All posts by kristanbravo

I am a junior studying broadcast journalism at American University. I am obsessed with my dog and would die to see the Mets win the World Series.

Phil vs Carmelo

New York Knicks’ star forward, Carmelo Anthony, has recently received a lot of attention in the media for his open dispute with Knicks’ president Phil Jackson. The dispute has stemmed from Jackson’s willingness to publicly put his own players under a microscope.

Jackson is a well-known and well-respected NBA coach with 11 championships to his name; not to mention the two he won with the Knicks as a player in the early 70s. In total, Jackson holds the NBA record for most championships as a coach and a player.

While he undoubtedly holds a very impressive resume, many would argue that Jackson is pushing for an outdated system. He is known for his use of the “triangle offense,” which can be successful when implemented by the right players. Knicks’ coach Jeff Hornacek, however, has not made consistent use of the triangle. He usually opts for a more fast- paced approach that the players responded to earlier in the season.

After getting off to a fairly strong start, the Knicks have struggled as of late. Some blame the problems on the difficult transition of key players from Chicago to New York, and even the team’s star Carmelo Anthony for holding the ball for too long.

Even the team’s president, who should be one of the biggest advocates of the players, has more or less thrown his star player under the bus.

The true problem with the Knicks lies in distractions off the court. At the heart of these distractions is Jackson himself. After the Knicks won four consecutive games in December, the team’s president publicly called out Anthony for being a ball hog.

Jackson’s comments came as a shock, especially because the Knicks were doing so well at that time. Among other factors, the timing just didn’t make sense.

It has become more clear now that Jackson’s plans for the future of the Knicks do not include Carmelo Anthony.

The two have rarely seen eye-to-eye on the team’s operations and plans for the future, but Anthony has always seemed more willing to work with Jackson for the success of the team. After a meeting between the two this week, it appears that Jackson is less eager.

In the meeting, Jackson reportedly asked if Anthony even wanted to be a Knick anymore. Time and time again, Anthony has proven himself and his love for New York to the organization and its fans. He is the centerpiece of a team that has great potential. In his meeting with Jackson, Anthony reiterated his desire to stay with the team. His only roadblock might be his own president.

Many Knicks’ fans fear Anthony will soon grow tired of Jackson’s shenanigans and accept a trade to a team that gives him a more immediate chance of winning, and less of an everyday battle with the front office.

Tensions are high in the Knicks’ organization. The team is struggling and certainly cannot afford to lose Melo. He has been a power force, team leader, and model citizen for the Knicks since 2011, and should not have to continuously answer for the president of the organization.

If someone has to go in order for the Knicks to have success, it has to be Phil Jackson.



Catch the Heartbreak

Prior to their 2015 surge to the World Series, the New York Mets experienced a nine-year drought of postseason-less baseball. This brings us all the way back to 2006, a year of wide-eyed young stars and seasoned veterans. The perfect combination, or so they had thought, to bring Queens its third championship in franchise history. Team chemistry had a lot to do with the success of the 2006 Mets. All of their hard work culminated to a National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

With their entire season on the line, the Mets sent Oliver Perez to the mound against Jeff Suppan in Game 7. The game was tied at one going into the sixth inning. What happened in the top of that inning would be forever etched in MLB history as one of the greatest defensive plays in the sport’s postseason history. Endy Chavez robbed Scott Rolen of a home run at the left field wall and doubled off Jim Edmons at first base to end the inning. Had he not made “the catch,” the Cardinals would have been up by two runs, which would have likely put the final nail in the coffin for the Mets. Fittingly, the advertisement along the left field wall at Shea Stadium was AIG’s slogan, “the strength to be there.”

Despite Endy’s heroics, the Mets would lose that game in 2006, sending them packing until they finally reached the postseason again in 2015. Fast forward one year later, and the Mets are in the 2016 Wild Card game against the San Francisco Giants, trying to scratch and claw their way back to the NLDS.

The stage was set at Citi Field for the ultimate pitchers’ duel between Noah Syndergaard and Madison Bumgarner.

Each ace battled their way into the late innings of the game without allowing a run. Just as Perez did ten years prior, Syndergaard got into a bit of a jam in the sixth inning. With a man on second, Brandon Belt hit the ball to deep center field.

Curtis Granderson, who was playing center that night, had been having a mediocre year until about September. Once that final month hit, he turned on the jets, and had the breakout month the lineup desperately needed. Already a hero for his crucial role in getting the team to the do-or-die game, Granderson tracked the ball over his head all the way to the warning track, and made an incredible catch as he crashed into the wall.

Witnessing this from the right field stands transported me, and likely many other Mets fans, back to Endy in ‘06. But this time, ten years later, we were confident the results would be different.

They weren’t.

The Mets fell to the Giants after closer Jeurys Familia allowed a three-run homer to Conor Gillaspie in the ninth inning. A defeat equally, if not more crushing, than the one in ‘06.

The moments when Chavez and Granderson made their catches were the moments all Mets fans and players alike had the same thought: “We are not losing this game.”

Hang in there Mets fans. Here’s hoping the third time will be the charm for a season-saving catch that will actually save the season.