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Saturday, September 21, 2019

9/11: Knicks Reflect on the Tragedy

It has been 18 years since 9/11 and the Knicks, as you might imagine, have honored the victims of the tragic terrorist attack many times in the years since. I thought I would share some memories of 9/11 from Mark Jackson, who was in his second season of his return to the Knicks at the time, as well as then-Knicks coach, Jeff Van Gundy, who resigned in December 2001.

Here’s Mark Jackson, as told to Marc Spears (then with Yahoo! Sports):

I was living in Saddle River, N.J. I remember my wife calling me down to the kitchen to watch the TV. As soon as I went into the kitchen we were basically speechless. We basically sat there frozen in the kitchen. We couldn’t believe. We were thinking a plane accidentally ran into the towers. We were physically speechless with all the details continuing to come and then watching the second plane and watching the towers fall. “Being from New York City, there is no way in the world that you think that could happen. You can’t even put it into words. You grow up and think that the towers would be there forever and nothing like this could ever happen. And to witness it … and to know people that were impacted by it whether loss in lives or family members or friends … to this day we still fill the sting of it. “I visited Ground Zero, the fire department, the police stations just to see the hard work and the people that were impacted. You remember that the rest of your life.

Here’s a YouTube video from that time period of Jackson and the rest of the then-current Knicks team visiting firefighters and their families…

Here’s Jeff Van Gundy, as told to Adrian Wojnarowski (then with Yahoo! Sports). Van Gundy, of course, lost his college roommate, Farrell Lynch, in the attacks (Lynch worked at Cantor Fitzgerald)…

“My only regret was that he was a better friend to me than I was in return. He started in construction, and went on to do great things at Cantor Fitzgerald, but he never got caught up where he was working. He’d stop down to see me at the Garden before a game, and always would say something to me before a game that would have a way of making you feel good, making you laugh. “In 1993, when the first bomb went off at the World Trade, he had taken that long walk down from the 104th floor, in the dark, and I’ll never forget what he told me the next day. He joked that he was going to buy a parachute in case it happened again. And I still wonder now: What if? What if? “When asked about it, I made the mistake of bringing him up when I resigned from the Knicks. For that, I still feel badly. It wasn’t something I wanted to go into. I don’t know what part it played in my decision, really. I just remember landing back in New York after four games in five nights on the road, we had won the last three, I think, and not feeling that brief moment of accomplishment about what your team had just done. We had a bad day of practice, where I wasn’t any good at all, and I just knew it was the right time. I was used to doing my job one way, with a complete laser-like focus, and that wasn’t there. But the one mistake I made was bringing that into play, and I still regret it.”

Earlier this year, the Knicks did a wonderful memorial stair climb at the Garden…

Obviously, I offer my own condolences to those who lost any family or friends in the horrible attacks.

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23 comments on “9/11: Knicks Reflect on the Tragedy

  1. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    It seems almost disrespectful to post anything today without remembering 9/11. Two people that I knew personally, my next door neighbor and the father of a friend of my sons died in the attack. Never forget.

    Watching the FIBA game France vs US. Frank has looked awful. The first thing I was when I turned on the game were back-to-back turnovers by him followed by him bricking a three.

  2. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    It seems like everyone on earth is starting to realize that Frank has significant value on defense and is making progress on offense as his confidence grows except the skeptics here that are more interested in being right about him than hoping he actually breaks out into a solid two way player for the Knicks over the next few years. It’s going to take time, but when you have defensive upside like him, work ethic, and understand “team”, patience is a virtue.

  3. Brian Cronin Post author

    This is some embarrassing shit from Team USA. Mitchell and Walker really came up short in the fourth.

  4. Brian Cronin Post author

    I mean, obviously, in the grand scheme of things, this was a #4 seed in the East level team and not some powerhouse, but it’s still embarrassing.

  5. heavencent35

    France for the win!
    Wow!
    Frank did well. Without him France will not win without him.
    Let’s keep Frank. With all the hate, half of that is the failure of our team to develop him. He is young and potential is still there.

  6. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    Chill on Frank. He looked better but this was more Rudy G and Fournier but after a brief few moments of brainless balling in the 2nd quarter, Frank was solid. But a huge win for France and an embarrassing game for the USA.

  7. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    France in underrated.

    When you have an elite defender like Gobert manning the middle, a couple of other good defenders on the perimeter (like Frank) and play smart team oriented ball so you get some open 3s and good lobs, you are going to be a good team. France is a well constructed NBA level team even though it has no elite offensive talent. They know how to play basketball.

    (you can’t stop Frank. you can only hope he takes a nap during the game) :-)

  8. Ingmarrrr

    Myself @16 yesterday:

    His track record says Frank will be trash against the U.S. tomorrow.

    Throw his previous track record out of the window. He has a new one. It’s one game long, and still.

  9. Knew Your Nicks

    From being called ‘trash’ even from the fans of his team to playing starter minutes and erasing Kemba is not exactly …just ok.
    Frank played solid D made clutch shots and entered history as a vital member of a team that beated ‘the 13yrs undefeated’.

  10. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Just to bring it in balance, Frank is still very raw on offense. He’s still going to have a lot of games where he contributes very little on offense or goes 1 for 6 etc… That goes double on a “low IQ”, “isolation heavy”, “create your own shot” type of offense like the Knicks will probably run where he’ll get fewer easy looks. However, he’s clearly making progress and can contribute on a good NBA team right now if used properly in a smart offense. They played him down the stretch of this critical game and he was very good on both sides.

    In the end, it’s going to take at least 2-3 more years for him to reach whatever his potential is.

    I’m not sure the Knicks are smart enough to see his potential value or have that kind of patience to wait for it.

    I’m pretty sure Frank is smart enough to know to get out of town and go to a good organization if they aren’t developing him or using him correctly.

  11. alsep73

    If nothing else, I can imagine Pop wanting to trade for him now after seeing the platonic ideal of Frank up close.

  12. bobneptune

    I just don’t understand why some here are more invested in the pristine status of their “opinions” than the success of the team they say they are rooting for. No one has to look at the world through rose colored glasses and say anything other than Frank has played poor offensive BB the past 2 seasons, but when he actually DOES play well how about giving the devil his due?

    He entered the game with 8:11 remaining and France down by seven. 3 and a half minutes later he had gotten 2 assists, made a driving lay-up and canned the three that tied the game. Kemba Walker had a shitty game, but I’m sure he had nothing to do with that either.

    This was probably the biggest game he ever played in his life and sacked up and played very well at crunch time. The guy is 21 fucking years old. Can someone let this guy marinate a little bit please.

    But why am I surprised…. 45% of this country is on their knees praying for a recession so the can get a certain someone out of the Oval Office.

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