On the eve of the 2002-03 National Basketball Association season, I must say one of the hardest things to be in professional sports is a loyal fan to the New York Knicks franchise.
I am a die-hard Knicks fan, as some of the guys that stayed in Gibbs Hall two years ago know.
It has been so exhilarating and also so depressing at times.
My shear true love for the orange and blue Knickerbockers has enabled me to ride the roller coaster known as Knicks basketball for this long, and it will enable me to ride it for as long as I live.
I jumped on it in the early 1990s, when many people- probably you-were jumping on the Chicago Bulls band-wagon.
That’s when the Knicks featured the “X” man, Oak, Harp, Mase, Herb, Doc, the great PU and of course the man with the ultimate basketball heart that I used to model my game after – John Starks.
Those were the days.
But now there is this current preseason.
I was probably too hyped up after we acquired all-star high-flying forward Antonio (McNyess) McDyess and Illinois rookie Frank Williams, the best pure college point guard last season in the NCAA.
That was the high and exciting point on this year’s roller coaster.
Currently, after watching both of those players, plus all-star guard Latrell Sprewell and recent free agent acquisition Michael Doleac all succumb to injury in the preseason, the roller coaster is at its lowest point.
Like always though, I am going to remain positive.
I know, despite what some “Knicks HATERS” may think, New York will once again make the playoffs.
We still have one of the best, if not the best, shooting guards in the NBA, Allan Houston.
We still have forward/center Kurt “Kirk-out” Thomas, who averaged a very solid 14 points and nine rebounds a game last season.
We still have probably have the most experienced point guard tandem in the NBA in Charlie Ward and Howard Eisley (remember they both have played in the finals).
We still have a great bench that features forwards Othella Harrington and Clarence Weatherspoon and swingmen Shandon Anderson and Toby Bailey.
And even though McDyess won’t be back any time soon (he’s out for the season), Williams, Doleac and Sprewell should return in a couple of weeks.
I may be a little tired of riding this roller coaster, but I am not worried about this upcoming season. As of Friday, the Knicks are 4-2 in the preseason, with wins over San Antonio, Utah and Sacramento.
I won’t predict the Knicks are going to go undefeated like I have in past seasons; however, I must say my squad still has a solid shot at winning the NBA Championship.
If McDyess hadn’t sustained that season-ending knee injury on Oct. 12 in a preseason game against Phoenix, then I would definitely predict that my team would receive there first ring in 30 years, edging out Sacramento.
Though I have predicted which teams will make the playoffs, I am not going to predict who is going to win the championship just yet.
Ibram Rogers, 20, is a junior magazine production student from Manassas, Va. He is The Famuan’s deputy sports editor. He can be reached at email@example.com.