Dave Checketts Rumors
No one ever played harder at the Garden, not even Oakley. Really, he is an essential, indelible part of the memories his Knicks teams made for us, whether they played a style that sometimes seemed more fit for a game in an alley behind a saloon. “He was a nasty character on the court who was capable of being an extraordinary gentleman away from it,” Dave Checketts said on Saturday morning. “We would make school visits or even hospital visits, and you’d look over, and Mase would always find the kid in the corner. I always believed it was because he had grown up being that kid himself.”
The only time the Knicks didn’t make it past the first round of the playoffs was Van Gundy’s last full season coaching, in 2000-01. Marcus Camby’s sister was abducted in the middle of the first round against the Raptors, Camby was never the same once he returned to the team, and the Knicks lost in five. James L. Dolan asked Checketts to leave after that season, Van Gundy resigned 19 games into the next season, feeling he would be asked to leave when the season was over. For those 10 years, with Checketts in charge of basketball at the Garden and Riley and Van Gundy coaching (with a 34-25 stint by Don Nelson in between), the Knicks had a regular season record of 495-293, which is 202 games over .500. They went to the Finals twice, the conference finals two more times, and the conference semifinals five other times. And you know that for so much of it they were going up against Michael Jordan in his prime. You know what has happened since.
From his vantage point, RSL owner and pro sports mogul Dave Checketts can’t envision the Miller family selling the Jazz. He doesn’t view their commitment as conditional. “I think the Jazz have a tremendous, tremendous fan following. I think teams like that will always exist in the markets they’re in,” said Checketts, whose resume includes time spent as the Jazz’s president and general manager. “I don’t think the Jazz are an endangered species.”