” ‘Twas the night before Knicksmas,
And all through MSG,
Not one fan was stirring,
Not even Spike Lee.
The players had practiced, worked, and prepared
in hopes that a victory soon would be theirs…”
One night, and the waiting is over. The beginning of the NBA season is upon us. The strange tale of the path the NBA took during 2011- the incredible play-offs, the victorious Mavericks, the lockout and its resolution, “basketball reasons-” is about to receive its final chapter, a preview of what’s to come in the sequel.
For Knicks fans, the wait has been much longer. It has been years- years- since we knew that the team being put on the court was meant to stay, that the players in whom we were investing ourselves were not merely trade chips in hopes of receiving a superstar, or rental players whose expiring contracts guaranteed cap space. This team is comprised of the players who, for better or worse, will define the early 2010’s in the minds of Knicks fans everywhere. Amar’e. Melo. Chandler. Each of them has flaws that have been recounted numerous times both by national prognosticators and in the message boards on this blog. But they are, for all their flaws, our team, and tomorrow we can return to watching the game and seeing the players decide things for themselves. So much time and energy has been put into analyzing what pieces should be added to the Knicks in hopes that they would become, one day soon, contenders. Personally, come tip-off, I’m going to experience a feeling of relief that finally the wait is over. Finally I can root for my team. Finally I can leap off my couch to celebrate another Amar’e dunk, another Melo jumper, and whatever crazy antics Shump-Shump and Jorts are up to. Finally I can return to mocking Boston (“Mickael Pietrus? Players who got bought out from lottery teams don’t scare me!), the referees (Hey Ref, if you had one more eye you’d be a cyclops!) and Eddy Curry. (Ok, I never stopped mocking him, but… “Miami Heat? More like Miami Eat!” So bad, yet so necessary.)
So, from me to everyone who cares about this team- Merry Knicksmas Eve. This is a moment you deserve. And maybe, just maybe, if everything goes right, the Knicks will find a W in their stockings. Happy holidays.