With the lull of the offseason setting in, Stop Mike Lupica had the cool idea for Knicks bloggers to recall some of their personal Knick memories- on TV, at the Garden, and out in the real world. SML's post is worth a read, and he has passed the mic to me. I've spent the last few days trying to fully recall the best moments. Mind you, I'm some years younger than SML, so my favorite memories are a bit more recent. Anyway, here's what I've got:
- March 23, 1997: What I believe to be the first game I ever attended at Madison Square Garden. What I remember most was seeing the Blazers come out onto the court to warm up. I had never seen some of the Western teams before because I wasn't allowed to stay up for the 10:00 starts. So seeing these huge, unfamiliar guys- Rasheed Wallace, Cliff Robinson, Arvydas Sabonis- in their likewise unfamiliar black and red jerseys was plenty intimidating. The Knicks lost this one, and Isaiah Rider seemed like he might very well be the best player alive.
- November 23, 1997: I went to the Garden again, this time with my best friend and our dads. The Knicks were taking on the Grizzlies- another completely alien West-coast team. Bryant "Big Country" Reeves was on the cover of the program. I remember one defensive play in which Larry Johnson sprained his ankle and lay writhing on the floor as the Grizzlies went the other way. At the other end, the Knicks tried to foul a Grizzly to get LJ off the floor, and a fight ended up breaking out between Otis Thorpe and Charles Oakley (who got ejected), all while Johnson was still screaming in pain. That's how I remember it, anyway.
- Same game: My friend and I had brought basketballs and sharpies, hoping to get autographs from Walt Frazier. We begged and pleaded to stay after with our dads, who just wanted to go home and get some sleep (it was a Sunday). Finally, just as my friend and I were about to give up hope, Clyde made his way out of the booth and up into the stands of the completely empty Garden. He was flanked by security guards, but we managed, with Clyde's blessing, to get over to him. A few autographs (I got my poster and my basketball signed) and a brief conversation later, we had what we wanted. I distinctly remember Walt seeming tired, but being completely willing to accommodate our requests.
- January 16, 2004: Lenny Wilkens' first game. I was in attendance. JT of Kool and the Gang sang "Celebration" at halftime. The Knicks destroyed the Sonics. I was thoroughly convinced that Lenny Wilkens was our savior.
- Then there was, of course, the David Lee game in December of this season. My friend Al and I introduced the British guy sitting next to us to the game of basketball and showed him a damn good time with a fantastic finish.
- I remember seeing Antonio McDyess in a parking lot in what must have been 2003 and asking him when he was coming back. I didn't really get a straight answer.
- Some time in the late 90's my dad and I got hooked up with seats only a few rows back from the basket during a game against the Magic. I immediately went and sat in the front row to try and talk to the players. Darrell Armstrong came over to sign some autographs and decided to perch himself on my knee. Then Bo Outlaw tried to sit on my other knee, which didn't work quite as well.
- Also late in the 90's, my dad and I had similar seats against the Celtics. During warmups, a ball flew towards me. Paul Pierce yelled at me to pass it to him. I did. He dunked it. I have one career assist. Come to think of it, that may have been a Nets game, but whatever.
- During the Knicks-Heat series in 1997, my mom's friend from Upstate NY came to town and we were all forced to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I spent the entire time keeping track of the score on my mom's friend's phone, and nearly broke my neck rushing inside to catch the end when we got home.
Anyway, the mic is now passed to Jordi at the Serious Tip. His memory post should be up within a few days. Peace.