Again after a 4-1 series loss to the Miami Heat in the 1st round, again I found myself very sad and lonely without Knicks basketball. In the 2012 offseason the Knicks signed some weirds players (which turned out to be some of my favorites) like Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni and Chris Copeland. Be began the season against an impossible task, facing the newly crowned champions Miami Heat. Now I didn’t watch this game because Hurricane Sandy knocked out my power and around here my power company is useless as an expired soda. But I kept asking my uncle to give me updates on the score and he kept telling me we were winning and I was excited. When he told me we won the game I didn’t believe him for one second, at that moment I knew this season was gonna be good. So we started 6-0 and this was the best start in a while for the Knicks and I was on cloud 9, I started writing down the scores in my notebook in school for my class project. I just felt like the coolest kid in school with my Carmelo Anthony jersey on, with my Knicks socks and pants to match.
Fast forward to Christmas, the Knicks signed another of my favorite Knicks Rasheed Wallace and Carmelo was playing his best basketball that I’ve witnessed as a fan. And again I was more pumped up about the Knicks Lakers matchup then my actual presents, but the thing I wasn’t excited for was looking at those ugly christmas jerseys, those might be up there with the St.Patrick’s day green jerseys. Well they lost and kinda put me in a bad mood the rest of day, but this year they played on my birthday. January 21st is my birthday and they played the Nets that day in which they lost that game as well, so another day that I got sad about until my uncle gave me Knicks tickets to the Knicks vs Bobcats game on March 29th and when I tell you I was running down the street screaming at the top of my lungs is a little of an understatement.
So let’s fast forward to March 29th, so at this point JR Smith was on a ridiculous scoring rampage over the last couple of weeks and he was the main talk around Knicks nation. I remember Konshens Jamaican Dance from Just Dance 3 and the Fall Out Boys “My Songs Know What You Did in The Dark” were both in my head that day and it was great. I sat backwards on the train going to Grand Central, this was my first time on a train that I remember, and it was my first time in the city. When we got to Grand Central, I was petrified that I was gonna get kidnapped by someone. I remember being so amazed at how many people could gather in one place, I remember going to the apple store that’s near the entrance of Grand Central. I also do remember going down a flight of stairs and going to this pizza place which was delicious, I hope it’s still in business today. Then we took the Subway, now you thought I was scared before, no no no this is where I started being absolutely scared of anything. But this guy on the train with a big Knicks jacket said, “this your first game” and I said yeah and the guy was like, “at least you’re going when they are actually good now.” I don’t remember which way we came out but I remember coming out of the tunnel and seeing all of the skyscrapers with the LED boards with ADs on them and it felt like home and it still does this day, I never have that feeling anywhere else I’ve been to. I’m pretty sure we had to walk a couple of blocks to get to MSG but the walk was one of the best walks I’ve had. I remember seeing MSG for the first time going around the corner and I just stood there and realized I’m going to be breathing the same air as my role models and the people I look up to the most. We stood outside the main front entrance of MSG and it might be the most beautiful view ever, I could see into where they do MSG 150 at half time, there was a T-Mobile right next to that. As we entered a big LETS GO KNICKS chant started and I gladly participated in it, we had to go up this little ramp that I still vividly remember. Then we had to go up the never ending escalator, which gave the best view by the way. And then we entered the floor which held our section and we went to find our seat in section 115, when we found it and we went through the entrance and the first thing you see is the bigger then on TV scoreboard. We sat in our seats about a half hour before gametime, and the PA announcer said Tyson Chandler won’t be playing tonight and that kinda was a bummer but nothing at this point will make me upset. The starting lineup for the Knicks was Pablo Prigioni, Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Keyon Martin, AND AT FORWARD AT 6’8 FROM SYRACUSE NUMBER 7 CARMELO ANTHONY!!! When I heard that, it shook my world around. Realizing you’re in the same place as the guy that brought me into sports and is the reason I was at Madison Square Garden watching a below average team on paper overachieve. I had one of those really big hot dogs you usually get at a baseball game, and I had some Pepsi. When I tell you it was one of the greatest days of my life is still an understatement. At the half JR Smith had around 20 points and Melo had around the same amount, the fact that JR Smith is my 3rd favorite player of all time speaks volume on how bad the Knicks front office is. Sorry for going a little off topic, the Knicks won that game 111-102 with JR Smith having 37 points and my man Carmelo Anthony having 32 points. I totally forgot to tell you this game was Walt Clyde Frazier bobblehead night at the Garden, plus it was his birthday and the bobblehead matched his outfit with the one he was wearing that night. And that was all I could recall from Matt’s 9 year old memories from that night.
Well the rest of the season was great, Carmelo was in the MVP race but stood no chance against prime LBJ. I really did think we were gonna make the finals because we had a winning record against the 3 headed monster that season. I thought we finally had them contained. So it’s the first round of the 2013 Playoffs against the Celtics and for game one I was at my Little League game moments before tipoff. And because I had the Knicks in my mind the whole day, I went 0-3 with three strikeouts. I was yelling at my grandma to hurry driving home, I needed to watch the Knicks game. Well as we know the Knicks won the series in 6, and this is where I get very angry, the Eastern Conference 2nd Round. Ok going in as favorites against the Pacers I didn’t think we could be embarrassed by them but guess what WE DID. The Knicks finally showed that they were no help to Carmelo Anthony, the only play I remember helping Melo is Iman putting back one of the nastiest dunks I’ve still seen to date. Carmelo had to carry the load like usual but couldn’t handle Hibbert, who Chandler couldn’t guard, Paul George, who Iman couldn’t figure out. Melo lead 4 of the 6 games in scoring for both teams, haha in game 1 we let DAVID F’N WEST score 20, and in game 3 we let Hibbert drop 24, in game 4 we let George Hill score 26, and in game 6 we let Lance Stephenson drop 25. Everyone on the Knicks in Game 6 had a negative +/- besides….. Kenyon Martin, Melo had a negative +/- because he had to shoot because NOBODY ELSE WAS SCORING.
Ok let’s move on from that catastrophe. So sometime in late June I went to Iman Shumpert’s basketball camp in White Plains, and it was super dope. I met Shumpert on the first day of camp, he came in when we were eating lunch. I swear this guy’s hair was as long as my 9 year old leg, I shook his hand and it was one of the best experiences I’ve had. The best part about the camp was honestly the free unlimited Body Armor available, at this time I think Body Armor was just starting up and they needed to get their name out. What does Matt remember most about his experience at Iman Shumpert’s Camp? The Body Armor. Thanks for reading about my first experience at Madison Square Garden and my last time there as a Knicks fan.