In case of emergency … don’t count on Amar’e Stoudemire.
With Jeremy Lin out of the lineup, Carmelo Anthony in the lineup and Mike D’Antoni sitting in his easy chair in Rye, N.Y. counting his millions, the New York Knicks didn’t need any help in getting swept by the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
But Stoudemire couldn’t resist chipping in with an assist to make sure LeBron, D-Wade and Chris Bosh started their latest assault on an NBA title with a first-round walkover. Obviously perturbed that his nine shots were almost one-third the number Anthony jacked up for no good reason in a Game 2 loss on South Beach, Amar’e realized he had plenty of energy left over and, well, you know what he did.
Breaking glass. Pain. Paramedics. Mass confusion. Just imagine a party at Charlie Sheen’s place.
Robert Sarver hasn’t gotten much right as owner of the Suns. We can start with Joe Johnson and work our way forward. But not giving $120 million guaranteed to Stoudemire was – as we opined at the time – the right move. Before the age of 30, he has creaky knees, a balky back, super hero spectacles to protect his peepers and penchant for missing playoff games for really stupid reasons.
Running off the bench against San Antonio. Smacking safety equipment in Miami. Whatever.
Not a good week for New York sports fans. plays bump-and-run with a fire extinguisher. Mariano Rivera shreds his knee shagging flies. The New York Jets participate in the NFL Draft (that is never pretty). Somebody better make sure New York Rangers coach John Tortorella keep his distance the next few games.
No Room for Riff-Raff
I guess it was a foregone conclusion that the Coyotes’ Raffi Torres would appeal his 25-game suspension for his illegal hit on Chicago’s Marion Hossa. While I don’t think his actions measure up to any of the others in NHL history that earned such a stiff sentence (Todd Bertuzzi, Dale Hunter, Marty McSorley, etc.), I don’t see Torres earning a reprieve from commissioner Gary Bettman.
First, Hossa picked Thursday — the same day Raffi announce his appeal — to tell the Chicago Tribune from Slovakia that he’s still feeling the effects of the concussion he sustained by the hit. While he appreciated a call from Torres, he let it be known that leaving his feet was totally uncalled for.
Second, the stiff sentence did what the NHL was trying to do: stop a run of suspensions in its tracks. Unless you count the two wild n’ crazy Predators that spent all night trying to steal Mike Tyson’s tiger last weekend in Scottsdale, things have calmed down considerably.
Third, like it or not, there are a lot of hockey fans — many from Canada — who see Bettman as the de facto owner of the orphaned Coyotes. So any favoritism shown Torres will bring howls from the Great White North. Since there is no Canadian team left in the playoffs (again) there is plenty of time to whine.
•Amazing to see television coverage of the Coyotes go from non-existent to over-the top with one playoff series win. Sure, the Suns get an assist for missing the playoffs and the ownership saga adds an extra juicy element, but the rest of it appears to be genuine.
The Coyotes’ postseason profits, somewhere around $1 million per home date, is taking the edge off the $20-25 million debt reported from this season. Phoenix will have its sixth home game of the postseason on Monday And if the Coyotes can get past the Predators — they would have home ice against Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference finals — the per-game profit could take another jump with at least three more Glendale games likely.
•The ball that trickled through Bill Buckner’s legs in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series — the one Mookie Wilson told NBC’s Marv Albert “had the angle and the spin” to send the Mets past the Boston Red Sox — was sold at auction for $418,250 this week.
It was once owned by Sheen, so if I’m the new owner, I wouldn’t hold it too close to my nose.
Jerry Brown is a contributing columnist who appears every Sunday in the Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.