Orlando Magic @ New York Knicks

Friday, November 9th, 2007 | All Things, Friends, Sports

A spontaneous afternoon offer from SC, and we found ourselves at the Knicks-Magic game at Madison Square Garden this chilly, rainy night. The Knicks may be the most valuable basketball franchise in the United States, valued at approximately $592 million, but after six straight losing seasons and an off-season plagued by scandal, all around expectations are low and their fan support has eroded steadily. Even the local press has gotten in on the bashing, reporting on the team’s embarrassments with seeming relish (though it seems they have their reasons.)

I hadn’t really followed the team since Patrick Ewing was traded to Seattle after the 1999–2000 season. The former center, who has been an assistant with the Magic since June, was at the game tonight; before the jumbo screens late in the game, Ewing rose to standing cheers in the arena that displays his retired #33 Knicks jersey. (Also in attendance: Carlos Beltrán who, by contrast, was booed.) The most recent team-related story I’d read had nothing to do with basketball at all, but with the immensely popular $15 sneakers in Stephon Marbury’s Starbury Collection at bargain sportswear chain Steve & Barry’s (which also sells Sarah Jessica Parker’s Bitten and Venus Williams’s EleVen budget fashion lines.)

But sitting there in our fancy seats inside The Garden, I remembered what it was I enjoyed about pro basketball. The fast-pacing, the physicality… and watching the action unfold live was an entirely new experience. It’s a simple, but costly pleasure: the face value on our seats, one level up from the floor, approached $100 apiece, which made me wonder how it is that families can attend these types of sporting events together. My guess is that, for the most part, they can’t: even seats in the Mezzanine nosebleeds–five floors up–can run $45 apiece (not including Ticketmaster fees); courtside tops out around $3,000.

Tonight, though, we were there courtesy of SC’s connections, which meant that we still had money in our pockets for a full bag of pink and blue cotton candy, served up in an oversized Knicks felt top hat. Pure unadulterated sugar rush… and darn near irresistible.




The Knicks City Dancers:

Knicks City Dancers

A sea of Knicks fans waving thundersticks behind the Orlando basket; the Magic still shot 82% from the line to the Knicks’s 76%:

Knicks crowd

A dangerous-looking rifle-toss “wave” by the color guard on “Military Appreciation Night”–recruiting tables were set up just outside:

Knicks military night

It was a tight game for the first three quarters… but early into the fourth, things quickly began unraveling for the home team. It came flooding back then, all the reasons I had stopped watching the Knicks those many years ago: it was just too demoralizing. As the Magic lead grew to double digits, the mood of the crowd shifted palpably. Exasperated grunts degenerated into increasingly louder boos… by the end buzzer, fewer than half the fans remained in their seats.

Tonight’s 112-102 loss kickstarted what would become an eight-game losing streak for the Knicks–the NBA’s longest this season.

Check out the rest of the flickr set for more of the Knicks dancers and a kiddie dunking contest.

There are 2 Comments ... Orlando Magic @ New York Knicks

November 30, 2007

They freaking lost 104-59 tonight against the Boston Celtics in a nationally televised game on TNT. It just keeps getting worse and worse. 59! The only reason the Knicks did not set a franchise record for LEAST points in a game was that last second 3-pointer heaved by Nate Robinson. The Knicks suck!

November 30, 2007

[N]ever… declare anything a new low for the New York Knicks, because one can always be certain that no matter how bad things may look at the moment, there’s always the distinct possibility no, make that the distinct certainty — that something even more horrific is in store.”

Go for it ...