Keidel: Knicks Fix

By Jason Keidel
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For me, it came in 1995, when Pat Riley faxed his resignation as head coach and de facto czar of the Knicks.

Perhaps for you it came when Jeff Van Gundy resigned. Or perhaps it came when Isiah Thomas fouled up the joint with pungent personnel moves and sexual harassment settlements.
To find some action in MSG you had to watch college ball, a rock concert, a dog show, or blow the dust off your 8-tracks and VHS tapes for timeless replays of Earl Monroe, sift through the static of Marv Albert’s ancient radio renditions.

Whenever you abandoned the Knicks, it may be time to return, to emerge from your cave and wipe the crust from your heavily blinking eyes. There may again be a basketball team in New York City.

In a frozen city, a sizzling contest stirred inside Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, reminiscent of when the Knicks were important. Had Amar’e Stoudemire’s shot peeled off his fingertips in time we would be talking about a 9-game winning streak and maybe the birth of an era. A nanosecond separated the old Knicks from the new Knicks. Should they beat Miami tonight, the shift in perception and reception may become complete.

We can’t name half the squad. All you have to do is watch. The team passes well, plays hard, and finally gives a damn. Mike D’Antoni treats his and his opponents’ defenses with equal contempt, coaching a brand of ABA ball that is allergic to shot clocks and blocked shots. But they are finally fun.

Some say that boxing is as strong as the heavyweight division, and that NBA basketball is as relevant as the Knicks. Neither assertion is entirely true, but the city most historically pregnant with hoops talent should produce a product we can watch without a bag on our heads.

This club is young, hungry, and gifted. We don’t really know Landry Fields or Toney Douglas or Wilson Chandler, but we like what we see so far, and after the first few dates we may be ready to commit. Roger Mason and Ronny Turiaf don’t exactly beam you back to the halcyon days, yet they play with the blue-collar grit we need in the absence of dominance.

We understandably retired from the franchise during the Dolan epoch. We’re spiritually calcified by bad coaches and a roster encumbered by rancid contracts. (Eddy Curry and Jerome James, anyone?)

The Knicks’ bottom had trap doors, their corporate and karmic ineptitude so severe that a city weaned on asphalt, the city of Earl Manigault and Lew Alcindor, was embarrassed to say we had a team in town. The Knicks were worse than bad. Bad teams happen. The Knicks were apathetic and pathetic. They didn’t try. And New Yorkers don’t digest indolence.

Chances are the Knicks’ new regime will not win it all because, well, they’re the Knicks, ensconced in a four-decade title drought. There are eerie parallels between the Knicks and another team clad in orange and blue with one title since 1969. The Mets hope they’ve turned the proverbial page with Sandy Alderson, much the way the Knicks hope they have with Donnie Walsh. Both teams deserve an objective peek in 2011.

With a quarter of the season over and a 16-10 record in the rugged Eastern Conference, the Knicks are not a fluke, but rather resurgent, leaving their forlorn fan base gleefully thumbing through record books looking for the last time they’ve been relevant.

With all due respect to the Nets – who will hop the Hudson to play in Brooklyn – New York wants the Knicks to regain the knack. A part of us needs the Knicks, and all of the Knicks need us. Wins will bring the waving limbs back to the Garden.

Feel free to email me: Jakster1@mac.com

pixy Keidel: Knicks Fix
Comments

One Comment

  1. Knicks33334 says:

    ” Now you argue that Raymond Felton – not Stoudemire – is the reason for the resurgence” No, my exact comment was “You don’t even once mention Raymond Felton (even though you show his picture) who after STAT has been the biggest reason for the turn around but you bring up Roger Mason Jr??” You see where it says “who after STAT”, meaning that after Amar’e, Felton has been the number 2 reason. Also, i never defended their lack of defense, just as you never took a shot at it, you said the system is alergic to blocking shots, i pointed out that their actually number 1 in the league, not defending PPG, never even brought that up. Not trying to insult people, i’ll gladly listen to any ones opinion who’s a true knick fan but you are admitily a front runner, and im not insulting you just pointing out inaccuraces in your story. And yeah, the ’99 team’s trip to the finals was alot of fun untill they got spanked by the Spurs, and unless this team is going to get to the finals as well the excitment now is just for a return to relavance, not that of thoughts of a championship.

  2. Dominick Mezzapesa says:

    OMG I am really getting sick of the Knick talk. Yes they had a wonderful 8 Games but helooooooooo it was 8 games. I remember after the first week when they wanted to fire the coach. Knick fans should just enjoy the ride STOP! with the “WE ARE BACK” junk and tell anyone who starts to suggest trades to break up the team to go back in the cave and shut up. Enjoy and just leave the team alone for this year and see what happens

  3. JK says:

    You mean the ’99 team that got crushed in five games? Your tactic is infantile but predictable – insult everyone who disagrees with you. Now you argue that Raymond Felton – not Stoudemire – is the reason for the resurgence. Brilliant. Then you defend their defense, which surrenders over 107 points per game (28th in the NBA).

    Please go back to your basement and your media guides, get a life, and return in 40 years when the Knicks win their next title.

  4. Knicks33334 says:

    Wow, you left in ’95? And now this team being 16-10 is more exciting to you then the ’99 team that made the finals? You seem like all that’s wrong with sports fans. Most of us who aren’t front runners do know Wilson Chandler and Toney Douglas because we’ve seen them play for over a season before just flipping on the Boston game. “Roger Mason and Ronny Turiaf don’t exactly beam you back to the halcyon days, yet they play with the blue-collar grit we need in the absence of dominance.”… You don’t even once mention Raymond Felton (even though you show his picture) who after STAT has been the biggest reason for the turn around but you bring up Roger Mason Jr?? The guy has played in only 7 of the teams 26 games and hasn’t got off the bench in the last 9. ” ABA ball that is allergic to shot clocks and blocked shots.”…. Just wanted to let you know that the Knicks are number 1 in the NBA in blocked shots. Man, it sounds to me like us Knicks fans were better off when you weren’t paying any attention……

  5. Why Shaggy says:

    Knicks suck….Stoudemire gets hurt the seasons over

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