Congratulations Indiana

We talk a lot of NBA basketball in the comments but I don't post about it. This blog is supposed to be about startups and tech, for the most part. But the Knicks lost last night in Indiana and my season is over. I will root for the Grizzlies and the Pacers now but I doubt I will watch many games.

This photo sums up the Knicks Pacers series. Actually it sums up the entire season for me.

Roy and melo

Carmelo Anthony is an incredible talent. He has upped his defensive game in the past year and he carried the Knicks as far as he could. But he doesn't have a second superstar at his side and he could not beat Indiana all by himself.

Roy Hibbert played a great series. In the end, Roy and the Pacers were too much for Melo.

I went to something like twenty five Knicks games this year, almost all of them with my son Josh. I had a great time. We saw some incredible games. And I remain a diehard Knicks fan. My season is over.

I wish Roy and his mates the best of luck with Miami. I will be rooting them on.


Comments (Archived):

  1. takingpitches

    I didn’t expect much going into the season — and i have not for a long time — so everything we got this year was all upside.Keep tweeting JR!

  2. pointsnfigures

    We had a long season in Chicago. DRose out the entire year. But, they played with heart at the end. You can’t fake desire and playing your guts out. So, even though we were beat by the Heat, it was a nice way to end the year. Bulls feel like they are on the upswing. Best thing they can do is draft a good doctor and trainer!

  3. JimHirshfield

    On to Mets’ games?

    1. Richard


    2. fredwilson

      I guess so

  4. William Mougayar

    That photo sums it up & with this:“It was a helluva block,” Anthony said, adding, “It kind of shifted the momentum a little bit at that point.”Hibbert said, “That’s why they pay me the big bucks.”Stoudemire & Kidd also didn’t contribute much to the series, which was another factor.The analogy to startups is that you need all-around competent team members that each pull their own weight. A star CEO or top CTO alone or excellent Product person alone won’t cut it, yet I have seen fledgling startups where the CEO isn’t seconded by an equal caliber CTO, or a bright CTO whose CEO was failing them, or a technical team that were missing a workhorse.

  5. Elia Freedman

    Seasons over but the memories of these special moments with your son will live on forever. (Us Cleveland sports fans have had to come up with something to justify decades of loss and despair 🙂 .)

  6. Richard

    It’s amazing how emotionally invested we can get in professional sports teams and athletes.

  7. jason wright

    wouldn’t it be easier if they each had their own ball?

  8. muratcannoyan

    The series with Indiana was disappointing on many levels, but it was exciting to finally be competitive this year after such a long time. We are one superstar away from playing with the big boys, and I hope it’s a point guard.

    1. JLM

      .They had one and they failed to keep him.JLM.

      1. muratcannoyan

        Jeremy Lin? I was thinking more along the lines of Kyrie Irving or Chris Paul.

        1. JLM

          .Bird. In. The. Hand.I am very high on Kyrie Irving.JLM.

        2. fredwilson

          Kyrie coming home to lead us to a chip would be epic

  9. William Mougayar

    According to the Sports Tag, you’ve written 10 times about Sports…Good distraction from the Tumblr acquisition rumours 🙂

    1. jason wright

      i wonder how much the founders will get from $1Bn?

      1. William Mougayar

        Yahoo’s board just approved 1.1 billion apparently.It would be good if they keep Tumblr separate like Google did with YouTube.

        1. awaldstein

          If they are going to keep them separate the logic for buying them is …..?

          1. Matt A. Myers

            1) Linking into Tumblr from their other sources could pump it up2) Their competitors not owning it3) Possibility to subtly / non-instrusively brand users with Yahoo!, while having more people exposed to / using their services.

          2. awaldstein

            #1 makes sense of course as boosting numbers boosts ads but doesn’t address anything about their core (whatever that is) business which is greying.#2 while a factor for Instagram I don’t think a factor in this one.#3 they may think that but it’s not going to happen.

          3. Matt A. Myers

            #1 They needed to own it so they could at least have a ‘social network’ to play with#2 No other bidders to create a bidding war / fears might more mean it’s been overlooked or undervalued.#3 We all know Android is owned / created by Google, similarly that mindshare of Tumblr will now be associated with Yahoo! – it doesn’t take much exposure, or often, just repeatedly occasionally

          4. William Mougayar

            YouTube is now $4B in rev for Google. Over time, Tumblr has the potential to bring increased revenue to Yahoo, but not under Yahoo’s house. I’m assuming there will be ways to tie them indirectly without hurting Tumblr.

          5. awaldstein

            Agree completely of course.I think this is a good acquisition. On both sides if it happens actually.Everyone uses YouTube. Many know that it is owned by Google. No one every thinks or associates it with it. That’s my brand point below.

          6. jason wright

            new strategy. yahoo as portfolio house.

        2. jason wright

          Yahoo is a hotch potch. i use its email, out of habit, but nothing else (that i’m aware of).will Tumblr now tumble?

    2. LE

      “Tumblr acquisition rumours”If I ran a news site I would be paying the wait staff at the meeting venue to take pictures and to gather any tidbits to publish.

      1. William Mougayar

        I think this one is real.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Agreed – I don’t think it would have gone to Yahoo’s BOD without Tumblr’s having approved it first.

  10. JLM

    .All any coach can ask for is that their team be able to win — be in a position to win — with 2 minutes left in the game; or, alternatively, have it sewed up well enough that he can light up a victory cigar with conviction.Everybody is playing for the 2 minute mark.The Knicks were where they needed to be as was Indiana.This year, Indiana wanted it more and went and got it. They took control of their own destiny.Fred’s analysis is perfectly correct — the Knicks did not have enough weapons when the clock ticked down to 2 minutes and Hibbert made one Hell of a play.Your stars can carry you to 2 minutes but it is important that everyone be able to contribute as the clock winds down.JLM.

    1. realposter

      there were some ridiculous foul calls… but as coach woodson said – the knicks problem was losing game 1 at home.As for Hibbert – I can’t understand why that wasn’t a goal tend. Once I saw that play – Indiana got the momentum and I knew it was over.

      1. JLM

        .As long as the ball is still in the shooter’s hand and the defender’s hand is not touching the rim, no goaltending is the right call.That picture is one of the best basketball pics of all time and really captures the value of defense and the pivot point in game momentum.JLM.

        1. fredwilson

          speaking of great basketball images:last year i spoke at a Getty Images mgmt team offsiteas a thank you they said pick any image in the archive and we’ll print it and send it to youso of course i thought of my son and his two favorite basketball players and picked this one… i got it signed by Roy (but sadly not by Steph) and it’s on Josh’s bedroom wall

          1. JLM

            .What a great picture and who knew that Hibbert would be holding the dagger when it went through the Knicks’ heart?I must admit that I love the Knicks just for the MSG big city mojo. There is something about going to MSG and seeing a game that is not the same as any other venue.I used to be the President of Midnight Basketball in Austin when Newt Gingrich was going bananas about it. I was a huge supporter and used to raise a lot of money for the program.One of my best friends in the whole world is James Silas — NBA H of Fer — who played for San Antonio after a complete career in the ABA.Our kids went to school together and then he founded the Austin chapter of Midnight Basketball.We used to have fundraisers with big name players including MJ, the Admiral, the Ice Man, Dr J and I used to get them to sign everything that would not wiggle and sell it all on the spot to rich white guys in West Austin.Funny thing about Midnight Basketball is that is was really all about creating taxpayers. When those young men got right with things, they became taxpayers. We also lost some souls to the Devil completely.JLM.

          2. fredwilson

            creating taxpayers. gods work.

          3. JLM

            .Seems only fitting, no? Since it appears that the Devil has been running the IRS for some considerable time.Every bad thing that any person or kook has ever thought of the IRS seems now not only plausible but likely.Perhaps the strongest bonding experience among Americans against THEIR own government in my lifetime.JLM.

  11. rachelsklar

    Loved this pic, and this post. Metaphors that pull in the startup experience are just as good, and this one is acturally perfect. Even a Carmello needs backup from his/her team! And Lord, I bet many founders can identify with this pic.

    1. William Mougayar


    2. realposter

      in all seriousness…. why is that not a goal tend? its over the cylinder

  12. Ryan Stephens

    Carmelo is a transcendent scorer (who has improved his defense) and no, you’re not going to win a championship with J.R. Smith as your 2nd best player, but I still don’t know if you the Knicks ever win a title built around Melo.Analyst Bill Simmons recently wrote about the NBA teams who’ve “legitimately contended for a title” built around a scoring forward since 1977. One, Dirk Nowitzki, won and there were only 3 others. If you include Melo in that group, he’s the LEAST efficient scorer by far and yet, per game, he’s taken the most shots, involved himself in the most possessions and generated the lowest number of assists.He’s an elite player, but in his entire NBA career, he’s never made the players around him better. Not the way LeBron does, not the way Durant does, and not the Chris Paul does.

  13. kidmercury

    i don’t know. i feel the knicks should have won this series and consider them more talented than the pacers, but they don’t pass well enough and didn’t have the heart. a rondo-like point guard could do wonders for the knicks, but one can always make worries though. it is all a race to lose to the spurs anyway. go spurs! #respectyourelders

    1. Max Wendkos

      Reminder: The Heat beat the Spurs this season in San Antonio without LeBron, Wade, or Chalmers.

      1. kidmercury

        Reminder: spurs SWEPT lebron’s sorry ass when the cavs showed up to the finals in 07. yes, that was without wade, though wade’s old ass and busted knees render him a shadow of what he once was. he’s not aging like tim duncan who is coming off one of his best seasons ever.

        1. Ryan Frew

          As a Cavs fan, I think the ’07 Cavs were the worst team to make the finals in the last 20 years. And the Spurs were old then…..Still pulling for anybody but the Heat though

        2. Max Wendkos

          I was just presenting a point. You may be right, but I don’t think the outcome of the NBA Finals six years ago (when LeBron had no help and the Spurs were much younger) is a valid argument for what would happen this year. Perhaps they’ll meet and we’ll get to find out.

  14. aarondelcohen

    You’re a good sport. I’m depressed today, but it was a much better run than these past few years and having moved 10 blocks from the garden when my son was 6 months old it was nice to share a good season.Melo deserves a lot of credit for the final game and I wonder if Shumpert took a step last night.Aaron

  15. Jason C

    It’s frustrating watching these Pacers but it’s great to see teamwork and discipline still work in the playoffs. On paper, the Knicks are more talented on offense and have better bench strength. What the Pacers have are post players that can provide a sort of security blanket for the less talented and inexperienced wing players. They also have the mindset to play grinding defense that doesn’t make the highlight reels other than Hibbert’s blocks. My team may not be flashy or great on offense but they just keep winning.As for the Knicks, they will always be a marquee team that can lure superstars but James Dolan should stop meddling with the team and undermining the coaches.

  16. Tom Labus

    As a Net fan I’ve had to enjoy the playoffs at this educed level for the past few weeks but I feel fired up for the Spurs/Grizzlies and would love a Heat/Grizzle final.Anyone remember Jeremy Lin? Maybe he would have forced them to pass a bit

  17. David Petersen

    Carmelo drives me nuts. He seems like a nice guy. But he is SUCH A BALLHOG. And he laughs sarcastically anytime the refs make a call that goes against him.Let’s look at some stats. Carmelo ranked 1st in the NBA in Usage Rate, using 32.2% of his team’s possessions. Most players with a usage rate anywhere near this level average an assist rate of about 20%. Carmelo’s assist rate of 8.3% was 289th out of 344 players in the NBA, by far the worst of anyone who uses as many possessions as he does.Props for leading this team to 2nd place in the East, but it’s hard to imagine them getting much further without major roster upgrades. Which they have no cap space for.

    1. kidmercury

      #realtalk. i was a carmelo defender before but now it is clear that he doesn’t pass well enough. he makes players better because of how much defenses need to focus on him, but he doesn’t truly develop and exploit this like he should. he’s well on his way to joining the list of great players who never won a championship.

      1. Russell

        Kid please tell me you aren’t taking a pot shot at Patrick Ewing #legend

        1. kidmercury

          more so karl malone, whom i dislike and root against. i enjoy that he never got one even when he went to the lakers.

          1. Russell

            Fair enough, never liked the Jazz! I must confess I had to stop following the Knicks when John Starks missed 465 three pointers against the Rockets – and then shot another 370 bricks and no one pointed out that he should stop. I miss the old Knicks v Pacers, Knicks v Heat playoff series … although can’t say I miss Knicks v Bulls!!

    2. spidr

      I’m a little shocked that I don’t see any comments mentioning that Carmelo is an extremely inefficient scorer and the Knicks won’t ever go anywhere as long as he continues to take up so many shots (and not make enough of them).That idea is widely known in sports analytics circles, so maybe it’s just a disconnect with fans.Melo may be a transcendent talent, but he isn’t a transcendent basketball player. Or at least not if winning is what you’re trying to do.High usage/low efficiency players like Melo come around on a pretty regular basis and even when they win very little and thus support the idea that efficiency is important, fans regularly make excuses for them like “didn’t have a 2nd option”.So even if you dismiss advances in sports analytics, all you have to do after that is come up with a way to explain why the low efficiency players never win anything.

      1. David Petersen

        I left him alone on efficiency because he had a career high true shooting percentage of 56% this year, which placed him in the top 25% of NBA players.

        1. Eric Lum

          Melo is #4 in PER (… behind just Bron, Durant and CP3… If no one else is going to show up and knock down open shots on O, then it’s up to the NBA’s leading scorer to put em up with volume. Ray disappeared, Shump is too up and down, and let’s not even talk about JR…Obviously I’m a biased, die-hard Knicks fan, but in my basketball conversations (with fans of other teams) reffing was the recurring theme of this series and the playoffs in general. Roy Hibbert was T-16th in Fouls per 48 this season while Chandler was 71st, yet it was Chandler AND K-Mart in foul trouble all series, while Roy somehow never managed to get that 6th. Not to mention David West traveled at least 3 times on Saturday, and did no one else see Lance BLATANTLY take 3 steps on a semi-break? 18 Knicks FTs to 46 Indiana FTs? Couldn’t breathe on a Pacer on Saturday.With all the camera angles and replays we have available the NBA really needs to create a program that holds refs accountable. We have 60 year old refs trying to run with 20 year old NBA players and make split second calls? Great Simmons article from ’09 about NBA reffing program (… – See “Time for a revolution” section.That was an incredible block, and agree a great metaphor for the season… but I still can’t get over how much power refs have in the NBA. I don’t mind losing, but can’t stand being cheated. Hats off to you if you beat us, but after last year’s Miami series (especially G1) and our entire playoff run this year… kinda losing respect for the NBA.

          1. Eric Lum

            P.S. didn’t know Fred was a Knicks fan haha… makes this blog even better.

  18. jschless

    Knicks didn’t feel like they respected the pacers as a contender to beat them.I am disapointed to say that this series was meaningless because Miami will probably have squished either team like a stink bug.Can the spurs beat the heat or are they out of their proverbial Texan oil?

  19. jimmystone

    I’m a Pelicans fan. Bit disappointed in playoffs this year. It was a shame to see all the injuries (Rose, Westbrook, Rondo). Golden State was my team — love their youthful energy…and shooting.

  20. george

    Like startups, Teams win! Love the Knicks but street ball won’t get you to the finals.

  21. Ricardo Diz

    That image is just amazing. What an incredible block, that seemed to turn the game momentum around

  22. Yalim K. Gerger

    Do you blame the coach? I love Woodson. I think he was what Knicks needed but i felt like in this series he struggled mightily to come up with working plays, combinations, strategies. And to some extent he admitted that he is struggling to find solutions.Hibbert is a good player. But he is not a great player. He shouldn’t have been a defining factor in this series. I think a good coach could find a way to win series. At the end of the day, Knicks are a better team than Pacers. I think they just don’t have a coach that can come up with alternative plans when Plan A is not working.

  23. Brandon Burns

    Rihanna has the inside scoop on why the Knicks lost, or at least why JR Smith couldn’t hold his own during playoffs. Someone accused her of “distracting” him and other players, and she shot back.NY Post Article:…Original Instagram Comment:

  24. enthrense

    As a Cavs fan, I think the ’07 Cavs were the worst team to make the finals in the last 20 years. And the Spurs were old then…..Spybubble pro

  25. JamesHRH

    So much of this is product market fit.Champions build from defense forward. Not of fence backwards.Defense requires sacrifice. Proof of your commitment is given when you don’t have the ball. Awareness, communication & organization create great defense.Until your best player is your best defender ( LeBron, Paul George, Marc Gasol, The Big Fundamental) you are not a contender.That’s not good news for Knickerbocker backers.BTW – Josh is a lucky young man.

    1. fredwilson

      yes he is

  26. Max Yoder

    Fred, I’m from Indiana, so on behalf of the state, thanks!In other basketball news, a friend of mine has a brother in the NBA. I was at her house for dinner last night and got to try on one of Greg Oden’s past game jerseys. For the record, I happily know nothing about sports, so I had to look Mr. Oden up. What I know for sure is that he is enormous.

    1. David Petersen

      Throw a t-shirt over it and that jersey makes an excellent kilt.

      1. Max Yoder

        You said it!

  27. fendien

    I’m looking forward to the Heat-Pacers series this year being easier than last year since the Heat is playing amazing team ball and Bosh isn’t injured like he was in the beginning of the Pacers series last year. I know that Hibbert has been a force to reckon with on both sides of the floor, but Bosh will draw him out of the paint on defense and leave the lane open for LBJ and Wade (and Cole a lot too recently). Now with Birdman to help guard Hibbert we should be in a better position to neutralize him.

  28. matthughes

    Sports have an amazing way of bringing family and friends together.That you get to spend that time together with your son is pretty cool.In my family, football has always brought us together.My brother played and now coaches college football — his games have always been a great reason for our family to come together.

  29. David Petersen

    Since we are talking about hoops, check out Andrew Wiggins:…Best prospect since Lebron, possibly. Good God!!!

    1. fredwilson

      the sons of former NBA players are starting to take over the NBA

      1. JLM

        .Family business.JLM.

  30. Carl Rahn Griffith

    Never seen a live basketball match – closest I have come is when we were once staying in the Ritz Carlton just off Central Park (yes, a long time/a lifetime ago!) and the Harlem Globetrotters came in for some function. Wow, those guys were big! Intriguing sport. One day…