New York Knicks: 5 things fans can be thankful for

Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks (Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)
Tom Thibodeau, New York Knicks (Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images) /
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Oct 27, 2020; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Lines stretched for several blocks as New Yorkers lined up to vote at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan during the third day of early voting Oct. 27, 2020. Mandatory Credit: Seth Harrison-USA TODAY NETWORK /

5. The World’s Most Famous Arena

It feels like it’s been forever since we’ve last been inside Madison Square Garden. It was actually March 8, 2020 when any of us had our last chance to take in a home game at the World’s Most Famous Arena, with the classic voice of public address announcer Mike Walczewski guiding us through the proceedings for the evening.

In that game, the Knicks beat the visiting Detroit Pistons by a final score of 96-84. Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson each had double-doubles in the contest, while Elfrid Payton chipped in with 16 points and 6 assists. If for no other reason, go ahead and pull up the game recap just to take in the legitimate crowd noise, the PA’s voice, and the well-timed musical interludes during the basketball game that are hard to replicate in a bubble setting.

Many downtrodden fans might say, well, if the arena is that highly regarded in league circles, how come prominent free agents don’t want to sign with the Knicks? It’s a valid conclusion to make after many years of that pattern bearing out, but recently, one of the league’s biggest stars seemed to intimate (second-hand) that the expected lack of fans would be a deterrent to his desire to join the team.

Matt Barnes, who played with Chris Paul on the Los Angeles Clippers, had this to say about Paul’s consideration of New York as a possible trade destination (before he was traded to the Phoenix Suns):

"“We were discussing like, ‘Hey, where are you going to go?’” Barnes told Sirius XM NBA radio, via the New York Daily News. “And he was saying the Knicks were an option but, you know, if he was going to New York he wanted the full Knick experience, meaning he wanted the fans, he wanted the essence, he wanted the ambiance of that Madison Square Garden crowd. And going there now, you know, we don’t know if that crowd will ever be back.” via"

Barnes is known for being a straight shooter as evidenced by the content on his own podcast, “All The Smoke”, so we can take it on pretty good authority that this conversation did take place. It’s not a question of if, but when fans will be flocking back to MSG, and when that happens, players will be quickly reminded of the buzz that emanates within the arena.