Before the season began, the New York Knicks were scheduled to make an ungodly 23 appearances on national television. NBA teams play 82 games in a season. Now, I haven’t really put my math degree to use very much in my blogging career, but my desktop calculator suggests that’s more than 25% of Knicks games being shown to a national audience. That’s a lot!
Even before the season started, we suspected that would mean plenty of bad basketball on display. Now that we’ve reached the new year, we know that it’s been much, much worse than even the most pessimistic of New Yorkers could have imagined. Here we are in the second week of January and the Knicks have the worst record in basketball at 5-34. That’s right, even worse than the Philadelphia 76ers – and they’ve perfected the art of trying to suck!
Thankfully, the fine folks in Bristol have seen enough and are trying to cut bait as fast as they can with the Knicks. In announcing seven changes to their upcoming national television schedule, ESPN announced they were dropping three Knicks games! Yes, somebody out there does in fact care! And maybe more surprisingly, the mothership is adding two Raptors games.
|Date||Time (ET)||New Selection||Previous Selection|
|Wed, Jan. 14||8 p.m.||Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls||Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics|
|Wed, Jan. 28||8 p.m.||Brooklyn Nets at Atlanta Hawks||Oklahoma City Thunder at New York Knicks|
|Fri, Feb. 6||7 p.m.||Los Angeles Clippers at Toronto Raptors||New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets|
|Fri, Mar. 6||8 p.m.||Phoenix Suns at Brooklyn Nets||Miami Heat at Washington Wizards|
|Wed, Mar. 18||8 p.m.||Orlando Magic at Dallas Mavericks||Indiana Pacers at Chicago Bulls|
|Wed, Mar. 25||7 p.m.||Chicago Bulls at Toronto Raptors||Los Angeles Clippers at New York Knicks|
|Fri., Apr. 3||8 p.m.||Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies||Detroit Pistons at Chicago Bulls|
There’s a reason why there were 800 bajillion Knicks and Lakers games on the ESPN and TNT and NBATV schedules even though everyone knew they’d be terrible – ratings. Those teams still have big time fanbases that draw big time viewers no matter what the records are. But at some point, some standard has to be met or else everyone will tune out no matter what name’s on the jersey or what city the team is from. It’s encouraging that ESPN would take the step of replacing big market bad teams with small market good ones.
But for fans of schadenfreude and basketball played on the level of the Washington Generals, have no fear. Lakers at Knicks is still on the ESPN schedule for February 1st.