If you could play Augusta with three New York Knicks, who would they be?
The Masters start on Thursday and the game’s biggest star—Tiger Woods—is back. Golf’s biggest tournament is receiving a shot of life. Unfortunately, the New York Knicks’ biggest star—Kristaps Porzingis—is rehabbing from a major injury and the disappointing season is on its deathbed with its loved ones.
So the question is simple. If you could choose three Knicks to go play a round of golf, who would you choose? This isn’t restricted to players—coaches, front office, and ownership are all fair game.
The idea here is less about the game of golf and more about the social aspect of golf. I don’t care much about the handicap. I’m far more interested in playing with three interesting people.
Best of the Rest
These are the guys that probably sound like a good idea at first, but I would rather let them play in the group behind us. They certainly wouldn’t be bad choices, but they wouldn’t be my choices.
A lot of fans would probably choose James Dolan with the sole intention of giving him a piece of their mind. I won’t do that because I would get awfully tired of hearing him talk about playing the kazoo.
A lot of fans would probably choose Kristaps Porzingis because he’s the budding superstar and the franchise cornerstone. I won’t because even though he’s walking again, I wouldn’t want him to have a setback because he hurt himself golfing. He’s not Yoenis Cespedes.
A lot of fans would probably choose Carmelo Anthony because he was the last franchise cornerstone and he was such a polarizing figure during his time in New York. For better or worse, he was the guy answering the call for seven seasons at Madison Square Garden. Melo wouldn’t be high on my list because the best way to end an old relationship is with a clean break.
A lot of fans would probably choose Walt “Clyde” Frazier because he is one of the most beloved Knicks of all time. Not to mention, he’s still styling and profiling as the main color commentator on the MSG broadcast for Knicks games. I would have to pass on Clyde simply due to the fact that I feel like we get so much of him on the broadcast that I already feel like I’ve heard many of his stories. I’m sure I haven’t, but Clyde misses the cut by a hair—although he nearly made it for his wardrobe.
Jeff Van Gundy
With the Clyde omission, Jeff Van Gundy may seem like an odd choice. JVG is one of ESPN’s top analysts and he seems to give his candid take on all things NBA. While he is never shy about giving his opinion, I would love to get his perspective on his falling out with the organization. He went from one of the best coaches the organization had in a long time to persona non grata. Getting to play 18 holes with Van Gundy would be enough time for me to gain his trust and get the full scoop.
In addition to hearing the juicy details of his estrangement, I’d love to hear stories about his tenure with the Knicks. He was there through some great seasons and he was the head coach of the team when I was really starting to get into basketball. It would be a trip down memory lane for me.
This one is a no-brainer. Well, maybe it’s an 11 percent of your brainer.
Anyone who knows me would know Michael Beasley was always going to be my choice here. He’s one of my favorite players on the court and off the court. When he’s on his game he can be a dynamic scorer that is incredibly hard to stop. Off the court, he seems like a very funny and charismatic person. I can get bored easily if I’m playing golf without a solid crew. I don’t think anyone has ever been bored when they’re with Be Easy.
He is also a well-known trash talker which is always fun on the course. It’s a little different from NBA trash talking, but it’s trash talking nonetheless.
Beasley would also be the guy I would want riding in my golf cart. Picking your partner for your cart may even be a bigger decision than picking your foursome. Wait, Augusta doesn’t allow golf carts?
Isiah Thomas presided over one of the most atrocious stretches of New York sports of all time. I need answers—still. It’s been 10 years since the Isiah Thomas era ended and I still need answers. Why trade for Eddy Curry? Why sign Jerome James? I’m still curious about how decisions went down and I would love to grill him on it.
I would also thank him for—allegedly—ordering the Knicks to commit a hard foul that resulted in the infamous Knicks-Nuggets brawl. I was at that game and it’s still one of the wildest memories from my childhood. That was something to see up close and in person.
With Isiah Thomas, the Knicks stuff is just the tip of the iceberg. You could ask him about Michael Jordan keeping him off the dream team despite Thomas clearly being one of the best players at the time. Of course, there are some awesome Bad Boys stories and I’d love to ask him about Game Six of the 1988 Finals where he played on a bum ankle and was still the best player on the court.
Isiah Thomas is like an onion. He’s got layers.