I am huge New York Sports Fan. I love the Yankees, Rangers, Jets and Knicks. I have been fortunate to see the Yankees Dynasty of four titles in 5 years as a teenager, the Rangers break the curse and win the Stanley Cup in 1994 and are on a run for the Stanley Cup this year with a great core of gritty and skilled players, and the Jets run at the Super Bowl, the previous two seasons before the trainwreck of this year.
The one team I love yet I am tortured by it, is the New York Knicks. The Knicks last won the world title in 1971 when Willis Reed willed the Knicks on a gimpy leg and spectacular play by Walt Frazier.
The sport I watch the most with my dad is Basketball. I have probably watched more Knicks games than any other team, my whole life. Memories and still going of me and him cursing out the TV when Reggie Miller daggered the Knicks in the 95 playoffs or whenever Michael Jordan would put up 50 on us and always complaining that Dolan is a shitty owner who hires bad General Managers and the Knicks would be better without him.
The Knicks had a run in the 90’s after winning the first NBA Draft Lottery and being able to draft Patrick Ewing, the franchise player for most of my life and being fortunate that championship winning Laker Head Coach, Pat Riley had a falling out in LA and decided to coach the Knicks. Pat Riley surrounded Ewing with some hard bruisers like Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason, scorer John Starks and glue guys like Greg Anthony where they played a “brutal streetball style” which was different that Riley’s “Showtime” Laker Title teams.
The run culminated in a near title in 1994 after Michael Jordan “retired” to play baseball. Michael Jordan pretty much killed any shot the Knicks had at the title ever, well him and Reggie Miller. After a hard fought Eastern Conference Playoffs against the Pacers and the Bulls. Knicks were 1 win from the Title against the Houston Rockets led by Hall of Fame Center Hakeem Olajuwon, up 3-2 going into Game 6 and Game 7 in Houston only to blow it against the Houston Rockets because John Starks freaking thought he was Michael Jordan!
Pat Riley then ended up having a falling out with the Knicks and went to Miami. After a horrible half season with Don Nelson, the Knicks gave a shot to an unknown assistant that coached under Riley named Jeff Van Gundy. Van Gundy guided the Knicks to a solid record in the late 90’s including an NBA Finals appearance (via a miracle 4-point play by Larry Johnson in a key game against hated Reggie Miller and Indiana in the Eastern Conference Finals) though we got our asses kicked by Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs.
The Knicks then made a horrible decision and overpaid scorer Allan Houston who’s glass knee gave out as soon as he got that contract, this triggered tons of bad decisions by management whether it was the terrible Scott Layden or Hall of Fame Whackjob, Isiah Thomas in which they gave shitty, lazy, whackjob and overrated players insane contracts, traded valuable draft picks,nothing but salary cap hell (For those who don’t watch B-ball, Teams can only spend a certain amount of money based on a soft-limit).
Knicks had a bad run for about 9 years between the 2002 season until the 2011 season.
Last year, things began to look up for the Knicks when Isiah Thomas finally got booted (he also cost the Knicks 10 million dollars after losing a Sexual Harassment suit for hitting on some ugly female worker on the Knicks), Insane Asshole Point Guard Stephon Marbury got shown the door, and a lot of the bad contracts where off the books.
The Knicks signed Free Agent All-Star Power Forward A’mare Stoudemire, decent Point Guard Ray Felton, and found a steal in the NBA Draft in Landry Fields in the 2nd round who ended up being a decent skill player.
Knicks started to play as a better team then after a loooooong crazy series of negotiations traded for Superstar, Carmelo Anthony though it gutted the Knicks from depth. Carmelo with A’mare was supposed to get us to the promise land, last year but they couldn’t co-exist and we got swept by the aging Boston Celtics in the first round.
Knicks in the offseason made another bold move and acquired one of the best defensive Centers in the league, Tyson Chandler though they didn’t get anyone to play Point Guard, which is the crucial part of the Knicks Head Coach Mike D’Antoni’s “7 Seconds or Less Fast Break Offense”. Point Guards are crucial for basketball teams, they are the people who set up the offense, call the plays and make the passes
By the way, D’Antoni is a stubborn coach who can’t adjust or preach Defense, which is freaking important in order to win games! He looks like the Pizzeria owner down your block who’s kind’ve of a sleazy douchebag.
Knicks despite high expectations this year, struggled horribly because there was no Point Guard to move the ball and Carmelo Anthony started to stopping the ball and taking too many shots and A’mare isn’t the type to put Melo in his place.
It looked like a train wreck this year UNTIL… Knicks had tons of injuries including Anthony and Stoudemire which should’ve buried our playoff chances…but it didn’t
D’Antoni turned to a bench player who has been in and out of the NBA for the last 2 years and never got any playing time to play point guard. A player dismissed because of pedigree, physical features and it didn’t help he was Asian and came from an Ivy League school, and NBA teams don’t scout geniuses.
That player was Jeremy Lin, a Harvard Graduate, skinny as hell, who barely made the Knicks, in fact the Knicks were about to cut him and even Lin wasn’t sure he was going to last, sleeping in his brother’s couch instead of getting an apartment.
Lin took the rare opportunity he was given and HOLY SHIT! DID HE RUN WITH IT!!!
Lin over the last 6 games has averaged 26ppg and like 7-8 assists a game, and most importantly, despite a depleted Knicks roster full of skilled players, and young players without their star players has lead the Knicks to win 6 straight games.
He has riveted everyone in Basketball, the last 2 weeks. Facebook and Twitter has lit up with clever puns about Lin’s name like “Linsanity”, “Linsane in the Membrane”, etc. He’s Tebowmania but possibly even bigger! His teammates love him, always embracing him and pulling for him on the bench.
Lin has captivated the Knicks fans. I never in my life including the Patrick Ewing years seen the fans at Madison Square Garden embrace a player like they have for J-Lin.
He’s completely reversed the Knicks fortune, whether it lasts or not will be remained to see but he’s given the Knicks fans like myself hope.
Like Tebow, Lin is a completely humble and great person though he has this primal energy about him as he plays the game. Despite the intense adulation from the fans, he always singles out his teammates hard work despite he has carried the Knicks to victories.
Today, the Knicks were down by 14 against the crappy Toronto Raptors. Lin took over the game in the 4th Quarter scoring 12 points including a clutch 3-point play tying the game and then the amazing clutch game-winning 3 he makes to win the game for the Knicks.
I went completely insane… “HOLY FUCK! THAT SONOFABITCH DID IT AGAIN! WHAT THE HELL! HE’S FOR REAL!” I was jumping up and down like a coked up Tigger or meth addicted bunny rabbit. Writing as many Lin puns as I can on facebook. I then go a call from my dad who went apeshit as well over Lin!
And as expected, he refused to take credit for winning the game even admitting his defensive effort was bad and singled out his teammate and rookie glue guy (“glue guys” are great defensive players team rely on), Imani Shumpert who did put the clamps on Raptors Point Guard, Jose Calderon who was killing the Knicks.
Other than the wins and his humility, the thing I respect about Lin as I did about Tebow. Even when everyone doubted him, his heart and his ability… he let it go, busted his ass and waited for his chance because he knew once he did, he wouldn’t let it up and prove to everyone he belonged. Once he achieved “It”, it seems like it didn’t change him. He might have made more money and gotten more fame but he is still the same Jeremy Lin before the guy went into “BEAST MODE”. That says a lot about the person he is.
I relate to that, I am that way though I haven’t had “that moment” yet. I want that to happen for me and I will bust my ass like Lin did to have it. When “it” does happen I won’t let it go and it won’t change me. I always be Vinnie.
I really don’t know how it’s going to end, but I am gonna ride the “Linsanity” for all I got and at the least. Knicks fans like me had a hell of a last 2 weeks because of him.