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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Agony Turned to Hope: Life of a New York Knicks Fan

Nathaniel S. Butler
Image from ESPN

The New York Knicks fans have been in agony for years as they have been longing for a team that brings back the magic of the 90’s. New York City has remained in a constant state of disappointment, though the Knicks are one of the most historic teams in the league and have one of the most dedicated fan bases.

In recent years, the team has had glimpses of hope, with fun players to watch in the electric area of Madison Square Garden. However, that hope was quickly wiped away by losing records and poor performance before the playoffs. This year, the team is giving the fans something to be excited about. This year that hope has turned into belief. 

Jonathan Yanko has been a Knicks supporter for his whole life.

 “One thing about Knicks fans is no matter how bad the team is or what’s going on with ownership or coaching staff, Knicks fans continue to show up and show out. MSG is always rocking, and there’s nothing like a big game at MSG,” Yank said.

To take a trip down memory lane, the Knick’s issues have been prevalent for years. Fans have leaned on rebuilding as an excuse when their beloved team is being made fun of. Fans reminisce about the days when Patrick Ewing and John Starks gave them something to support and be excited about. Though the 90’s brought great basketball and excitement to the supporters and the city, it was years before that when the Knicks saw its last championship. The Knicks haven’t won an NBA title for 51 years, since 1973. 

Being a Knicks fan isn’t for the weak-hearted. Anthony Marchese, resident of southern New Jersey, has been a lifelong Knicks fan.

“When I was younger, I would’ve said being a Knicks fan meant struggle and perseverance, there were some bad Knicks teams when I was growing up, and being in the Philly area did not help with that. I would hear so much trash talk from Sixers fans, and now it feels so good to finally have a team that’s just as good as them.”

So, what’s the difference now? Why does the fandom suddenly feel like their luck might be changing? Last season the Knicks made it to the second round of the playoffs where they lost the series to the Miami Heat 2-4. Though the season ended early in the playoffs, the Knicks fans had a lot to be enthusiastic about. 

The core of the team is young and centered around guard Jalen Brunson. In July 2022, Brunson signed a four year $104 million deal with the Knicks. Brunson fit in perfectly with the talented Julius Randle and other members of their young core, such as RJ Barrett. 

After getting off to a solid start to the 2023-24 season, the Knicks made a trade decision that when announced had mixed reviews. The Knicks would receive OG Anunoby, Malachi Flynn, and Precious Achiuwa while they parted ways with RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, and a 2024 second-round draft pick. 

“I wanted to see RJ succeed in New York so badly, I thought he was going to be really good for us, but it was definitely time to move on from him. Quickley on the other hand, I did not want to see him go. I thought he was such a great bench piece, maybe he could’ve been starting, so that one hurt for sure,” Marchese said.

While some fans didn’t want to see Barrett and Quickley go, this trade has proven to be the best move the team could have made. Since the trade, the Knicks have a 17-8 record. 

Though picking up four straight losses recently this team has fans jumping for joy. Fans can finally defend themselves when their friends bring up the team’s previous struggles. The New York Knicks are a big threat in the Eastern Conference, and this is mainly because of the way Brunson has stepped up this year as a leader and player. 

This season Brunson is averaging 27.6 points per game, 6.5 assists, and 3.8 rebounds. Since two key members of this team have been injured, OG Anunoby and Julius Randle, Brunson has increased his points per game to 31.8. The way he has been producing this year has put him in talks to be a potential sleeper vote in the race for MVP. Brunson is the guy New York has longed for, and fans hope he can lead this team to an Eastern Conference championship. 

The only thing possibly threatening the Knicks end of season run going into playoffs is their second go-to player Julius Randle, who is currently battling a dislocated shoulder. Reports say he is out for two to three weeks, which should be plenty of time to come back before the playoffs. The new pickup, OG Anunobuy, is also reported to be out for a couple of weeks after getting surgery to remove a bone fragment from his right elbow. Even with two key players out Brunson has managed to produce wins as of late and continues to keep fans excited for what’s to come.

“With the addition of OG, he adds a great defender and spot-up shooter to go along with Brunson and Randle. They’ve shown without a few of their key pieces that they can hang and compete with teams like Boston and Milwaukee, so I think they have a chance to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals this year,” Yanko said.

Knicks fans have been patiently waiting for a team that will make a deep playoff run. While there is still a long way to go, fans are hopeful that this will be their year. 

The New York Knicks have 18 games remaining in regular season play after their most recent loss versus the Philadelphia 76ers 79-73.

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