Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, July 25, 2014

69 comments on “A child like you

  1. tastycakes

    I sometimes feel like the only true Knicks fans left must be masochists. There’s really no reason not to just root for another team, except that we were raised this way. And as bad as it’s been, I feel like we embrace the badness in a way, knowing that all the rage and bile and frustration will someday rewarded, and it will feel so much better for all of the suffering.

    Just probably not while James Dolan owns the team.

    Let’s face it – the Knicks are interesting now, just in a horrifying and infuriating way. I was so upset last night, I honestly didn’t even think I had it in me to care that much about this awful team… but it just keeps going, and I can’t quit.

    I recently dated a very sweet woman who was interested in me, and so, interested in learning about the Knicks and the NBA (she had zero background in such things, growing up out of the country). We watched some Knicks games and we watched some other NBA games, and she was a Thunder fan within 3 weeks.

    That’s what rational adults do, they pick teams with charismatic, electrifying players (in her case, Westbrook won her over, especially when I showed her some of his outfits). And the teams they pick obviously know how to play winning, team basketball, because the players look like they’re having fun and they win close games and you don’t stand up in the middle of the night shouting at the TV “HOW CAN YOU NOT CALL THE FUCKING TIMEOUT.”

    The rest of us continue wallowing in our misery, and for what?

  2. MarcusRinaldi

    Great piece, really enjoyed it.
    Amare out with knee swelling? If chandler doesn’t play tomorrow who would we even have for big guys? Melo Andrea mwp Aldrich? Could see some toure and Aldrich time

  3. ephus

    First – and most importantly – I hope that you have a healthy and happy child. Worrying about Knicks fandom should be your biggest problem.

    Second, I literally struggled with this issue when I introduced my (almost 11 year old) daughter to the Knicks five years ago. She has proudly worn Nate Robinson, David Lee, Amar’e Stoudamire and Steve Novak jerseys. She loves the Knicks, because she loves sitting next to me at MSG (rarely) and watching TV and sharing in my passion. I worried that making her a Knick fan would consign her to unnecessary pain. It has not. Instead, it has lightened my load. Because I do not want her to be miserable, I had to teach her to say “Oh well” when the Knicks lost. And teaching her taught me.

    Third, the reason most of us root for the Knicks is connection. For me in the late 70s, it started with a connection to the recent past, when Clyde, Earl the Pearl, Willis and Dollar Bill brought championships to NY. As I got older, I felt the connection to the passion of the Knicks’ crowd for Bernard King. In the mid-80s, I felt the connection to my best friend who had Knicks season tickets (when a ticket for green seats meant you could sit just about anywhere and hear Hubie Brown abuse the team and the English language). When I went off to college and graduate school, it meant a connection back to New York when I was hundreds of miles away. During the Isiah era, it meant a connection to something outside of my demanding job. Now, it means a connection with my daughter. And – to a lesser extent – a connection to the Knickerblogger community.

    But, always remember that while you may love the Knicks, the Knicks will not love you back. If you want love, it comes from the connections that you build with those who surround you. I’m hoping that a shared love of the Knicks will be part of your deep and abiding connection with your son.

  4. Kikuchiyo

    Well, Amar’e is now out indefinitely with knee swelling. So apparently my turning off the game, sleeping, starting a new day, and putting in some good work does not stop the Knicks Pain Machine from generating its Anti-Christmas. It’s them, not me.

    Maybe we’re watching, now, for science. I hadn’t planned to study Andrea Bargnani’s game so intensely. But other than some great Melo turnarounds and some TH2 threes, there’s not much else to see here.

  5. DRed

    Amar’e out with knee swelling? After we completely ignored our medical team plan to keep him healthy? Next you’re going to tell me the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.

  6. Robtachi

    ephus said it right; no matter how much I wish I could at times, I can’t just sever the connection I have, growing up with Ewing, Starks, Mason, Oak, Harper et al. I’m a Knicks fan for the same reason I’m a Yankees, Rangers and Giants fan. Pride in my city. My hometown. The sports teams that helped cement my connection to where I’m from, so that when I’m 1,500 miles away – as I am now, streaming every Knicks game on a terrible DSL connection instead of making small talk with my girlfriend’s family and, y’know, doing something productive – I can constantly feel connected to my home. I can hate every single player on the Knicks roster as it relates to their game, or their on-court IQ, or their off-court antics (and there are plenty I do, for plenty of those reasons), but god dammit, these are still my guys. They’re my 13 and they’re repping my city, my team’s laundry, and I just cant separate all that. We make fun of Dolan’s silly marketing tagline of “Once a Knick, Always a Knick” but hell, you know what? It’s absolutely true, more so for us than anyone else. If you’re able to sever that connection and spare yourself the aggravation of caring about such a dysfunctional organization of misfits and egos, kudos to you. I mean that, really. You exhibit a capacity for reasoning and flexibility I wish I could when it comes to this team, in this city. I’d love to hear your story.

    Switching gears a bit, the scuttlebutt is that the Bobcats are looking to improve NOW, entertaining calls about players that will make them better immediately. The Knicks should look into this. If there’s one theatre I’m confident the Knicks’ management could finally play the Ujiri role in, it’s potential dealings with Jordan. God lov’im, he’s the greatest player and competitor I ever saw, but he’s just not a good owner.

  7. DRed

    From 19 hours ago:

    Ian Begley

    Mike Woodson said Amar’e Stoudemire is “fine” after playing four games in five nights last week. Said he’s available for 30 minutes. #Knicks

    Good thing we used him to almost beat the Wizards.

  8. Brian Cronin

    It’s sad to say, but it really does look like STAT might just be finished.

    Think about it. When you play him limited minutes, he’s terrible. When you play him regular minutes, his body can’t keep up. So what can you do? This team is so cursed.

  9. ephus

    There is an irony here.

    In coming to NY, Carmelo Anthony kept saying he wanted to be Bernard King.

    Well, now he is Bernard King. 1985 Bernard King, to be precise. A great scoring forward who is saddled with a woeful, injury-riddled team.

  10. thenamestsam

    Think about it. When you play him limited minutes, he’s terrible. When you play him regular minutes, his body can’t keep up. So what can you do?

    I think it’s a little hard to say that the issue when he was playing terribly was that he wasn’t getting enough minutes. At the very least we have to consider the possibility that it was simply a rust issue and that if we had persisted with playing him ~15 minutes a game he still would have knocked off the rust eventually right? It may have taken longer, but I think he might have gotten to where he was eventually.

    At the very least I’m not ruling out the possibility that a good organization could have found a way to keep him healthy and effective as a 15-20 minute scorer who doesn’t play back-to-backs. But the Knicks were never going to be disciplined enough to do that, especially when we were struggling. All the sudden as soon as our backs are against the wall a little all the rules are out the window and the next thing you know Kenyon is hurt, Amare is hurt and you’ve done nothing but makes thing worse. Cursed makes it sound like we aren’t entirely complicit in our own demise.

  11. Brian Cronin

    I do agree that looking back it was ridiculous how quickly the “rules” with STAT and K-Mart went out the window. And shockingly, both guys ended up injured.

  12. DRed

    Well, it’s not like we had a choice. The east is big, man. And we don’t have a backup center on the roster.

  13. domiknick

    floun·der 1 (floundr)
    intr.v. floun·dered, floun·der·ing, floun·ders
    1. To make clumsy attempts to move or regain one’s balance.
    2. To move or act clumsily and in confusion. See Synonyms at blunder. See Usage Note at founder1.
    n.
    The act of floundering.

    flounder1
    vb (intr)
    1. to struggle; to move with difficulty, as in mud
    2. to behave awkwardly; make mistakes
    n
    the act of floundering

  14. Brian Cronin

    Well, it’s not like we had a choice. The east is big, man. And we don’t have a backup center on the roster.

    Perfect.

  15. Nick C.

    If Amare is really true than Jonathan Tropaz is owed an apology for being mocked for his pessimism regarding Amare’s health. I believe he was called “MD Tropaz.” These are the Knicks for the last fifteen or so years expect the worst and it turns out you were being optimistic.

  16. The Ghost of Ted Nelson

    This team is so cursed.

    Cursed? Or is it Karma?

    Dolan-era Bad Karma:

    Winter, 2004: Garden security escorts Don Cheney out of MSG after weeks of speculation that a change was coming.

    Fall, 2004: After an 0-2 start, brass sends a message of accountability by firing 70 year old assistant coach Dick Helm (who happens to be the head coach’s best friend).

    2005: That whole Larry Brown episode, which frankly, I have no idea who was wrong and who was wronger in, but given Dolan’s numerous encores since, I would guess that it wasn’t Hall of Fame and NBA Champion Larry Brown’s fault.

    2006/2007: That whole Annucha Browne Saunders thing, which, let’s face it, was in-and-of-itself enough for God to declare that the Knicks would never, ever win a title on his watch.

    2011: Fires D. Walsh for not wanting to ruin the team.

    2013: Fires G. Grunwald for keeping the team from ruin.

    2016: Fires Woodson for not playing JR Smith during his contract year.

    Dolan-era Good Karma:

    Gave Vin Baker a 2nd chance.

  17. flossy

    It’s sad to say, but it really does look like STAT might just be finished.

    Think about it. When you play him limited minutes, he’s terrible. When you play him regular minutes, his body can’t keep up. So what can you do? This team is so cursed.

    I think there is probably a happy medium between “fewer than 10 mpg, no back to backs” and “virtually no minutes limit, plays 4 games in 5 days.”

    Naturally, this organization is only able to swing between one extreme and another, but in theory a more responsible team could have managed this a bit better.

  18. JK47

    One of the arguments for using Cole Aldrich 10-15 mpg was that it would reduce the wear and tear on K-Mart and Amar’e. But, you know, that’s loser talk– better to just run those guys out there and keep giving them more and more minutes until they disintegrate like Sheed and Kurt Thomas did last year. Last year was awesome, right? Don’t we want to be like we were last year? Well, here you are. Overusing your somewhat effective but brittle big men until they crumble into dust after about 300 minutes– anybody feel that nostalgic 2012-2013 vibe?

    The good news is that the Knicks can now rush Tyson Chandler back too soon so he can jump around on his still broken leg. So problem solved I guess.

  19. DRed

    With Stat-who knows how bad his knee is right now. And we don’t know for certain that he wouldn’t have broken down even if they’d stuck to the 15-20 minutes every other game and definitely not on back to backs plan. But having a plan like that and then not sticking to it is like signing a backup center who you never use to back up your center.

    Rondo to the Kings? huh

  20. Bruno Almeida

    that’s a beautiful post, Jim…

    being a foreigner who really has no reason whatsoever to keep my allegiance to the Knicks, since I have no regional ties and very little good memories about this team (the Ewing teams and the 1999 playoff run, and some games I catched in MSG when I was in NYC), I keep coming back to those questions, and everytime it’s the same thing: I can’t find a reason to keep caring about this team.

    then I decide I’ll watch the Rockets, the Thunder, the Blazers or the Pistons instead of Knicks games… but as soon as I do that, I keep alt-tabbing to see Knicks scores until I finally give up and switch to their game on League Pass… and of course, pretty much everytime that results in disappointment and angry screams at the computer screen, and the cycle starts again.

    I don’t know why I do that, and I feel it’s better off this way, I don’t want to live my life searching for rationale in all places… and I think sports are amazing because of that: this has been a year for me where EVERY SINGLE ONE of my favourite teams have been a disaster (Knicks, Mets, Giants and São Paulo, the brazilian soccer club)… but I can’t even think about switching teams, because like ephus said perfectly, I enjoy these connections and bonds that seem to hold together fan bases and friends around a meaningless “moment of suffering” in sports, and that make it all that much better when that team finally gets better or catches some lucky breaks.

    good luck and good health for you son, and if he decides he wants to be a masochist like us, I hope that he will be able to watch a better team and a better franchise 10 years from now.

  21. AvonBarksdale

    the only thing left to happen is for woodson to somehow look even more retarded when the perfect alignment of unfortunate injuries forces him to use Aldrich and Murray both who for whatever reason bolster the entire teams energy levels and performance, we go on some crazy insane winning streak and squeak into the playoffs where we lose in 5 games to the miami heat. Murray puts up linsanity numbers and aldrich records a record number of rebounds and blocks somehow condemning the coach and improving his win percentage all at the same time. i fucking hate that we haven’t seen either one get any time especially with a hobbled felton and not up to the task bargs. i like bargs more than i ever imagined and hate woodson with a fire smaug would be like damn that’s hot, and i fucking hated him during/after the entire 2nd round of the playoffs last year.

  22. chrisk06811

    Jim, not to tell you how to parent, but you shouldn’t give your kid candy because he didn’t shit on the floor. and you shouldn’t give his younger, untalented brother candy just cause you like his older brother.

  23. Bruno Almeida

    Jim, not to tell you how to parent, but you shouldn’t give your kid candy because he didn’t shit on the floor. and you shouldn’t give his younger, untalented brother candy just cause you like his older brother.

    well, the Knicks are actually giving candy to J.R even when all he does is shit on the floor, so that’s bad parenting 101.

  24. ephus

    Chris Herring ?@HerringWSJ 10m
    Knicks announce that they’ve called Chris Smith up from the D-League to rejoin the 15-man club.

    More candy!

  25. Kikuchiyo

    I’m only half joking: if we must hire a relative of a current player for our PG, I’d prefer Tim Hardaway Sr.

  26. coyle022

    Amar’e StoudemireVerified account ?@Amareisreal

    Fans, IM NOT INJURED, just want u to know I’m ONLY stay’n bk bc of 6 games n 9 days w/ bk2bks! Body & Knees feel great! #Knicks #STAT

    Reply
    Retweet
    Favorite

    747 Retweets
    412 Favorites

    12:01 PM – 17 Dec 13

    https://twitter.com/Amareisreal/statuses/413036179081416704

    Well this is interesting. Woodson says “out indefintely” but STAT says he’s not injured and feels great. Typical Knicks

  27. DRed

    I am going to laugh and laugh and laugh if Chris Smith comes off the bench before Murry. And hey, he did drop 28 on the Canton Charge recently.

  28. DRed

    Fans, IM NOT INJURED, just want u to know I’m ONLY stay’n bk bc of 6 games n 9 days w/ bk2bks! Body & Knees feel great! #Knicks #STAT

    Related headlines
    Knicks’ Amar’e Could ‘Be Out Awhile’
    Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
    Knicks shut down Stoudemire with knee swelling
    New York Post @nypost

    Let’s hope Amare is a more reliable source for Amare news than the Post or Bleacher Report

  29. BigBlueAL

    How do you think I feel being a Knicks fan living in Miami. Ive lived in Miami since 1990 and actually enjoyed watching the Glen Rice/Rony Seikaly/Steve Smith teams as a kid. I became a die-hard Knicks fan because of the Riley teams. I was young enough that those teams made such an impression on me I was hooked for life. Plus hell in that time the Knicks were by far the best team I rooted for (the early 90′s werent a great time for the Giants and Yankees although things started getting good for the Yankees in 1993).

    Once Riley joined the Heat though I immediately HATED them more than any team possible. Even more than the Pacers and Bulls. So since that time I cant watch the Heat without rooting against them regardless of who they are playing. I still feel that way to this day but man it is really tough considering they currently have one of the 5 greatest players ever and have won 3 titles in the past 7 years. Thankfully I have enough bandwagon Heat fans/friends that keep me hating the Heat and will not allow me to ever switch allegiances lol.

  30. BigBlueAL

    People are freaking out here because the low tonight will be 58 degrees lol.

    There have been alot of times where I have said to myself why the hell do I continue to be an obsessed Knicks fan when I have a great team that I can watch and root for right in my backyard. Its an evil temptation.

  31. EB

    I live outside of Denver. I should just jump ship now and start rooting against the Knicks. Wiggins to NUGGS!!!

  32. mokers

    Whatever charade they thought they needed to pull off by keeping Chris Smith has lasted long enough. It would be wonderful if they actually tried to play somebody with some NBA level talent. Any guesses on whether Chris Smith, Cole Aldrich or Toure Murry get in the game first?

  33. dtrickey

    the reason most of us root for the Knicks is connection

    Aboslutely hit the nail on the head ephus. I first jumped on board with the Knicks when I was about 6 starting out playing basketball in a local community league. At the end of each training/game the coaches would hand out basketball cards and one of the first ones I ever received was a Patrick Ewing card (circa 95-96). Ever since then It’s always been the Knicks. From wearing my Houston jersey when everyon had Jordan/Kobe to religiously using the team in any form of NBA video game no matter how shit their rating was. This was made even more difficult considering most people in Australia who followed the NBA at the time were all about MJ and the Bulls, which subsequently evolved into Kobe and the Lakers and now the bandwagoners have shifted to the Heat/OKC. It’s tough being a Knicks supporter, but I take great pride in the fact that I’ve stuck fat with the team through some real shitty times and will continue to do so, especially when it would have been much easier to be a Lakers or Heat supporter.

    On the injuries, this could be the perefect oppotunity for Murry (Murry-sanity anyone?). This season needs something like a Jeremy Lin story so I would love to see a Murry or Aldrich just break out for a stretch. Wishful thinking but it would be awesome to see and maybe re-ignite some fire in this team.

  34. ess-dog

    I’m sure glad Chris Smith will get to play instead of maybe a guy like, oh I don’t know… Seth Curry who’s lighting it up in the D-League? We’re playing so well that staying the course does seem like the best option.

    I think I’m pretty much done with this team. Again.

  35. Kikuchiyo

    Guys, I want you all to know that I am NOT INJURED. I simply had too much wine.

    Amar’e isn’t injured.
    His knees are just calling a timeout so the team can draw up a final play.

  36. ess-dog

    Nah… we’re already way too good at shooting the three as it is. Better to just have JR’s brother out there stinking up the court.

  37. KnickHaterforlife

    This is basically what Pornstars say to people when asked if they want their children to follow in their footsteps. “Hell No! My daughter will not be involved in the same lifestyle that has me blowing 40 dudes while on a sybian!”. Let’s face it. This is the REAL reason why Knicks Fans are Knicks Fans. Because it’s located at 34th street and 7th avenue. It’s LOCATION! How can after 30+ years of ineptitude and rising ticket prices and clear sodomy by James Dolan can anybody be a Knick Fan? Pyschologists have a term for this. It’s called Egoistic Relative Deprivation. Your lizard brain tells you that since this team has NY on it’s chest and you are from NY and the arena says “the most famous arena in the world” and “mecca of basketball” you want to root for this team. Rooting for the Knicks is basically akin to being a secret white supremicist. Science and Nature tell you that the Knicks suck but you don’t want to listen to them. I used to be a Knick Fan and from 2002 on have turned a 180 and have rooted against them. Try it. It’s the best thing in the entire universe. I knew that the Knicks were gonna lose last week and I know that they will lose the week after? How do I know. They are the Knicks. Past performance is indicative of future folly.

  38. Kahnzy

    How do you think I feel being a Knicks fan living in Miami.

    I kinda know how you feel BBA. I live in Tampa, which is a terrible basketball city (as we have no team of our own, despite the Magic’s attempt to be the team for all of central Florida). What basketball fans there are are mostly all bandwagon heat fans, and man does it get obnoxious. When it comes to winning, I go hard Knicks above all else. After that, it’s anybody but the Heat for me.

    I’ve been a fan since the early 90′s teams as well, which was a connection I shared with my father. We would watch every game together, the good and the bad. I still remember game 5 against Miami in 1999 as Houston hit that runner. We screamed and cheered so loud my mom came rushing out thinking someone had been hurt. I lived in Sacramento during that time, and was around for that brief period when the Kings were really good, and as much fun as it was to be in that city at that time, the Kings were always my #2 team. I’ve tried being fans of other teams. I watch the Spurs on League Pass regularly, along with the Warriors and Trailblazers when I can (West coast games can go brutally late though); but no matter how much I try and no matter how much I will it to be, I simply can not get myself to care about a team the way I do the Knicks, and I suspect I never will.

  39. d-mar

    Even th0ugh I was around then, I wasn’t much of a Knicks fan in the early 70′s and really became passionate during the early Bernard King years. I was at the “bitch won’t score 40 on us” game vs. Boston (where Bernard beat Bird, McHale et al basically by himself) and the LJ 4 point play game vs. Indy, and have never heard the Garden that loud since.

    I’ve also had season tickets since 1985 (my friends and I rushed out and got them when the Knicks got Ewing) and for the first time I am seriously considering giving them up. It’s not just the prices (and they are ridiculously high) but MSG just isn’t the same as it used to be. It’s not as loud, it’s filled with corporate types and tourists who get tix from their hotels, and a lot of hard core fans have been priced out completely.

    I’ve been going to games with my son since 1995 (when he was 3) and we always have a great time, and now that he’s 21 we can share a beer or two also. But I sadly wonder if we’re ever going to share a championship together in my lifetime. It just seems so far away and unattainable right now. But like most on this board, I can never, ever give up on this team, even after one of the greatest cluster***ks in NBA coaching history last night.

  40. hoolahoop

    There have been alot of times where I have said to myself why the hell do I continue to be an obsessed Knicks fan when I have a great team that I can watch and root for right in my backyard. Its an evil temptation.

    Do you go to Heat games (when they’re not playing the knicks)?
    That’s probably the easiest way to get into rooting for them. If that doesn’t work, you’ll just have to suffer like the rest of us.
    I live a few subway stops from MSG. . . . which means I’m not that far from Brooklyn, my birthplace. Sometimes, I play with the idea of going to Nets games with the idea of shifting my allegiance, but I just can’t do it – especially with Pierce and Garnett on that team.
    Not yet.

  41. hoolahoop

    As a kid, I went to nineteen knicks games with my dad the year they won their first championship (he used to get free tix from his office if clients didn’t take them). I used to get goose bumps at the games when the fans starting chanting DEE-FENSE! …and I still get them thinking about it. It was the Mecca of basketball.

  42. Z

    Nice piece, Jim. Congratulations to you and your wife!!

    I actually came to the Knicks by rooting against them and now, here I am, right back where I started from!

    As a kid I used to root against the teams my father liked. (Looking back, I suppose it was me acting like a brat, but at the time I felt it made sporting events, which I otherwise didn’t care too much about, more sporting). He was a sports writer and went to UNC, so my favorite team, naturally, was Ralph Sampson’s Virginia Cavaliers. When Sampson turned pro I started following the NBA and enjoyed his run to the finals in back in ’86 (I was 10).

    My parents acquired a taste for the NBA themselves and decided to get Knick season tickets. I remember spending the entire ’86-87 season, all 41 games, rooting for the visiting team (and I left the Garden happy almost every night!). Then I had an epiphany– that I was wasting my time rooting against the team I was spending half the school year following. Mark Jackson joined the team and I liked his swagger, so I announced that I was going to start rooting for the Knicks, and before I knew it I was living and dying with their every game. My first year of college I drove 1000 miles just to catch opening day. I was at the finals in 1994, and again in ’99. I was at MSG for LJ’s 4-point play.

    Then, like yourself, I started having kids, and that changed everything. (My oldest was born the year Dolan inherited the team!). At first I kept following the game because it was a happy distraction from the more mundane aspects of family life. Then it became an unhappy distraction. And then the unhappiness became unbearable, so I liberated myself. I’ve been 15 months sober from the Dolan Knicks now, and though I still have pangs, I’ve never felt better! (My kids would ask me why I don’t watch the Knicks anymore, and I’d begin to formulate an anti-Dolan rant in my head, then take a breath and calmly say: “it’s because I have better things to do now”.

  43. BigBlueAL

    I think the reason I will never abandon the Knicks is because of the Yankees. They are a perfect counterbalance to being a Knicks fan. Im as big a diehard fan of the Yankees as I am of the Knicks (ive mentioned many times in the past that baseball and basketball are by far my 2 favorite sports) so for as much frustration as I get from the Knicks I get equal amount of joy being a Yankees fan which helps alot. Heck the Giants have won 4 Super Bowls in my lifetime so even though Im not as big a football fan as I am basketball/baseball being a Giants fan helps too.

    Also thankfully the first real memories of being a Knicks fan for me was the Knicks comeback against the Celtics in the 1990 playoffs (I was still living in NY at that time) and then the Riley Knicks really made me the diehard fan I am today so when your early memories of being a fan of your team are mostly positive I think it helps alot. I really feel sorry for younger Knick fans who dont have those memories to hold on to though lol.

  44. patrick

    Really interesting comment thread. Unlike many of you I don’t have that NY connection – I’m from Oxford in England originally and lived there most of my life. My brother and I were big into basketball growing up, we hit that exact time when it was the fastest growing sport in the UK, and started the teams at our school (he started the senior one, I started the junior one). We had a court at the back of our house which was the main court in Oxford for about 5 years. So for me I guess basketball is a connection to my youthful self, and to my brother, who moved to Japan 12 years ago. I don’t really play much anymore, and my life has moved on so far from that time.

    Why the Knicks though? Well like Bruno @22 I’ve tried other teams throughout the years, but they could never stick. The Knicks, particularly Ewing, Starks, then Houston and Spree, cast some sort of spell on me. Maybe it was the fight with the Heat (who I hated), or being the anti-Bulls (everyone was a Jordan fan back then in England), or that magical 99 run. But it’s always been the Knicks, and try as I can, it always will be.

  45. JK47

    I was born in Yonkers but my family transplanted to South Florida in the late 70′s, way before Miami had a team. There wasn’t a lot of basketball on TV in those days outside of whatever Celtics/Lakers games were happening. I rooted for the Knicks but didn’t get to see them play all that much. I went to college at Syracuse in the early 90′s though, and we had MSG up there, and that’s when I really fell in love with the Knicks– the 1991-1992 team was the first Knicks team I followed religiously. That was Riley’s first year, and that team had most of the core players that defined the 90′s Knicks: Ewing, Oakley, Starks, Mason and Anthony. It’s weird– I have almost no recollection of Mark Jackson being on that team, but I look at the stat sheet and there he is, played 81 games. That was also the X-Man’s one year as a Knick.

    The 90′s Knicks were an easy team to love. They played defense, they rebounded and they gave max effort. They had an identity; the pieces made sense together. Nobody gave a shit about winning a scoring title or having their little brother on the roster. Playing terrible help defense would earn you a permanent spot on the bench. There was a no-layup rule that was taken seriously. They had one of the great coaches in the history of the league, a coach who was known for his uptempo “Showtime” offense but was smart enough to realize he had to play a different game with the personnel he had in New York.

    Contrast that with this team, which plays lazy and incoherent defense, where nepotism is right out in the open, where most of the rotation players’ strength is volume scoring and where the coach is a bumbling nincompoop.

  46. Brian Cronin

    Holy shit, that Blazers/Cavs game last night was amazing. It’s seems like every game the Blazers play is amazing. They’re insane.

  47. johnno

    Z — You claim to be Knicks-sober but here you are posting comments on a Knicks site in the wee small hours of the morning. Admit it — you have not given up on the Knicks but are keeping your obsession secret from your friends and loved ones. You are just as miserable about them as the rest of us.
    By the way, Ephus’s Chris Smith/puppet show comment has kept me chuckling since yesterday afternoon. I keep picturing the sign outside MSG saying “New York Knicks and Puppet Show.”

  48. Brian Cronin

    As for my own fandom, I’m from New York and I root for sports teams from New York. That’s about that, honestly. I do have a good story about how the Knicks have negatively affected my life, though. Back in 1994 when I was hanging out with a large group of friends near a pond listening to Game 6 of the 1994 Finals on the radio. One of the ladies in the group said that they’d all skinny dip if/when the Knicks won the game and therefore the championship. So I have a particularly bad memory of that blocked Starks shot.

  49. er

    Nobody gave a shit about winning a scoring title
    There was a no-layup rule that was taken seriously

    —Who on the 90s Knicks was winning a scoring title? Oakley?!?! hahahah

    I did love the no layup rule and that team however.1994 Game 7 scarred 7 year old er though :(

  50. Hubert

    I sometimes feel like the only true Knicks fans left must be masochists. There’s really no reason not to just root for another team, except that we were raised this way. And as bad as it’s been, I feel like we embrace the badness in a way, knowing that all the rage and bile and frustration will someday rewarded, and it will feel so much better for all of the suffering

    You’re not wrong. We must be masochists. This is hate watching right now. And I’m not going to lie, sometimes I root for the disaster, because I would rather be furious and let out all the rage than improve to 8-17 and then lose 5 more games.

    But the real reason I remain a Knicks fan is because I love Knicks fans. I think we’re the best fans of all the NY sports teams. We’re also a dying breed and it’s great when we come across each other. Like boxing fans (I’m not one, but they all seem to love when they find someone they can talk about their sport with).

    We really should be hatewatching this team together more often.

  51. cgreene

    I am also a native NYer. My Dad used to split tickets 3 ways with some people he worked with and the seats were right behind the Knicks bench. This was early 80′s though Patrick’s rookie year. My Dad used to be a real yeller. He’d yell at Hubie Brown, yell at Jess Kersey, yell at Larry Bird. When Vescey was a beat writer he’d chat my Dad up and sometimes quote him in the Post. I was hooked ever since. We even scalped fake tickets to Game 5 against Houston in ’94. What a bummer.

    The only bright side for me is the soap opera narrative provides me with some weird entertainment value. But Im resigned to never seeing this team win a title.

  52. Thomas

    Nice piece Jim. Isn’t it sad that we have to justify our fondness for this ball club? It is true that all evacuation alarms are ringing now and it’s only natural that Knicks fans and people who truly care for us may ask : why stay?
    In my case the connection is distant. I have never lived in NY, never attended a game at MSG. I live at GMT +8 which generally makes for an 8:00am tip-off. And boy watching a Knicks game and the usual ensuing debacle at this early hour is a shitty way to start the day. I often envy NY fans who can sleep on it.
    Recently my wife asked me the question : but why? I could only answer that I was being loyal. Pathetic! There is no moral duty to stick with the Knicks, their ineptitude and their despicable management.
    I jumped on board during the 99 playoff run. And this perfect first encounter reminds me of a movie scene : a beautiful couple in a restaurant, it is all elegance and class, tuxedo, champagne, he is the perfect gentleman. They go to his place. Fade out, fade in. Bathroom door half open, crude light and sounds. He burps, farts and produces an extravagant array of disgusting noises. She slams the exit door. Him, talking to the camera : “another one who cannot stand everyday life”.
    Well I had this perfect first date with the Knicks in 99. But when the first burp arrived (JVG resignation?), I did not get out. And then everyday life with he Knicks took a turn for the uglier when Isiah took over. But I stayed, both horrified and fascinated by the creativity of this organization to do the wrong thing. Lately I have tried to watch other teams. It can be fun, sometimes extremely entertaining (Spurs, Blazers) but something is missing. Maybe the drama.

  53. Hubert

    Third, the reason most of us root for the Knicks is connection. For me in the late 70s, it started with a connection to the recent past, when Clyde, Earl the Pearl, Willis and Dollar Bill brought championships to NY. As I got older, I felt the connection to the passion of the Knicks’ crowd for Bernard King. In the mid-80s, I felt the connection to my best friend who had Knicks season tickets (when a ticket for green seats meant you could sit just about anywhere and hear Hubie Brown abuse the team and the English language). When I went off to college and graduate school, it meant a connection back to New York when I was hundreds of miles away. During the Isiah era, it meant a connection to something outside of my demanding job. Now, it means a connection with my daughter. And – to a lesser extent – a connection to the Knickerblogger community.

    But, always remember that while you may love the Knicks, the Knicks will not love you back. If you want love, it comes from the connections that you build with those who surround you. I’m hoping that a shared love of the Knicks will be part of your deep and abiding connection with your son.

    Well said, Ephus.

  54. Hubert

    JK47
    December 17, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    One of the arguments for using Cole Aldrich 10-15 mpg was that it would reduce the wear and tear on K-Mart and Amar’e. But, you know, that’s loser talk– better to just run those guys out there and keep giving them more and more minutes until they disintegrate like Sheed and Kurt Thomas did last year.

    But see, this is coaching survival 101:

    Step 1: Run your guys into the ground while healthy. There is no doubt that playing Kenyon Martin and Amar’e Stoudemire as much as possible (and instead of Cole Aldrich) increases your chances of winning. I mean, even if you like Cole Aldrich (and I do) Martin and Amar’e are better (and please let’s not dig too much into this with rebounding rates and per 36′s. I like Cole Aldrich. A healthy Amar’e and a healthy Martin are better).

    Step 2: Having increased your short term odds of success, when the long term consequence comes (i.e. they get injured), blame injuries and keep your job.

    This only works if you have a really dumb owner. But as you’ve noticed, we do. This is the problem with Woodson. He seems to be really adept at survival, and shit at coaching.

  55. Robtachi

    In my freshman year of college, in 2004 in the days of Facebook’s infancy, one of the first things I did on there when everyone was trying to look up who the insanely hot chick who sat in front of them in Astronomy 100 was (well, I was doing that too), was create a group page called “I Love the Knicks Despite the Fact They Break My Heart Every Year.”

    I don’t know what else to say.

  56. DRed

    But see, this is coaching survival 101:

    Step 1: Run your guys into the ground while healthy. There is no doubt that playing Kenyon Martin and Amar’e Stoudemire as much as possible (and instead of Cole Aldrich) increases your chances of winning.

    I totally get this, but the crazy thing about coach’s inexplicable decision to never ever play Cole is that you could play Cole, and still play Kenyon and Amar’e if you’d stop playing Bargs so fucking much OR you could notice something like “hey, we’ve gone 5-15 with me running my injury prone players into the ground-maybe I should try something else”

  57. Z

    Z — You claim to be Knicks-sober but here you are posting comments on a Knicks site in the wee small hours of the morning. Admit it — you have not given up on the Knicks but are keeping your obsession secret from your friends and loved ones. You are just as miserable about them as the rest of us.

    Haha, yes, like I said, I do have occasional pangs. (But in my defense, it wasn’t the wee hours where I live and my family was still awake:)

    The way I see it I can go to the bar and happily enjoy a club soda. What I’ve done (since the Lin for Felton trade-off) is stop caring about the success of the team. I am, admittedly, still curious to see how it all turns out for them, but I get no pleasure from their success and no pain from their failings.

    I stopped watching baseball a few years earlier in much the same way. As a diehard Cubs fan the misery (and time consumption) grew too heavy. I took a sabbatical and during that year off I realized that baseball was such that if you tune out for a season you pretty much lose track of everybody (what with roster size, injuries, de-steroiding, and transactions). By the time I’d tuned back in, and looked at the game objectively, I didn’t even like it anymore. I haven’t watched a baseball game in over 4 years now.

    But basketball has been harder for me to give up, mostly because I learned too much about the game and the team through the people on this blog. I can still enjoy an NBA game when it’s on, and I’m pretty sure that if the Knicks got players that I actually liked that I would come back around to rooting for them. But I can’t imagine that is going to happen anytime soon, unless a blowup is coming, in which case, count me in!

    (What I do miss more than the Knicks is the interaction on this board, but I still read a lot of the stuff written here (and occasionally comment under a pseudonym that can’t be confused with Z-Man anymore:)

  58. Owen

    “By the time I’d tuned back in, and looked at the game objectively, I didn’t even like it anymore. I haven’t watched a baseball game in over 4 years now.”

    The Cubs will be good a lot sooner than the Knicks. Theo is doing a great job with that team.

  59. max fisher-cohen

    DRed, when you deviate from conventional wisdom, you take a risk. Even if there’s an 80% chance playing Aldrich would be beneficial, if he flops, then it’s Woodson’s decision to play him that shines brightest.

    When Bargnani or another well known, often well paid player fails, then that player will hold a lot more of the blame whereas Woodson will be viewed as a victim of injuries or underperforming players.

    Woodson is basically doing the equivalent of protecting his own head rather than doing what’s best for the team. With Woodson though I don’t even know that he thinks he gets that far in his thinking. I think he’s just not that smart.

  60. Unreason

    Congrats Jim. Though I’m from NYC, my daughter, 9 , has only ever lived in Honolulu and now Portland Maine where we just moved a couple of weeks ago. She loves the Knicks, Yankees, and Giants. Deeply. I’ve taken her to the garden a couple of times and watched plenty with her on TV. Sharing your sports passion with your kid, as I’m sure you realize, is a blast, pure and simple.

    Your portrayal of the faux conundrum of that relationship when the team sucks is, like all our splendid kvetching and hooting, an enjoyable sham. And a very well written one as usual. Since you were joined by others with nicely written confessions of conflict and confusion over their own Knick fandom I’ll pretend to pull the veil we know is already lifted: sports angst isn’t real angst.

    We choose to attach our hopes to a franchise so we can have the experience of the team’s fortunes altering our mood unpredictably. The mood change is real, but we never lose sight of the difference between a Knicks loss and a real loss; we just pretend to because it heightens the experience.

    And of course that’s it’s beauty. It’s as awesome and ephemeral as music. Like music, attending to it the right way gives it a power to evoke deep emotions, free of complication by reality. When the world is drab or brutal, it’s a very useful kind of beauty. If we allow it to divert us too much from life, (and who hasn’t?) that’s on us and no cause for real confusion, IMO.

    So if he becomes a Knicks fan that’s no riskier than developing a passion for old Irish ballads, right? Choosing to root for a sure winner is a different kind of ride; more like forcing your mood to be positive by snorting coke. So for God’s sake don’t let him become a Celtic-addled hypomanic lightweight. Even if he’s a tenor, he’ll need some base notes to sing on top of.

    However well or poorly the Knicks do during what I hope will be a long and happy life, I’m sure he’ll enjoy the play and strut his own hour with as…

  61. DRed

    DRed, when you deviate from conventional wisdom, you take a risk. Even if there’s an 80% chance playing Aldrich would be beneficial, if he flops, then it’s Woodson’s decision to play him that shines brightest.

    I get this. If we were, say 11-13, I could understand it from a conventional wisdom cover your ass perspective. But losing all the time is also really bad for your continued employment prospects, which is why I find Woody’s conventionality so aggravating this year. We’re 7 and fucking 17. It’s really pretty difficult to be worse than that. If, at some point in our 9 game losing streak he rolled out the Cole train for 20 minutes do you really think he would have been roasted in the press if we lost?

  62. Unreason

    The full last sentence of post 67 was supposed to be:

    “However well or poorly the Knicks do during what I hope will be a long and happy life, I’m sure he’ll enjoy the play and strut his own hour with as much panache as his dad.”

    I didn’t want to leave my well wishing intensions toward you and your son in doubt.

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