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.

Is there a teeny tiny silver lining on the Dark Cloud over the Cavs?

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Lebron

The NBA Finals are going on. The NHL finals are on. And what is everyone talking about? Where will LeBron James be playing next season?

Everybody is talking to cab drivers that may or may not have given LeBron a ride to the airport to find out where he will sign. Don’t trust the rumors from cab drivers. If Cavs fans are going to go out on a limb all the way to the leaf stems, let’s do it at least with some logic.

My daughter is a great sports fan and always has some unique insights into the events of sports. In a conversation today, she came up with one very small thin silver lining on the dark cloud of LeBron’s free agency for Cavs fans.

In his one statement since the team’s season ended so abruptly, LeBron said that he would make a decision that would be the best for him and his family. So what might influence that decision?

The question that Kristina posed to me was what parent wouldn’t want to make the lives of their children better than their own childhood? The answer is clearly every parent wants the best for their children.

LeBron’s childhood was marked by moving around a lot. That was one thing that made his childhood very difficult. Now if he stays his wife and kids will avoid being uprooted. That would not only allow him to avoid for his kids the issues he faced as a child but would give Cav fans something about which to cheer. Frankly, that makes more sense than anything I have heard up to now as a basis upon which LeBron will make his decision.

Besides, where else could LeBron be the star player, head coach and general manager all at the same time? There is no question that owner Gilbert is all in over LeBron. Gilbert knows that the value of his team will fall from 400M to 280M without LeBron. Finally we have a financial crash that Washington D.C. had nothing to do with!!! Gilbert has cleared the decks of anyone that even though about giving LeBron a dirty look. Coach Brown? History! GM Ferry? Gone! The latest rumor is that Gilbert has offered Michigan State coach Izzo. Some media types are saying that Izzo is Gilbert’s choice not LeBron’s. Make no mistake–No coach will get an offer or an interview without the official LeBron Seal of Approval.

Don’t hold your breath about Izzo leaving a very comfortable job he can have for life to come to Cleveland. It is not likely to happen. In fact, it is very unlikely that any name brand coach will agree to come to Cleveland until LeBron is signed by the Cavs. However, LeBron will be unlikely to sign until he knows who the coach will be.

But even if he stays, the 2009-10 roster is not capable of winning a title. The Cavs need an athletic big man that can defend the pick and roll. They also need a reliable second scorer. Even the GREAT Michael Jordan needed Pipen to begin to win titles. LeBron needs a #2 guy.

There are a few things that Gilbert can do to get some help for LeBron. Cleveland is not going to ever be a mecca for top free agents even with LeBron under contract. The only choice that Gilbert has is to trade for either a veteran player under contract or a high draft choice. In both cases the player would have to come to Cleveland. In either case, Gilbert is going to have to give up more than just Mo Williams, Delonte West and his 1st pick. He is likely going to have to give away some of the young talent like J.J. Hickson or Anderson Varejao. The team is also likely to get stuck with a VERY bad contract in order to get a deal done.

Most of all, they need a coach to implement an O–any old O will do. Brown was a D coach but way too often, there was little D to show for it.

The O of the Cavs worked great when it went though Shaq. It worked great when it went through Jamison. When it was LeBron with the ball and the other 4 guys standing around watching him, the O died. Hopefully any new coach will realize that and not let it happen again on a regular basis.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

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