Wednesday night, the Knicks got blown out by the Dallas Mavericks. They were only down by six at halftime but then Dallas destroyed them in the third quarter. I was really disappointed because I thought they could pull it off. They had beaten the Spurs and, most recently, the Heat. It’s weird caring about the Knicks again.
When the Knicks were great in the 90’s, they, along with the Yankees, were my life. I spent almost every Sunday watching the NBA on NBC looking for the next matchup versus the hated Chicago Bulls or Miami Heat. The only time I ever cried over a sporting event was when the Houston Rockets beat the Knicks in game seven of the 1994 NBA Finals (Why wouldn’t Riley put in Hubert Davis when John Starks was 2-18? WHY!?!?). As the years went on, the Knicks got worse but were still competitive. The Allan Houston years weren’t as horrible as everyone makes them out to be. He did get us to back to the Finals (taking full advantage of the strike-shortened season). But then the scourge known as Isiah Thomas and his harbinger of doom, Stephon Marbury, came to town and destroyed everything I loved about the Knicks for about a decade. At least I had the Yankees.
I wasn’t necessarily jumping for joy but I wasn’t completely disappointed when the Knicks signed Amar’e Stoudemire last summer. I thought he would improve the Knicks slightly and then next season we could try to get another big name. The Knicks started out the season 3-8 and I thought, “Here we go again.” Then Stoudemire spoke out about the losing streak and I started to feel a little differently about the team and his acquisition. He was stepping up as a leader, something no Knick has wanted to do since Marbury (sigh). Most of them were content to collect whatever ridiculous guaranteed money Thomas signed them to. They started to get better. All of the sudden, they were being considered a good team. When they lost to shitty teams (I still can’t believe we lost to Cleveland), I was mad because I finally felt, “They were better than this.” Spike Lee is courtside with a Landry Fields (our promising hustling rookie) jersey. My brother was texting me again about Knicks wins and losses. As it stands now, the Knicks would be a 6th seed in the playoffs. I don’t expect them to make it to the second round (they still need another scorer and a reliable center so Amar’e can play PF) but I do expect them to make it interesting. I feel like a little kid again.
For Christmas, Cindy got my a Patrick Ewing jersey. Last year, I would have thought of it as a cruel reminder of our once winning past. These days I can wear it with some sort of pride.