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Chamberlain

I can barely remember what I had for lunch yesterday let alone where my wallet and car keys are. But specific NBA plays from 30-plus years ago, that is easy. Just like it happened five minutes ago.

As a sports fan, highlights and memories are everything. You remember your favorite players from all points in your life and all of the moments associated with them. This works both ways as positive and negative memories each hold a special place in your mind.

The funny thing though is that even as this occurs you know deep down that it has nothing to do with you. What happens out there on the court at Madison Square Garden is mutually exclusive from your life. Or is it? As a Knicks fan, the complete opposite is true and it is not something you can simply turn off and ignore.

What truly impacts your life though, is your DFS performance as that puts cash in your pocket. Scouring through that night’s slate helps take your NBA fandom to another level but at the end of the day, for me it all goes back to those Knicks regardless of how bad they may be or how painful it is.

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Pre-school is an ancient memory to me. I don’t remember anything about what I learned, the teacher, or my classmates. However there is one thing that stands out to me as a crystal-clear memory; I was Gerald Wilkins.

Yes, as a four-year-old I knew I didn’t actually play for the Knicks. Wilkins wasn’t even the best player on the team or my favorite player for that matter, but when I had the ball and I was “soaring” through the air towards the plastic hoop, it felt like I was in Madison Square Garden or any other NBA arena. Sadly I never got into an arena without buying a ticket, but at that point in time, I was there.

That is the crazy thing about highlights. Good or bad they are imprinted in your brain. They are all deeply personal and some are more random than others, but they are yours. I’m not going to go year by year down memory lane to retrace my steps as a Knicks’ fan but here are just a few that run the gamut. 

Apparently the age of four was really where my allegiance to the Knicks truly began. Not only did I think I was Wilkins but that was the first time I stepped into the “Garden”. The thrill of taking the train into the Big Apple and watching the Knicks take on the Pistons must have been too much for me as I didn’t make it past halftime before falling asleep. But at that point it didn’t really matter. I had, and have, the memories along the NBA Hoops program to take to school the next day as a souvenir. And thanks to the internet, I can very easily take a step back in time to re-watch what I may have missed.

It was a memorable moment which has been replayed countless times so that helps from a memory perspective, but how can one not remember Trent Tucker’s last second buzzer beater against the Bulls? And by last second I am not being dramatic as it literally couldn’t have come with less time on the clock and ultimately sparked a rule change.

I’m going to sneak a college memory in here as well as trips to the Garden weren’t always just about the Knicks. Based on my NBA fandom I wasn’t strictly drawn to winners, but in the NCAA that was not true. There I was drawn to Duke and how could anyone forget Christian Laettner’s game winning shot against Kentucky? (embed and no-follow) Imagine the excitement when I saw Laettner live and in living color playing for the Timberwolves against the Knicks?

The Knicks were regulars in the playoffs throughout the 1990’s and they provided lots of memories; both good and bad. Unfortunately the bad does outweigh the good as it includes, but is not limited to Charles Smith who is still trying make a layup against the Bulls. This became a common theme for New York as we had Patrick Ewing who found the back of the iron against the Pacers and then John Starks who forgot how to shoot in the NBA Finals against the Rockets. If I still appear raw about this over 20-years later, just keep in mind that I am holding back.

We still want maintain some level of positivity so that brings us to Larry Johnson’s four-point play against the Pacers and Allan Houston’s game winning shot against Miami as the Knicks made an improbable run towards the NBA Finals. Those were some great times until they ended without a championship just like every other year.

Whether they are good or bad, memories and highlights are a great thing. It is always enjoyable to take a ride down memory lane and to simply lose yourself in reliving the past.