The Nets all over the Knicks as NBA season begins
Richard G. Carter | 6/6/2013, 3:39 p.m.
Business-wise, Nets' owner the flamboyant Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov is the richest in pro sports. He's committed $335 million to long-term salaries, including nearly $90 million this season. And the NBA's hefty luxury tax doesn't phase him.
Now the Knicks. Dolan lost Lin--the Asian marketing goldmine--to the Houston Rockets and Landry Fields to the Toronto Raptors and added a geriatric ward of fossils. The injury-prone roster includes Kurt Thomas (40); Jason Kidd (39); Marcus Camby (38); Wallace (38); and Pablo Prigioni (35), the NBA's oldest-ever rookie.
Indeed, the Knicks' old geezers need rocking chairs and the AARP. Training camp injuries kept Camby and Smith out of the preseason and limited Stoudemire to one game. The volatile Wallace--the NBA's all-time leader in technical fouls who hasn't played anywhere in two years--missed the entire preseason rounding into shape.
The ancient Knicks again put all their marbles in the Stoudemire-Chandler basket. They hope Anthony (28) stops hogging the ball and passes as much as he shoots, Stoudemire stays healthy and Chandler--last year's Defensive Player of the Year--stops piling up technical fouls. But Stoudemire, 30, may miss the first month of the season with a bad knee and has a history of injuries, as does 30-year-old Chandler.
They are all the Knicks can really depend on. Not Smith--a head-case with off-court problems who tried in vain to get the team to add his brother, Chris. And not Chicago Bulls castoff Ronnie Brewer or Iman Shumpert, who is out until January with a bad injury suffered in his truncated rookie year.
By the way, the immature Shumpert's boisterous bench-taunting of the Nets' bigger, stronger Blatche during the final preseason game could prove hazardous to his health when they meet in the regular season. Anthony foolishly joined Shumpert in the heckling.
Bottom line: The sold-out Nets-Knicks season opener is our hottest attraction since the Yankees' 2009 World Series. Courtside seats that normally cost $1,500 topped out at $8,100, the average was $800 and the cheapest $207. And that's the name of that tune.