Monday, November 15, 2010

N.Y. Knicks ~ Signs of the Times

NYKnicks ~ Sign of the Times; Part I
Knicks Open Second Front in the Billboard War:

When the Knicks recently paid to have their billboard placed inside the footprint of Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, it was widely thought that was in response to the Nets' initial placement of their billboard on 8th Avenue just blocks from MSG earlier in the year. 

Today's new billboard discovery is proof the Knicks are clearly on the offensive now as they've opened up a second front in the Battle of the Billboards.

The Knicks struck with this ad on a Duane Reade rooftop over-looking the intersection where Park Slope's 7th Avenue empties out onto Flatbush Avenue.  Four more Avenues north is where the Barclays Center is under construction at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues.

There are five panels from left to right, four of them depicting a word from this year's Knicks' grand advertising campaign;
YOU  US  WE  NOW;  accompanied by these captions:

YOU ~ The Republic of Brooklyn.
US ~ The Original Ball Team of the Empire State.
WE ~ Are Unstoppable Together.
NOW ~ Is the Time To Represent.
(..then) Brooklyn Stand Up - NYK -

This billboard is in a far better location strategically, that the first, placed inside Atlantic Yards along Atlantic Avenue.  This intersection is far more conducive to foot traffic coming from both sides of Flatbush Avenue and the evening scene.  The tall tower in the distance is 1 Hanson Place and Barclays Center is being erected one block before.

They say necessity is the Mother of all invention.  It's clear the Knicks are finding it necessary to invent new ways to reconnect with a despondent fan base.

NYKnicks ~ Sign of the Times; Part II
You-Us-We-Now?  Amare asks WHO WHEN WHY HOW?

Before the Knicks engage in this War of Billboard Words, perhaps they should see if their soldiers are up to the task.  He who wins most will earn the most fans.  All that matters is wins.

Amare said he isn't used to this.  So let's get into "This".

While the suits upstairs are pushing the You-Us-We-Now gig up in the offices of MSG, Amare is dealing with the Who-What-Why and How's downstairs on the 5th floor.

He said he came here to inaugurate a new era in Knicks Basketball.  That remains to be seen and the last handful of games are your evidence for the new era being just as ugly as the old era.  (Hmm?)

This is what we know or learned about Amare Stoudemire:
* He wasn't the first choice on the list of Free Agents.
* He came here to be a Big Dog surrounded by a bunch of puppies.
* No one offered him close to the deal we offered him.
* There is a familiarity factor with Coach D'Antoni,
* He's here because LeBron James is in Miami.
* He doesn't play with his back to the basket; posting up.
* He's not that much of a dribble, self-creating play maker.
* Steve Nash served him perfectly in perfect places and Amare won't have that here.  Our pick and roll is more like a bump and stumble and we give him the ball too high on and off the elbow.

All that is neither here nor there, but don't look to me for criticism for what amounts to Amare Stoudemire calling out his team mates after last night's loss to the Houston Rockets. 

It's about time some one in a Knicks' uniform spoke out against futility.  For too long this type of play has been soothed over with Jergen's hand lotion, baby oil, Aloe Vera, Coconut Butter and every other ointment from the 'ol "Well This and We That and We have To" medicine cabinet.

Give Amare credit.  He came here and has been a damn good soldier trying his best to fill a role he was charged with (yes, because of the money!).  He plays his minutes and deals with all the media.  He's not a Diva; playing unselfishly and only dominating the ball when he can.

But out of everything we know or learned about him since he got to MSG, we all knew this - He can't do it alone.

He is getting paid big bucks to take big shots in big moments for this team.  Last night's shots directed at his team mates should register as his biggest shots so far in this still young and salvageable season.  And they should be listening to their new vocal leader very attentively.  He's not used to losing like this and his team mates should know and do everything they can to change it; Not for Amare and because he said so...But because it's what's in the best interest of the Knicks, and if Coach D'Antoni can't coach it out of 'em, maybe hearing it from one of their own for a change, a very refreshing change, is what's needed.

Amare Stoudemire shouldn't be viewed by us, as someone who he is not.  He is not the franchise savior.  But he is a very good player who was a huge step in the right direction.  He may not have a championship ring to be calling anyone out, which will be argued by some, but he's got clout as a stand-out player in this League and his resume makes every player in that locker room's accomplishments look like scribble when listed on paper.

Taking shots at his team mates isn't going to bump up his scoring average but it just might wake some players up from their slumbering play.  What the Knicks got after last night's game was the extra added bonus of signing Amare.  Give him credit today for speaking out instead of killing him for it.  That's more accountability from a player around here that we've seen since.........(insert your choice here).  You'll probably come up with a name who hasn't played here in at least 10 years.

Don't fault him for trying to lead and earn his paycheck instead of being passive in defeat like so many players before him, and as he hints, among him now.


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