If this were a Broadway show it would have closed weeks ago. Any New York restaurant with a similar performance record would go belly-up. And if this were the Yankees … who are we kidding? George Steinbrenner would never allow this to happen.
Madison Square Garden is different. The Knicks are Hubie Brown bad, circa 1984-85 when Brown lost Bill Cartwright to a stress fracture and Truck Robinson to a broken ankle. Suddenly a contender – the Knicks had lost in the playoffs to eventual champions Philadelphia and Boston in two previous seasons – was reduced to a 24-win team. But being awful 21 years ago resulted in the Knicks winning the Patrick Ewing lottery. This spring, the Chicago Bulls will be the beneficiary of the Knicks’ misery.
“It’s bad, real bad,” says Charles Oakley (above), the former Knick. “You’ve got to look at the guy that brought in the players. You’ve got to look at the players, who aren’t very good and don’t want to listen to the coach. Larry Brown is a great coach but, no, the players have to want to listen.”
Sources say Jeff Van Gundy and Carroll Dawson are no longer on speaking terms. A reenactment of the ruthless friction that transpired in New York between Van Gundy and Ernie Grunfeld, which led to the firing of the Knicks team president. I’m informed Van Gundy is so angry with the personnel Carroll has provided that he recently told free-agent pickup Stromile Swift, “Would you please ask to be traded.”