The following is my December 25, 2008 journal entry as I travel around the Knicks Blogosphere.
In my travels, I had hoped to take the high, happy road to understanding the state of Knicks Nation, both on and off the court. I wanted to bask in the positive light of change. Change of management. Change of attitude. Change of losing culture. Change of change for the sake of change. I have grown so tired of the negativity that I just wanted a positive trip for a change.
So, for a guaranteed burst of positive energy, I traveled first to Knicks.com, the heart of all Knick Love. Dolan’s new marketers, hired from the NBA front office, would not disappoint. Even in these economic hard times, Jimmy D would be no scrooge to Scott O’Neill the MSG Exec overseeing all marketing efforts for the Knicks.
For sure, if JimDoe could give the last marketing exec an $11 million parting gift, offer a $21 Million coupon to Marbury for running the hills of LA and toss a few million in therapy money to Zeke and Larry Brown, then Dolan could afford to spend a little cash on someone who actually worked for him.
As expected, I found lots of kissy kissy love on Knicks.com. The love tone was set by an Al Harrington interview which was filled with not so subtle accolades as the nomadic forward discussed the logistics of being traded. It was a lovely loving piece. No hint that Harrington, while shackled to Don Nelson, was being disruptive or less than a team player because he refused to play. Such behavior is only condemned when done within the tri-state area.
Even more loving was the lead into the story, which actually stated “nothing gets sports fans more riled up than hearing their favorite team in [sic] on the verge of completing a blockbuster deal for a top notch player who could be the final piece to a possible championship run.”
What could be more positive than suggesting, without saying, that Harrington “could” be the final piece to a championship run? Not even referring to him as a high school legend or stating that he “has been nothing short of sensational since joining the Knicks” can make a Knick fan feel more positive than the words “Championship Run.” The only time that the term “Championship Run” is negative to a Knicks fan is when it is uttered in reference to the Boston Celtics or some other despised foe.
As I read the article, I saw an advertisement in Flash offering me free Kool-aid. I wanted to drink the Kool-aid. It seemed like the right thing to keep me in the kissy kissy frame of mindlessness. I would have wetted my tongue, but I was frightened by the Jim Jones label on the bottle, although the skull and crossbones glittered in cute pink.
I didn’t drink, but I still refused to think about Harrington’s stats negatively. Harrington was now scoring double his NBA lifetime average according to the article. I refused to attribute that suggested stat to the point-stat inflation of a D’Antoni offense. I refused to focus on the average stats of his last five games – 19 points, 5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.0 turnovers, 1.2 steals, 0.6 blocks. I knew as a good Knicks fan that it’s not all about the numbers, at least not the numbers on the court. Add those 19 points to $40 million in cap space, ten more victories than last year, the transporter beaming of Black Hole Zach to Clipperworld and hot sex with a prostitute who hasn’t slept with a politician and you could have a very positive night.
So far, my trip is good.