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On Wednesday, New York Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni resigned after going on a six game losing streak and clashing with star forward Carmelo Anthony. Yahoo! Sports initially quoted a source explaining, “It was a mutual decision to no longer coach the Knicks.” Former head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, Mike Woodson, will serve as interim head coach.
Last month, the Knicks were the talk of the town as Harvard graduate Jeremy Lin inspired the team to win seven consecutive games and place the Knicks back into playoff contention. However, the Knicks have lost eight of their last 10 games. As the Linsanity craze begins to decelerate, stocks associated to the star also appear to be losing steam.
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Shares of Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG) fell more than 3 percent after news broke about D’Antoni ending his four-season run as the Knicks head coach. The Garden is the world’s most famous arena and the home of the Knicks. Shares climbed 11 percent in February as Linsanity hit full force, matching the entire return for 2011. However, shares have only increased about 2 percent in March, as the Knicks have lost their first six games this month. Jeremy Lin also helped Madison Square Garden and Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) reach a deal to return Knicks games to about 2 million cable subscribers in the New York area.
Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) is another company that benefited from the emergence of Lin. After increasing nearly 13 percent in 2011, shares gained almost 4 percent last month. Recently, the sport apparel company renewed its endorsement deal with Lin and currently offers Zoom Hyperfuse Low shoes, built especially for the point guard. At the end of February, Nike launched its first Linsanity t-shirt in Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) stores nationwide. After jumping 11 percent in February, Foot Locker shares are struggling between $29 and $30.50 in March. Meanwhile, Nike shares are still holding up well. Shares recently hit a fresh all-time high of $111.23 and have gained more than 14 percent year-to-date.
Investors looking for the next hot basketball investment may have to look no further than CBS Corp. (NYSE:CBS). Shares of the media company are up 5.5 percent in the past week, and have surged almost 700 percent over the past three years. March Madness is now in full effect and CBS offers fans the ability to watch all 67 games on their computer, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone or iPad, and Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) phones for a one-time fee of $3.99.
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