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SBD/February 23, 2011/Franchises
Knicks Ticket Prices Skyrocket In Wake Of Anthony Acquistion
Published February 23, 2011
UNITED FRONT? Knicks President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh yesterday said that he was "reluctant at times to make the three-team, 12-player trade" that resulted in the acquisition of Anthony. But he insisted that the "final call was his to make, without pressure" from Knicks Owner James Dolan or interference from Florida Int'l Univ. men's basketball coach and former Knicks President of Basketball Operations Isiah Thomas. He said of Dolan potentially consulting Thomas, "I could care less. There are a lot of people who talk to owners, all right?" Walsh "spoke earnestly and at times enthusiastically about the trade," and he added that his "autonomy had never been threatened." Walsh said of Dolan, "We worked together." But in N.Y., Howard Beck writes that is "not the portrayal offered by some of Walsh's friends and others who do business with the Knicks" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/23). ESPN's Chris Broussard said Dolan "gets his basketball knowledge" from Thomas, and added Walsh and coach Mike D'Antoni "really didn't want to give up all that they did to get" Anthony. Broussard: "There's not a civil war going on between these two groups, but there was a difference of opinion" ("Outside The Lines," ESPN, 2/22). In N.Y., George Willis writes if Dolan "wants to put an exclamation point on the portrait of solidarity, he will pick up Walsh's extension for next year instead of letting his status linger until after the season" (N.Y. POST, 2/23).
DEGREE OF INVOLVEMENT UNKNOWN: On Long Island, Alan Hahn cites sources as saying that Thomas "was consulted in the Anthony trade, which was completed" by Dolan Monday. But one source said that Thomas' impact "has been overstated" (NEWSDAY, 2/23). In N.Y, David Waldstein notes Thomas yesterday "would not address whether he talked with Dolan during the process," though he "acknowledged that he and Dolan remain friends." Thomas: "I always want to see the Knicks do well, and I want to see Jim do well" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/23).
HITS KEEP COMING FOR PROKHOROV: The Nets reportedly traded for Jazz G Deron Williams this morning, but Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov has been getting criticized by the media for failing to land Anthony. ESPN's Jim Rome said Prokhorov "got played badly" in the Anthony talks. Rome: "This is a really bad look for the alleged most interesting cat in the world. He tried to get out but allowed himself to get sucked back in and then he got worked. … Now he's trying to sell that it was a good tactical move since he forced the Knicks to pay more than they wanted to." Rome added, "The Nets are looking more like the Clippers East than ever before" ("Jim Rome Is Burning," ESPN, 2/22). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said of Dolan and Prokhorov, "They both wanted Carmelo and Dolan got him. They both went big into free agency last year, and Dolan got Amar'e and Prokhorov went squadoosh." He added of Prokhorov, "He's talking and talking and he's not delivering on any level. Right now, he's just a tall guy with an interesting accent" ("PTI," ESPN, 2/22). SportsNet N.Y.'s Brandon Tierney: "Prokhorov doesn't know a damn thing about the inner workings of the NBA and quite frankly, it's showing" ("Wheel House," SportsNet N.Y., 2/22). Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said, "This is a guy that came in and put billboards next to Madison Square Garden saying we're going to build a dynasty. How is this a dynasty? Couldn't get LeBron James, couldn't get Carmelo Anthony." But L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said Prokhorov "is one of the winners in the whole sweepstakes," as he "got involved just in time at the end in order to raise the price enough so the Knicks to give away the farm" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 2/22).