HoopsHype Madison Square Garden rumors

May 4, 2012 Updates
February 27, 2012 Updates

Once Knicks owner James Dolan kicked off plans for his $800 million Garden transformation, one of the big events he has eyed was bringing the NBA All-Star Game back to New York. But it has yet to become reality despite recent bids. NBA commissioner David Stern has insisted the transformation be completed before bringing the event to the Big Apple. Stern passed on the Garden for next season, choosing Houston in an announcement made last week. New York Post

While the final stage of the three-summer Garden project is expected to be finished in time for the 2014 All-Star Game, a person familiar with the NBA’s thinking said New York is not expected to be considered because the Super Bowl will be on Feb. 2 in East Rutherford, just two weeks earlier. “It just wouldn’t make sense having two of the biggest sports events just two weeks apart,’’ one person familiar with Stern’s thinking said. However, sources believe the 2015 game at the Garden is a virtual lock. The Knicks haven’t hosted the All-Star Game since 1999. New York Post

February 24, 2012 Updates

While watching Madison Square Garden Network’s postgame show on Monday night, after the Nets beat the Knicks, 100-92, there were no expectations of hearing anything about Spero Dedes and the flap over his “c---- in the armor” reference he made the previous Friday when describing Jeremy Lin’s first loss as a starter. When it comes to these type of affairs, rare as they might be, this was business as usual. This is the Gulag, where many things are done surreptitiously. The statement MSG issued concerning Dedes was typically cryptic. It said that, even though Dedes used an “inappropriate” term “unintentionally and inadvertently” after the Knicks lost to New Orleans, he was still the recipient of “appropriate disciplinary action,” which Garden management would not disclose. New York Daily News

If anyone had a problem with what Dedes said, which he apologized for in a statement issued by MSG (“I will be much more sensitive to my choice of words moving forward”), then the alleged “disciplinary action” amounted to a tug on his ear lobe. Dedes was not pulled from the air. In fact, he called the Hawks-Knicks game on Wednesday night for MSG TV. A well-embedded Garden mole said Dedes, in one of the days following his extremely poor choice of words, received a tongue lashing from a Garden executive. Other than that, logic suggests Dedes either got fined or was forced to watch “The Best of Jill Martin’s Halftime Interviews.” Now that’s tough “disciplinary action.” New York Daily News

February 20, 2012 Updates

The owner of the New York Knicks has finalized its deal to return the NBA team's games to about 2 million Time Warner Cable subscribers in the New York area. The Madison Square Garden Co. said Monday that it agreed to a multi-year deal under which the cable operator will carry its networks MSG, MSG+ and Fuse. dispute between MSG and Time Warner had left the cable subscribers unable to watch Knicks games since Jan. 1. That coincided with a media frenzy surrounding Jeremy Lin, an untested Knicks point guard who led the team to seven straight wins. New York Post

February 17, 2012 Updates

The 48-day standoff between the MSG Network and Time Warner Cable ended Friday, according to two people aware of the resolution who were not authorized to speak publicly. New York Times

The end of the impasse will be announced Friday afternoon by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and executives of both companies. A settlement had been urged by Eric T. Schneiderman, the state’s attorney general. The governor’s intervention in the past 24 hours with James L. Dolan, executive chairman of Madison Square Garden, and Glenn Britt, chief executive of Time Warner Cable, accelerated the agreement, which is a long-term deal. The blackout deprived many Knicks fans around the state of seeing much of the rapid rise to stardom of point guard Jeremy Lin — as well as the continued success of the New York Rangers. Friday night’s Knicks game will be available to all Time Warner customers. New York Times

February 8, 2012 Updates

Madison Square Garden Co.'s fiscal third-quarter earnings fell 22% as the National Basketball Association's work stoppage hurt the media- and-sports company's revenue. The NBA work stoppage delayed the start of the professional basketball league's regular season by about two months, cutting the combined number of preseason and regular season games to six from 40 a year earlier. The former component of Cablevision Systems Corp. has continued to post a profit since it went public early last year. Cablevision spun off MSG to separate its cash-rich cable businesses from its more financially volatile entertainment properties. Wall Street Journal

January 9, 2012 Updates

The Knicks are attempting to fix a problem that arose among opposing team scouts regarding their dissatisfaction with the new nosebleed seating at the transformed Garden, according to NBA sources. The Knicks are responding to complaints from other club’s advance scouts who feel they can’t do their job properly in the current seating in the brand-new 300-level press box. Advance scouts evaluate their clubs’ upcoming opponents, attending the opponents’ games and charting their plays. In the past, the advance scouts were placed on the floor. But, in the new Garden, the scouts were put upstairs. New York Post

As a consequence, the Knicks advance scout, Matt Harding, has received similar treatment in other arenas, according to sources, and has been placed upstairs often. The Knicks believe that has put their own scouts at “a competitive disadvantage’’ to other team scouts who have better seats at foreign arenas. That is why there is an urgency to resolve the issue. It is doubtful it will be resolved by tonight’s game against the Bobcats, however. “Advance scouts are in the business of winning basketball games,’’ one NBA executive told The Post. “It’s the most important job on the staff for game preparation. It can win or lose a game. I think the Knicks realize that and are trying to do the right thing.’’ According to a handful of scouts interviewed, the key issue in the upstairs seating is their inability to hear coach Mike D’Antoni calling the name of the plays — a vital tool in reports used by all teams. New York Post

December 24, 2011 Updates

Willis Reed had heard a few weeks ago that the Madison Square Garden tunnel he made famous in 1970 by merely walking through it was gone. He isn’t mad, or in mourning. “As long as they keep all the retired numbers up there — that’s what people notice when they walk in,” he said. “That’s good enough for me.” The retired jerseys of hallowed Knicks, including Reed’s No. 19, will hang as usual under the Garden’s classic dropped ceiling for the team’s season opener Sunday against the Boston Celtics. But the tunnel that the Knicks and the Rangers have emerged from for decades, along with their opposition, has been replaced in the partly renovated arena by seats for affluent fans. New York Times

The Knicks will now enter from one end of the Garden — apart from their opponents — by passing through a glass enclosure that will allow some lower-bowl fans with special club membership to view them as they make their way to the court. “Maybe they like the idea of the fans’ having the chance to cheer the players as they run across the court,” Reed said in a telephone interview from his home in Grambling, La. “Buildings, they’re always going to get changed. In New York, it’s not like you can go out and build a new one, and when you remodel something it’s hard to keep it the same.” New York Times

December 19, 2011 Updates

“I was really shocked,” George, 23, told The Post. “I’m wondering how they did that, especially with people in a wheelchair.” George, who lives in Canarsie, was a Tilden HS basketball standout entertaining several college scholarship offers in March 2007 when a car carrying him and two pals crashed in Brooklyn. George was paralyzed from the neck down. New York Post

November 28, 2011 Updates

If the Knicks are valued higher (Forbes had them at $655 million to the Lakers’ $643 million last season), that’s about to end, even with Madison Square Garden prices now slated to bring in $2 million per game. Next season, the Lakers start their 20-year, $3 billion deal with Time Warner, which will take them from their annual $30 million from Fox Sports West to $150 million. On paper, that would put the Lakers, who now average a profit of $45-60 million, zooming past $150 million. In fact, an informed source projects an even higher figure, in the $170 million range. To put that in perspective, the Knicks led the NBA in the 2009-10 season, making $64 million, according to Forbes. The Lakers will more than double that. SheridanHoops

November 5, 2011 Updates
October 20, 2011 Updates

The Knicks' court was in place yesterday morning, and Madison Square Garden never looked spiffier. There was only one thing missing: the Knicks themselves. But NBA lockout or not, the Garden is open for business. More specifically, it is reopened for business. It turned out the basketball court was in place only to test configurations on the day Garden CEO Hank Ratner showed off the first phase of the building's massive, three-year renovation to journalists. Newsday

The first paying customers will see the new-look arena Sunday for a concert featuring Korean groups, followed by a Duran Duran concert Tuesday. The Rangers' first home game is next Thursday. Crews worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the summer on the project. Ratner said it is on time and within its projected budget. Estimated cost is expected to be about $975 million. The first phase replaced and reconfigured the lower seating bowl, including 20 new "Event Level Suites'' and a club for other premium seat owners (from which fans can watch the teams enter and exit the playing area). Newsday

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