Well this is interesting. According to the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell, after the atrocity in Cleveland, coach Paul Silas motivated Boris Diaw to a stellar performance against the New York Knicks with an emotional, heart-to-heart discussion. “We had a pow-wow after the game. I told him he just can’t play like that,” said Silas in Bonnell’s piece. “I don’t want to get on him, but he’s got to bring it every night — this is a business.” However, according to the AP recap of the Knicks game, Silas said nothing at all to Diaw after the Cleveland game. “I didn’t say a word and I knew that he was going to come with it tonight because we’ve gone through that before and the next game he’s played very well,” said the “AP Silas.” So which is it–did Silas talk to Diaw or not? Or does coach Silas have an evil twin?
Either way, we’ll take it. One of the few joys of cheering for the Bobcats is the catastrophic level of alarm they cause for opposing teams in the rare instances when they actually manage to win. For teams like the Knicks, losing to Charlotte is enough to generate an existential crisis. In today’s ESPN Daily Dime, Carmello Anthony openly questioned his team’s commitment. “We don’t have no choice but to be committed,” he remarked. (two reactions to that: 1) DeMarcus Cousins would beg to differ. 2) Living in NYC and having read countless Melo quotes, I’m starting to think the perennial double-double threat might also be the league’s double-negative leader). The NYC tabloids also weighed in, and my favorite reaction came from Anthony Rieber of Newsday. “The discombobulated Knicks had…fresh memories of Monday’s home loss to the Raptors and a warning from coach Mike D’Antoni to not let it happen again against a second-tier opponent such as the Charlotte Bobcats. The only thing the Knicks forgot was all of it.” Did you hear that? How dare he call our Bobcats “second-tier”! (And if we’re second-tier, then I’d hate to see his idea of third-tier!)
Anyway, if it seems like I’m dwelling on second-hand accounts of what happened on Wednesday rather than providing my own analysis, that’s because I didn’t actually get to see the game for myself. As I’ve said, I live in Brooklyn, and my cable provider, Time Warner (whom I hate the way Gregg Easterbrook hates drafted college football players), has gotten into a spat with the MSG Network, which provides local coverage of Knicks games. Fortunately, the two sides have worked out their differences in the interest of the fans and—ha-ha, no they didn’t, I was just checking to see if you were paying attention. No, you’ll never believe this, but what actually happened is Time Warner dropped MSG altogether so that nobody could watch Knicks games, and then (imagine this) both sides publicly blamed each other for what happened. Meanwhile (get ready for another shocker), the NBA is still blacking out all Knick games on League Pass, even though nobody with Time Warner can watch them. I know, I know: two huge media conglomerates act like assholes while the NBA responds clumsily—will wonders never cease?
What really stinks is this: considering how wretched the Bobcats were against Cleveland (and boy were they horrible; they made Anthony freakin’ Parker look good—a man who literally couldn’t beat his own sister at hoops), when I realized I wouldn’t be able to watch them play the Knicks, a part of me felt relieved. Hey, at least I wouldn’t be subjected to more torture. Then of course those yahoos go out and actually win the damned thing. Ay-yi-yi, one of the few wins we’re going to get all year and I can’t even watch it. All I know is if we beat the Knicks in our rematch in a few days, and it’s blacked out again, it might be “Dante Cunningham Time” for yours truly: a car, some weed, and a bee-bee gun. I’ll just blame it on my evil twin.