With the news around the NBA a little quieter than usual due to the All-Star fallout, there is still one bit of news that is making the rounds.
KNICKS WAIVE STOUDEMIRE
New York Knicks have officially waived Amar’e Stoudemire on Monday with the waiver to go through on Wednesday.
The Dallas Mavericks have emerged as the leading contender for the veteran’s signature.
The Knicks announced on Monday afternoon that they have waived Stoudemire, who signed a five-year, $99.7 million contract with New York in July 2010.
Stoudemire, making $23.4 million this season, is expected to clear waivers on Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET and become a free agent.
“I feel truly blessed to have been able to play for the incredible New York fans, Mr. Dolan, my coaches, teammates and the entire Knicks organization for the past five years,” Stoudemire said in a statement released by the team. “I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to contribute positively on the court and in the community.
“Although I leave the Knicks with a heavy heart, I wish the organization the best of luck. Once a Knick always a Knick.”
Sources with knowledge of his thinking told ESPN on Monday that Stoudemire is leaning toward signing with the Dallas Mavericks. Another source told ESPNDallas.com that the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns also have expressed interest.
Sources also say the Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers — all playoff contenders in the market for extra size — are not actively pursuing Stoudemire. The 6-foot-10 center is in his 13th NBA season and has averaged 12.0 points and 6.8 rebounds in 36 games for New York this season..
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE BEATS ASG IN RATINGS
The NBA All-Star Game faced stiff competition for eyeballs on Sunday night, as the “Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special” drew huge television viewership numbers.The special, which brought back some of the biggest names in the show’s history, garnered a 14.2 household rating on NBC versus a 5.5 rating for the All-Star Game on TNT and TBS, according to the 56 markets monitored by Nielsen.
The rating for the SNL show translated into 23.1 million viewers from 8-11:30 p.m. ET. The program was shown on tape delay for the West Coast, which might have turned into a positive for the NBA.
Turner Sports averaged 7.2 million viewers, but the overnight rating was still up 12 percent versus last year’s broadcast, the network said.
This year’s NBA All-Star Game overnights still beat out the metered ratings for seven of the previous 10 games.
It was a closer battle on Twitter, where 1.3 million tweets were sent out about the SNL special versus 1.1 million on the NBA All-Star Game, according to Nielsen Social.