This is not a joke. I hope.

As I unpacked in my hotel room in Salt Lake City, Utah, the same room I was assigned to last year, I realized, this was the last place I wrote an entry in my blog. Sure enough, I checked. It was over a year ago. March 18, 2013. On Carmelo’s knee. That night’s game was all about Kurt Thomas playing on a broken foot and saving the Knicks season. On March 31, 2014, Melo did all he could, on both ends of the court, to maybe save the Knicks season as well. We won’t know the outcome of that story until the Knicks clinch or get eliminated from a playoff spot. But this blog will not be about the Knicks. Kinda. That’s for my MSG work. This is going to be a little learning tool. I hope. Or I’ll look like a tool, starting this thing up again on a Fool’s Day.

This really is going to be “Tina’s Notebook.” I don’t talk in the third person. That’s simply the title of my blog. But as I update my website, it would make sense to keep these entries updated. I have a lot of stories to tell. Not about the Knicks, but yes, many of these stories occur when I am at work, and traveling with the Knicks. Such as the horrific fashion faux pas the Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving was experiencing … which I noticed … and alerted their courtside reporter, Allie Clifton. She then alerted the Cavs trainer …. and this is what we call a “tease” in television … so you’ll have to keep following my blog to read what Irving’s faux pas was.

I will also literally show you my notebook. This stems from my desire to continue what I do monthly, educate and inform inspiring sports journalists and announcers about the industry. When I speak at college classes, from my alma matter at the University of Maryland, to St. John’s, to Columbia graduate classes, many student ask me, “Do you write down your questions?” Sometimes I do. Sometimes I just jot down topics. Sometimes it’s on the fly because of a game winning basket. There’s a whole unpredictable dynamic that happens in the last 3 minutes of an NBA game … I’ll take you through it. It’s funny at times. Lame other times. Exciting a good amount of the time. Sometimes historic. I’ve saved every notebook from when I covered the Red Sox with NESN (2006-07) to last night’s win over Utah by the Knicks (and I’ve been on their court since 2008), plus my Red Bulls notebooks as well. I’ll show you my notes, post game prep, pre game prep … and all the random stuff that never makes it on the air.

So, you want to be a sideline reporter? I’ve got interviews set up with most of the 30 court side reporters from around the NBA. I’ve already screen captured a text exchange between me and my big brother, (in the NBA court side world) Jason Jackson from HEAT TV. He tabbed #CourtsideClub … and if you follow us on twitter you’ve seen the obnoxious selfies.

There’s more to it than selfies. We have fun, but we do have a serious job. (no we don’t, we sit on a basketball court, sometimes next to the bench, and report on basketball … it’s amazing!!!!) But IT. IS. A. JOB. AND we understand each other’s schedule, demands, etc, so there’s a unique bond. We could care less what “team” the other works for. We are not fans. Wait. I lied. We are fans of each other. So it’s never a “Knicks vs. HEAT” thing. And as I introduce you to everyone, you’ll learn how each of our roles, at our respective networks, covering our respective teams, varies GREATLY. Same title. Different assignments. Same goal: add more to the broadcast to complement what the the play-by-play announcer and analyst are doing from their post, bring to the table what they can’t see, what viewers and fans would be interested in … and bring the athlete into the fan’s home with our interviews.

Then there’s my “notes” from my iPhone. You know the app. I’ve been keeping a journal / jot down, kinda pad thing there as well. From inspirational quotes, to Bible versus, to wonderful things people have said to me, to horrible things people have said to me, to bewildered moments when I just write from my string of consciousness. I think we will have fun breaking these things down, and we may have in common. Experiences. Life. That kind of stuff. It may get serious. Personal. Or not.

I also have a lot to share about: travel (30 NBA Cities / 30 spots I can recommend), fitness & food (I do a lot of both, which is why I am healthy but not skinny), packing … oh, I’m going to rip some people in that one … I already have a title for that entry: “No Sh!t my bags are heavy!” Family (lessons I teach my nieces), friends (Boston Girls Weekends & Women in Sports Power dinners), “True Blood” (I hosted a character costume party, I was the maenad MaryAnn), “Game of Thrones” (I want to mother dragons), marathons (3 and counting. yes, mom, I want to run another), golf (#confession I play to wear the clothes.), church, makeup, cats ( I have 2 now. And my late, first #kitteh is a LEGEND), husbands (I’ve only had one, I love him more than ever right now.), my all female fantasy league … I have yet to win.

If you are still reading … let’s be friends forever.
Regardless, my goal is that you can learn something from each entry.

As far as today’s entry, you will not learn your thing, until next week; Will I really be committed to this? If I write again … great. You will learn things. If I never write again … you will have learned; I’m not very disciplined.

Love, T
xoxo

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The latest on Carmelo Anthony’s Knee.

Carmelo Anthony is in Utah and worked out during Knicks shoot around this morning on the side, but he will not play tonight against the Jazz. He, Tyson Chandler and Kurt Thomas are listed as questionable.

During the workout, Anthony ran, did lateral movements, drove to the hoop, repeated layups, jumpers, free throws and looked to be moving significantly better than when we last saw him take himself out of the Denver game Wednesday.

When Carmelo was finished, drenched in sweat, he came over an talk to the media for the first time in 5 days saying … since getting his right knee drained in New York on Thursday: “I feel better, I feel much better.”

He has absolutely no more discomfort, says he has his mobility back, and the stiffness he had in his right knee, before the fluid was drained … is all gone.

Carmelo says he can feel the difference and it is like “night and day … being able to move laterally, jump.” He hopes now to get back to what he was doing on the court before this stiffness started over 3 weeks ago.

His knee felt better Saturday. While Carmelo said “they day after was tough”, he said two days after getting his knee drained, he felt like his knee was “back to normal because their wasn’t (anymore) fluid in there. Now it’s just a matter of getting that pop back, that power back.”

After going back to New York on Thursday, Carmelo said he learned from doctors, the fluid in the back of the knee was caused by a slight hamstring pull or some type of injury with his hamstring. He reiterated all this discomfort over the last three weeks, was in the back of the knee, and this injury had nothing to do with the actually structure of the knee, any of the ligaments. He says he had tweaked his hamstring a little bit, the muscle was tight, and fluid drained from there. Carmelo says he is comfortable with this diagnosis, and saw all the results “with my own eyes rather than somebody just telling me.”

The plan now is to take it day-by-day. Carmelo plans to work out again tonight at Energy Solutions Arena before the his Knicks teammates play the Jazz, and get a couple of workouts in tomorrow back in New York, and see how he feels on Wednesday and take it from there. He did not rule out playing Wednesday at home versus the Magic, but he didn’t say he would be ready to play either.

Carmelo says there are no plans, or need for any further procedures on his right knee at the end of the season, he says, “I feel good, my knee feels good, my body feels good.” And there is no concern that the hamstring would produce any more fluid, “it was from me just over compensating, with my knee … the hamstring … just trying to use one without the other, just playing and not giving it rest, not taking care of it ahead of time. Like I said I was being a bit naive with myself.”

The Knicks are struggling on this road trip, now 0-4, yet they are still hanging around the top of the Eastern Conference. Carmelo says even though the team has had a rough road trip, “Our confidence is still there. We’re second/third in the Eastern Conference, top of our division and we’re just trying to get everybody back, everybody healthy… to make this run.”

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A Brilliant Time in London with the Knicks (VIDEO)

On January 14, 2013, the New York Knicks traveled to London, England to be part of “NBA London” and play the Detroit Pistons at the O-2 Arena on January 17th. Of course, MSG Network went across the pond with the team, to broadcast the Knicks, first ever regular season game played overseas. It was a short 3 day stay in London, but it was jammed packed with activities, covering Knicks at local basketball clinics, charity events, sightseeing … why don’t you just WATCH:

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The Today Show with KLG & Hoda (VIDEO)

This is just hilarious. My colleague & friend at MSG Network, Jill Martin (who does all of the celebrity row interiews during the Knicks games at Madison Square Garden in “New York Minute”) is also a fashion expert on The Today Show. I don’t know what the heck we were talking about one day during a game when she asked me if I wanted to model new fitness trends during her segment. So I said yes. I was free that day, home … why not? Little did I now I’d be wearing the shortest of short shorts! For just a second though … well, check out this little clip & understand. And to be totally honest, like Jill says, when you have new, cute workout clothes and gear … it does motivate you to get out there and get it done!! Throw away those ripped college Tee’s and put on a dress! YES! Now watch——->

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Pre-season Interview with Knicks Jason Kidd (VIDEO)

I was flipping through saved links on my computer and came across this interview I did with Jason Kidd on Knicks Media Day, back on October 1, 2012. As I talked to Kidd for NBA TV  in one corner of the MSG Training Facility, other Knicks met with the media in a press conference in the other corner. An exciting and fun day for anyone who covers the NBA.

It’s intriguing to see, all of Kidd’s answers have come to pass up to this point for the Knicks this season.  At 23-11 and currently leading the Atlantic Division and a half game back of Miami in the Eastern Conference, it is clear the Knicks are a changed team compared to previous seasons. And much of the credit could go to future Hall of Famer, Jason Kidd.

Despite turning 40 this coming March, Kidd has exceeded expectations as a mentor to Raymond Felton.  He is the Knicks starting point guard with Felton out until the end of January with a broken finger.  Kidd has started 29 of 30 games played, when he was never expected to be a starter for the Knicks when he was signed.  With that, Kidd is averaging 30 minutes a game.  Did I mention he turns 40 in three months? Kidd’s leadership and veteran advice has benifted all the Knicks on and off the court.  Every player speaks of Kidd in glowing terms after each game and … well watch for yourself.  Kidd knew he had a purpose for this Knicks team when he signed with New York, and nearly half way through the season, he has more than followed through.

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VIDEO interview: Tyson Chandler named NBA Defensive Player of the Year

For the first time in New York Knicks Franchise History, a player is named Defensive Player of the Year in the NBA. Knicks Center Tyson Chandler ends the 3 year reign of Orlando’s Dwight Howard as the 2011-2012 winner. It is an honor, well deserved of the 7-1 gentle giant. Chandler was signed to bring a defensive presence, and not only did he become the anchor of the Knicks defense, he changed the culture of the team on that end of the court.

While maniacal on the court, Chandler is soft spoken in the post game locker room, but it’s evident, while not holding the title “captain” he does have the loudest voice on the team. As a leader, mentor and role model. Now, Chandler’s name is added to the “big names” (as he refers to the them) on the list of players voted to win this award going back to the 1982-1983 season … “1982, that’s the year I was born,” Chandler says in the interview.

Click play below for my one-on-one conversation on MSG Network with the 11 year veteran, NBA Champion … and now, 2011-12 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Knicks Center Tyson Chandler.
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VIDEO: Interview with Knicks Iman Shumpert on return to Chicago

On March 12, 2012 the New York Knicks traveled to Chicago to take on the Eastern Conference leading Chicago Bulls.  Knicks rookie, Iman Shumpert, a Chicago native, would be living a dream.  Not only is the 6-5  guard already achieving a life-time goal, playing in the NBA for one of their flagship franchises, but when the Bulls hosted the Knicks, he would be playing in the United Center for the first time.  Growing up with three brothers, they were all huge Bulls fans.  And as Shumpert tells me in this interview for the MSG Knicks Game Night pre-game show … he “wanted to be like Mike”.  Of course, like many young boys of his generation growing up in the greater Chicago area, Michael Jordan was his inspiration, his hero.  And you can hear the reverence in the 22 year old’s voice, as he tells me the story of meeting his idol for the first time.

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Spreecast Video: Tina Talk’s TWolves (& Knicks) w/FSN Reporter Rob Incmikoski

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Tina Talks To…Olympic Gold Medalist: Angela Ruggiero / Women’s Ice Hockey

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Tina’s Knicks Knotebook Week 2 (Jan. 15)

Every Saturday, I’ll dump my notebook for you with the previous week’s news, notes, quotes, mini stories and links to reports or  interviews, that I’ve collected from practice, shootaround, games.  Some of these reports you may have seen on the MSG Knicks Broadcast, but most of my reports don’t make it to the sidelines. But I want to get all that I’ve covered, out there in a timely bases.  That’s why I give fans … Tina’s Notebook!!

What are the Knicks doing … after the lineups are introduced and they huddle up?????

Since the first game of the pre-season versus New Jersey, the Knicks are doing something they didn’t do last year.  They all form a circle, put their arms around each other, and sway.  It’s hard to see, but Iman Shumpert is in the middle of the circle, on the floor, in what looks like he’s polishing the floor.  Well, here’s what’s going on…

Shumpert told me, in that first preseason game, he didn’t realize what the team was doing when they locked arms, and he got stuck in the middle.  So he dropped to his knees, and did something he’s been doing since high school.  He writes out, with his hand on the court, K N I C K S, the writes out the opponent … either city or team name.  As Shumpert does this the team sways.  Then, Shumpert stands up, and stomps on the opponents name, the team follows.  Even when Shumpert was out four 4 games with a knee injury, he got on the floor, had to keep his knee straight, sometimes take off his dress jacket, and went through the ritual.  The only game Shumpert did write out the team names in the circle was the Sacramento game, because he was still in the training room getting worked on by the training staff.

No one can explain his injury better, than the man himself.  Here’s Carmelo Anthony on MSG before the Knicks played the Oklahoma City Thunder, with updates on his ankle and wrist injuries.

LINK: Carmelo Anthony on ankle, wrist injuries on MSG Network.

Anthony has been dealing with quite a few bumps and bruises, aches and pains already this season … here’s my report before the Pistons Game in Detroit, Saturday, January 8, on his back/hip/groin/ injury. (Also included here is the news of Iman Shumpert joining the starting lineup and Toney Douglas going to the Bench)

LINK: Tina Cervasio talks with Bill Pidto about Carmelo Anthony’s injury and a change in the starting lineup

On MSG’s Knicks Game Night before the Philadelphia 76ers game at Madison Square Garden, Wednesday, I got the latest on why Iman Shumpert was getting cramps at the end of games, and what he and the Knicks training staff are doing to eliminate them.

While I talked to Shumpert at his locker, he was drinking water with electrolytes, several bottles of blue Gatorade, and eating a huge bowl of fruit.  Mostly fresh watermelon.  Here’s why …

LINK: Tina Cervasio reports on the situation with Iman Shumpert continually getting cramps late in games

At the morning shoot around  in Oklahoma City, I had a great conversation with Bill Walker, who was starting for the injured Carmelo Anthony:

After the win over Philadelphia, Tyson Chandler gave credit to Bill Walker for playing smart defense, making heads up plays on some of the Sixers top scorers, and switching and rotating at the right time.  Walker says, after playing a season and a half with the Knicks (since being traded to New York in February 2010 from Boston) this year, “there’s a different focus, different approach to defense, our whole attitude is geared towards defense.” Walker points out that Chandler brings and unbelievable amount of intensity, specifically on the defensive end. “When you have one of your best players doing that, everyone follows. I see that, and I want to win on the level he’s won.”

As the Knicks try to come together as a team, overcoming a short training camp and condensed schedule that eliminates practice time, Walker says the Knicks defense is “predicated on helping the helper.  Then you can trust, when you’re defending your man, there will be help for you.” As the Knicks continue showing the help, and getting the results, the trust will continue to build, and there will be less errors when players rotate.

It’s a joint effort guarding All-Star Kevin Durant.  Starting for Anthony, and with the way the Knicks were matching up, Walker was preparing for one of the great challenges in the NBA, guarding Durant.  “It’s his length.  He has a 7-foot wing span. That makes it even harder.  You have to try to make his catches more difficult, make his looks more difficult, you can’t keep a guy like that from scoring, you just have to contest everything.  It’s a great challenge for me, I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

When Anthony knew he wasn’t going to be playing Saturday he said the team knows I’m not there, they will all step up.  Walker says without Anthony, the key is to “not change anything, do what you have to do. Everyone has to do what they’re good at.  It’s not one guy stepping up, I’m not playing FOR Melo, everybody has to give a  concerted effort and play their best game.”

  • Iman Shumpert said the Memphis game was “a bitter pill to swallow”  after shooting 5 –of-20 from the floor.  He took responsibility saying, “I played a bad game.  Criticism follows. I’m fine with that,” because he knows what he did wrong and what he has to do better.  Shumpert says he was attacking, and trying to play aggressive, but he rushed some shots, especially in transition.  He says he’s even more upset with the 6 turnovers he had, and he has to do a better job with handling the ball, again, especially in transition.” Shumpert is a rookie, still picking up things, and learning game by game.
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