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Disappointed It's Over. Glad It Happened - "I Love This Friggin Team"


I'm disappointed. 

Not because I expected a championship. No, that feeling has been very rare within my Knicks fandom. 

I'm disappointed because this season is now over. Done. The ride, the thrill, the heartache, and the overwhelming way this team gets me amped and carries me through my personal life is over. 

I loved this season. I LOVE THIS TEAM. 

This Knicks team, for me, is just short of that 98-99 squad that I still hold as my all-time favorite. If you know me personally, yes, that is the team (and playoff run) in which I wore my Knicks "Hubert Davis" jersey to school every day (literally, every day - to the point my parents received a phone call from the school). Ahh yes, that team that was the #8 seed that ran it all the way to the NBA Finals. 

I wasn't ready for it to end, but not only was it inevitable, but not sustainable. And how fitting, rather than losing on a buzzer-beater, or a fluke call, or something that would've likely left me in a mood and channeling those deep thoughts that this fandom is cursed in some way, the season ended with Jalen Brunson finally succumbing to the injury bug, and this team fighting to the very end in what was clearly a team that had given it all and running out of mojo. 

I'll never forget this season. It was fun. It was frustrating at times. And most of all, that 18-2 January when we were at peak health (sans Mitchell Robinson) is a small preview and backdrop of just how good this team can be going forward. 

Dare I say, the window has been opened. This might be the worst this team will be in the next 2-5 years. 

Whatever happens - I'll never forget the 2023-2024 New York Knicks. 

Thanks for a great season. 

Some other quick notes on the end of the season: 

- My absolute favorite part of this Knicks season, besides the success, is this team flipping the league and it's status quo on it's head. Starting with this team playing hard every night and essentially exposing "load management" and teams "saving it for the playoffs". The Knicks proved in so many ways that there is merit to what Coach Thibedeau preaches, "building habits and experience through the work" is vital. "There's work in the magic", right? 

The other part of this "flipping the league" is exposing the daily narrative around the NBA by the national media. The concept of "stars" and the lazy narratives of "New York needs to acquire a star" and same ol' tropes died in a hard way this year. There are great players in this league - some get the National backing, and others don't - until they force it. Randle did it two years ago. Brunson did it this year. 

- With that said, shout out to Kendrick Perkins who saw this team when no one wanted to buy in back in November and rode that train with us. Thanks, Big Perk! 

Also, it's so sad how thirsty so many were to be negative because while it's no longer possible to laugh or "#LOLKnicks", #Knicksforclicks is still a thing. No other fanbase has to deal with this. 

Okay, maybe the Dallas Cowboys. 

- Josh Hart is legendary. From the moment we acquired him, he instantly became a favorite of mine. 

- Jalen Brunson is the guy we've been waiting on. His response of the season being a "failure" in the post-game presser evoked Derek Jeter-levels of focus. 

Everyone of his 40-point games were so much fun.

By the way, speaking of narratives, how are we glossing over the fact that Brunson's 40-point performances place him among specific company for the NBA Playoffs - Michael Jeffrey Jordan. 

That's cool. 

- To the portion of the fandom that always called for Julius Randle to be traded, I hope you saw how important Randle is to this squad. 

- DiVincenzo's three-pointer from Game 2 vs. Philadelphia still resonates with me. Bang! Bang! 

- I've never seen a team so ravaged by injuries, yet, still "find a way" becomes a real result. 

- There are many people who argued with me that NYC is a baseball (or football) town. I often respond (with humility) that there is nothing that compares to when the Knicks are in the playoffs. I think we saw that again this year. Baseball season feels like it was there but now begins in New York tomorrow. 

- I enjoy watching the Knicks alumni return all playoffs long. It sounds weird, but the Knicks have had a lot of good talent over the past twenty years, somehow, we've had awful teams. It was good to see those guys enjoying this run. It should become a thing...

- Leon Rose deserves so much credit. So, so, so much credit. 

And finally...

- I haven't wrapped my mind around the reality of what happened (and I don't think many have as well) - this team, this freakin' loveable team, lost four members from it's starting lineup, and went to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. 

Bravo. 

I love this team. I love this friggin' team!

Go Knicks. 

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