One of the biggest challenges in writing this blog essentially on a daily basis has been trying to keep the mindset of the Knicks fan in the moment.
Mike D'Antoni was the 90s Knicks fan's Anti-Christ.
Jeremy Lin is the savior to young fans who don't remember 1999.
Carmelo Anthony's success only matters in the playoffs and Amar'e Stoudemire's contract was a horrid decision by Donnie Walsh.
Speaking of Walsh, why does he get so much credit at the expense of Isiah Thomas? What about Scott Layden?
You get the idea. Staying in the moment here is often challenging despite the fact that we follow and write posts on a daily basis from October to September. I don't blame fans for feeling that way, just pointing out the facts. To that end, I've always had a hard time with people who gave D'Antoni a hard time because of the fact that he didn't "care" about defense. He did towards the end of his tenure but by then it was too late. In the mind of most fans, most of whom remember the glory days of the 90s, D'Antoni disrespected the franchise and the uniform.
My argument was that the game had changed but there's no denying it. Knicks fans are about defense, no lay ups and toughness and trust me, I know why. I lived through the 90s, I get it.
If you know me you know Charles Oakley is my favorite Knick of all time with Ewing, Jackson and LJ all very close. Oak and Mason, as you know, were part of an era that made you proud to root for the Knicks win or lose. But X's toughness, paired with Oak, made teams fear the Knicks. To be fair, I'm sure Scottie Pippen is still having nightmares about him more than he is a repo man. X was a bad, bad man. HE and Oak even went at it once at MSG in the first row.
With Kenyon Martin firmly entrenched in the Knicks rotation I see him taking an eerily similar role to that of X-Man, thus making him the Knicks new X-Factor. If the Knicks are going to beat the heat, eventually, they are going to have to test their will. And with Lebron's quotes from Chicago the other day, it very well could be his and their only weakness. The Knicks will have to slow the game down to a halt and grind out battles with every Eastern Conference team but especially if they get to the conference finals.
Younger fans who missed these days you could be living them in the coming weeks but be forewarned. Be prepared to remember your Shakespeare. For they were fantastic and dramatic stories of brilliance, but in the end they were epic tragedies.