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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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That Fighting Spirit
Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I’ve written about my Knicks a number of times on this site and over the past few years little of what I’ve had to say has been complimentary sans my adulation of the play of one David Lee. Well, a funny little thing happened on the way to what appeared to be another mediocre season. On Saturday night the Denver Nuggets decided they wanted to pour it on. Up by 20 with only a few minutes left, and with every Knicks starter on the bench, the Nuggets left their starting five in to run fastbreaks and score as much as possible. Isiah Thomas, who I, like every Knicks fan, have been hyper critical of, had finally had enough. He brought back the Isiah Thomas of the Bad Boys days. With two minutes to go he apparently told Carmelo Anthony that it “wouldn’t be a good idea to go anywhere near the paint.” A minute later Mardy Collins threw J.R. Smith, who was driving right into the paint on a fastbreak, to the ground and brawl ensued. While many have said the incident was awful, as a Knicks fan I have to say it brought back my faith in the team.

Anyone who’s rooted for the Knicks for any significant length of time knows that some of our best teams were ones that sparked some of the biggest fights. Who doesn’t remember Jeff Van Gundy wrapped around Alonzo Mourning’s ankle during the playoffs, or Derek Harper going medieval on an entire Bulls team? We have always been the team that beats you physically, and if you try to show us up we will make use of all six of our fouls per player to make sure any victory against us has some kind of negative effect on you. This past Saturday our current crop of overpriced stars and underutilized youngsters became a team. They said they weren’t going to take being bullied anymore, joined forces and made something happen. They lost the game by 23, but they physically beat up the Nuggets, got their star suspended for fifteen games, and may have even affected him mentally. In essence, this team of somewhat randomly assembled players became Knicks this past Saturday night.

Though no one will ever come close to being the player John Starks was Nate Robinson is angling to be the modern day version of Basketball John. Listed at five feet nine inches Robinson comes equipped with a massive Napoleon complex, constantly trying to prove his height doesn’t matter. This came in handy when wanted to body slam a member of the Nuggets into the front row. Before Saturday night Robinson was known as the guy who needed a bazillion attempts to hit a dunk in the slam dunk contest. Now he’s known as that guy who threw down someone twice his size in the brawl and was looking to hit someone else afterwards. The ten game suspension for the incident just cements his place in Knicks history.

Then we have the issue of the Nuggets Carmelo Anthony. Melo was leading the league in scoring and on his way to the All-Star game before the brawl erupted. During the brawl, however, he proved himself to be a bit of a coward. After the initial fight had simmered down Carmelo rushed in to sucker punch a Knicks player then RAN AWAY, backpedaling as fast as he possibly could all the way to half-court. Hey Melo, it looks like that yellow streak doesn’t just go down the side of your jersey. For a guy who wants people to stop snitching you sure made yourself look like a little punk. A bit of advice for you Melo, if you’re going to get involved be involved for real. Either be in it or out of it, none of this punch and run nonsense. I can see your next shoe ad now, “buy the new Melo’s, they’re light for when you have to run away from a fight you should have never jumped into in the first place.” Jared Jeffries gets all the credit in the world from me for attempting to chase him down even if he never got the chance to take a swing at him.

In the end seven players were handed down suspensions by the NBA. Now, the Knicks weren’t exactly tearing up the league before this incident, heck, it was sparked by being mad at being down by 20 at home, so what would happen playing with a massively depleted roster was anybody’s guess. Game one with an eight man team was Monday night. We beat the Jazz on a last second shot. David Lee had 17 points and 20 boards. Renaldo Balkman has 15 boards. Channing Frye had 10 and 10. Did someone say “inspired?” With the terrible state of the Atlantic Division, the Knicks, if we can come anywhere near .500, have a legitimate shot at the playoffs. If we make it there we’ll all look back on this past Saturday night as the turning point. I, for one, am proud to be a Knicks fan again.
posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:10 AM  
  • At 8:32 AM, Blogger R2K said…

    : )

  • At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Dr.Smoov said…

    Another thing worth commenting on is that Camby, one of my favorite Knicks from brawls years before, stayed out of it. He knows what it means to me a Knick and wanted no part of that brawl.

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