The Making of a Die-Hard Knicks Fan

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New York Knicks logo

New York Knicks logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My husband, a loyal, die-hard Knicks fan, can tell you most every fact about the Knicks dating back to when he first became a fan back in the 1980’s.  I recently asked him what solidified him as a fan for life.  He said it was when the Knicks drafted Patrick Ewing in 1985.  He gets all nostalgic and goes on to tell me how, back then, defense was their game and for 12 years they made the playoffs.  He boldly states that if not for Michael Jordan, the Knicks would have had a chance at the championship title.  The drafting of Patrick Ewing made my husband a Knicks fan for life.

Now, some 25 years later, the next generation of Knicks fans in our family experienced a player acquisition that had the same effect, but quite a different outcome.  My oldest son has followed in his father’s footsteps and is a die-hard Knicks fan.  For several months he told me how the Knicks were going to win it all next year because the Knicks were going to acquire LeBron James.  Now, granted, we are a sports family so I knew who he was talking about but, even if you weren’t a sports fan, after all the fanfare this summer, you would have to live in a box in a remote country not to know who LeBron James is.  My son talked about nothing else for months.

When July finally rolled around and the big announcement was due, we were away on vacation.  Ironically, we were vacationing with family from Cleveland.  We all watched the news reports and listened to the speculation for days prior to the announcement.  As the day drew nearer, and my oldest son waited with the rest of the world, he remained confident that LeBron would seal the deal with the Knicks and bring his favorite team a championship title.

Throughout all the hoopla, my youngest son, who had not yet shown a big interest in all-things basketball and the Knicks, got caught up in the excitement. He listened adeptly as his father and brother talked about the Knicks’ bright future.  He eagerly awaited the big announcement and excitedly shared his enthusiasm with his friends. Then, the unthinkable happened.  LeBron James made the decision not to come to New York and play for the Knicks.  My oldest son was in shock.  He was angry, disappointed and frustrated.  LeBron was somewhat of a hero and he had let him down – big time.  Seeing and feeling his big brother’s pain, my youngest son rallied around his brother and against LeBron James.  He now declares that name cannot be spoken in our home.  And he also declares his die-hard loyalty for his New York Knicks.  They are no longer just his dad and brother’s team, they are his team.  LeBron’s disloyalty led him to be a loyal, die-hard fan for life.  Just like his dad and his brother.  Two generations, two players, with two very different outcomes, created two Knicks fans for life.

Kathy Rothaar is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer on online colleges and universities for the Guide to Online Schools.

Rumors and Dis-information rule the NBA Draft talk.

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Blake Griffin NBA Draft

Rumors and Dis-information rule the NBA Draft talk.

NOTE: Niblets will become a once a month feature starting on the first Saturday in July.

How do you know if a politician is lying to you? Are his lips moving? The same thing can be said for NBA general managers and coaches leading up to draft time.

Even so, the rumors are flying and some of them are interesting. As I reported earlier this week, one has the Suns trading PF Amar’e Stoudemire to Minnesota for C/PF Al Jefferson and the 6th pick in this year’s draft. Humm! Stoudemire is coming off eye surgery and will be a free agent next season. The Suns have been trying to cut payroll for years. They have traded away their first round picks in most of the recent drafts. However, the Timberwolves have denied this rumor. The Suns might be thinking about keeping Shaq at C and making Jefferson the PF. Jefferson is not physical and could be more effective against 4s than 5s.

I wonder if that indicates that C Shaquille O’Neal may be on his way out of Phoenix? On that subject, Suns GM Steve Kerr admitted he has talked to half the teams in the league about Shaq. Cleveland seems to be the favorite so far. Anyone that will take Shaq and can give back anything the Suns can use including players that wish to retire (Ben Wallace).

Memphis is desperate to move the #2 pick. They would love to move down about 5 spots to get a big man.

“Take my shooting guard—please!” Houston is looking to dump SG Tracy McGrady and his one year 23 million dollar contract. McGrady, 29, has a lot left but has lost the confidence of the Rockets coaching staff. The team would take a bag of balls for him but NBA rules require that salaries offset. That makes McGrady hard to move.

“Player X is falling faster than the Dow Jones” Don’t buy anything you hear and only about half of what you see this time of year. Interestingly enough, the reports of players falling are from teams on which the players mentioned would fit the best.

One guy in particular, PG Ricky Rubio, has been mentioned as falling the most. What did he do wrong? Nothing. No one doubts his ability on the court. The only question is the cost of the buyout of his contract in Spain. Given the economy of the US, some teams may shy away from drafting him because of the cash cost of that buyout.

The bottom line: This draft is weak overall in both blue chip can’t miss guys and in depth of quality players. There will be little real quality after pick 16.

As always, someone will hit the jackpot with a second rounder that becomes special. Another team will pick a late first rounder that will be OK or a little better than that.

A couple of the teams at the bottom of the draft will pick a foreign player that can stay in their current league for a year or two to save money.

Little guys at PG or SG will out perform big guys drafted much higher.

Other than that, nothing much is going to be special about the 2009 draft. The draft will be held on June 25.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on and edits .

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