It is hard to imagine a time when we needed it more, frankly, in this flirtatiousness, dumbness, out-of-the-orange (and) -like surprises of a Knicks season. Forget the way our world has grown in the past year. Let’s just put it in our little sports corner of that solar system.
Let’s remember what has been around here over the years, underachievement and underperformance, from summer to winter, fall after spring, one game disaster after another, an endless loop of failure, endless morass of futility.
Islanders gave a round of oxygen last summer, and he was probably a precursor. They share the colors of the Knicks, after all, and as they beat the Panthers, Capitals and Flyers in the NHL bubble, the playoffs remind a New York faction of the prospects they expect.
But be honest about something: even that was different. What the Islanders did was a season that shut down the virus before any interruption, out of control, seven straight losses and 11 out of 13. His story was more a story of redemption than revelation.
this? It is different. This is a bag filled with mint baseball cards in your attic, years later found that your mother threw them in the trash. This is “Bank error in your favor!” Community Chest Card from Monopoly. This is the card of the river that is somehow completed directly inside you, when you mentally start cashing out for the night.
This is the gift that falls from the sky.
And in sports, gifts often do not fall from the sky.
Julius Randle said a few nights ago, “The game has an inexplicable, inexplicably eight-run game going on for Knox.” Good story in a great event, whose grip has increased with every win. “We know that there is a group of people there who will step in if we need to. It is fun to be a part of it. “
It’s almost as much fun to watch, and it’s impossible to understand in a hungry sports town. This is ridiculous, too: until this basketball season ends, there is every chance that the Nucks will become the story of the No. 2 hoops in their own city. The Nets are, after all, loaded with promise and talent. They are still a good bet to run the table this summer.
For now though?
For now the Knicks allow us to ignore the 2021 Yankees in hell of mimicking the 1921 Yankees, allow us to ignore the ball around Rigley Field, allow us to forget that the Giants and Jets Still far from controversy. , Allow Rangers fans to gloss over the fact that when the Broadway Blueshirts finally played a game the other night on Long Island, they looked like a pickup team.
For now, the Knicks allow us to think of them in the same way that we think of unexpectedly cheerful teams that have snapped at us and invaded their imagination, as much for success. As his achievement.
The gold standard for this will always be the ’69 Mets, of course, 100 to 1 shots at Spring Training, which will never lose less than 89 games in its history and somehow become a chart of the Course of Heroes. The Knicks have a long way to go to match that gospel of inclusiveness. But there are more.
There were the 2015 Mets, a study mediated through 102 games, a raging tire fire that somehow became a blazing inferno beyond the final 60s, through the playoffs, and did not pause until they found themselves in the world. Not found in the series. There were the 2017 Yankees, a rare species of game species – upstart in pinstripes – who came within a game of the World Series (and who also gave a playground would almost certainly have got there).
The back-to-back years of 7-9 and 8-8 were followed by 2000 Giants, 7-4 and melee. Jim Fassel made the famous announcement at a press conference in November: “I am taking bets right now. If it’s a poker game, I’m shaking my chips right in the middle of the table. I’m raising the ant. Anyone who wants out can get out. This team is going to the playoffs. “The Giants immediately won seven straight and did not stop until they competed in the Ravens in Super Bowl 35.
There were the 2001-02 Nets, which allowed them to grow into oblivion before 4,000 fans a night in the old Meadowlands, before blossoming into the NBA Finals behind the talent of Jason Kidd; And the 2013–14 Rangers, who finished with the 12th-best record in the NHL, would not leave the Stanley Cup Finals that year, until the Kings beat them three times in OT; And the 2009 Jets, who declared Rex Ryan dead in Week 15 before receiving a gift from the Colts in Week 16, then riding that large all the way to the AFC title game.
You’ll also notice a trend in those teams: no one (other than a miracle) deal was completed. None won the championship. All wounds are fundamentally defective, which explains why nothing was expected from either of them. And it also explains why they all hold our imaginations perfectly. They fell from the sky. They landed in our hearts.
The Knicks are flawed. They are not winning a championship. And that doesn’t change how people feel about them. The ride will end at some point and when it will happen what will the journey be, and these nights of wonder in the Garden and elsewhere. Out of the sky. (Orange-and)-out of power.