Every sports fan knows what it’s like to ride the highs and lows of the team you love. Every win is pure elation while each loss can be a knife through the heart.
When the team you support hasn’t enjoyed a high in years, the pain can be even worse after a build up of promise.
For ESPN presenter Stephen A. Smith, he knows the pain of supporting a helpless team all too well with his New York Knicks languishing in the NBA once again.
The Knicks haven’t enjoyed a winning season since 2013/14 and haven’t moved past the second round of the NBA Playoffs since 1990/00.
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A 108-87 loss on Monday at the hands of Cleveland Cavaliers sent the Knicks into crisis mode with president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry fronting the media after the game and stating the team was underperforming based on expectations.
“We think the team’s not performing to the level that we anticipated or we expected to perform at,” Mills said.
The choice of words from both Mills and Perry caught the attention of Smith who unleashed live on his ESPN radio show on Tuesday.
“The New York Knicks were so embarrassing last night that sanitation workers wouldn’t have wanted to show up to Madison Square Garden. They couldn’t take that smell.” Smith said. “Ladies and gentlemen, just for full disclosure, ESPN Radio is the flagship station for the New York Knicks, and I’m still telling you they stink. Period.”
The Knicks have taken their toll on Stephen A.Source:Supplied
Mills’ words saying the team were supposed to be better sent Smith into a fit.
“How do you come out in a press conference with a straight damn face, on an NFL Sunday evening, in the immediate aftermath of an atrocious loss to a hapless Cleveland Cavaliers squad, and literally say with a straight face: ‘We were supposed to be better than this.’ With the roster you have accumulated, how do you do that?
“How do you do that? What the hell is going on.
“I believe Steve Mills should be drug-tested immediately for that statement.
“What the hell you mean you thought you were going to be better? We all knew you weren’t going to be. Who didn’t know that?
Smith wrapped up his rant by telling his audience they were spared foul language thanks to the radio station he’s on.
“Y’all are lucky I’m over FCC airwaves. Oh my lord. If there was ever a time that I wish that I wasn’t restricted by FCC airwaves, it’s this,” Smith said.
If there was ever a time where I wish I WASN'T restricted by FCC airwaves, it would be RIGHT NOW, DAMNIT! pic.twitter.com/ONWejT3zST
JAMES HARDEN’S HISTORIC 50 YEAR FIRST
The Houston Rockets took care of business against the New Orleans Pelicans, 122-116, to move to 7-3 on the season.
Of course the latest victory was once again fuelled by bearded superstar James Harden who scored 39 points.
His latest offensive outburst bumps his scoring average on the season up to 37.3 points per game, the highest figure through the opening 10 games of an NBA season in the past 50 seasons.
But for the man himself he said it wasn’t a thing he focused on.
“I just go out there and play basketball,” Harden said of his scoring. “Try to be assertive as I can. We’re really pissed about losing those three games — that’s what we’re thinking about (with the first 10 games). I think defensively we’re getting better.
? @JHarden13 goes OFF for 19 PTS in the 4Q ? #OneMission pic.twitter.com/Cs1nctl3W0
“We’ve been really good these last few games. And that’s our mindset, just continue to get better. Like, individually, I don’t care. I’ve done a lot of good things, pretty good things individually, so the most important thing is winning and finding ways to get better.”
Harden started the season slowly, averaging 24 points after the opening two games. Over his last eight he has averaged an absurd 40.6 points per game.
While keeping the insane pace up might be a stretch, Harden is looking to add his third straight scoring title.
The Rockets are hoping he and new recruit Russell Westbrook can get their partnership on track and help take them even deeper in the playoff race.
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