Filed under: Basketball, Brawls, Bread City, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Video | Tags: David Stern, Derek Harper, Jo Jo English, John Starks, Pat Riley, Patrick Ewing, Rivalries, Scottie Pippen
It’s the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and the Knicks are rocking black sneakers for good luck. This is their shot. 1994: the year without Jordan. New York has to win now, while they can. Because whatever little fantasy MJ is living out at that moment – pretending to be a baseball player, Indian chief, astronaut, or whatever – they all know it won’t last.
And the Knicks are winning the series 2-0, when the scuffle breaks out between Derek Harper and Jo Jo English in Game 3. These teams hate one another. Pippen and Charles Smith had technical fouls before the game even started. Now the benches clear quick.
The fight goes down to the ground on some bad jiujitsu. Arms and legs everywhere. John Starks is about to throw a punch when Phil Jackson grabs him from behind. They both get tackled into the stands, and security bodies Starks up. Ewing and Pippen play the old hold me back, hold me back game. And Pat Riley’s not even mad until Derek Harper puts hands on coach’s suit.
But the best part? David Stern sits a few mere rows from the melee. He’s literally close enough to reach out and break up the fight himself, but he can’t move. The commissioner just stares, bug-eyed, into his own personal slow motion disaster reel, as both teams crush the heavy spenders sitting courtside.
New York went on to win the series in 7 games, and Jordan returned to basketball the following season.
Filed under: Basketball, Bread City, Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks | Tags: 1990s NBA, Anthony Bonner, Herb Williams, Hubert Davis, John Starks, Pat Riley, Patrick Ewing, Rolando Blackman
From the deep archives. Of course 9-year-old me had to sign it to be official. Featuring original bulletin board pushpin holes and Herb William’s signature. Knicks put up 130 on the 76ers. Frame-worthy.
Filed under: Art, Basketball, Bread City, New York Knicks | Tags: 1990s NBA, Basketball Art, Patrick Ewing
Filed under: Basketball, Bread City, History, New York Knicks, Sports Photography | Tags: Basketball Archeology, Basketball History, European Basketball, Patrick Ewing, Toni Kukoc
The McDonalds Open was an international basketball cup that was held more or less every year between ’87 and ’99, pitting three Euro champion teams against one NBA team. The whole thing was a farce, and the NBA team won easily every year. Except in 1990, the Knicks were invited to play, and they almost blew it. In the very first round New York barely managed to get past to the Italian team, and needed overtime to pull out the 119-115 win. The tournament’s final game was against Split, which was what they called Croatia before the wall fell, I guess. The Knicks took the chip, but along the way Toni Kukoc stuffed a Patrick Ewing jump-shot right back into his face, a clip that was given such heavy Soviet Bloc rotation that it’s credited with increasing Yugoslavian production rates by 3%.
Filed under: Basketball, Bread City, Fiction, New York City, New York Knicks | Tags: 1990s NBA, Patrick Ewing, World Trade Center
We spread Knicks on toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At Sunday Mass we sat looking like Pat Riley six rows deep in the pews, our hair slicked back with water and our collars opened as far as we could swing it. At night in our thin bunk-beds, we peered out the mesh window screens. We saw Patrick Ewing walk across the East River in purple leather crocs, stop, and pick his nose with the Twin Towers. And Nikki DeVincentis was still the flyest little rich girl in Brooklyn, in a green miniskirt and pigtails jumping rope in Furman Street Park like GO NY GO NY GO!
– Excerpt from a non-existent novel