Sports Beat “No silver lining for the Knicks”

By Lloyd Carroll

      When an NBA teams doesn’t make the playoffs, as is the case with the Knicks this year, the lone silver lining is a chance to nab a very good college player by taking part in the NBA Draft Lottery. Lamentably for Knicks fans, their team traded their top pick in the upcoming draft to the Denver Nuggets when they obtained Carmelo Anthony in 2011.

      Adding to Knicks fans’ concern is that Carmelo will be a free agent come July 1. My guess is that he will re-sign with the Knicks since he and his wife very much like living in New York and that team owner James Dolan has constantly sought out his advice. Nonetheless, the Knicks’ failures this season have to give Anthony pause to making a long-term commitment to them.

      Knicks head coach Mike Woodson will surely get the axe but the question is will new Knicks president Phil Jackson hire his replacement in a hurry the way that CBS announced that Stephen Colbert will be taking over for David Letterman in 2015 or will he drag out the search.

      For those who want to remember the Knicks’ halcyon days of yore, a documentary based on the book by New York Times sports columnist Harvey Araton, “When The Garden Was Eden,” will make its debut this week at the Tribeca Film Festival. Actor and huge Knicks fan Michael Rapaport serves as the narrator. The film features interviews with former star players Clyde Frazier, Willis Reed, Earl Monroe, Bill Bradley, and the late Dave DeBusschere.

      Other sports documentaries that are part of the Tribeca Film Festival’s partnership with ESPN include a look at some of boxing’s best, “Champs;” a bio of cycling’s first American superstar, Greg LeMond titled “Slaying the Badger;” and controversial former NBA star Allen Iverson tells his life story in “Iverson.”

      Former Forest Hills High School and St. John’s University star basketball player, Mo Harkless, was in town Sunday evening as his team, the Orlando Magic, took on the Brooklyn Nets. Mo told me before the game that he was surprised that his Red Storm successor, forward JaKarr Sampson, had opted to leave St. John’s after his sophomore year for a shot at getting drafted by an NBA team.

      Harkless said that Sampson never called him to seek out his advice. While Mo praised Sampson’s talent he added that the Johnnies disappointing season will not help JaKarr’s stock.

      Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had a great quip regarding the brouhaha surrounding the mysterious substance found on the hand of starting pitcher Michael Pineda. “Maybe we should follow the restaurant industry and have signs that say ‘Employees must wash their hands after every inning’ if that will end the discussion!”

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     Former Mets pitcher Chris Capuano is now a member of the Boston Red Sox and has always been of my favorite interview subjects because he is conversant in a multitude of subjects which is not surprising since he graduated from Duke University with a degree in economics...

    The Mets will be offering a number of seats this weekend for $3.50 which was the cost of the most expensive seat in Shea Stadium when it opened 50 years ago this week. The cheapest seat at Shea for years was in the upper deck which cost a mere $1.30.

      I caught the latest Kevin Costner film, “Draft Day,” during a special screening for media during Super Bowl week. While I like the idea of peaking into the NFL executive suite and into the high stakes poker game which the NFL Draft has become, “Draft Day” was a disappointment.

     Kevin Costner is even more wooden than usual as fictional Cleveland Browns general manager Sonny Weaver. While all movies ask the audience to suspend disbelief to some degree, the idea that top college players could call an NFL general manager on his cell number to plead why he should select them is utterly ludicrous. Even the film’s director, Ivan Reitman of “Animal House” and “Ghostbusters” fame, admitted that he was taking creative license when I asked him about it during a press conference for the film that took place during Super Bowl Week...

     FX Network’s loose adaptation of “Fargo” doesn’t feature any of the characters from the 1996 Coen Brothers film but it does capture the same humor and quirky plotlines. Billy Bob Thornton is always a compelling actor and he doesn’t let his fans down here as a Lorne Malvo, a psychotic killer with a philosophical bent...

      The arrival of warmer weather (finally!) has a lot of us thinking about summer and vacations.

       A Georgia based company, OKA-b, has created a plastic sandal that is more comfortable and gives better traction than your typical flip-flop and they are manufactured right here in the USA.

     Losing passports, credit cards, and cash, whether it be through theft or carelessness, is always a concern when one is traveling. Two fairly new companies, Clothing Arts and Sholdit, have come up with remedies. Clothing Arts’ Pick-Pocket Proof shirts and pants have a lot of buttoned compartments for safe storage while Sholdit does the same for women’s scarves...

      The early spring is when many food and beverage companies make appearances at press trade shows as Editors Showcase and Food Fete to introduce new products or come up with new reasons to try familiar brands. Perfect Bar and Power Crunch are new entrants in the expanding protein snack market that are healthier alternatives to Hershey’s and Nestle’s candy products. BelGioioso Cheese’s 70-calorie mozzarella packets and Sabra Hummus are also good sources for fiber and protein. On the more traditional snack front, Popcorn, Indiana introduced various new flavors while Jackson’s Honest Potato Chips promoted the fact that its products are fried in healthier coconut oil as opposed to the cheaper vegetable oils used by the big name potato chip companies.

      On the beverage side, Stonyfield Organic displayed its newest yogurt smoothies while Lifeway showcased debuted three lines vegetable kefir (kefir is similar to a yogurt shake) and So Delicious introduced its newest coconut and coffee-flavored drinks. Robinson’s Fruit Shoots is a line of drinks that contain 10 per fruit juices and no added sugars.    

      The most memorable product name that I saw at these shows was KINKY Liquer which combines fruits as mango and wild berries with premium vodka for a smoother taste than less expensive vodkas. It makes for a fun summer spirits treat.