First a quick introduction to the loyal readers of Buckets Over Broadway. My name is Adam Garnett. As of about a
week ago, I was the lead dog at Rising Apple (the Mets blog on Fansided) but have decided to become a sort of roving NY blogger on the network. Currently I work as a jack of all trades at NY1, covering postgame locker rooms, practices, and really whatever pops up news wise for all the NY pro sports teams. This is my first foray onto Alex’s dynamite site. Hopefully I can add some insight based on the up close access I am afforded through my other line of work.
After attending last night’s heartbreaker to the Celtics, I figured it would be a good time to add my initial contribution to the site .I don’t want to get too much into the nuts and bolts of the game, but just add a few observations of the scene at MSG before during and after the game. I’ll start out by saying that this is my 7th season covering the Knicks so I have witnessed some dark days at the World’s Most Famous Arena.
- Stephon Marbury anointing himself “the best point guard in the NBA” before the 2005 New Year’s Day tilt with the Jason Kidd’s Nets. We all know how that proclamation turned out.
- Nate Robinson’s circus act leading to a vicious brawl with the Denver Nuggets in December of 2006.
- Jerome James. Enough said.
- The poisonous atmosphere that existed during Isiah Thomas’ last days at the helm with the continuous “Fire Isiah” chants booming down from the rafters. The fact that two Italian dudes constructed this rap song just about says it all.
Last night, all of the darkness seemed to have drifted far away from that hallowed cathedral of hoops. There was life again in Madison Square Garden, the kind of life not seen since Latrell Sprewell roamed the court more than a decade ago. It was the most pregame anticipation I had ever felt at that place. There was a tangible buzz in the crowd and the place erupted when the lights dimmed and the Knicks were introduced. Amar’e Stoudemire, the new hero on Broadway, got the loudest ovation any Knicks player has gotten in years. I’d say the guy deserves it with the way he’s been playing.
Ronny Turiaf then did his now customary twirling dance, circumventing the the rest of the Knicks players as they huddled under the basket. It almost like he’s a witch doctor casting some kind of voodoo on the opposing team. Pretty cool to see in person. Unfortunately on this night, there wasn’t quite enough voodoo to hold off what I would consider the best team in the Eastern Conference if not the entire NBA. Paul Pierce is a cry baby and gets phantom fouls a aplenty, but the guy is a cold-blooded killer in the 4th quarter. The second best closer in the NBA behind Kobe Bryant in my book. He stuck the dagger in the Knicks, but that does not temper the positive vibes I took from their performance last night.
Mike D’Antoni, Amar’e and Raymond Felton all expressed their disappointment in not being able to close the Celtics out during their postgame meetings with the press. Sometimes, you hear guys talk about no moral victories in losses, but you could tell each one of these guys was proud of the effort the Knicks put forth and you could see and hear a confidence and swagger continuing to build, even in defeat. Here is a little sampling of what I heard:
"“Everybody has their own opinion. Real basketball players and people who understand the game know we have a good team and we can play with anybody. We lost a tough one against possibly the best team in the league.” –Raymond Felton"
"“I guarantee you that Boston respects us. We are not slouches. They know how good we can be and how good we are. We’ll see them again.” –Amar’e Stoudemire"
Before I close up shop, here are few scenes I witnessed and heard while moving between the media room and the two locker rooms:
- Nate Robinson hooting and hollering and spitting out more obscenities than Rex Ryan as the Celtics left the court and headed to the visitor’s locker room. Pipe down Nate. Your act was one of the reasons this franchise was such a joke the past few years. Once a punk, always a punk I guess
- A smiling Kevin Garnett and the huge rocks in his ears talking to a small gathering in front of the media room after I left the Knicks locker room. He was chatting with a blond-haired woman about two feet shorter than he was and said something to the effect of, “Whew boy, did you feel the electricity in here tonight? [The Knicks] thought they had us but we are bunch of champions. Not gonna argue that one.
- Amar’e Stoudemire walking toward the exit leading out to the where the Knicks park their shiny vehicles next to Amber Rose. You may want to click on the link provided. Check out Amar’e’s tweet from Dec 5th at 10:41 PM. That my friends is a bird call. It appears as if we may be seeing a lot more of Ms. Rose at MSG in the coming days
Bring on LeBron and crew. It appears these Knicks are not afraid to tangle with anyone.