Could the NBA Lockout Bode Well for the NY Knicks?

The New York Knicks recently released the 2011-12 preseason schedule…now the question is will the games actually happen? The current NBA lockout has put not only the pre-season schedule in jeopardy but the entire NBA season. For fans, like myself, who remember the 1998 lockout this could become a sign of great things to come for our Knicks. The 1998-99 locked was responsible for the loss of the 32 of NBA games, the All-Star game and much of the excitement that leads up to the playoffs, otherwise known as the real season. But for longtime Knick fans, this was one of the greatest memories we have of our “fighting 90s” Knicks, could history repeat itself…a fan can only hope!

With only 50 games played during the 1999 season, the NY Knicks finishes with a record of 27 wins and 23 losses to secure the last spot for the playoffs. The eight seed was not a good place to be, the prior season they finished with a 43-39 record to tie for 2nd place in the Atlantic division and Knicks fans were primed for a 1998-99 championship run lead by our motley crew of a team lead by the unlikely dynamic duo of the good guy Allan Houston and resident bad boy Latrell Sprewell. As luck would have it (or not) our Knicks were set to meet their long-time rivals and much hated Miami Heat in a first round match up. No one gave the Jeff Van Gundy’s Knicks a chance of beating Pat Riley’s Miami Heat, much less going to the NBA Finals; But our Knicks had a shock for everyone (except for die-hard fans, we believe the Knicks will win it all every year) that night in May of 1999. We beat the #1 seeded Miami Heat and would go on to fly through the NBA playoffs to become the first and only, to date, 8th seeded team to make it all the way to the NBA Finals. Although the Kicks were not able to best David Robinson and his team of Spurs, that shortened year goes down as one of the most exciting seasons for the newer generation of fans who were not around to see the 1970 or 1973 championships.

Now here we are in 2011-12 and another NBA lockout, I and many other Knick fans cannot help but have a semblance of hope that history may repeat itself. No, we longer have Patrick Ewing, Allan Houston and Larry Johnson (along with his magical 4-point play) but we have a strong team led by Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony whom are both primed to have a breakout year during the first full season as teammates and prove critics wrong, again. Between the 2009-10 and 2010-11 season the Knicks record improved by 9 games, and it can easily also be considered a shortened season (from a fan perspective) since the two new leaders only had 24 games as team members but still managed to achieve a winning season, a feat not achieved since the 2000-01 season. Maybe Knick fans are just hopeful romantic about our beloved Knicks or I tend to think we are actually geniuses who continue to believe in the magic of our Knicks because they have always come through when everyone else least expected them to.


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