It really doesn't feel like too long ago that those seven words sung by the infamous Jesse Jaymes meant so much to a team and a city. In 1994, This stupid little song mixed by a rapper most known for his song "Shake It (Like a White Girl)" blared over radio stations and Madison Square Garden. It became an anthem for the New York Knicks I used to love.
I'm not talking about Isiah Thomas and James Dolan's Knicks. Not the team that has collectively gone 214-360 since 2001. Not the team that has wasted countless millions on fantastic players such as Jerome James, Eddy Curry, Quentin Richardson, and Stephon Marbury. Not the team that has essentially alienated an entire fan base and has become the laughing stock of the NBA. Not the team that had a coach that was SO guilty of sexual harassment, the plaintiff won $2.5 Million more than she sued for. And not even the team that hires a new president, fires said head coach yet for some reason keeps him on the payroll as an "advisor." What the hell is that all about anyway?
I'm talking about the New York Knicks I grew up with. The Team that I can honsetly say was the first sports team I was ever a die hard fan of. I'm talking about the team that had Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy as their coach. The team that had players that actually tried such as Charles Oakley, John Starks, Anthony Mason, Derrek Harper, Marc Jackon, and later on Allan Houston, Larry Johnson, and Charlie Ward. I'm talking about Patrick Ewing's New York Knickerbockers.
I will always remember the dog fights in the playoff with the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, and the Indiana Pacers. I cried when every year the brilliant Michael Jordan beat them every year. I jumped when John Starks flew through the air and dunked over the entire Chicago Bulls team. I watched in awe as Patrick Ewing faced off against Hakeem Olajuwon. I laughed when Jeff Van Gundy hung on to Alonzo Morning's leg. I wanted to kill Reggie Miller as he held his hands over his throat. I stared in disbelief and as Larry Johnson hit his four point play, and I even put my arms in his retarded LJ sign (who didn't?).
The point of this trip down memory lane is that The New York Knicks were a staple of my childhood. The Knicks have to be good eventually again, right? Hopefully, the hiring of Donnie Walsh and the subsequent "firing" of Isiah Thomas will steer the Knicks back in the right direction. Disallowing Thomas from talking to the players is a clearly a good move (but again, why not just give him the boot altogether?!?). Perhaps the best thing to happen to the team is James Dolan's claim that he will take on a MUCH smaller role within the team's management.
Donnie Walsh has the undisirable task of hiring a new coach for a team that both Lennie Wilkens AND Larry Brown couldn't coach. He then has to shred millions of dollars of wasted salary on bad basketball players. But the only way the Knicks will ever be relevant again is to have a big star on the team. In other words, sell your soul to sign Lebron James in 2009 or 2010 or whenever he can leave the ghetto of Cleveland.
Look, I know the Knicks will never have Patrick Ewing again. They will never have Jeff Van Gundy as an assistant coach to the legendary Pat Riley, but I do believe that the Knicks WILL be good one day. It just might not be for the next two, or three, or seven years...