Hawks have the tiebreaker (which is ridiculous, but I’ll write about that later). So if the Knicks lose again, or the Hawks win again, it’s all over.

 

We need the Heat to help us out by beating the Hawks tonight. Then we need to keep the pressure on Atlanta by beating the Bulls tomorrow. 

-Tommy Rothman

Pregame Report: Washington Wizards @ New York Knicks

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 The Knicks (33-43) will host the Wizards (39-36) on Friday night at Madison Square Garden. Gametime is 7:30 PM.

The Knicks know this is a huge game for them and must do whatever it takes to get a win. As always, keys to the game include ball movement, knocking down open shots, and effort (especially from Tyson Chandler).

The Wizards have the quickest point guard in the league; John Wall is a matchup nightmare for the Knicks. Raymond Felton can’t guard him. So Raymond Felton shouldn’t guard him. It’s up to Mike Woodson to make the obvious and correct decision to have Iman Shumpert— who did a fantastic job on Deron Williams Wednesday night— guarding Wall whenever they are both on the court. It will be Shumpert’s responsibility to avoid committing foolish fouls that keep him off the court.

The Knicks were unstoppable on Wednesday when they were moving the ball, but allowed the Nets to make a bit of a run in the 3rd quarter when Carmelo Anthony and his teammates started looking to play 1-on-1 ball. This can’t happen tonight. The Knicks need to be unselfish throughout the game.

Chandler did a solid job Wednesday, but his effort level has been inconsistent this year, so it’s anybody’s guess whether he will show up tonight. The Knicks need their starting center to provide energy and leadership tonight.

Washington has some pretty good shooters, including Bradley Beal. Beal and Martell Webster torched the Knicks when the Wizards came to the Garden in December, and that can’t happen again tonight.

The Knicks enter tonight tied for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. If the two teams finished tied at the end of the season, Atlanta would win the tiebreaker. New York, at 33-43 has 6 games left, while the Hawks, at 32-42, have 8 games remaining. Atlanta plays the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight. If the Knicks can play a good game, they can put a lot of pressure on the Hawks. Let’s see if we can get a win tonight.

-Tommy Rothman

Wizards’ unconfirmed Starting Lineup: Wall, Beal, Booker, Ariza, Gortat

Knicks’ unconfirmed Starting Lineup: Felton, Smith, Anthony, Stoudemire, Chandler

Tickets for the game: Here

Postgame Recap: Knicks 110, Nets 81

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The Knicks (33-43) crushed the Nets (40-34) on Wednesday night at The Garden, beating their crosstown rivals 110-81.

J.R. Smith was the game’s leading scorer with 24 points. Smith, who has been red-hot lately, also grabbed 8 rebounds and dished out 6 assists. Carmelo Anthony was right behind Smith with 23 points of his own to go with 10 rebounds, 3 assists, a pair of steals, and a highlight block. Tim Hardaway Junior also filled it up, finishing with 17 points and knocking down 3 shots from downtown. Iman Shumpert had one of his best games of the season, scoring 10 points, racking up 5 steals, locking down Brooklyn’s key players, and making several highlight plays. 

None of the Knicks-Nets games this season have been close. The Knicks won by 30, then lost by 23, then won by 29. But hey, any time we can see the Knicks win without having panic attacks in the 4th quarter, we’ll take it. 

The Knicks really needed this game, and they got it. With the Hawks losing to the Bulls, the Knicks and Hawks are now tied in the standings. The Knicks have one more win and one more loss, which gives them a better winning percentage and technically gives them possession of the 8th seed for now. However, each team will have played 82 games by the end of the season, and if they are still tied then, Atlanta wins the tiebreaker. The Knicks need to win the 8th spot outright. New York has 6 games left and Atlanta has 8. The Knicks currently have 1 more win than the Hawks and they need to finish with 1 more win than the Hawks. 

The Knicks will have a day off before hosting the Washington Wizards on Friday. The keys to that game will be containing John Wall and Washington’s 3-point shooting. The Knicks have some momentum, now they need to stay focused.

 

I will be doing pre-game and post-game articles for every remaining game, so be sure to check the site regularly!

-Tommy Rothman