By Sir Hollis
I grew up in Hollis, Queens and was proudly raised in New York City’s largest borough. I was nourished by Gaby’s Pizza (which I still personally rate the best pizza in the world) and local bodega sandwiches. I was toughened by the asphalt from outdoor basketball courts and relentless winters (including the wicked blizzard of 96). My lungs circulated the murky, polluted air. My ears still ring from hours of riding trains, buses and sitting in traffic jams longer than watching Roots and Braveheart back to back (with commercials). As adolescence escaped me and the time to become a man arrived, I found myself living outside of NYC for the first time at 18 to attend college. Many a night I yearned for a beef patty and cocoa bread from my favorite Caribbean restaurant Wilson’s on Guy R Brewer blvd. Many a night I yearned to see a live performance in a subway car for free with the option of a small monetary donation. Many a night I yearned to see the brilliant art pieces that graced abandoned buildings and decorated the makeshift homes of the homeless who resided under bridges. Many a night I yearned to sit in a barber shop and argue one of the world’s greatest debates “Biggie, Jay-z or Nas?” Many a night I yearned to listen to Funk Master Flex drop an exclusive song on Hot 97 while interrupting it with a million bomb sound effects or hear an invigorating dancehall mix with invigorating adlibs by Bobby Konders. Most importantly though, I yearned to be back in NYC rooting for my beloved Knicks.
My loyalty to lovable losers has been a lifelong struggle. I entered the womb a Knicks, Mets and Jets fan thanks to my father. In my 30 years on this earth, my teams have won a grand total of ONE championship. Nevertheless, throughout all of the losing and mind-blowing decisions, I have been as faithful as a man can be. So true is my love for Lady Liberty. I am proud to have been raised in New York City, but the time has come to say “Fuck That Bitch!”
I was watching, or should I say suffering, through another Knick loss the other day; this time to the Dallas Mavericks. We started off horribly. Carmelo Anthony kept us afloat barely with timely passing (he had 8 assists). Derek Fisher, our novice coach is somehow among the highest paid coaches in the league decided we are now last year’s Kentucky Wildcats and platoon substituted our entire bench in despite not getting much production from them all season. Luckily, we closed the gap somewhat when our improved defense coupled with a lull in the Mav’s play coincided perfectly. Then, our sensational rookie Kristaps Porzingis, who started the game off shaky, began to heat up. We cut the lead heading into crunch time. Carmelo Anthony pulled up for a jump shot and was CLEARLY fouled by Wes Matthews who was holding onto his arm. Enraged by an accumulation of no-calls not just in this game, but every season, he got an untimely technical foul followed by a silly offensive foul call late in the game. The Knicks drop to 10-12 and are facing a road trip.
Nothing major right? Mediocre teams go through things like this all the time right? In fact, if you would have told me we’d be only 2 games below .500 at this point in the season with the tough schedule we faced from the onset, I’d be shocked. So why am I pissed despite knowing we are a mediocre team?
The fans and the media! I could beautifully describe them with a litany of SAT words that make me sound a lot smarter than I am, but quite frankly “they suck” more than suffices. Much like the rhetoric that the USA is the undoubted greatest country in the world, it’s time Knicks fans quit patting themselves on the back for having the most knowledgeable fan base and media in the world. NYC sports fans and media SUCK!!! They follow the same model for every sport and it perplexes me how nobody else seems to notice it. We’ve had this mind-numbingly idiotic history of blaming our best players for everything and over glorifying role players who absolutely suck. That coupled with NYC’s obsession with hiring coaches and front office personnel with the biggest name, regardless of fit or credentials, is the foundation for one of the most fucked up fan bases in all of sports.
Let’s focus on the Knicks though. The overwhelming majority of the rhetoric every year is “blame Melo.” After last game, it was no different. The “Kristaps is clearly our best player” tweets began to file in. The Carmelo Anthony trade scenarios from everyone who can access to ESPN trade machine were ever prevalent. Every year someone on the Knicks not named Carmelo steps up for a few games, we want to trade this guy. (Remember Jeremy Lin?) Well let me remind some of you fools something. In what has been a down year for our star player coming off of knee surgery, he is STILL leading our team in ppg, 2nd in rpg, and tied with our starting PG for 1st in apg. Let me take that a step further. Let me remind you that the guy we’ve been pushing out of the door had a Knicks season where he was 2nd in MVP voting and won the scoring title. He then followed that season with a season in which he had more ppg, rpg, bpg, shot better from the FT line and shot better from 3 (a career high 40%) than the consensus best player in the game LeBron James (not saying he is better).
So why is it that we’re the only fan base that seems to want to rid ourselves of a perennial allstar? Because we’ve established a culture of doing so. Younger Knicks fans may not remember, but Patrick Ewing wasn’t always getting the standing ovations he does now every time he comes back to the Garden. He was constantly being criticized for not winning a ring despite the fact that he had played with a mediocre PG for many of his Knicks years. When Bernard King went down with his infamous knee injury, Knicks fans didn’t really bat an eye when he was released. Nobody refers to the day we got rid of King as a terrible day in Knicks history despite the fact that King went on to have 3 more season avg 20 or more ppg; something that could have benefitted a young Patrick Ewing and Mark Jackson led Knicks team. Which brings me to my next point. Why aren’t Knicks fans historically outraged by their team inexplicably trading Mark Jackson for Doc Rivers (beyond his prime) and Charles Smith (whose name should ring a bell among Knicks fans)? We also drafted Rod Strickland (who was my favorite player growing up) despite having Mark. Then, supposedly complaining about not starting, what did we do? Play him and Mark together like Clyde and Pearl? Nope. Use him to replace former Rookie of the Year Mark Jackson because Mark had a down year? Nope. We traded BOTH of them. Yes Knicks fans. We got rid of Rod Strickland, Mark Jackson, Bernard King. All New Yorkers. All highly productive. What did we get in return? An old Mo Cheeks. An old Doc Rivers and a guy who cost us an extremely important game because he couldn’t make a layup. Ask my fellow Knicks fans who is the blame for why the Knicks have sucked for most of our lives however and you’ll hear the same cast of characters. Isaiah Thomas, Stephon Marbury, some even say Carmelo Anthony. Yes Carmelo Anthony. The guy averaging about 25 ppg and 7 rpg as a Knick. The guy who put up 62 points in a game and pretty much sat out most of the 4th. That guy. Who are the Knicks we glorify? Lets make a roster. This is what we’d look like if Knicks fans and media had their way (I’m talking to you Mike Breen).
PG Jeremy Lin
SG Danilo Gallinari
SF Justice Winslow
PF Jared Jeffries
C Tyson Chandler
These are the guys who are the beloved Knicks while the Stephon Marbury’s and Carmelo Anthony’s of the world are loathed. It is because of this, despite years of being loyal, I must break up with Lady Liberty and say “fuck that bitch.” Fuck you Lady Liberty. Your hip-hop is trash now. Your real estate is ridiculously small and overpriced. Your traffic is excruciating. Your potholes are deeper than a prostitute. You’ve commercialized and capitalized the beauty that is graffiti art and made it unattainable for the very population known for creating it (try buying a house in Williamsburg, Brooklyn). Your authentic eateries are too expensive and fancy, or replaced by places like Golden Krust, Chipotle and Panda Express. Your summer basketball tournaments and HS basketball scene is as bad as your music. Most importantly, your sports fan base and media disgusts me. You are no longer the woman I fell in love with. Fuck you and everything you stand for!