The texts and tweets started rolling in around 8:30 on Friday night, as I stood next to a police officer looking at what was left of my Mustang. According to my phone, my alma mater, Duke, was behind No. 15 seed Lehigh late in their NCAA Tournament game.
I obviously didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t particularly care very much in that moment. But as I watched my fiancÃƒÂ©e climb into an ambulance to be examined by EMTs, I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help wondering why I ever cared that much to begin with.
Jeremy LinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s done some amazing things the past two weeks, including making me not hate the Knicks quite so much. Make no mistake, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a Knicks fan, have been since I was a kid. But IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve also spent the past year largely detesting the team because there was so little to like.
AmarÃ¢â‚¬â„¢e Stoudemire caused a minor stir recently when he tweeted that his shoe contact was apparently about to expire, and that he was considering jumping ship from Nike:
But AmarÃ¢â‚¬â„¢e leaving Nike never seemed realistic, at least not to me.
And sure enough, Stoudemire tweeted a video today that showed him re-signing a new contract with Nike, said to be a multiyear deal worth $5 million. (Video after the jump)
A lot of people are sending out images of Jimmy Dolan, the idiot owner of the Knicks, and Isiah Thomas today, and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a logical way to go. But right now, one image sticks with me.
I held on to the Daily News from the day of Carmelo AnthonyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s debut against the Bucks at the Garden. The picture on the back cover featured Carmelo just kind of looking around, while Dolan claps moronically like one of those clapping monkey toys with the cymbals. Jimmy is sitting next to his wife, Kristin, a Cablevision executive who as usual looks somewhat embarrassed to be pictured with him.
It was perfect.
Anyone who had watched the disgraceful press conference earlier knew that in JimmyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s head, he alone had brought Melo to the Garden! — as if that was some sort of endgame.
Meanwhile, it was president Donnie WalshÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s stellar ability to do his job that allowed the Knicks to collect the quality assets that not only had them competitive for once, but gave them the ability to make deals for upper-level talent. Walsh also knew he had leverage in negotiations for Carmelo Anthony, as it was pretty clear he was only going to play for the Knicks.
In one horrible All-Star Weekend, Dolan shot it all to hell. When I heard Jimmy had made the trip out to Los Angeles while Walsh sat at home, my heart sank. And Dolan proceeded to tear down several years of patience, hard work, progress and competence.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s unbelievable that I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t enjoy a night in which the Knicks acquired a superstar ballplayer who IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve always liked, but tonightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s events crystallize why I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been fully able to embrace their climb back to respectability the past few years.
And itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a perfect example of the flawed nature of being a fan: You simply canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t control who owns the team, and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the single most important component of a winning franchise.
About a decade ago, Jimmy Johnson said something IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve always liked:
You can play it safe and be good, or you can take a chance and be great.
Unfortunately, the DolphinsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ then-coach said that to justify his pick of Daryl Gardener over some guy named Ray Lewis in the 1996 NFL Draft. But the words Ã¢â‚¬â€œ if not the defensive tackle Ã¢â‚¬â€œ stuck with me over the years.
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve come to believe that when a shot at greatness presents itself, which doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t happen all that often, you owe it to yourself to go for it. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s clichÃƒÂ©d, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s almost always 100% true: ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s better to regret something you did than something you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why for the first time in a long time, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m cautiously excited about the Knicks. Donnie Walsh is trying to shoot the moon, and I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be more in favor of it.