WE MADE IT!!!
Aaaand, as such its time for a list of things we are looking forward to in 2015.
First and foremost on everyone’s list of New Years Resolutions. Watch this man back in action. I’m gonna throw up the video again. I just gotta. Infinite rewatch potential. I also have to refer to it as “the video”.
So, after missing 40 games last season, and all the games to start this trainwreck, the New York Knicks are welcoming former #1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani back into the lineup.
There’s a number of things to love about this move. First of all the Knicks will get some actual production out of their $11.5 million investment. Let’s ignore the fact that despite being acquired as a stretch 4 to compliment Carmelo last year, Bargs shot a ghastly 27% from deep and ranked a healthy 400th among NBA players in +/- (hint: there’s only 450 players in the league). Let’s also forget about the fact that Bargnani utilized the shot fake so incredibly frequently, he actually ended up wasting a bounty of open looks as his defender had the time to recover and scramble over to contest the shot. Aaand let’s just gloss over this shot entirely. It’s okayyyy Bargs. J.R. took one just like it. That’s not “having the basketball IQ of a chair”; that’s cajones. Look it up sometime.
It all gets better when you realize things like Andrea Bargnani being listed as a “starting forward” working out and set to return from injury. I know Fisher has played around a good deal with the team’s starting 4 (wellll, pretty much every position other than SF), but that’s hardly because he’s been pining all season for “Il Mago” to come back from injury. If the Knicks were awful defensively with Acy or Stoudemire at the 4, they become absolute gutter dwellers with Bargnani starting. Maybe its an all too transparent play to try to get the fans excited about something.. anything. Maybe its because Fisher would at least rather see Bargnani on the floor than making his open-mouthed, gawping surprised faces on the bench. Orrrr maybeee its because the players have missed him so much.
Melo was quick to praise the upcoming addition, boldly declaring things like, “That’s another Body.” and “Another body we’ve been missing.” Its hard to imagine the two of them really having much to speak about with one another, but who knows? Melo’s a classy guy; maybe they talk about opera together. After all, it wouldn’t really be that much odder than the bromance between JR Smith and Steve Novak a couple of years ago. (Those two called each other every day over the summer??) And there’s always the chance Bargnani is some kind of locker room chemist, diffusing the tension between all of the big New York egos by tripping over his own feet, his 7 foot frame sprawling wildly to the ground as he gets up with a giant grin on his face. Andrea!
I can see it all happening now. The Knicks banding together around this big, goofy giraffe, jumping up from the bench in crazy Kent Bazemore-esque celebrations as he splashed down ridiculous one-legged three pointers. Running up endless series of isolation plays for the big man as they finally figure out the REAL secret weapon in locking away those close games. Blitzing the league with absurd Melo-Barg-Timmy-Jose-Earl lineups that somehow manage to hit 150 in the regulation four quarters. Not even trying to defend their men, just giving up the dunk to walk it down the court and knock down a 3 on the other side of the court. Putting together a ridiculous winning streak to sneak into that last playoff seed with a .400 record.
And if it happened? Biggest thing in the league. Bigger than the West. Bigger than Lebron. I can only imagine incredulous post game interviews with the Big Italian as he thanks his mother and the pope for knocking down 14 treys. Surpassing a former Knick, as JR responds competitively, vowing to hit the gym early (NOPARTY) the next morning and follow that up with a 50 point night of his own. New York just clowning on everybody. Led each night by their frontmen, Their enigmatic, run-and-gun duo. The big shooting, big men.
It couldn’t happen. That one doesn’t happen in this lifetime. But it would be too, too much fun.
Happy New Years.
A close friend of mine surprised me with the wonderfully underwhelming Christmas gift of the 2014-2015 New York Knicks Yearbook, featuring our “Big Three” of Melo, Stoudemire, and Hardaway on the cover. I was little surprised at first that the publicity guys got the players together to take an extensive series of what look very much like prom pictures together, but then again this is New York and people will buy anything. Or maybe they won’t. Because looking around on the internet I could not find a single place selling this yearbook or even acknowledging its existence (Although you can find one from the killer 2012-2013 season.)
This got me incredibly excited. Despite being initially put off by the gift (my friend is a Bulls fan and I thought there was a certain degree of taunting going on), I quickly realized all of the stupendous irony I could draw from owning a massive booklet of pictures of my Knicks smiling, knocking down shots, and going on to have the worst season in franchise history. I assume they got the players together before the season actually started because I don’t think there is any amount of money on this earth that could coax those kind of grins out of these guys in the midst of a “losing 19 of their last 20” stretch.
So now, not only do I have the definitive photo collection of the worst groups of ‘Bockers ever assembled, but I may have what turns out to be the only copy, as MSG frantically tries to recall every yearbook in existence and wipe this idea from the face of the planet. If this thing turns out to be worth millions down the line to some really sad collector… well this season may have been worth it.
3.) OTHER BASKETBALL
One of my favorite questions to my suffering brothers-in-arms has been: what team do you root for, outside of the Knicks? While some people might view this as a form of blasphemy, a “friday is for the wives, saturday for the goomahs”, I’m inclined to disagree.
Look, it’s not like I’m rooting against my boys when they’re getting run off the floor by some exciting, talented Raptors-Clippers-Wizards team. Even now, locked in a race to the absolute bottom, I’m still not rooting against my Knicks #1 pick be damned.
BUT C’MON! There is just way too much great basketball going on out there to watch my Knicks get blown out by Detroit on a Friday night. Golden State is playing Toronto! Houston and New Orleans is happening! And so, barring my ludicrous Bargnani prediction coming true 2015 might just be the year to look around the rest of the league. Keep up my NBA coverage in a broader sense. And, of course, get ready for next season and a much-improved New York team. It could happen.
It’s gonna be a great year.