SBD/December 15, 2010/Franchises

NBA Franchise Notes: MSG Shares Climb About 12% With Knicks' Wins

Knicks' Winning Streak Boosts MSG's Bottom Line, Share Price

In N.Y., Mark DeCambre reports MSG shares "have popped nearly" 12% since the Knicks started a 13-1 streak on Nov. 17. Knicks Owners the Dolans, who own 20% of MSG shares, "have rung up paper profits of more than $60 million since the beginning of the Knicks' run." MSG Sports President Scott O'Neil said the Knicks are creating a "real buzz in the city again." O'Neil: "We've had a (network) ratings lift of 10 percent and Web traffic is up 40 percent" (N.Y. POST, 12/15).

MOTORING ON: In Detroit, Drew Sharp writes the "general public now has something in common with Pistons ownership: Neither cares about the team." The Pistons drew an announced crowd of 12,526 at the Palace of Auburn Hills for last night's game against the Hawks, but there "might have been 5,000 in the seats at halftime." Sharp: "Please don't insult my intelligence with the bad-weather cop-out. That explanation doesn't work a day after thousands of souls braved worse weather to stand in line at Ford Field for 30,000 free tickets to an NFL game that didn't involve their downtrodden Lions. If the Pistons offered free tickets for a game between the Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls at the Palace on Tuesday night, they might have attracted three times as many people as the Pistons vs. the Hawks did" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 12/15).

YOU'RE A REAL NEW YORKER: A report is circulating that the Nets are looking to rename the team the Brooklyn New Yorkers when they move to Barclays Center, but ESPN's Tony Kornheiser called the idea "misguided." Kornheiser: "Brooklyn has no cache among the other boroughs. If you want to name yourself the New Yorkers, name yourself the New York New Yorkers. It's so nice they named it twice." ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "It's a lot of things, including stupid. Mostly it's subversive. They're trying to out-New York the Knicks. ... It's a silly marketing thing" ("PTI," ESPN, 12/14).

TAUNTING NOT COOL: In L.A., Bill Plaschke writes of Clippers Owner Donald Sterling, who reportedly has been taunting his players during games: "An owner who rips his players while they are working is not cool. An owner who embarrasses his employees in front of the customers is not cool." Clippers C Chris Kaman, who has been one of the subjects of Sterling's taunts, said, "It happens, sure, but it's cool. ... Usually you only hear it when you're shooting a free throw or running down the court during a lull. I'm telling you, it's really a non-issue" (L.A. TIMES, 12/15).

TIMES ARE CHANGING: In Denver, Dave Krieger reports the Nuggets' attendance at Pepsi Center "has dropped from an average of 17,995 a year ago to 16,301 through a quarter of this season's home dates." Since Nuggets F Carmelo Anthony "arrived eight seasons ago, the Nuggets have never averaged fewer than 17,000 fans a game for a season" (DENVER POST, 12/15).

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