Knicks Fan, Maybe Knot For Long.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my NBA fanhood. I currently call myself a Knicks fan. If someone were to ask me right now what my favorite NBA team is, I would definitely say the Knicks. Even though they’ve been nothing but disappointing since 1999 and they haven’t won a championship since 1973. The Ewing era went ringless and this entire decade has been filled with early playoff exits, lottery picks, terrible trades and contracts, and of course losing. This summer ended with the anti-climatic signing of Amar’e Stoudemire, a failure to sign LeBron, and the disappointing trade of David Lee.

So here’s a brief re-cap of this decade of NY basketball. After losing to the Spurs in ’99, the early 2000’s were first round playoff losses to Toronto followed by missing the playoffs entirely. They made the playoffs in 2003 because with 30 or so wins they were the best team in th Atlantic division, which due to a rule change meant an automatic bid regardless of your actual record. That campaign ended in a sweep by the nets. Then comes Isiah and the promise to bring winning back to the mecca.

The knicks proceeded to suck, but not suck quite good enough to land in very good draft territory. Always picking from around the 8th spot, draftees have included Mike Sweetney, Nene, Lee, Balkman.. Most of which were busts. Of the quality draft picks, just about all of them have been traded away for nothing. Not that they’d be a contender with them, but at least there would be a young nucleus and some sort of identity. Think about David Lee, Nate Robinson, Nene, Ariza, Chandler….. Might actually be fun to watch. But no.

Heres the thing.. Im starting to lose my passion as a Knicks fan.  I became an official Knick fan in 1999, when they made the finals. I was 10, and living in CT they were a nearby team that seemed pretty good. I watched an exciting run to the finals, the climax being Larry Johnson’s 4 point play. And that is the first and last legitimate highlight I’ve had the glory of re-living, and it was the result of what was a very questionable call. Other than that, for me, what is there to be a fan of? Their history is alright, but if not for playing in New York, it wouldn’t be as glorified and would be similar to any smaller market team. Its cute, but it doesnt carry the same pride with it as Boston, LA, or Chicago. Nor were the Knicks as important to the league as these aforementioned teams in terms of the whole saving the league thing in the 80’s and 90’s. Even the truly legendary preformances that happened  at MSG during the 90’s were usually done at the hands of Reggie Miller or MJ.

What I am considering is becoming a Celtics fan. I know, its shameless to just ditch a team because they suck. But it’s just not fun to be a Knicks fan right now. Who knows how long the Celts will remain fun to watch, or what will become of them once their big three retire. But at least they have a proud history, and haven’t shown complete incompetence in their front office for the past 10 years. Besides, when I really started following basketball and learned about the league’s past, usually by watching NBA’s Greatest Games on ESPN during summer afternoons, I was always rooting for Boston and espcially Larry Bird, my all time favorite player.

Actually this has been more of a potential change of heart. I haven’t concisously chosen to not care about the Knicks. Literally, the past 3 or more season have been conceded in order to prepare for the 2010 free agency. There’s been no point to watch, or even get excited for games. It was like basketball purgatory. And after all of that failed planning, the Knicks best hope is probably looking forward to next summer yet again, when Carmelo will become a free agent. It’s all a sham. What’s the point? I’ve been pulled emotionally towards the Celts. I’ve been rooting for them throughout their playoff runs since 2008, and even was more sad than a not-actual-fan should be when they lost this year in the finals, and last year to the Magic. I guess I’ll see what happens, but I am leaning towards Celtic Pride. Am I committing a sports crime here?

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