The New York Post’s mini-Mushnick, Andrew Marchand, on an MSG TV spat home viewers weren’t privy to.
Last Friday in Detroit, sources said, Gus Johnson and Walt Frazier (above) had a heated shouting match during a TV timeout of the Knicks-Pistons game. The beef, according to a source, was Johnson complaining that Frazier was talking too much.
Reached by phone, Johnson – who is the Knicks’ lead radio voice and fills in for Mike Breen on TV – declined to go into detail, but claimed there is no friction between he and Frazier.
“The food in Detroit is bad and it kind of upset our stomachs,” Johnson said, trying to defuse the situation.
After the two came back from break, a source said that Johnson kept his headset off for a few seconds. On the air, there were no noticeable problems.
Johnson continued to refer to Frazier as the “living legend.”
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman, while lashing out at Kenny Smith’s criticism of aggrieved Knicks fans (a similar stance to one taken by Phil Mushnick in the rival Post today, offers the unique theory that the mostly likely way for MSG’s Knicks ratings to improve would be for the team to suck even more than they do already.
Last season, the Knicks’ ongoing soap opera, fueled by Brown (his feud with Stephon Marbury was compelling theater) elevated MSG ratings while the team played at a subterranean level.
If things continue going south for the Knicks, and if Thomas starts lashing out at his players – after already taking shots at the media and fans – watch the ratings go north, especially if Dolan decides it’s time to start waxing the plank.
Until that time, you can look forward to Mike Breen praising Marbury for giving away his sneakers.
Whatever drama might ensue, Steve Francis won’t be part of it for the forseeable future. The former Franchise is suffering from tendinitis in his right knee, and will be out of the lineup for an undetermined spell.