The Post’s Steve Serby writes why the Buttfumble is our New York Debacle of the Decade.
2. Wilpon/Madoff association means Mets don’t spend
Bernie Madoff came crashing down in 2008 and took the Mets with him, giving way to their lack of big spending over the next decade. Owner Fred Wilpon had hundreds of millions of dollars invested in Madoff, who was busted for running a Ponzi scheme. By 2012, Wilpon reached a settlement with Madoff’s trust and was forced to pay back $162 million.
3. A-Rod suspended/sues everyone
Nine years after Alex Rodriguez arrived in New York, the Yankees third baseman was suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs and responded by suing everyone in sight. While ultimately missing the entire 2014 season after an unsuccessful appeal, A-Rod sued Major League Baseball and its players union for conducting a “witch hunt,” in addition to the Yankees’ team doctor for malpractice. He finally dropped all lawsuits by June 2014.
4. Phil Jackson hired as Knicks prez
In March 2014, the Knicks handed Phil Jackson a five-year, $60 million contract to become their team president after his long run as a championship coach. His front-office tenure was not nearly as successful, lasting three seasons in which the Knicks went 80-166, his forced triangle offense failed and he publicly feuded with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, setting the stage for both of their eventual departures.
5. Knicks’ failed plan for Zion/Durant/Kyrie
Throughout the Knicks’ miserable 17-65 season in 2018-19, they sold the promise of the future. Zion Williamson would be the prize for all their tanking and Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving would be their free-agent splashes that summer after clearing cap space with the Porzingis trade. Then the Knicks went 0-for-3 as their Hail Mary went unanswered, instead drafting RJ Barrett with the No. 3 pick and signing a boatload of forwards.
6. Eli benched for Geno
Nov. 28, 2017, was just a regular Tuesday until Ben McAdoo dropped a bomb on the Giants facility by announcing he was starting Geno Smith at quarterback over Eli Manning, whose streak of 210 consecutive starts suddenly ended. Manning declined the chance to start and play the first half, thinking of it as a gimmick, as McAdoo decided to give Smith a look. By the following week, McAdoo was fired and Manning returned as starter.
7. Oakley ejected from MSG
Charles Oakley was arrested and dragged out of the Garden during the middle of a game on Feb. 8, 2017, after the former Knick allegedly heckled owner James Dolan and got into a scuffle with security guards. Oakley, who denied saying anything to Dolan, has not been back since after Dolan banned him from the Garden for an indefinite period of time.
8. Enemkpali knocks out Geno
IK Enemkpali wanted his $600 back. Instead, the Jets defensive end landed a sucker punch on his way to getting cut. During training camp in 2015, Enemkpali punched Geno Smith in the locker room after the quarterback had yet to repay him for a flight to his football camp for kids. Smith broke his jaw, which cost him his starting job as Ryan Fitzpatrick took over at QB.
9. JPP fireworks mishap
Jason Pierre-Paul was trying to put on a Fourth of July fireworks show in 2015, but the Giants defensive end ended up losing 1 ½ fingers in an ugly accident at his South Florida home. He was forced to have his right index finger amputated days later. The injury cost him half of the 2015 season, which he played with a club on his right hand.
10. Giants boat trip before playoff loss
If the Giants had just beat the Packers in the NFC wild-card round in 2017, their wide receivers’ boat trip may have been just a footnote. Instead, the outing to Miami — which featured Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Sterling Shepard and Roger Lewis on a yacht before partying with Justin Bieber, Johnny Manziel, Trey Songz, Lil Wayne and Fabolous six days before their 38-13 defeat — lives on in infamy.
11. Nets trade whole future to Celtics
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were well past their primes in 2013, but that didn’t stop the Nets from handing the Celtics their future for the two All-Stars in what went down as one of the worst trades in NBA history. The Nets sent a handful of players and three unprotected first-round draft picks, plus a pick swap, for a package headlined by Pierce and Garnett, all for a season that ended in the conference semis.
12. Cespedes injury/mishandle/reinjury
Yoenis Cespedes came back from the injured list on July 20, 2018, and homered. Afterward, he revealed he would need to have surgery on both heels, which would cost him 8-10 months, a development manager Mickey Callaway said he did not know about. By July 25, Cespedes was shut down and sent for surgery. Then, on May 20, 2019, the Mets announced the rehabbing Cespedes had broken both ankles after a “violent fall” on his ranch.
13. Derek Fisher/Matt Barnes fight
The Knicks wanted to master the triangle, but certainly not like this. Derek Fisher, during his second and final training camp as head coach in 2015, got attacked by former teammate Matt Barnes for romancing his estranged wife. Fisher had been in California that weekend and missed Knicks practice Monday in Tarrytown for what the team called “personal reasons.”
14. LeBron picks Heat over Knicks
The Knicks got a two-hour meeting with free agent LeBron James in the summer of 2010. A week later, he broke their hearts, announcing during an hour-long ESPN special that he was taking his talents to South Beach. James went on to win two championships in four seasons with the Heat while the Knicks won just one playoff round in the same stretch.
15. Rex foot fetish video surfaces
As the Jets prepared for a Week 16 game in 2010 with the playoffs on the line, Rex Ryan’s alleged sexual fantasies and apparent foot-fetish videos with his wife stole the spotlight. The coach and his wife were seemingly outed when an internet profile named “ihaveprettyfeet” linked to several foot-fetish dating sites was connected to them. In the infamous video, the woman who appeared to be Ryan’s wife was showing her feet to the cameraman, who sounded like Ryan.