If you’re in the New York City area, especially on Long Island, on Friday, November 13th, I recommend checking out the hilarious Charlie Murphy at Governor’s Comedy Club, in Levittown, New York. I plan to be there as well (of course, if you read that and paused to buy tickets before continuing with this article, I probably just stupidly hurt my own chances of scoring tickets).
And, if you’re a big fan of Murphy and do make it to Friday’s show, you’ll hope he does some material from the Nike-inspired advertising campaign which led Murphy to create his version of “Leroy Smith,” the man “who motivated Michael Jordan.”
For those not in the know, Murphy’s fictitious Leroy Smith is a spoof of Harvest Leroy Smith, the actual former high school teammate of Michael Jordan, who really did inspire Jordan to great things after being selected over arguably the greatest basketball player ever, for the final roster spot on their ninth grade basketball team at Emsley A. Laney High School in North Carolina, in 1978.
If you’re not yet sure what I’m talking about, this can all be backed up with internet searches (trust me), and you can find Murphy’s version of Leroy all over the net at sites like Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube.
Now that we’ve discussed some comedy, here’s some tragedy…
The beginning of the New York Knicks’ 2009-10 basketball season, especially recently:
Saturday, Oct. 31st, after the first quarter: Philadelphia 40, Knicks 25
Friday, Nov. 6th, after the first quarter: Cleveland 40, Knicks 21
Saturday, Nov. 7th, after the first quarter: Milwaukee 40, Knicks 22
See a pattern?
What Murphy’s Leroy Smith advises you when you lose to him in his “balltastic” video game is extremely appropriate for the manner in which Knicks have played what they like to term defense so far this season. Particularly, when Murphy says:
“It’s obvious you still need some… intense motivation… failing that, you might want to consider some… desire implants.”
Leroy Smith also says that the three pillars to success are to “motivize, pulverize, and realize.”
The Knicks apparently aren’t following any of those with only a lone victory in their first seven games of the season.
For the third time in five games, spanning eight nights, the Knicks came out of the gate only to see their opponents run away from them fast, leaving New York to play catch-up the rest of the night.
This time, it was the Bucks (3-2) riding a 40-point first quarter to a 66-35 halftime lead, en route to an easy 102-87 win in Milwaukee on Saturday night.
About the only positive thing to take from the night for the Knicks was the play of this year’s first-round draft pick out of Florida State, guard Toney Douglas, who scored 16 points, making six of nine field goals, including four of five three-pointers, in 17:11 off the bench.
Other than that, the effort and intensity, especially early on, just haven’t been there in most games so far this season, especially on the defensive end of the floor. And, although New York has scrapped and fought its way back from big early deficits for a couple of overtime losses, they haven’t exactly been as Leroy Smith would say, “motivizing” on nearly a consistent enough basis.
The Knicks, losers of their last three games, put on a grand show on Friday night for next year’s free agent Lebron James, showering him with all of the attention and affection they could muster, for James’ only regular season Madison Square Garden appearance this season, in Cleveland’s win over the Knicks.
James soaked up every minute of it, and if the Knicks already had the team to go with the celebrity-filled spectacle they put on, he might already be meeting with real estate agents to find a new home address somewhere fairly close to the Garden by next summer.
King James absolutely loves playing at MSG, as he said before Friday’s game, “I’m disappointed that I’ll only be here once.”
Right now however, it’s small steps for the Knicks. They just have to first show that they can at least compete at an NBA level.
Until then, as Leroy Smith would say while shaking his head when watching bad basketball, “I can’t watch.”