Cognition & Reality

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Melo Drama Continues: Breen Goes Off

Filed under: Sports — drtone @ 11:51 am
Tags: ,

Recently, I predicted that the New York Knicks’ trade for Carmelo Anthony, which jolted the NBA, would not work out well for the organization. Although I emphasized how much New York gave up in the trade as the main reason it would not work out for the Knicks, I mentioned, as another factor, the heat that would be on Carmelo and the team, because of the attention the trade had drawn and the impatience of the New York fans and press. The nightmare is coming true.

The Knicks, a .500 team overall, fell to 7-9 with a loss to the Boston Celtics Monday night. It was a signature loss, if there is such a thing. Carmelo was dynamite in the first half, but got into early foul trouble, compounded by a stupid foul, giving him four, about midway through the third quarter, forcing him to sit down for several minutes. He never really got back into the game. Meanwhile, the Celtics, behind almost the entire way, won through outhustling the Knicks down the stretch.

The New York media are already in on the discontent. The papers eagerly quoted the remarks of the team’s other superstar, Amar’e Stoudemire, which were deemed to be sideways criticism of Anthony, after the latter blew a potential game-tying basket in a loss Saturday night at Detroit, a losing team. For Stoudemire to express his disappointment barely a month after the trade matches the expectations of many that, on the court or off, the two immature, egotistical stars would get in each other’s way. The Knicks may be only a couple of losses from unraveling. Although New York is almost certain to make the playoffs, owing to the weakness of the teams behind them in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, they seem destined to make an early exit from the post-season, stimulating discontented howls from their fans, and more second-guessing by the talking heads.

Another prediction: Although he may be one of the few players in the NBA capable of steadying the Knicks on the floor and in the locker room, Chauncey Billups will be gone before the start of next season.

During the big game with the Celtics, Knicks announcer Mike Breen took shots at Carmelo. When the home team’s play-by-play announcer is openly critical, consider how bad the feeling is on the street in NYC. Breen’s complaint that Anthony must “change his ways”is absurd: You don’t trade for a veteran superstar expecting him to become  another type of player or even a better player. Anthony, in his eighth year, has established himself as a great offensive player who hogs the ball and who plays defense both indifferently and with indifference. His numbers with the Knicks are in line with those he was posting for Denver, although he has had to share the ball with Stoudemire. Despite the obvious need of the Knicks to spread the ball around more and defend better, Breen’s suggestion that Carmelo become more unselfish and defense-minded is bizarre, at best. It’s not as if the Knicks bought a pig in a poke.



  1. Mike Breen should go off – off into the sunset as far as nationally televised games go. His obvious bias toward Boston and ability to always find a negative in a positive is only matched by his loud-mouthed partner Van Grungy, who has never seen a good Celtics’ play in his life. Building up his loser brother is or should be embarrassing. Where has Orlando gone except one year’s finals blowout? Yeah, a great coach. But back to the idiot Breen. If New Yorkers like him on Knicks games, fine, that’s what local announcers do, but taking that to a national level is unprofessional at best. Whoever chose him should also be fired for their bias as well – probably part of the job description – “NBA announcer wanted – must hate Boston”. Of all the ESPN/ABC/CBS NBA announcers, Breen is by far and away the worst, followed by Van Grungy. Hanging out with those two doesn’t do Mark Jackson any good, either. Constantly having to explain the game to them takes away from the action at hand. Breen is truly, unparalleled, unmatched, and over and above(below?) every other announcer for his ineptitude and bias. Firing him would bring cheers from most of the country save NYC. Let him cover the Knicks, but please, keep him (and JVG) off my television so I can again have sound while watching NBA games. And hasn’t Melo provided a lift for the Knicks? They traded their future for this ball-hog? Whatta move! Every team in the East is now breathing a collective sign of relief since that bonehead trade.

    Comment by painter33 — Thursday, 31 March 2011 @ 6:47 am | Reply

    • I, too, have always disliked ESPN’s supposedly top team of announcers for NBA games, Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson. Nevertheless, I have to say that I watched a game in which Van Gundy was teamed with someone else–I think it was Dan Bonner–and he was kind of amusing. There’s something about the chemistry of Breen, Van Gundy and Jackson that does not work, starting with Breen, of course. Beyond that, you might think that ESPN would have the sense, at least, to keep Jeff Van Gundy away from Orlando games, but they seem to like putting him on broadcasts in which he’ll be covering his brother, Stan.

      As to Breen and Boston, you would have to imagine that hating Boston would be part of the job description of a Knicks announcer, and ESPN, having its pick of play-by-play guys, ought to be able to do better than Breen. Consider this, however: If a person who lives in the LA area, as I do, wants to watch Blake Griffin play with the Clippers, he or she must listen to Ralph Lawler, who is ten times more annoying than Mike Breen.

      Rather than the idiots they now employ, when is ESPN going to start using Doris Burke for play-by-play on men’s games, which I believe she already does for WNBA and women’s college hoops? While I’m on that subject, why does TNT relegate Cheryl Miller to sidelines on their NBA telecasts? In this day and age, she at least deserves a shot at color commentary, if not play-by-play, either of which I’m sure she could do. Both of these women know more about basketball than most of the men with the top jobs.

      P.S. Given how Jeff Van Gundy feels about clothes, he would probably LIKE being called “Van Grungy.”

      Comment by drtone — Thursday, 31 March 2011 @ 7:37 am | Reply

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