New York Knicks: Julius Randle Could Be A Dark-Horse Candidate To Improve Under New Head Coach

New York Knicks, Julius Randle

New York Knicks Head Coach Tom Thibodeau tends to get the most out of flawed yet talented players. There is a possibility of fans being shocked about what Thibodeau is able to pull out of Julius Randle, especially defensively, if the Knicks actually decide to keep Randle and not ship him elsewhere before next season begins.

The Knicks head coaching position is Tom Thibodeau’s dream job. Thibodeau has a phenomenal understanding of New York due to his time as an assistant for the Knicks from 1996-2003 and the fact that as a youngster, his household grew him up as a Knick fan in Connecticut. Thibs will impact the young Knicks core in a positive way. High motor players tend to thrive under Thibs in the past. Therefore, Julius Randle could be a dark-horse candidate to improve under the new head coach.

The brilliant Tom Thibodeau, who spent four years at Harvard during the late 1980s could definitely relate to Julius Randle when it comes to attacking the boards for rebounds. Thibs was a rebounding machine in 1976 while playing for his high school alumni New Britain High.

Thibodeau, a 6’1″ senior at the time, pulled down 22-rebounds during an upset over Hartford Public. George Lynn, New Britain’s coach, called it one of the best wins he ever had in his coaching career. Thibodeau was relentless then, and he’s relentless now. The relentless competitiveness from Thibodeau may rub off on Julius Randle, who’s actually already a competitive player who may need the reigns pulled back for him occasionally. Could Thibs help tone down the often reckless Randle on the offensive side of the basketball court?

Can the New York Knicks find the best in Julius Randle?

Julius Randle is such a beast physically. He can snatch an offensive rebound, finish around the rim, then guard multiple positions on defense. He has great work ethic and a very strong physical upper body and motor. These characteristics will not rub Tom Thibodeau the wrong way. Julius Randle never played for a winning coach in the NBA. Tom Thibodeau would technically be the first winning coach Randle has played for in the National Basketball Association, and it’s finally going to happen in Randle’s seventh year in the league.

Randle and Thibs have some similarities. One similarity the two share is their love of rebounding. The new head coach hiring could be the best thing to ever happen to Randle in his young NBA career. Or it could be a disaster in which the two are so similar that they bump heads often. Only time will tell Knick fans. Stay tuned!

Summer Ice Might Be Difficult to Maintain for the New York Rangers, MSG Staff

New York Rangers, Brad Skjei

Many scenarios that include the New York Rangers playing hockey this season would seem to indicate that some games could be played in June or July. While that sounds good, it presents a problem form many stadiums around the United States as stadium ice can be tricky to keep in proper shape during summer months. While this is very true for teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning and other southern destinations, the same could be true for the Rangers and the crew at MSG. Most are quite aware that summers can be quite sultry in the NYC area.

The NHL has specific specifications for their rinks

The NHL recommendation is for ambient air to be between 60 and 64 degrees at 40 to 44 percent humidity. One of the biggest challenges happens when the doors open to allow spectators to enter the arena.  While many arenas have the equipment to help maintain these standards, but once the doors are open and all that hot, humid air starts coming in, there is no way to pull the humidity back out with the people in buildings.  Once you get thousands of people in the building for a game, you are adding to the humidity with people talking and yelling and screaming and the general body heat warming the air. This issue may be solved if fans are not permitted into games, especially the ones that are played earlier in the playoffs.

Year-round rinks sometimes struggle with summer ice

In conversing with an upstate New York rink manager about this issue, the manager stated that even for smaller rinks without many fans struggle with the quality of the ice. He states that in the summer, they do a couple of things to help eliminate the main culprit of ice issues, the humidity.

Players and fans entering the building, as stated earlier, create the most significant problem. This rink only opens its doors that are furthest away from the rink. He also mentioned that one of the challenges that rinks face in summer is the fogging of the rink glass.

“We have a big issue with the glass starting to fog over during many summer days,” but he acknowledged that larger arenas with good dehumidifying systems should not have to worry about that. Those systems help in the process of removing moisture from the air to control humidity, often in commercial buildings and industrial processes.

If teams play games in the summer,  they will have to be wary of this because of the uncertainty of what the weather’s going to do. But ii is definitely something that the Rangers and other teams are going to be forced to deal with if games are played this summer.

New York Knicks & MSG pay tribute to the late, great Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant

Everyone around the world is in shock with the tragic passing of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.  Last night, the New York Knicks and Madison Square Garden honored Bryant in multiple ways.

The lights outside the Garden, that display the Knicks blue & orange colors on game night, were switched to Lakers purple & goldMike Breen and Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier remembered Bryant during the pre-game.  There was a 24-second moment of silent before the beginning of the game.  Along with both Bryant’s number 8 & 24 were displayed on the Garden floor.

Like most teams around the league, each team held onto the ball for their first possession, taking the 24-second shot clock violation.  The Garden faithful, a lot supporting Bryant 8 & 24 jerseys, stood and applauded in honor of the late NBA legend.   Chants of “Kobe, Kobe” rained down from the rafters.  It was a emotional day around the entire league.

Bryant had an effect on the lives of so many current and former NBA players, coaches, executives and, of course, fans.  Therefore, playing the games was somewhat of a head-scratching move.  Breen and Frazier began the game with both the Knicks and Brooklyn Nets looking “uninterested and sluggish.”  This was as expected with Bryant’s impact on the game.

Nets point guard, Kyrie Irving, was getting ready in the pre-game warm-ups when he got the devastating news.  Irving sat out the game as his Nets lost to the Knicks 110-97.

While it was nice for the Knicks to get a victory over their rival, fans couldn’t help to think about all the memories Bryant gave the Garden crowd.

Bryant once had the most points scored in Madison Square Garden history with 61 points on February 2nd, 2009.  That record is now broken by Carmelo Anthony’s 62 points against the Charlotte Bobcats in 2014.

Like all other greats, Bryant always brought his A-game when he stepped foot in the Garden.  The lights always seemed brighter and more stars came out when Kobe was in town.  Bryant put on a show for the fans one way or another.

Whether you were a fan of Bryant or not, one has to respect his game.  Bringing that ‘mamba mentality’ to every game is rare.  Not many bring that mindset to each game on a consistent basis.  His determination and drive to be the best is another reason why he was great.

Bryant meant so much to the game of basketball and even more to those outside the game.  He was a larger than life icon that will be greatly missed.

The New York Knicks issued statements before the game on their Twitter account.  From all of us here at Empire Sports Media we wish our condolences to the Bryant family.  Rest in peace Kobe & Gianna.