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.
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