Home News LEONARD GREENE: Knicks give us hope when all else is failing

LEONARD GREENE: Knicks give us hope when all else is failing



We can’t have nice things, and when we get them, we can’t enjoy them.

The Knicks are a nice thing.

They are an oasis in a desert of bad news.

Here’s what the Knicks are not:

They’re not protesters getting arrested on college campuses.

They’re not President Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu arguing over how many weapons Israel needs to destroy Hamas.

They’re not Donald Trump making angry faces at his hush money trial.

They’re not the New York Mets.

The Knicks are a good thing, a blessed thing, a thing that makes us smile, and rejoice and fist bump strangers on the subway wearing Knicks hats or Knicks t-shirts.

They are the thread that ties us together, whether we are rich or poor, young or old, city or suburban.

You don’t even mind that Chris Rock or Spike Lee can get front-row seats at the Garden any time they want. We are Knicks fans, and we are just like them.

So, why does this feel so … stressful?

It’s not doing-your-taxes-on-April-15 stressful, or hitting-the-books-before-your-final-exam stressful, but this New York Knicks playoff run has been nerve-racking.

Why? Because we’re on a wonderful ride, and we don’t want it to end.

At least Aaron Rodgers, who ruptured his Achilles tendon four snaps into Game One, had the decency to dash our hopes before the Jets season was barely underway.

But these Knicks, after decades of futility, have actually given us something to cheer about. We want to name sandwiches after them. We want to write songs about them.

These Knicks ruin your plans.

And whose idea was it anyway to schedule Game 4 right smack dab in the middle of Mother’s Day?

It’s at 3:30 p.m., you know, that ungodly hour right after church ends, usually reserved for taking naps and watching sporting events, often at the same time.

On this Sunday, that time will be set aside for reservations at Red Lobster or Ruth’s Chris Steak House, or long waits in the lobby if you don’t have reservations.

Unless your mother or the missus can list the Knicks starting five, or justify Tom Thibodeau’s seven-man rotation, she probably won’t take too kindly to you checking your phone every four minutes to sneak a peek or check the score.

Trust me, she doesn’t want to go to Buffalo Wildwings.

And if your name isn’t Deuce McBride or Isaiah Hartenstein, you’d better have a good excuse for choosing the Big Game — capital B, capital G — over Mother’s Day, and even then, your stats had better be excellent.

Jalen Brunson of the New York Knicks takes the court prior to Game Two of the Eastern Conference second round playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden on May 8, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)Even though I’m enjoying the ride, there are some things I am tired of:

— Villanova. I know three of the players have roots in the university, but we don’t need to hear that four times every game. They’re not the Villanova Knicks. Stop saying that.

— Reggie Miller. Enough already. It has been literally 30 years since he silenced the Garden. Let’s move on.

— The lunch pail narrative. This is the belief that fans relate to this team because they work hard, play every minute, and dive on the floor for loose balls, just like regular working stiffs. C’mon. The benchwarmers still make more than 25 times as much as the average teacher, firefighter or registered nurse. Let’s not get carried away.

— Willis Reed comparisons. Jalen Brunson is a godsend. He can have the keys to the city, the state, and the nuclear launch codes, but he is not Willis Reed. That’s blasphemy, even if we put it on the back page.

It hasn’t helped that the Knicks have been plagued by injuries. Every game, it seems, someone is getting hurt, a stress fracture here, a hamstring pull there. But there seems to be no way around it.

It’s hard to grab a rebound in bubble wrap.

Likewise, it’s hard to keep our hearts from getting hurt. We’re all in.

We want nice things, again.

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