Carroll: YES Network Rekindles A Christmas Sports Memory

Since there is no live sports programming to broadcast, cable sports networks are resorting to replaying telecasts of games from yesteryear. I’ve generally eschewed watching them because most were famous events such as Game 6 of the 1986 World Series which have been shown many times before.

Last Wednesday night the YES Network showed a game between the New Jersey Nets and the New York Knicks from Christmas night of 1984. What made it special was that it was the night that Knicks forward Bernard King scored 60 points even though the Nets prevailed that night, 120-114.

I was drawn to the telecast because I attended that game at Madison Square Garden. I remember it was an unusually mild Christmas as the temperature that day was in the low 60s. I also recall that I was able to pay five bucks at the ticket window at Madison Square Garden an hour before the game for the right to sit in the famous upper level blue seats.

The NBA at the end of 1984 was not the showtime extravaganza it is now. Although Michael Jordan had just entered the league he was far from a household name. The only three household NBA names at the time were Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Julius “Dr. J” Erving.

Nowhere was the lack of a superstar more apparent than watching the Knicks roster that night. Patrick Ewing would be selected by the Knicks who had the first pick in the NBA Draft six months later. Starting at center for the Knicks that night was James Bailey while his understudies in the pivot that night were the forgettable triumvirate of Eddie Lee Wilkins, Ken Bannister, and Pat Cummings.

What was amazing about Bernard King’s 60-point performance was that he didn’t take any three-point shots and was not afraid to absorb physical contact driving to the basket. He had 40 points by halftime and could have had the same amount in the second half had the Nets not had backup center George Johnson, one of the best defensive players in NBA history although he has largely been forgotten unfortunately over the ensuing years, guard him.

King’s performance overshadowed the 36-point effort turned in by Nets guard Micheal Ray Richardson. Both players were at their peak and tragically both would see their careers derail not long after that game.

Bernard King would break his leg three months later in a game against the Kansas City Kings while Micheal Ray Richardson would be banned from the NBA for violating its drug policies for the third time in February 1985.

Kudos to the YES Network for showing a Nets game before that network existed. It was willing to use the MSG Network feed of the game which few saw at the time because most of NYC was not wired for cable.

Alex Rodriguez was a guest on MSNBC’s Saturday evening special “America At Pause” which was hosted by Nicolle Wallace.

A-Rod discussed a sports issue that has not gotten much play as we deal with the fallout from COVID-19. He spoke about how colleges will have to deal with athletes who now have an extra year of eligibility while those schools will also have incoming freshmen therefore creating a crowding situation for their sports teams.

He was also angry with Major League Baseball’s decision to limit the 2020 Draft to five rounds which he feels will discourage athletes seeking a career in the game.

It was very game of the cast of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” to attempt a 90-minute show by working with the limitation of social distancing. Each cast member had to work from him and film skits through their computer.

As expected, it was far more ragged than when the show airs live from Studio 8-H at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The Colin Jost-Michael Che “Weekend Update” always gets a chuckle while Pete Davidson, who I always consider to be a marginal member of the SNL troupe, surprised with a clever spoof of a Drake rap. My favorite bit was Mikey Day playing the world’s worst video game player who is under the delusion of being an e-sports legend.

Everyone is more aware of germs, bacteria, and viruses than ever before because of the COVID-19 crisis. While the coronavirus is obviously in the forefront of our concerns, allergy sufferers will soon have to worry about their traditional seasonal ailment.

RAYCOP, whose CEO is immunologist physician Dr. Michael Lee, has created a cordless handheld vacuum, the RAYCOP RN, which uses ultraviolet light and suction power to extract nearly 100% of all common allergens as dust mites and other sneeze-causing particles from bedding and furniture in general.

The company also purports that its products also remove many harmful bacteria and viruses. It should be noted that RAYCOP does not make any claims about COVID-19 eradication. Hopefully its products will help in stamping it out when more is known about it.

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