Since writing about Jeff Keppinger and the Reds is growing tiresome with so little new happening these days in Reds-fan land, I'm going to take a moment to lament another franchise that's seen a decade pass since its championship-caliber days.
The New York Knicks lost to Philly the other night, preventing New York from achieving its first four-game winning streak in more than three years.—-
Had Michael Jordan not been in the NBA during the Knicks of my youth's competitive years, I'm sure the Knicks would've won at least two titles during that era. Be that as it may, the Knicks played great team ball and were a joy to watch. Charles Oakley. Anthony Mason. John Starks headbutting Reggie Miller. Spree and Allan Houston ... an aging Pat Ewing on one good leg trying to get over the hump and get that ring.
Larry Johnson's four-point play. Knicks fans chanting "Char-lie Ward! Char-lie Ward!" over and over when the Knicks were up big, urging coach Pat Riley (at least I think it was at that time) to put him in the game. Johnson doing his best to guard Tim Duncan in the Finals. Ward encouraging the crowd's chant and getting chewed out for it. Marcus Camby.
Hell, I even recall positive things about Chris Childs. The fights with the Heat ... beating them on Houston's bouncing buzzer beater with .8 seconds left back in '99.
Then all of a sudden Ewing got dealt because ownership realized he was running on empty, like Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter did before sputtering out. The next thing you know you have Luc Longley playing significant minutes, and it all goes downhill from there.
My father has been a lifelong Knicks fan, and so have I. Even though a championship never was won by those defensive-minded teams of the '90s, it was still a team full of players who had to come up through the CBA and played with a hard edge because of that. Derek Harper. Terry Cummings. Guys who gave it their full effort on both sides of the court.
The next thing you know Isiah Thomas is calling Eddy Curry the kind of player who only comes around the bend every 10 years. Then the guy gets robbed and accused of malfeasance more times than he's made it up and down the court this year.
Girl, don't even get me started on Jerome James. That dude signed a big deal, and the last time I saw or heard of him was when a flyer about a party he was hosting in Miami was left on our rental car in the day lot we were parked in.
I've gone from watching Kenny "Sky" Walker winning the dunk contest and Jeff Van Gundy to seeing Frank Williams run point guard and Mardy Collins getting minutes as a 2. Lebron this, Lebron that, my biggest concern is that David Lee will get lost in the shuffle and traded away in a move that will create a hole it'll take years to fill.
Look what happened when New York got rid of Mark Jackson and then didn't have a very good PG for many years thereafter. I'm not even going go waste this gray Monday talking about Stephon Marbury, who has done damage to the franchise like his brand of poor people shoes did to the shoe game.
Guys, all I'm trying to say is that David Lee deserved All Star consideration, but since we haven't exactly had an All Star in eight years he stays at home. It's cool. I understand. Just please don't get rid of David Lee because he's the only Knick I've been able to be a fan of for quite some time.
Don't get me wrong: I like Al Harrington, Chandler and Chris Duhon. Quentin "My Back Is Killin' Me" Richardson, not so much.
I don't care if James Dolan has to overpay for David Lee. After doing more to help his blues band of old white rich guys more than the franchise he's been entrusted to run over the last decade, it's high time he says "Sorry" the way rich people do best — with money.
Sign him to a long-term deal. That way if the Knicks go another 30 years without a title at least I'll be able to tell the whippersnappers of tomorrow about David Lee the way my dad goes on about Bill Bradley and Dave Debusschere.
OK. Thanks. Bye.