New York Knicks Finding Success On The Court, Serenity Off It

Adam FierCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2009

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 07:  Al Harrington #7 of the New York Knicks high-fives teammate David Lee #42 during NBA action against the Portland Trail Blazers at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2009 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

In the last decade, Madison Square Garden has seen a lot.

It's seen the rebirth of the hockey team that calls it home, as the Rangers have been a playoff regular since the lockout a few years back.

It's seen some historical moments in music, with the likes of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's Billy Joel and Elton John having banners raised in their honor.

It's even seen some memorable hardwood moments, with a six overtime college basketball classic last spring when Syracuse outlasted UCONN in one of the most thrilling sporting events in recent memory.

What the self-proclaimed "World's Most Famous Arena" has not seen is competitive professional basketball played by their long time tenants who wear orange and blue.

No, the Knicks have been largely unwatchable since Patrick Ewing and Jeff Van Gundy left town, and as the first decade of the new millennium comes to a close, the current cast of characters is doing something else Knicks fans aren't used to:

Winning without any off-the-court distractions.

The two faces of this disastrous decade would undoubtedly be Isiah Thomas and Stephon Marbury (with owner James Dolan a close third), and for the first time since 2003, neither have any association with the team.

Thomas has moved on to coaching college basketball in Florida ( that's IN Florida, not at Florida) while Marbury has updated his twitter account at some point in the last hour or so.

The Knicks have won four in a row, and while that may not seem like much, consider this team started the year 1-9 and looking like they wanted nothing to do with the year before the summer of that guy who plays in Cleveland. (That's right, a Knicks article without his name being mentioned).

Sure, Nate Robinson isn't getting minutes, and Eddy Curry was last seen at a local McDonalds (I kid Eddy, you look good, albeit way too much like Plaxico Burress with that silly goatee), but these issues are basketball related.

Knock on wood, but nobody is out interacting with women in the back of a pickup truck, nobody is inappropriately hugging female employees, and nobody is getting accused of being involved in a homosexual encounter with their limo driver.

The problems with this year's edition of "Team Titanic" (credit to the New York Post for the catchy nickname) are all problems the other 29 teams are encountering.

If you're still wondering whether or not President Donnie Walsh and head coach Mike D'Antoni made the right move in not signing Allen Iverson, look no further than how unusually quiet things have been for this Knicks team off the court.  Plus after watching A.I.'s first two games back in Philly, it looks like off the court is where he belongs.

It's been reported in the New York papers, but I'll reiterate the fact that Walsh and D'Antoni want this season to be about basketball.  If the team loses, so be it.  Let them lose with some dignity. Let them lose without a sex scandal or an arrest.

The team still isn't very good, but since the 1-9 start they're now 7-6 which includes wins against Phoenix and Atlanta, two of the leagues best teams. 

So Knicks fans, enjoy the basketball you're getting, because for the first time in a while, it's all you're getting.

And that's finally a good thing.