I have to say that I’ve had a great past two weeks.
When your team wins the Super Bowl, it makes your days a little brighter, the pride from within you beams a little stronger, and you have a little extra pep in your step. And as I detailed in my Big Blue Pride post, I was fortunate enough to attend the ticker-tape parade and view my squad as they paraded up Broadway on blue, red and white decorated floats.
(You know it just occurred to me – I never really showed the pictures to my family. They’re not huge fans, but they were rooting hard for the G-Men. I’ll do that tonight… oops.)
So by the middle of last week (in fact it was last Wednesday), the euphoria subsided some and I turned my focus to my beloved New York Knickerbockers – a team that had been struggling badly during the Giants’ Super Bowl run and were able to go somewhat unnoticed due to that. But football was over, andthe elation of Big Blue’s accomplishments were about to give way to the disappointment by beloved New York Knicks whose win-loss record had dropped as low as 8-15…
Except that didn’t happen, did it?
This is just a dumb guess, but by now you’ve heard of this kid named Jeremy Lin. Technically, I’ve heard about him since 2010 when he played for (and graduated) Harvard University. Some around the Net commented that he might have a shot at the NBA, that they hope he’d have a shot at the NBA. You probably know his story by now: he was cut by the Golden State Warriors, cut again by the Houston Rockets, and the Knicks signed him right after Christmas as insurance because rookie guard Iman Shumpert had to sit out a few games due to injury. Lin saw limited garbage-time minutes until Knicks head-coach Mike D’Antoni had practically no choice but put him in the game against the New Jersey Nets on Saturday, February 4th.
He dropped 25 points and seven assists, and the Knicks won. Huh?
I didn’t watch that game, nor did I watch his first start of the season against the Utah Jazz where he put up 28 points and eight assists in another win. I was out-of-town that weekend on personal b.i. and still in the afterglow of the Giants’ winning the big one. So last Wednesday, I turned on the TV after work to catch the team play in D.C. against the Wizards…
Whoa ho-ho… What is this? Who is this kid? What in the… YES!!!
Look at those drives to the basket! Look at the dishes to teammates for dunks and open shots! Look at the… HE CAN DUNK! WOW!!! And the crowd goes wild!
I did say they were on the road, right?
I’m intrigued now. This Lin dude can play, but I thought he was just keeping the seat warm for when Baron Davis is healthy enough to play. But then the Laker game came – I’m still watching the highlights from that one, particularly that three-pointer from the corner with 5:39 left in the fourth quarter. Look at the crowd cheering; look at how the players are all celebrating; look at the renewed enthusiasm; look at me pumping my fist wildly like I was watching… the Giants?
Yes, that same feeling watching the football Giants as they beat the
stupid Cowgirls Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC East and make the playoffs and as they manhandled the Atlanta Falcons in the Wild Card Round. The feeling of watching a team that had previously struggled but was having the missing parts reinserted, the confidence level rising, to come together finally as a team and play to their potential in a timely fashion. That same feeling – watching my beloved Knicks – bringing a smile to my face.
But that was nothing compared to Tuesday night. On a five-game winning streak, the Knicks were playing a Toronto Raptors team that seemed to have had enough of the hype. The blue-and-orange at one point were down 17 points to the dinosaurs whom were determined to take young Jeremy out of his game by sending double-teams at him and getting physical with him.
But Jeremy Lin ain’t no punk, and no longer were the Knicks. Despite his counterpart Jose Calderon going off for 25 points and nine assists, and the fact Lin had eight turnovers in the game due to fatigue and increased defensive pressure, the team whittled the lead down to single-digits. Down five points with 1:34 left in the game, Iman Shumpert – who was assigned to guard Calderon in the fourth quarter and had shut him down – picked Calderon’s pocket clean and raced down-court for an emphatic dunk that closed the gap to three points. After a defensive stop, the ball was in Lin the Dragon’s hands yet again.
He drove the lane… again. He scored… again… AND ONE!!! WOOOOO!!! Game tied!
Another defensive stop… Shump-Shump missed a layup but Knicks center Tyson Chandler gets the offensive board and tosses back out to Lin for the final shot.
10 seconds… nine seconds… eight seconds… is Lin sizing up Calderon?
Seven seconds, six seconds… Linfinity begins his move. Calderon is giving him space to respect the drive to the hoop…
Five seconds, four seconds, three seconds… he’s now right beyond the three-point line. And with 2.4 seconds left, Linsanity lets it fly from downtown…
Knick play-by-play announcer Mike Breen uses a word to articulate a certain in-momentum event punctuates the moment. I believe that word is…
The new starting point guard swished a gorilla-balls three-pointer with .5 seconds left to win the game! I’m leaping from my chair, pumping my fist and yelping – about the same way when I watched the Giants kicked the field goal to beat the 49ers and make the Super Bowl; about the same way I reacted (sans jumping up and down) when Tom Brady’s hail-mary fell incomplete in the end-zone. It’s been so, so long since I felt such elation for my Knicks.
Who says Eli Manning is the only New York athlete that leads his team from behind to win games?
I couldn’t watch the game against the Sacramento Kings last night because I was at the Schomburg Center in Harlem watching a viewing of 1st and Goal in the Bronx – a documentary about the first Black college football game played in New York City. But best believe as soon as I got home I turned on the TV to check the highlights, which revealed another Knicks’ win – an “easy” one over the Sacramento Kings.
Did I mention this happened while Amar’e Stoudamire missed last week’s games due to the death of his brother, and while Carmelo Anthony has been sitting out to heal from a groin injury?
I’m downright giddy – the one thing this team sorely needed above all else was a point guard. In waiting for Baron Davis to get healthy and in game-shape, the season started to unravel. But what they have now in this Jeremy dude, it seems the possibilities are Linfinite. They have a point guard now so they – at the absolute worst – don’t have to wait on Davis to get ready, and when he is ready he can take his time getting into the swing of things.
Things might be starting to come together – just as they did with the Giants.
I did not have a Valentine per se, but I had a “person of interest” that I wanted to do something nice for. I called up one of the Cheesecake Factory restaurants out where she lived and paid for a seven-inch key-lime cheesecake for her to pick up. Naturally, she tried to get me to spill the beans before the 14th, but I held steadfast in giving my clues – she thought she was getting an Edible Arrangement’s basket (ha ha!). When V-Day arrived, I took a picture of a piece of cheesecake I bought from the cafeteria here at work and sent it to her, along with the location to pick up her gift.
I am now her “favorite person in the world”. It feels good to give, truly. [smile]
What a great two weeks. Paying tides really does work, praise Jesus!
Which reminds me – let me write a check out for this Sunday…