I remember so many wonderful things about the New York Knicks from my childhood.
I remember my father and brother gushing over Bernard King.
I remember Trent Tucker hitting that game-winning three with one-tenth of a second on the clock.
I remember thinking Sidney Green was good and deserving of more minutes.
I remember Pat Cummings' ugly face.
I remember Kiki Vandeweghe shooting jumpers with either hand.
I remember wearing one of those shirts that featured a cartoon drawing of a player, with his head big and body little. I had Mark Jackson. The older guys in the park would call me "Action Jackson."
I remember a buddy bumping me to create separation in a one-on-one game played in a schoolyard. Before I could recover, the ball would be in flight and he'd be yelling, "Annnn-tho-nyyyy Masss-son." Swish.
I remember trying to figure out how in the world Charles Smith missed those four shots.
I remember the first time I saw Latrell Sprewell with braids. I thought he looked like the Predator. Then Spree would swoop down with a rebound, race down court past everyone at blazing speed, and throw the ball down with murder in his eyes. "He is the Predator!
Man, there's so much I remember about this franchise. I loved all of these guys. I had posters of Gerald Wilkins. I tried to shoot free throws like Bill Cartwright. Every now and then I'd clothesline someone and give him the crazy Xavier McDaniel eye. I lived for this team.
And then, just like that, the love was gone. John Starks was gone. Patrick Ewing was gone. Charles Oakley was wearing a Toronto Raptors jersey.
The Knicks transitioned from a tough, defensive-minded powerhouse team built around one of the all-time great big men, to a soft, jump-shooting squad full of regular Joes. Dave Checketts, a Mormon, took over as President. Scott Layden, also a Mormon, followed in his footsteps.
Gone were guys like Ernie Grunfeld, a native New Yorker who played in the NBA, and in came corporate MBA-types. It wasn't Times Square anymore, it was DisneyLand. Money and entertainment first, basketball second.
This is where we are now, and it's really sad.
It's only fair we look back at the past 15 years and identify those most responsible for the failures of this franchise.
To hell with them all!