With a 8:00 p.m. tip-off at the famous Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks will be looking to extend their post-season series against the Boston Celtics to 2-0 tonight. Showcasing one of the NBA’s most riveting rivalries today, this particular series has left a soft spot in the hearts of Americans across the country.
In the wake of the Boston Bombings, one of America’s most horrifying occurrences, their is no better time for New York citizens and fans to unify as one, and pay tribute to the city they’ve religiously rooted against for ages. Regardless of how serious the rivalry is between two of America’s most beloved cities, this eye-opening experience can’t be taken half-heartily.
So, let me get straight to my main point. This past Saturday, before the game one tip-off, Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony addressed the New York crowd in with the intent to pay their respects to all the victims in the terrible tragedy. As expected, Pierce was initially showering with some boos, an act that would be appropriate 99 percent of the time. Saturday was a perfect example of the one percent it shouldn’t have happened, period.
After a few initial boos, a large portion of the Knicks crowd quickly shifted their attention to those obnoxious fans, littering them with a stern “shhh.” I want to take time and commend those fans. I want to thank you for representing the New York Knicks in a honorable fashion by giving Pierce the respect he deserved in the midst that brief moment.
When I first heard the boos, a shameful feeling in the pit of my stomach ran over me, as I wished I didn’t have to hear that. On a more positive look, I’d like to highlight how proud it made me feel to support the loyal Knicks fans, when those “shhs” began to greatly out weigh the childish few individuals who made a controversial judgement call.
Trust me, it’s hard for me to point out it’s the wrong thing to do by booing Pierce. Let’s face it, if your a Knicks or a Lakers fan, it’s extremely tempting. But, we must learn to pick our spots, and understand the magnitude of every situation at hand. I was mortified when Pierce stuck it to my Lakers in the 2008 Finals, placing him at the top of my most hated professional athletes. Don’t get it mixed up when I use the word “hate,” I’m strictly referring to basketball.
However, displaying that lack of respect for Pierce, at that exact moment, was not an option for me, and it didn’t even cross my mind. Basketball just wasn’t relevant at that moment. When Pierce grabbed the microphone, and I saw the “Boston Stands As One” logo stretched across his chest, the victims of the Boston Marathon was the only notion embedded in my head.
Pierce thanked the city of New York, along with the rest of the country, for showing support during this tragic time in our country.
“Boston will rise and run again,” said Pierce.
New York cheered, an act I wished occurred from the start.
Anthony had a brief yet powerful message to the crowd, as he showed respect himself.
“On behalf of the New York Knicks organization, we just want to let Boston know that we send our prayers to them,” Anthony said.
So Knicks fans, if you are attending game two tonight, as I am, make sure to cheer as loud as you can. Make sure you boo Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and any other Celtics player to the fullest extent. But next time, understand the importance of the situation we are facing as one nation, and look at the bigger picture. Now, let’s get a win, let’s go back to Boston up 2-0, and most of all, let’s stay classy, New York.