Welcome to The World’s Most Infamous Arena.
A perfect storm hit Madison Square Garden Wednesday night.
The Knicks got decked 127-106 by a mediocre Memphis Grizzlies team. The Knicks showed their only fight of the night with 47 seconds left when Elfrid Payton took exception to a Jae Crowder punk 3-point attempt and shoved the Memphis forward out of bounds. What followed wasn’t Malice in the Palace as much as Misery in Madison.
Crowder, Payton, Julius Randle, Marcus Morris and Damyean Dotson showed more hostility than Cowboy Cerrone. Payton, Morris and Randle were tossed. Payton likely will be suspended.
Knicks fans, who seem to be numb to dysfunction, crossed over to simmering outrage. Maybe Crowder’s utter disrespect for the Knicks was the tipping point. Would he have done this against the Lakers in Staples Center or the Celtics in TD Garden or the Sixers, Bucks, Nuggets, Rockets, etc.? No.
The fans began chanting, ‘Sell the Team.’ Since James Dolan was the only Knicks owner at the game, we’ll assume it was directed at him.
After 20 seconds of being serenaded, Dolan left his seat, but not before screaming at security personnel, who do a great job night in and night out, but can’t secure their boss from the anguish of 18,000 long-suffering fans.
After the on-the-court nonsense came the postgame show, kind of like fireworks after a Mets game. Morris, a veteran who would be a welcome addition in any NBA lock room, something the Knicks should consider as the trade deadline approach, went Neanderthal on Crowder.
“He’s got a lot of female tendencies on the court, flopping and throwing his head back,’’ Morris said of the player he’s had a history of disdain for. “He’s soft, very woman-like.”
Morris later apologized on Twitter, hopefully before Rhonda Rousey boarded a flight to New York.
Then came Ja Morant’s claim that The Garden is in a need of a plumber.
“This is beyond me,” Morant told reporters after the game. “I’ve taken cold showers before, but at least I had water pressure.”
Who knows how many Knicks fans return home from The Garden needing a cold shower. Dolan should have one in his office, one with a noise cancelling feature so he can tune out the ‘Sell the Team’ jeers.
Yes, it would be great if Dolan sold. But with the Knicks valued as the 5th most valuable franchise in the world and the most valuable in the NBA at $4 billion, per Forbes, what would motivate him to sell?
After all, he’s a filthy rich egomaniac. Every time he hears those jeers, he digs in. Every time he gets spurned in free agency, he digs in.
How do we get such a man to do what we want? Here’s a plan:
Many who know Dolan say he’s truly a Knicks fan. He desperately wants them to succeed.
That’s where Knicks fans need to focus their strategy. They need to appeal to Dolan’s love of the Knicks and the shared misery between the fans and the owner.
The fans should take out an ad in The New York Times and TheNYExtra.com. Buy an ad on MSG Networks (O.K., not likely) – and ESPN.
Dear Mr. Dolan, we the fans thank you for years of doing your best to restore this franchise to greatness. We know this because you gave Jackson $50 million. It’s not your fault Jackson thought this was for meditation classes. We know you are as disheartened as we are by the team’s struggles. (O.K. that’s a hard line to swallow, but we have an ulterior motive). For the sake of the franchise we love, we ask that you sell the team and let another owner try his luck. Of course, you can keep your courtside seat (we’ll have a word with security) and we will hold a parade in your honor in the Canyon of Heroes. From one disheartened Knicks fan to another, thank you for being big enough to do what’s in everyone’s best interest. Sincerely, Suffering Season Ticket Holder Since 1973.
Until then, remember, the 10 worst seconds are the first ones upon stepping into that icy, cold shower.