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Volume 24 No. 117
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Knicks Ticket Prices Skyrocket In Wake Of Anthony Acquistion

Knicks ticket prices "skyrocketed in value" yesterday in the wake of the team's acquisition of F Carmelo Anthony, according to Anthony Sulla-Heffinger of the N.Y. POST. Secondary ticket tracking website indicated that the "average Knicks ticket for the rest of this season has gone up" more than 60%. Knicks ticket prices "were averaging $311.55 yesterday afternoon, nearly $100 above the $217 they were averaging before the trade." Meanwhile, TiqIQ indicated that tickets for tonight's Bucks-Knicks game at MSG, expected to be Anthony's debut with the team, "went up 260 percent overnight" to an average of $571.39 (N.Y. POST, 2/23). On Long Island, Neil Best notes listed tickets for tonight's game that ranged from "$10,000 apiece courtside" to a "low of $120 apiece at the highest levels of the Garden, behind one of the baskets" (NEWSDAY, 2/23). In N.Y., Rich Schapiro notes prices for the game "tripled in less than 48 hours." Seats that cost "about $50 over the weekend were selling for $170 at, and the average ticket price shot up from $91 to $260." StubHub Corporate Communications Manager Joellen Ferrer: "This is absolutely a result of the excitement for Melo." Meanwhile, Schapiro notes Anthony will wear the No. 7 jersey, and "about 150 replicas and 700 name and number T-shirts will be on sale today at Modell's sporting goods stores in Times Square, Grand Central Terminal and Herald Square." Modell's Senior VP/Marketing Jed Berger: "The customer demand has been unbelievable already" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/23).

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).

: 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).