Greg Cote

Greg Cote’s Random Evidence: All-Star weekend is perfect time to make fun of Knicks

In My Opinion

Greg Cote

gcote@MiamiHerald.com

All-Star games are generally pretty lame, the thing you make fun of or better yet ignore. But we have set a Miami record this week for talking about, thinking about and pretending to love All-Star games — with the Marlins announced as hosting baseball’s 2017 Midsummer Classic and the NBA’s star showcase happening Sunday in New York.

Since the baseball event is two years and five months away, let’s turn to the basketball game at hand. Granted it probably is of diminished interest in South Florida, with the post-LeBron Heat having a disappointing season, Dwyane Wade out injured and Chris Bosh the only Heater who will be playing.

A Miami fan still could find plenty to like about the 64th NBA All-Star Game, though. Mainly that New York hosting it at Madison Square Garden offers ample opportunities to make fun of the Knicks.

The league-worst, 10-43 Knicks hosting an All-Star Game is like me conducting a writing class for Pulitzer Prize winners.

If only their record were the most embarrassing thing about this Knicks season. That dishonor belongs to team owner James Dolan, who recently wrote an angry email response in which he called a lifelong Knicks fan a miserable alcoholic and said he should follow a different team.

I look forward to Dolan’s amicable greeting to fans at Sunday’s All-Star Game. I’d imagine he’d start by thanking all of the drunks for coming out.

NBA All-Star Games are infamous for tanking, for hardly any interest by players in who wins, characterized by sloppy effort, foolishness, zero defense and showboating individuals.

Come to think of it, we could be talking about the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony there.

▪ Hope all you paraskevidekatriaphobes survived your fear of Friday the 13th and then didn’t forget Sunday is Valentine’s Day. The juxtaposition gave me an idea. I saved money by convincing my wife I suffer from pricegougeaphobia: the fear of paying grossly inflated prices for a dozen roses.

▪ Tiger Woods is taking a break and unlikely to play in the Honda Classic this month in Palm Beach Gardens. There go the TV ratings. Golfers would rather watch Tiger take a break (or a nap) than watch other guys play golf.

▪ The UM men’s basketball team can’t afford more losses with an NCAA Tournament bid in doubt, because it doesn’t rank high in RPI (Rating Percentage Index) or SOS (strength of schedule). When that’s the case, SOS can seem more like a distress signal and RPI more like R.I.P.

▪ The Canes baseball team opens ranked No.9 and seeking its first College World Series trip since 2008. The pressure is on coach Jim Morris. Once, Canes in Omaha, Nebraska, were like Norm walking into the bar in Cheers. Everybody knew their name.

▪ Ray Rice apologized to Baltimore fans. Alex Rodriguez apologized to the Yankees. Hey athletes, how about you spare us the wrongdoing and save an apology?

▪ Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West team was stripped of the U.S. championship it won at the Little League World Series for its coach using players not from its district — another reminder the only problem with youth sports is the adults.

▪ The NBA trade deadline is Thursday. Remember, Where’s Waldo? The Heat’s theme as the deadline nears is, “Who Wants Mario?”

▪ The Sacramento Kings hired George Karl as coach. He needed the money as he saves up to fulfill his lifelong goal of buying an actual last name.

▪ The Panthers hired longtime Philadelphia Flyers front-office guy Peter Luukko as an executive. He likened himself to an “orchestra leader.” The Cats don’t need a baton. They need more goals.

▪ Richie Incognito signed with Buffalo. Upon taking the Bills coaching job, Rex Ryan had said he planned to “build a bully.” And apparently to sign one, too.

▪ Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee on Twitter challenged Woods to a round of golf for big money. As if playing for the Jaguars wasn’t embarrassing enough?

▪ Eagles receiver Riley Cooper, who once got in trouble for using the N-word, is Mr. February (Black History Month) on the team’s 2015 calendar. Oops!

▪ The Cricket World Cup is under way and favorites include Australia and Sri Lanka, according to ESPN cricket analyst Punjab Kiper Jr.

▪ In college basketball, first Dean Smith dies, then Jerry Tarkanian. If it’s true those things happen in threes, it could be time for a checkup, Bob Knight.

▪ Billy Casper, the 1960s golf star, also died, at age 83. Pastel-colored Sansabelt slacks are flying at half-mast.

▪ Pete Rose said he’d love to talk to new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred about his gambling ban, then laid 8-5 odds against that happening.

▪ The Daytona 500 begins the NASCAR schedule next Sunday — the swansong season for Jeff Gordon. The Gordon tributes haven’t even started yet and I’m already tired of them.

▪ ESPN has added “Nacion,” geared to Hispanic viewers, to its ever-growing list of various platforms. Soon every person will have their own individually tailored platform. Up next: ESPN Ralph.

▪ Bumper sticker: “Honk If You’ve Tried to Get An NFL Stadium Built in Los Angeles.”

▪ Parting thought: Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch reportedly is considering retiring. The media declined comment.

Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote and also on Facebook, Instagram and Vine.

Hot list

Today: Heat all-stars. Heat players who have scored in double-figures in an NBA All-Star Game:

Player

Times

Years

High

Dwyane Wade

10

2005-14

28 pts.

LeBron James

4

2011-14

36 pts.

Shaquille O’Neal

3

2005-07

17 pts.

Alonzo Mourning

2

2000, ’02

15 pts.

Tim Hardaway

1

1997

10 pts.

Chris Bosh

1

2011

14 pts.

Note: James (36 in 2012) holds team record for most points

in an All-Star Game. Wade, in 2010, was only Miami player

to be named the game’s MVP.

What South Florida Sports Fans are Talking About:

1. MARLINS

Miami awarded All-Star Game as spring training nears: As an improved Marlins team opens spring training in five days in Jupiter, MLB held a news conference here Friday to make official that Miami would host the 2017 All-Star Game. “We couldn’t be happier,” Marlins fans said. “Well, unless of course Jeffrey Loria changed his mind about not selling the team.”

2. NBA

Wade sits as Bosh represents Heat in Sunday’s All-Star Game: Dwayne Wade rests his injured hamstring but Chris Bosh will play in the NBA’s showcase of stars. Miserable New York and Brooklyn, a combined 31-74, were cohosts. Surprised that teams aren’t boycotting the game at Madison Square Garden for fear their players might catch whatever the Knicks have.

3. HURRICANES

It’s the nexus of basketball, baseball and football: The UM men’s basketball team tries to shake off an ill-timed slump and still make the NCAA Tournament. UM opens the baseball season this weekend seeking to end a six-year College World Series drought. Football prepares for spring practice with heat on Al Golden. For all three, cue Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure.”

4. PANTHERS

Crunch time as Cats chase rare NHL playoff spot: Florida entered the weekend only four points off playoff pace, chasing what would be only the fifth postseason berth in 21 franchise seasons, after 1996, ’97, 2000 and ’12. Not much margin of error from here, though, as each loss puts the Panthers closer to a phrase particularly apt in hockey: Thin ice.

5. CRICKET

World Cup under way in Australia, New Zealand: Yes, we DO have cricket in this week’s Top 5 as 14 nations are in the 2015 Cricket World Cup. The sport is very popular in parts of South Florida among residents from the West Indies. For others inclined to scoff, here’s your challenge: You can make fun of cricket, but wisecracks may NOT include the word “Jiminy.”

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