Saturday, December 23, 2006

Runnin' it up

My grade school principal was fond of telling us that "everything has a Jewish angle." How about last week's infamous brawl between the New York Knicks and the Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden? Denver had the Knicks totally outclassed and was blowing them out with a minute or so left in the fourth quarter. Their starters were still in the game piling up points and one of them was driving to the basket presumably to throw down an embarrassing dunk as he'd done a few minutes before to the cheers of Knicks fans (!), when Mardy Collins of the Knicks grabbed him by the neck from behind and threw him to the ground hard. A general melee ensued with all ten players on the court being ejected from the game, and fines and suspensions all around.

Collins slaps a headlock on J.R. Smith
and flings him to the floor

So where's the Jewish angle? Well, Denver's coach, who reportedly had a grudge against the Knicks for firing his friend from a coaching position, kept his starters in the game after it was sewn up just to show the Knicks up on their home court, apparently an unwritten no-no in the N.B.A. The Knicks' coach, Isiah Thomas, had warned one of the Nuggets' players to stay out of the paint, and criticized Denver's coach after the game for running up the score. Well, what's so terrible about that? The object is to score points, and if the Knicks played like a bunch of klutzes that's not Denver's fault. If I was coaching an Israeli team and we were playing against a team from Germany, or Ukraine, or Lithuania, you get the idea, on their ground, and I had a blowout going, would I have my lads run up the score? You bet I would, in spades. Then, after thoroughly humiliating the fellas, we'd "hoop it up" in the shower. Ha-meivin yavin. As Rabbi Kahane said, "Baby, there's a new Jew."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You lose any credibility you have with the sane Orthodox Jews when you quote Kahane.

Sun Dec 24, 09:51:00 AM EST  
Blogger Zev Stern said...

It was the Rambam who said we should hear the truth from whomever said it.

Sun Dec 24, 11:09:00 AM EST  
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