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Knicks Revivalism (Part I the 2010 Plan Holy Trinity)

[In keeping with Knicks’ spirit week resident blogger Orange and Blue offers his take on the divine nature of fandom and offers a positive take on the first year’s work of the new regime. Stay tuned for Part Two in which O&B questions the trajectory and moves, or lack thereof, of the new regimes. So join in and get ready to receive and  in Part 2 question the Spirit,… the Holy Spirit and Sacred Trinity of Knicks Sports Fandom!]

Fandom as Religion and Knicks Fans Messianic Dreams

Fandom is a quasi religious phenomena because of what it often entails- e.g., adoration, faith and loyalty, and zealous commitment throughout the team’s rising and waning fortunes. Examples of the quasi religious nature of fandom in general can be found in the shrines that adorn many a fanatics home, the idolization (and demonization) of players and personalities linked/associated with the team’s fortunes, and the shared and general belief amongst fans that their team, (despite their objective plight), will defy odds in any particular game, season or undertaking to carry the fanbase to the miraculous and euphoric. In the electronic age the religious experience of fandom has blossomed into different denominations as a result of the proliferation of team oriented weblogs-both corporate or private, sponsored or independent.

For the legions of Knick fans, fandom has not been an easy endeavor. With the Franchise’s last championship occurring over 35 years ago and the last championship run occurring during the 1998-99 season, the term “long suffering” has become an ever more apropos term for a fanbase whose arid plight can be likened to the Israelites march through the desert.  In the doldrums of a long championship drought, Knick fans, (and the organization as well), have searched for and sought out a Savior to lead the franchise to a championship resurrection. From the mid 1980s through the end of the century the drafting of center Patrick Ewing was supposed to usher in a return to glory but the teams at Ewing’s disposal at best came within a game of that much hoped upon return. The turn of the century then saw the Franchise pin it’s hopes, (and extend or acquire disproportionate contract offers), on the deteriorating Knees of Shooting Guard Allan Houston, and later upon the questionable character of Point Guard Stephon Marbury. Also, throughout the 1980’s into and through the turn of the century the Names of Knick adversaries such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant also figured prominently in conversations about a potential Knick messiah.

“The Knicks Holy Trinity” and Revivalist Mythology for Popular Consumption


I. A Franchise’s Downward Spiral

As 1973 slips into the distant memory, the sole decade of championship contention during the 1990s appears ever more like an oasis in a vast wasteland of organizational ineptitude. But for many Knicks’ fans the recent decade at the turn of the century came to represent the worst era of franchise futility- or at least the most dubiously publicized period. For instance, personnel decisions made during the first decade of the turn of the century, (a veritable what not to do for the potential Arm Chair GM), mired the organization in bad contracts and coaching and managerial instability, which at best ended in buyouts and settlement agreements but at worst tarnished the organizations public image under the glaring ravenous lens of the local sports media hawks.

II. A Revival

But just as the Franchise approached an apparent nadir, and Knick fandom was on the verge of losing its religion, a new vision of redemption emerged onto the spotlight of Broadway for the popular consumption and sedation of legions of fans. The new vision of the franchise’s championship resurrection easily became monumental orthodoxy cast in the form of an unassailable holy trinity. That holy trinity has come to encompass the persons, personalities and essences of Donnie Walsh, Lebron James and Newsday’s sports blog coverage of the Knicks.  This holy trinity captures the spirit of the times and marks a turning of the tide against the organizational failings and imbalances since the turn of the century.

In the Knicks holy trininty, “[ ]”onnie Walsh represents the Father Figure.  Cast as a wise and timeless figure, sort of like the creator gods of many religions, it is “[ ]” onnie Walsh who is assigned the task of recreating the Knicks into a Championship contender.  According to popular belief, “[ ]”onnie Walsh’s mythic creational/transformational powers come from a vast well of experience that imbues his managerial decisions with an other worldly patience necessary to carry out a master plan for the franchises resurrection.

Walsh Ressurection

If “[ ]”onnie Walsh is the Father of the Trinity, then Lebron James is the incarnate personification of the long desired franchise savior. As basketball’s king on earth, King James, is considered the chosen one, the one who will carry Knicks fandom to the promised land of an NBA Championship that has alluded the Franchise for over 35 years.  King James has to date certainly matched and or exceeded the hype that surrounded his entrance into the NBA, by displaying the legendary greatness attributed to him, during dramatic playoff performances against the Pistons and Magic, and by carrying an average Cavaliers’ team to the top seeding in the 2008-09 NBA Playoffs.

King Lebronclip_image006

But what would the Knicks resurrection and the return of its rumored savior be if the Zeitgeist of the ever-drawing moment did not find itself in the hearts and minds of Knicks fans. To that end a trinity is nothing without it’s Holy Spirit, which is inblognated in the Cablevision bought and owned, Newsday Sports Coverage of the New York Knicks.  Newsday’s coverage of the unfolding “resurrection” is spearheaded by the highly popular reporter/blogger Alan Hahn.   Hahn’s abilities as a prolific blogger, coupled with his careful consideration to his fan base of bloggers and overall affable personality has helped Newsday’s blog the Knicks Fix become one of the more important sources for disseminating the message, spirit and belief in the inevitable return of a Knicks’ Messiah and coming of a 2010 Championship resurrection.

Alan Hahn

III. The Trilogy and “The Plan” in 2010 as a Turning of the Tide

Collectively the trinity represents a shifting of the tide for the Franchise against mistakes of prior Knick regimes at the turn of the century. For instance the hiring of “[ ]”onnie Walsh, as the Head of Basketball Operations, signaled the end of a free wheeling era that reached it’s Zenith under Isiah Thomas.  That era can be said to be marked by numerous gambles in terms of acquiring talented yet highly priced players, either: 1) who were high risk due to character issues; 2) whose statistical production did not significantly improve the organization’s opportunities to engage in and succeed in post season play; 3) whose presence resulted in roster redundancies that negated the player’s value and cut into the development of younger players. Moreover the acquisitions of several of the highly priced yet non-impact talent on the Knicks rosters came at the high cost of lost future draft picks, that were traded away in the hopes that the talent acquired would flourish under Zeke’s management and influence, where they previously had faltered or exhausted their welcomes with their prior teams. To Walsh’s credit the greater part of his first full year as Head of Basketball Operations witnessed the jettisoning of high salary, yet low value per production players such as Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford. Walsh’s first year also witnessed the jettisoning of Knicks’ team Mascot Jerome James and the eventual dismissal of Brooklyn legend turned pariah, Stephon Marbury.

The shifting of the tide away from talented yet risky players and generally low value per production players, to an objective of targeting proven Star free agents suggested the organization had quite possibly learned certain lessons prominent in the management war rooms of the teams that had dumped their undesirables onto the Knicks roster.   To that extent the fascination with acquiring a player of Lebron James’ caliber in 2010, a/k/a “The Plan”, signals not merely a fan boy fantasy but also a partial revelation of what it might take to resurrect a moribund NBA Franchise. Thus for the Knicks Franchise a proverbial veritable lightbulb is finally turned on to illuminate the organization’s trajectory to a vision of acquiring a talent/saviour that many expect will lead the Knicks to a light at the end of the tunnel.

The Plan

Additionally, Walsh’s acquisition of Head Coach Mike “[ ]” Antoni, infused an upbeat atmosphere into the downtrodden lockeroom, while providing the players discipline and direction (on at least one side of the coaching equation). “[ ]”Antoni’s presence also signaled to the team that playing time, (with the exception of Stephon Marbury’s quarantine),  was not a given but would be earned by performance on the court and in practice. The Wally Pip Rule alluded to by Isiah Thomas, the formerly conflicted head coach and president of basketball operations, became a reality with the franchise under a separate head coach and Management. Notably, the Knicks in “[ ]”Antoni’s, first year at the helm had better balance on the line up between offensive and defensive players and youthful and veteran players on the court- e.g., the willing to utilize defensive reserve Jared Jefferies more frequently and to utilize him on opposing team’s point guards, the insertion of talented sophomore Wilson Chandler into the team’s regular rotation, the insertion of fan favorite David Lee into the starting line up.

As the franchise was steered towards an improved trajectory, Franchise ownership also directed their efforts to better controlling/combating the negative coverage of the Franchise by the local sports media outlets.  The Change in the Franchises media policy, from an iron curtain preventing reporter access to a more open approach signaling a détente with sports reporting entities was one step taken to change the Franchises image in the eyes of the local sports journals. The greater move however, involved the purchase of Newsday by Cablevision, which also owns the Knicks- and according to some even Alan Hahn. In a war for the hearts and minds of Knicks’ fans the purchase of Newsday represented the acquisition of a veritable Tokyo Rose/Axis Sally megaphone casting pro Knicks spin via Alan Hahn’s sports coverage of the Knicks as both reporter and blogger. The change in the Knicks media policy when coupled with the partisan voice cast in the Franchise’s favor by Newsday has quickly influenced other corporate Knicks’ fan blogs, which similarly disseminate the inevitability and certainty of the Knick’s Messiah’s return in 2010- see SNY’s Knicks Blog.


Aint “THE PLAN” Lovely?…


September 25, 2009 Posted by | 1973 Championship, David Lee, Donnie Walsh, Isiah Thomas, Jamal Crawford, James Dolan, Jared Jeffries, Lebron James., Michael Jordan, Mike D'Antoni, NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, New York Knicks, Newsday, Patrick Ewing, Scott Layden, Stephon Marbury, Trevor Ariza, Uncategorized, Zach Randolph | , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

LAS VEGAS DIARY: DAY 1, PART 2: Observations On Knicks’ First Outing

I had a great time yesterday guys, but I am pooped from watching so much B-Ball.  I haven’t watched that much ball in person since I followed the high school tourneys in Chicago years ago.   These type of competitions have a different type of fresh, enthusiastic feel where the players are still youthful in their energy and perspective about the game.  As the players walk into the arena towards the locker-room, they still look like kids with their over-sized shorts fanning the ground and backpacks hugging their shoulders tightly.   They try to look serious but often crack a smile and knock fists as they see a familiar or friendly face — a media personality, college rival or friend or just one of the hundreds who are part of the industry.

When Blake Griffin walked over to James Harden, who was being interviewed after a stellar game, and patted him on his back,  you could feel the sense of knowing between the two first and third overall picks respectively; the knowing that they were two blessed rare individuals in a similar circumstance.  Their stars are rising and they exude confidence — one can only hope they appreciate the moment.

As for the Knicks’ two first round draft picks, Jordan Hill and Toney Douglas, one can only wonder about how confident they are about their relative positions.  In his first game as a professional, Jordan Hill showed flashes of the force he could become, but generally his play was lackluster and  devoid of passion. He looked winded in an intensely played 90-86 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Surprisingly, he also seemed a bit disinterested early in the competition although he was going up against the highly touted Hasheem Thabeet.  You would think that Hill would be overexcited to show why he is better than Thabeet.  The saving grace for Hill, who scored 13 points and pulled in 8 boards, was that Thabeet had bust written all over him — and I am not referencing a bust that you put in the Hall of Fame.

I do think it is unfair to label someone on one performance, so I prefer to give Thabeet the benefit of the doubt.  He was winded within minutes of the start of the game.  Perhaps that is the result of the whirlwind life he’s faced moving from college to workouts to the draft and now to the summer league.  Thabeet had virtually no post game.  His feet moved as fluidly as a tangled vine in the post save for a decent hook move.  He also did not exhibit great strength. Again perhaps he was tired .

Hill didn’t look any better in the first half as he finished it with 2 points and 4 boards.  He strolled down the court and played the role of voyeur as opponents attacked the rim.  His footwork in the post was painful on the eyes.  He tries to face up and  is clearly over thinking moves that he doesn’t have before passing the ball out of the post.  He rarely tried to reposition himself in the post. Unimpressive. Uninspiring.  Get the big man doctor.  He, like Toney, drew quite a bit of  positive instructive attention from Phil Weber who was looking dapper in his best impression of Pat Riley roaming the sidelines.

Hill showed more energy in the second half and made a quick turnaround jumper about five feet from the rim.  The move was almost instinctive as he planted his foot on the turn and faded with a soft touch.  I think it was over Thabeet.

Toney Douglas on the other hand brought a lot of energy to the court as he demonstrated an ability to run Weber’s squad.  Toney has a strong build and quiet intensity in his game.  He keeps the ball near his body on the dribble as he challenges and splits defenders.  An excellent passer, he had 11 assists and would have had more if he had teammates other than Almond and Crawford who could score at will or consistently.

He performed extremely well while defending Marcus Williams, who has yet  to catch the starring role he covets, but possesses a NBA point guard’s game and frame, if not frame of mind.  At the endgame, William’s NBA experience showed as he began to out-duel Douglas.

Nikoloz Tskitiahvili will probably not make the team since we have a glut of forwards, but it would not be a horrible idea to have him as a role player.  He was easily the most energized big on the court in the Knicks-Grizzlies matchup.  He had 12 points and 4 boards, but was very active around the ball.

Morris Almond may not make the team either, but he would make up somewhat for the Knicks’ inability to pick up Stephon Curry.  No secret.  This man can shoot:  Pull-up jumpers, tres, teardrops. Bam, Bam, swish.  He went 7 for 12.  However, he didn’t seem to be as effective doing much else.  Morris Almond will be scoring for some team — why not the Knicks?

Joe Crawford also has a likable game although in New York and at least 46 other states he would be called a ball hog.  He had no assists as he went 4-9, including 1-4 from the tre. He is fearless on the drive and get get the ball in the basket with bigs around him, unlike Toney who seemed to be a bit challenged in getting the ball in the basket around the rim with bigs hovering over him.

. . .

It turns out that I didn’t need those credentials anyway, although I could write these pieces a lot faster with internet access which I can’t get until I return to my sister’s house which was after midnight this time.

Part of the fun is meeting and talking to a wide variety of fans during and after the games.   There are plenty of Knicks fans here and the opinions about the quality and direction of the Knicks is as diverse as a bag of Halloween candy.  And trick or treat just about sums it all up.  One fan who I hung out with is willing to give the Knicks a four (more) year window to become a playoff contender.  He is so mad at Isiah that he wants everything Zeke touched to be shipped out the way of Anucha Browne (and Isiah Thomas).

One of my favorite fans is a scout who I talked with for about fifteen minutes before he told me he was Toney Douglas’ dad and that he has another son who plays for the Falcons.  It was a great conversation which I will share later in an interview we’ll be doing later.  But, I must admit that now Toney Douglas will definitely be one I root for (I was actually doing that anyway, but now I have another reason).  So, I admit now that if I don’t talk badly about Douglas as I do Duhon, you know why.  Full disclosure.  But, I will say that Douglas needs to take and hit those open shots or opponents will be treating him like Rondo without the ring.

I missed Anthony Randolph’s performance which had the arena abuzz.  I chose to watch James Harden battle the Lakers and Adam Morrison.  That was another great game and Harden is the real deal.  I’ll talk about him more later too.

Later, I’ll share some more atmosphere stuff like the irritating effort to make the arena sound like an NBA stadium with all the loud music, sound effects and cheesy dance competitions between quarters.  I do like the T-shirt tosses, but I clearly need to sit in a higher row to get a T-shirt. Not happening.

Gotta roll.  Hopefully, I  can get today’s report out a little faster.  We’ll see.  Keep hope alive.  I’ll try to read the comments and LBE sometime today if I can get WiFi away from the house .

July 15, 2009 Posted by | Jordan Hill, NBA Draft, NBA Summer League, New York Knicks, Toney Douglas | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment



The Celtics tied the series 2-2 with a beautiful last second jumper by “Big Baby” Davis who looked like a ballerina as he lifted himself off the floor to hit the shot. It was beautiful, but it made me think about how maligned he would be as a New York Knick. Arguably, Big Baby’s game is not as good as David Lee’s game but in some ways they are similar. Both are inside players and both have learned how to become a bit more accurate with that mid-range jumper. Both have questionable defensive skills and little lateral foot speed, but Davis uses his considerable girth as an obstacle where as David Lee will sweep clean a corridor to the basket to make it more accessible to the opposition. I think Bradley has it right that Lee would make a good part of a Championship contender, just like Big Shot, Big Baby Davis.


Stephon Marbury tells almost all in a compelling and informative interview with Lang Whitaker in  Slam OnLine.    Stephon gives us some insight into what has happened with him psychologically over the past few tumultous and  disappointing (at least to Knicks fans) past few years.  He also expresses the wonderment of finally being in an atmosphere with a Championship mentality. starbury129a
Lang lets Stephon’s words speak for themselves and fill in some critical blanks for us.     My only disappointment about the Whitaker piece is that Marbury did not really answer the question concerning what it was like to play with Isiah.  After exhaling, Marbury said , “That’s another feature. We could do it, but…another feature. . . . It’s like this: It’s like you thought you had a problem that you figured out, and then all of a sudden it’s not even the question or the answer. It’s just…mindblowing. It’s mindblowing, man…it’s mindblowing.”

Other than that sidestep, I recommend that Fanatics interested in piecing together some of the internal workings of the knicks recent past and the Marbury mind, read this.

I found this joint courtesy of our friend Modi, who sports quite the Stabury article collection — mostly written by him of course.  His latest piece on Marbury, “I’d rather own than be owned,” can be found here.


I had a little time on my hands, so I went Antiquing at the Avatar Antique shop this weekend and I found these potential Avatars for our friends CooleyHigh and Statesman.  The last proposed Avatar is the pic from Modi’s Cosellout website.  I think the pics fit quite nicely, although the notion of Mao raising the O’Brien Trophy should probably be a picture dedicated and donated to David Stern.  Check ’em out.  Whatayathink?

Cooleyhigh Preacherman








May 11, 2009 Posted by | Boston Celtics, David Lee, Isiah Thomas, New York Knicks, Patrick Ewing | , , , , , , | 14 Comments



In this month’s Sports Illustrated, Phil Taylor writes what is essentially a prayer to the basketball Gods to release Jamal Crawford from a horrible curse that has been crueler to only three other professional ballers.  Only NBA Players Tom Van Arsdale, Otto Moore and Nate Williams have played in more basketball games without making the playoffs,  Of course it eats at the former Knicks star that none of his 597 games include a post-season game.

“Guys tell me that being in the playoffs is like walking on air,” Crawford tells Taylor. “They say it’s unbelievable, that your aches and pains from the season don’t even hurt anymore. When you’re in the playoffs, it’s all you think about. I just want to know what that’s like.”

Jamal had a tough season although he averaged 19.7 points and 4.4 assists.   After the Knicks got off to a decent start in the first 11 games of the season, Crawford (Crawsome to some, Crawful to others)  was surprisingly traded to the Warriors for Walsh’s project Al Harrington with a promise of more defense and better inside scoring.   Crawford had the misfortune of winding up with Don Nelson who seems to remind one of Dean Martin at the end of his show after he dropped a shot or two of Johnnie Walker Red down the hole in his kidney.  Nelson who is famous for not knowing how to end relationships has threatened to trade Crawford, perhaps to a playoff team, if he does not opt out.   In an April 17th interview with ESPN, Crawford sounds like the sound businessman as he embraces the Warriors like he is still a Warrior.  When asked what he took away from the season, Jamal responded  “Of course …watching the young players play. Seeing how they developed was great and seeing the future of our team.”

Jamal  was certainly one of my favorite Knicks.   In NYC, he was smart, personable and exciting to watch.  Of course, he was infuriating on defense even on D’Antoni’s team which didn’t play NBA style defense, but he was far better to watch than Statesman’s fave one, Larry “the Bricklayer” Hughes.  There is also something special about watching good players grow with your team or system. Jamal still says it was an honor playing for Isiah, who turned him into a starter and a star.  Unfortunately for Crawford, basketball is a team sport and while it is much easier to make the playoffs these days, a player still needs to be on the right team at the right time. While Crawford should not be the number one star of a playoff team, he can certainly contribute to a good team.  Some fans may not think so, but other ballers dig his game.

The Dallas Mavericks are right — he is certainly one of the best players never to play in a playoff game.  But remember, Phil Mickleson was once the best golfer never to win a major.  The sports Gods are fickle until the players get it right.  I’m betting that Crawford gets it right before he retires.

Postseason Dreamin’
These players have played the most regular-season games without making a playoff appearance (active players are in bold)
Player Games
Tom Van Arsdale 929
Otto Moore 682
Nate Williams 642
Jamal Crawford 597
Troy Murphy 549
Popeye Jones 535
Eddy Curry 504
Mike Dunleavy Jr. 499
Doug Overton 499
Geoff Huston 496
Lee Mayberry 496
Source: NBA

April 28, 2009 Posted by | Al Harrington, Donnie Walsh, Isiah Thomas, Jamal Crawford | , | 16 Comments

Isiah Thomas Moves On To The Next Phase Baby


If you love redemption stories, you gotta love this Easter 2009 tale in which an embattled NBA Executive overcomes likely banishment to basketball purgatory after being dragged through basketball hell on his own wheels.  Instead of being blackballed from basketball for being the nominal steward of one of the Knicks’ worst eras, on and off the court,  in recent memory, Mr. Isiah Thomas starts the process of rebuilding his career and name by taking a head coaching job at the relatively obscure college basketball program of Florida International.

If you love redemption stories, you gotta love that Mr. Thomas ignores the critics who claimed that he would never be able to coach again.  It ain’t none of my business, but I do wonder about that mess surrounding his alleged suicide attempt in which he publicily involved his daughter.  The episode curiously included a publicity seeking Police Chief who , in violation of HIPPA and police department protocol, made public comments regarding Isiah’s role in the events at his home.  I wonder because I am curious as how the suicide attempt is reconciled to this man’s apparent “never-say-die” approach to life.  Is it that even the strongest of us can buckle under the pressure?  Or is it simply that there was no suicide attempt, just an overdose of pills that far too many people take in multitudes in order to fall asleep?  I just wonder.

But what I don’t have to wonder, is that this guy does not give up.  Given that his tenure as a coach of the New York Knicks was an abysmal failure and his stint as an Executive suffered significantly because he overestimated his ability to relate to the priority and pride of his star players, for Mr. Thomas to accept a job at Florida International is impressive.  He clearly understands the value of failure and how it can the necessary skills and lessons needed to move forward towards success.  How well he has learned from this last episode remains to be seen.

What is even more impressive is that he is giving back his salary to the educational institution, especially since he has made a ton of money by traveling arond the country to enjoy college sporting events while earning his money by “not advising” Donnie Walsh according to Walsh.  Some may not see this as a big deal, but it is, especially when you compare it to the money made by preachers from athelete tithing as seen today on ESPN’s “Behind The Lines” 

So Isiah moves on to a new phase in his life.  It is a good move for him, because he is clearly an excellent teacher, particularly for young men of color.  What he gives the youngsters will hopefully make him a better person for himself. And in Florida, unlike New York, he won’t be faced with a media that will claim he brainwashed his players like a modern day Rasputin.  And we won’t be subjected to another MSM comment about Isiah’s wardrobe (which is as dapper as D’Antoni’s unmentioned closet) as though it’s hard to believe a black man could wear a nice suit.

As a Knick Fan, I am glad to see Isiah move on — I wish he had taken Walsh with him, but we’ll deal with that later.   Also as a fan of redemption stories, I am glad that he has humbled, and thereby strengthened, himself enough to start over.   We will see him in the NBA again.  He is smart and he has skills.

April 19, 2009 Posted by | Donnie Walsh, Isiah Thomas | , | Leave a comment

NBA TOP 10 – 3 Avril 2009 Video

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Welcome, to the new home of Knicks Fanatics.  We’re dedicated to providing a comfortable multi-media home to a band of brothers and sisters who love to love their Knicks even in a down economy or a period when the fortunes of the Knicks seem upside down with little upside.   It is a place where every view is welcome — welcomed to get slapped around as we collectively mine for the truth and undermine the lies. This is the spot where the debates get hot and heavy and sometimes pseudo-personal, but it is all out of love for our home team.

The bottom line is that this is the thinking fans’ site.  We have fans of all different persuasions including those persuaded by the pedestrian analyzes often promoted by the MSM (Mainstream Media).   Whatever you believe, bring it and be ready to support it, because we’re just like the 2008-09 version of the Knickerbockers — when we are on our home court, we don’t play.

In any event, I hereby christen this blog with some gems from the NBA Video Store.  Enjoy.  Let’s rock ‘n roll folks.

April 12, 2009 Posted by | Boston Celtics, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments