I’m going to tell another tale about the origin of my loyalty to the New York Knicks. The day I became a Knicks fan, I was told to root for them as if it was my birthright. My cousins—on my father’s side, all three of them much older than me—said that all the men in our family are Knicks fans. I would have been a fool to argue with them and say I was into the Chicago Bulls because Michael Jordan was the most popular man in sports in 1992, which I did. At that point I shrugged and switched sides with no hesitation. Then they proceeded to debate over the landmark adoption of a new Knicks logo with the triangle background, upgrading from the round ball symbol the Knicks had been using since the 1970s. Needless to say, there was some reluctance from my family because they grew up with the foundation of Walt “Clyde” Frazier and legendary coach Red Holtzman. The rest of the afternoon I would be reminded that I was a Knicks fan in case I forgot. It’s always been that serious. Knicks pride is not to be taken lightly, especially because Brooklyn is trying to create a new home for New York basketball when there’s been one since 1946. Here’s the thing, for many of us (Brooklynites), we bleed orange and blue, not white and black. Over in Wisconsin, green and yellow seeps out of their pores because of what is known as the Vince Lombardi trinity. God, family, and the Green Bay Packers are the starting points of their priorities. As far as I’m concerned, the Knicks are in the place of the Packers. Religion isn’t that high on the list, but I at least know where my loyalty to sports teams lies.
There was a point to this post, other than to be nostalgic about my home’s team. For those who can’t get enough of the Knicks, there’s at least six solid ways to experience them outside of catching games on television. Had I known that there were other deep insights into the score and highlights on Twitter or on ESPN Live Stream, I wouldn’t have been boo-hooing last year when MSG and Time Warner Cable had a major contractual dispute. This blackout of MSG was darker than the 23-59 season of 2005-06 under coach Larry Brown. Having more outlets is good for the Knicks because you can never have enough analysis. Hence NYKExtra, which follows each game with post-game reactions by players on top of perspective by fans via Twitter. It also opens up the conversation about a team with hope, and its fair share of flaws like any NBA franchise. In the 2012-13 season, it’s been frightening to see the Knicks struggle, yet equally shocking in victory despite the litany of injuries sustained by their top tier players Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton. Looking back on last season, there was a time when I didn’t even have cable TV. I was so lucky to watch Knicks games on NBC because they were so good in the ’90s that they were a gold mine for ratings. Sure they weren’t taking home the brass at the end of the season. Yet every team knew that the starting lineup of Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Derek Harper, Anthony Mason, and Charles Oakley were not to be trifled with. This season it’s just as interesting. Click below for a who’s-who list of sources delivering a Knick fix.