Monday, February 21, 2011

The Knicks- a little bit of love from a fan

A long time ago my father told me when it was clear that I'd be an artist and engaging the world on the esoteric fringe that I could engage common conversation in the world with almost anyone if I chose a sport and a team to follow. He suggested I read the NYTimes every day, follow that team, it's articles and box scores, and, if I did this, I'd be able to feel connected, not so alienated from everyone.... Well, I took his advice in the 80's and I chose the New York Knicks. I love the Knicks. I came in as a fan at the time of a when the Knicks were a rugged, warrior-like team led by Patrick Ewing, a giant among large men, who defended the basket as if his life depended on it. He and his fellow forwards, Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason, would grind opposing teams down, hammering them to the hardwood if they dared lift towards the orange disc to score. it was an amazing time with formidable opponents that took our breath away. Jordan and the Bulls crushed us season after season, but the games were worth the failure. the fight was epic, and one never felt that we couldn't have tasted victory if the Greek God Michael Jordan weren't so elevated.
After some time Ewing grew old and his cohorts also failed a bit. The culture of winning remained for some time, but we didn't have the "Heart" on the team required to carry it into the future. A few good players served our desire for success for awhile, Houston, Sprewell, Larry Johnson,  Chris Childs and Charlie Ward...They offered some exciting rivalry to Miami and Indiana, but they were not able to merit more than a couple seasons of hope. As a fan I never faltered, my heart lifted with every drive to the hole, and I prayed like everyone that Allan Houston would step up and be the cold-hearted killer we thought he had the talent to be...He had a few great moments, "the shot" in Miami and all, but...

For ten years I have suffered watching the formerly great point guard for the historic champion Detroit Pistons, Isaiah Thomas, become the worst GM and coach ever. He destroyed the Knicks and the culture of warrior-players through one mishap after the other. He sacrificed Heart for Flash that later became "flash in the pan"...we watched our team diminish into a laughing stock....

With him gone these past few years, the fog has lifted. We have Donnie Walsh as a GM, and he brought the team out of financial crisis and simultaneously has created with the help of Coach Dantoni a team of winners. They are not defenders like the past. And quite honestly, those warriors don't exist anymore in the NBA much any way... But they could defend a whole lot better...But they Play, and they play hard. They score hard and relentlessly, and their expertise in scoring is sharp compared to most. They are led by Amare stoudemire, a young 6foot 10inch forward who literally can score at will against anyone in the league. He is not massive but he is swifter and has that "HEart" I was referring to earlier...he wants to win, to crush his opponents under the weight of his talent. Love to see the players beside him, young players, Landry Field (the rookie), danilo Gallinari, and Raymond Felton his stout pick and roll partner, try to emulate that heart, that winning culture. They are talented, but may not be all they need to be. Ewing suffered a great deal because he never had a great enough partner to help him carry the weight of taking it all the way. Jordan had Pippen, Shaq had Kobe and Visaversa...Robinson had Duncan, etc etc...Does Stoudemire need another? I think that he may, and there;s talk about getting Brooklyn Native Carmelo Anthony, another scoring Giant. He also doesn't defend well, maybe even less than Stoudemire, but he is a sharp sword, and unmatched in Ego and showmanship, which is helpful for a winner sometimes.....If Stoudemire can be the sober leader to take them hard towards the goal with Landry Fields and MELO as a wing man slicing and dicing opponents we might have a chance for some real fun in the future!!!

1 comment:

  1. ESP!! Well, we have the outcome many of us desired or at least foresaw. Carmelo Anthony is now a Knick, and I think there is only one admonition for the league to prepare for this new Knicks culture: "LOOK OUT"!!! These guys are going to score BIG TIME!