The Knicks can’t seem to catch a break even amidst a five game winning streak.
After a thorough investigation by the commissioner of allegations that Knicks’ scout Rodney Heard held secret workouts, in violation of NBA rules, for draft prospects and LeBron James last summer, the Knicks have been fined $3 million pesos and one vintage 1977 black power fisted hair pick used by Spike Lee when he portrayed Mars opposite Michael Jordan in the famed Nike commercials. The Knicks are also required to surrender a guitar pick used by James Dolan in a private “Tribute to Isiah’s Evident Progress Concert” held in the Garden after Eddie Curry grabbed 14 rebounds in a season opening win against the Grizzlies on November 1, 2006.
Governor-elect Cuomo announced the penalties, recommended by the state Commissioner of Health and Human Services, this morning at a press conference attended by three reporters and two other unidentified people who seemed to care. The recommendations were the result of a two-day investigation authorized by the Governor in response to a report of Knick improprieties featured on a Fox Shame On You episode.
“This is a historic penalty, a warning to sports teams that while the professional leagues may allow violations of their rules, New York State will no longer accept the embarrassment brought upon us by their behavior,” the future Governor told Shame On You reporter, A. Brown.
The Knicks, who were surprised by the governor-elect's actions, were not pleased with the penalties. The Dolans, who own the Knicks, have been connected to over $160,000 in campaign contributions to Cuomo's gubernatorial campaign. President Donnie Walsh broke with MSG’s “hate the media” policy to defend his re-hiring of Heard, who was a holdover from the Thomas regime. “This is utter non-sense. I would never have rehired Rodney and allowed him to continue this practice if I knew it would result in the draft of Andy Rautins. Why would we pay for Rodney’s trips to Chicago if we knew it would result in worthless picks. The fine is totally inappropriate,” said Walsh.
The Knicks were not the only ones unhappy with the severity of the penalty. One critic, Marc Berman of the Post claimed the investigation was a sham and the retribution too light by a governor feigning toughness on contributors and protecting a friend. Berman, who is known not to care much for Dolan, said, “The picks Cuomo took from the Knicks are useless. How does a comb full of old naps and a misused guitar pick compensate the state for recruiting failures regarding LeBron?” Berman became less critical in a Tweet when he was reminded by the Governor that for the past few years most of the Knicks picks were useless by default or their fault until the Knicks drafted fellow Italian Danilo Gallinari and Italian looking Landry Fields. Berman tweeted "@Cuomo. Agree that Spike's hair pick =2 Jordan Hill, Tracey McNugget & Andy Rautins combined."
When asked whether he was pissed by the Governor’s intervention into league affairs, NBA Commissioner David Stern expressed concern. “Certainly, this is Isiah Thomas’ fault. When Attorney General Cuomo couldn’t prove he caused the holocaust and wasn’t related to Idi “I like my Human Meat Raw” Amin Dada, he decided to follow the Thomas trail to the Garden. He's not even governor yet. We will conduct our own investigation of his investigation before we make further comment,” Stern said.
A source familiar with these type of situations told the Post that Stern was probably a lot angrier than he let on to the public. “ I’m sure Stern feels this is totally unacceptable. I heard he promised not to give Cuomo anymore campaign money. The Governor is a media hound and he better watch his back. The NBA is nothing but attorneys and one of them makes more money than all the state lawyers tied together.”
(Please note that almost nothing in this article is true, including the name of the author. All efforts to give Peaceman credit for something he didn’t write are unintentional and par for the course. All efforts to malign or make fun of Donnie Walsh, A. Browne, Andrew Cuomo, Isiah Thomas, David Stern and David’s cookies are mildly unintentional and are subject to copyright violations.)