Growing up in the 90s, the Knicks and the NBA happened to be a big deal in New York City to the point both became more popular than the Yankees and Major League Baseball.
Hard to believe I can write this sentence or anyone can even say that now, but I saw it for myself.

Oh, those times made it so simple and enjoyable alright.

The Knicks captured everyone’s attention by winning and playing unselfish basketball. It was so cool to be a Knicks fan. I remembered you had to be a Knicks fan or you were an outcast. Being a Knicks fan helped make anyone quick friends since the passion for the basketball team was so strong. At the time, New Yorkers starved for a basketball championship.

The Knicks haven’t won an NBA title since 1973, and Pat Riley’s Knicks teams gave the city the best chance of ending that drought. Too bad they ran into probably the greatest basketball player of all time in Michael Jordan.

47 years and counting, the Knicks are still searching for that elusive championship.

20 years and counting, the Knicks failed to play in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Seven years and counting, the Knicks couldn’t make it to the second round, let alone making the playoffs.

As long as James Dolan owns the Knicks, look for all that drought to continue.

Depressing can’t even come close to it. The NBA transformed from a basketball mecca to a graveyard. Never thought it would happen in my lifetime, but here we are, and we can thank Dolan for all this, which is his legacy.

Maybe the Nets change that next season with Kevin Durant. Yes, no one cares about them in this town. They might as well be in the witness protection program. Even during the Jason Kidd playing years, they served as an afterthought here despite winning and putting on an entertainment product. At the time, the Knicks were popular still despite being a remnant of why they used to be from the 90s.

Times change now, and the Nets know they have to strike at this opportunity. They may not get this again. That’s why they signed Durant last summer.

Not only just for winning championships, but being a game-changer in town when it comes to capturing basketball hearts in town.

God knows we are still searching for our basketball jones. We may even be desperate that we would consider the Nets one of our own.

If the Nets can’t win the hearts of New Yorkers with Durant, they never will. They might as well move to Seattle where they can be appreciated.

I never understood why we had two basketball teams in New York in the first place, to begin with, but here’s the Nets’ opportunity to show there is room for two teams.

The Nets should be an elite team next year if Durant is healthy. Of course, that’s a big if since no one knows if Durant will be the same after an Achilles injury? He claims he is good to go and he should be ready when the new season starts, but no one will know until he gets on the court and plays games. It’s going to take at least three months to convince people he is as good as old.

Nevertheless, basketball fans nationally and even locally plan to watch the Nets with interest just to see whether Durant still has it or not. The national media and local media will watch every move he makes. The Nets star is a top 5 player in the NBA, and he could make a case that he is the best player in the league.

Durant’s presence itself brings buzz to a market starving for basketball. We haven’t had a player that was such a difference-maker since Kidd. Please don’t make me laugh about Carmelo Anthony. Yes, he scored often being the ball hog he was, and not much else with plenty of losing and drama to show for it with the Knicks.

The Nets if nothing else will be entertaining. When was the last time we can say that about an NBA team in town?

It is going to be refreshing just to hear people talk about the NBA in town next season if there is basketball. Yes, it’s the Nets, but it’s better than nothing.

The Nets will provide curiosity for sure just by how they are going to do. They will be looked at as a shiny new toy that piques people’s interest.

So what it’s just the Nets. Anything would be an improvement after what we experienced for a decade. To have some sort of buzz in our town again would be refreshing.
It’s better than nothing at all.

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