I've been following the Knicks for 16 years now, since we got cable - I'm 27 now. The way I followed the Knicks since I was 9 years old, I follow them the same way now, which is, if there's a game on, on a certain night, then I must make sure I'm in a predicament where I can watch it.
I grew up and struggled like the rest of us in those years. But, when the Knicks did well, it encompassed everything. It took over life. Nothing could have stopped me.
I used to play ball at corner park. I balled with with my sleeves up and I went to play with heart, because I wanted to embody the New York Knicks; I was too young to realize that playing hard was singular. That what I put forth only emboldened greatness in me not an entire franchise; that it wouldn't carry over to Game 5 when the Knicks played the Heat or Pacers.
What I try to relay to a friend was that I learned hard work and dedication by watching. That I didn't learn what hard work was but I witnessed it, and then I took what I saw in sports and applied it to life. Watching the Knicks, sharpened, what was shown to me in my household by my first-generation hard working dedicated father. It was my father coming home late after work, rooting for the Knicks along with me and I wanted that to define what it meant to be successful.
The principle was putting forward your best foot; the understanding was that nothing less would be deemed exceptable.
I could go on, volumes worth, how basketball, how the Knicks are a beautiful metaphor when it comes to struggle and success. I've succeeded but not without the taint of struggle still there. I am successful now on the surface, but all those that new me through my shortcomings -all would say one thing, he's a Knicks fan, and he's a hard worker.
If I can say one thing to the Knicks, and I pray if any of ya'll on this blog can get that close to tell them, tell them in regards to this Friday, that if this particular Knicks fan could speak to them then he would them that I don't make millions of dollars, and I would tell them it's not just a game. I work hard and I struggle and I stress but a win this Friday would be one of the happiest moments in the last decade that I've had, because metaphorically a win in that moment would embody the ups and downs, and the hope that one UP can make a difference. So please play as hard as I hustle.