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Christopher O'Brien

Miami Heat vs. NY Knicks: A Night at Madison Square Garden

Last Thursday night I went to the Knicks versus Heat game in Madison Square Garden.I had this game circled on my calendar since the moment I knew I was coming to work (by work I mean internship for college credit) at the New York Daily News. To see LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Amar’e Stoudemire all on the same floor in the venue that is referred to as “The Mecca of Basketball,” was something I dreamed could happen, but really couldn’t see how it would.Going into the week I was in charge of organizing the top fifteen baseball players at each position and writing down their at bats, batting averages, home runs, rbi, runs scored, stolen bases, on-base-percentages, slugging percentages, and the mysterious stat called “OPS,” which, after a ten minute Google search, I still really have no idea what the hell it means. Oh, and I had to do that for each player for their past three seasons.Now the problem with baseball is, well it’s baseball. I went to a baseball writer’s dinner the week before and in attendance was the National League and American League MVP’s, both Cy Youngs, Rookie of the Years, and a few other players. Honestly, the only person I recognized was Roy Halladay. There is no way at a basketball dinner I would look across the room and then ask the people around me, “Wait, is that 6’8 black guy over there LeBron James?”Organizing baseball stats is terrifying, because baseball fans know statistics better than any other sports fan, mathematician, or combination of the two in the world. If I write down Joey Votto’s mysterious OPS from 2008 as 0.871 instead of 0.874 I can almost guarantee the New York Daily News phone lines will explode with angry Fantasy Baseball owners who chose not… Read More

The Communist Basketball Association

For the last several months, the NBA had been debating over a new CBA. On December 8, 2011 we found out exactly what the “C” stands for.Communism.In a year marked by the Occupy rallies on Wall Street and the 20-person bi-weekly rallies held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the United States has been divided into the noble 99 percenters and the evil corporate one percent. The sentiment has funneled into the realm of the NBA, and has created somewhat of a strange dilemma.The conflict? Well, here we have thirty billionaires who each have a very expensive toy-chest called an NBA sports team. It’s like franchise mode in NBA Live, but with real life people. These thirty billionaires spent the entire summer figuring out how to pay their action figures—err I mean players—five percent less, because, well, can you imagine filling up a yacht with today’s gas prices!Before the Communist Basketball Agreement was signed, 29 of the owners looked around at Miami Heat owner Micky Arison—the evil 3.3 percenter if you will—and said, in a very that girl-who-turns-into-a-blueberry in the Willy Wonka movie type of way, “Hey, I want a LeBron James and Dwyane Wade too!”Slowly, the Lakers owner Jerry Buss and Celtics owner Wycliffe Grousbeck looked at their old Kobe Bryant and Big Three toys in the way a college student looks at their old power rangers action figures; sure they’re old and busted up, but dammit they were, and still are, pretty awesome.Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban felt no envy toward Arison. He taunted the Heat owner, strutting around the room, confidently proclaiming that he clearly had the best toys around. Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf was satisfied with his Derrick Rose and New York Knicks owner James Dolan was just happy he got rid of all his expensive toys… Read More