Every year I watch the Eastern Conference games whether or not my team has made it to the playoffs or not. It’s what you do if you love the game of basketball. For the last few years I haven’t actively followed a team, not since I left Connecticut back in 1996. Back then I was a diehard Knicks fan. I was raised on the New York Knicks. I loved me some New York Knicks. When I moved south it proved to be somewhat of a challenge to follow the Knicks as closely as I wanted. Here in the south, southern influences had me following college ball and I still haven’t taken sides when it comes to Duke vs. UNC.
My father was an avid sports fan. Typically, quality time with daddy was quality time watching something sports-related on the television. We never missed a Knicks game. I grew to love the Knicks during the early 1970’s when their team roster was a star-studded plethora of talented sportsman. Back then they won two NBA championships with Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Dave DeBusschere, Earl Monroe, and Bill Bradley.
My baby, Patrick Ewing, made them a dominant force again in the 1990’s. Don’t tell, but I had a serious thing for Patrick Ewing. When head coach, Pat Riley, resigned, then Charles Smith, Doug Christie, and Herb Williams were traded, the tide began to drastically change. Winning proved to be quite a challenge for my beloved team. My faith in them was restored though when Jeff Van Gundy took over the helm. His team of Larry Johnson, Allan Houston, Chris Childs, cute little John Starks, Charles Oakley, and of course, my baby Patrick, had me shaking my pom-poms on the side lines and loving all things Knicks all over again
My admiration for Michael Jordan had me rooting for Chicago for a short period of time, but the Knicks were like a first lover that you can’t seem to let go of. No matter what, they could always pull me back under their spell. And one again they have done just that. This past year my love for all things Knicks has been reignited and has me pining after them like a lovesick puppy. After a thirteen year playoff drought, the 2013 Knicks roster, under the guidance of Michael Woodson are finally advancing from the first round of Conference playoffs for the first time since 2000 after closing out the Boston Celtics, four games to two.
I don’t have Patrick to pine over anymore but with Carmello Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Jason Kidd, Jason Chandler, and JR Smith, a girl has got some nice choices. Add in the fact that this young team will come with some occasional soap opera drama and playground antics and once again, all things Knicks is all good.
The first game of the Eastern Conference Semi-finals kicks off on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. It’ll be the New York Knicks versus the Indiana Pacers. I have no doubts the Knicks are planning to bring it and I plan to be right there cheering my favorite team on.