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ESPN Drops Knicks Game on Jan. 3

November 15, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ First the home fans, now a national network. The New York Knicks aren’t as hot a commodity as they once were.

ESPN is dropping plans to televise New York’s game against the visiting Indiana Pacers on Jan. 3. It’s being replaced by that night’s game between Denver and Seattle.

The Knicks are 1-7.

``We’re always looking to put together the most competitive schedule we can, ESPN spokesman Chris LaPlaca said Friday. ``It serves our fans, it serves the league, it serves us.″

``Anytime you make a change, you’re trying to improve the schedule. But it’s in advance, so you never know.″

The Knicks’ 97-88 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Nov. 4 was played before the first non-sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden in nearly a decade. The team had sold out 433 straight home games.

Networks occasionally will change TV coverage plans based on how teams fare.

Last season, for example, NBC added Washington Wizards games to its schedule when Michael Jordan came out of retirement, but then canceled some of the team’s games after he was put on the injured list.

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