Larry Brown is coming to town, and I will be booing him from my couch. I've never been a huge Knicks fan in the first place, and Brown's turncoat act was one of the most despicable dramas that a coach could ever put his team through -- in the playoffs, no less!).
I've never liked the Pacers, either. I've also found Reggie Miller's trash-talk schtick to be very annoying, especially since all he really ever did was catch and shoot.At least guys like Gary Payton played devestating defense. In fact, the only time I ever remember actually cheering for the Pacers was when Reggie emasculated the Knicks with eight points in 16.4 seconds in 1995. In recent years, the Pacers have been given far more respect than they've actually deserved, which is one of the reasons that Tayshaun Prince's block is one of my favorite memories of the 2004 playoffs.
But while I don't like the Knicks and I don't like the Pacers, I never stopped to realize that the Knicks and Pacers also don't like each other. I mean, I definitely knew this, but I hadn't thought about a "Pistons-Pacers-Knicks hate triangle" until Michael Rosenberg's column in today's Free Press:
• Company line: "Ron Artest was certainly wrong to go into the stands at the Palace, but no more than Ben Wallace, or the guy who threw the beer, or the guy who designed such an aerodynamic beer cup, or the fans who kept piling on Ron, or Joe Dumars, who stupidly fired Rick Carlisle, allowing Rick to come to Indiana and help Artest improve so much that he drove Ben Wallace crazy."
• Company line: "We're not afraid to run this year, and we're not worried about getting benched after we miss a shot, and we know our coach is going to use our bench, and we won't have any distractions or sideshows. But it's not about Larry Brown."
• Company line: "It's true that we love one another; L.B. loves Isiah like a little brother, if you can picture a little brother who keeps making stupid trades and stockpiles little guys who shoot too much and gives way too much money to low-effort centers, the kinds of guys who would normally drive Larry Brown insane, but not this time, because he loves Isiah, dammit, he really does, and they are getting along great. Now go away."
Go ahead and read the rest of it, if for no other reason than to see the little map that they put together -- good stuff.
MICHAEL ROSENBERG: Tri-state soap opera [Detroit Free Press]