Busted Coverage- A matinee clash with the Lakers Super Bowl Sunday on ESPN was pulled by the network — not for another NBA showdown — but for a celebrity bowling event, an NBA source told The Post.
The game being yanked from the network was announced Wednesday night — marking the seventh ESPN/ABC game that has been yanked from the 7-36 Knicks.
Let me ask you a question. When is the last time you saw bowling on television? Not the last time you watched it, I already know the answer to that. The last time you were scrolling through your TV guide listings and actually saw the word "bowling". I, for one, can't remember. Now two the most prestigious, big market NBA franchises are getting a regular season game, that actual counts in the standings (technically), pulled to watch a couple celebrities bowl. To watch Nick Cannon 'Wildin' Out' after knocking down a couple of pins during a game that is usually saved for drunk 20-somethings that have are tired of going to the same bar every weekend. Absolute preposterous. The saddest part about this? As absurd as it may sound, it is absolutely the right decision. Save a for a few Knicks diehards that are a glutton for self inflicted misery, no one wants to watch this game. I would be willing to bet that the amount of Lakers fans that tune in to watch a Kobe-less team won't even reach triple digits. They probably had to move this game from national television when every NBA personality refused to call the game. Wouldn't surprise me. You don't get called up to the big leagues then willingly accept a demotion to the D-league. Make no mistake, trying to bring excitement to a game that features a combined record of 20-68 and doesn't feature Kobe Bryant is a fool's errand. It's may be a move on the vertical career path, but it's certainly trending the wrong way.
The biggest loser here? Phil Jackson? Nope. Derek Fisher? Nope. The nameless, talentless hodgepodge of handicapable ingrates on the Lakers roster? Nope. The biggest loser here is Carmelo Anthony. You think this game gets pulled if Kobe Bryant has a healthy right shoulder? No chance. Now granted, that's probably because as bad as the Lakers are, watching Kobe try go more than one possession without considering mass homicide is good old fashioned entertainment. Nonetheless. The NBA is a star driven league. Whether your team is good, bad, or mediocre, the most talented players in the league shouldn't have any problem getting air time. Most people don't tune in to watch solid, fundamentally sound basketball. They want to see Klay Thompson score 37 in 12 minutes. They want to see Steph Curry nail threes from the parking lot. They want to see Blake Griffin throw down thunderous alley oops from the foul line. Now, one of their stars, a guy who is annually is one of the highest scoring players in the league, can't even get on television. We are merely halfway through the season and the Knicks have had SEVEN games pulled from a national audience. How many pulled games do you think it took before Melo realized he made the wrong decision signing long term? He definitely didn't take championships into account, but if there is one thing that New York all but certainly brings it is national exposure. Until now anyway.
The NBA is treating the Knicks like an ugly piece of art that your mother buys for you. You hang it up in fear she might go looking for it, but you take it down and hide it in the closet when your friends come over. They aren't completely throwing the Knicks out as a franchise, but they certainly are doing their best to hide their existence for the time being. No matter how big the New York and Los Angeles markets are, The NBA has got to put their best foot forward, and as crazy as it seems, right now that involves televising it's athletes playing a game for unathletic white men and children. Strike that game from the record, and spare us our vision. Knicks versus Lakers has officially become unwatchable basketball, who would have thunk it?
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