Jeremy Lin received cheers from the Madison Square Garden crowd in his first game against the Knicks since leaving his former team to sign with the Houston Rockets over the summer. Knicks fans gave Lin a strong applause when he was introduced before the game began. However, the cheers turned into boos as the game went and Houston pulled away.
Lin had 22 points and 8 assists, and most importantly, he was 9-15 on field goals in Houston’s 109-96 win on Monday night. It was the second-highest point total of the season for Lin, and his second-best shooting performance of the year.
“It was a lot of fun playing out there,” Lin said after the game. “I think our team took a step in the right direction. For me, it was great to be back and it was a lot of fun to be back again.
“It was actually a lot better than I thought (it would be),” Lin said of the reception.
Lin was not in the mood to be nostalgic about the “Linsanity” craze he sparked in New York last season.
“I’ve moved on, they’ve moved on,” he said. “We have good memories, but at the same time we’re all in a different place now.”
Ain’t no bro who can celebrate quite like a Knicks bro. After human victory cigar Rasheed Wallace hit a three pointer to put the Knicks up 64-59 against the Nets in Brooklyn on Monday, the TNT cameras focused on a couple of Knicks fans celebrating in the second row.
The dude in white was rocking a No. 16 Knicks jersey which we’re assuming is for Steve Novak. The bro in the No. 21 blue jersey may have been rolling with an … Iman Shumpert jersey? Either way, they both had the fitted hat tilted to the side and super thin eyebrow look down.
Some Knicks fans joined in unison on Sunday and voiced their frustrations with their team’s struggles, calling for Mike D’Antoni‘s job in the waning moments of New York’s fifth consecutive loss, a 106-94 defeat by the 76ers.
With a minute to go in the contest, chants of “Fire D’Antoni!” reportedly rang out briefly from portions of the Madison Square Garden crowd. It’s the first time that’s happened since January, just before Jeremy Lin came in and temporarily resurrected the team (and also D’Antoni’s job security). But Lin’s numbers recently have begun to subside and so too obviously has the frequency of Knicks wins. Sunday’s loss brought the Knicks’ record to 18-23, good enough for eighth in the East. With the rest of the team also bearing the brunt of boo birds Sunday, it might be safe to say Linsanity is now dead.
When you have a team such as the Knicks that made a lot of aggressive moves with their roster, of course there are going to be massive expectations attached, especially in a market like New York. And when a team like that stumbles as badly as the Knicks have, jeers are more than likely to come, and it’s been a sore subject for the Knicks and D’Antoni’s family.
The only problem is things might be getting worse. New York faces the Bulls on Monday and the Pacers back-to-back on Friday and Saturday. D’Antoni right about now probably wishes he had a Jeremy Lin clone who can respark last month’s magic while also helping out on defense and the boards.
Some women have no shame. Yes, one female fan brought a Jeremy Lin sign to the Knicks-Mavericks game saying “I want you LINside me.” She was proud enough to wave it during the game too, and the ABC cameras actually showed it:
When all is said and done, Jeremy Lin may have saved Mike D’Antoni’s job. The Knicks were sinking before Lin’s explosion. They were the biggest underachievers in the NBA and fans were chanting things like “Fire D’Antoni!” and calling for Phil Jackson to rescue them. The fans had turned on their coach and were ready for the next step. Lin managed to erase their memories, but D’Antoni’s wife Laurel D’Antoni hasn’t forgotten the way fans at the Garden treated her husband.
“It was a bummer,’’ Laurel said according to the NY Post. “But it’s not like we’re not used to people getting after Mike. Same way in Italy. It’s the same way. New York is impatient. They do pay a lot of money to be entertained.’
“It’s a lack of respect. I don’t boo my banker when my portfolio goes down. I don’t allow booing in my house.’’
We’re talking about New York. With the roster the Knicks have, 8-15 wasn’t cutting it. It may not have been D’Antoni’s fault, but he is the head coach. In cities like New York and Boston, the coach is the first one to feel the heat when things aren’t going well. The banker comparison really doesn’t apply to Mike’s situation.
If Mike is going to be around for a while longer in New York, Laurel should learn to not take fan reaction personally. If Lin comes back to earth and his turnovers start coming back to bite the Knicks, it won’t be him that the fans turn on — it will be D’Antoni. They’ve booed him before and they’ll boo him again. Mrs. D’Antoni should learn to ignore it.
We all know the story of Isiah Thomas and the New York Knicks. Thomas became the Knicks’ President of Basketball Operations in 2003 and ran the franchise right into the ground. He spent plenty of money but never had any success. When Thomas became the Knicks coach in 2006, it got even worse. He was given plenty of chances and blew essentially all of them. What does all that have to do with Isaiah Thomas of the Sacramento Kings? Nothing at all, aside from the fact that the two share a name.
On Wednesday night, Knicks fans booed Isaiah during introductions and every time he touched the ball. Unfortunately for him, the Kings guard was named after the former Knicks coach.
“When I used to come to (MSG), I heard them talking about firing Isiah and all that, so I knew something was going to happen,” Thomas told reporters after the game according to ESPNNewYork.com. “I knew they were going to boo at least once. I didn’t think they were going to boo the whole time, but it is what it is.”
Spike Lee offered his condolences after the game.
“He grabbed and said, ‘Us little guys got to stick together. But next time you come to New York, just change your name, (laughs)'” Thomas said.
That just goes to show you how much Knicks fans hate Isiah Thomas. The Jeremy Lin craze has produced new Nike sneakers and even a mint-flavored milk shake, but it isn’t enough to stop the name Isiah Thomas from making everyone in the Garden’s skin crawl.
Baron Davis has been out all season with a back injury. He began practicing with the Knicks this week, but perhaps he is still a bit behind on getting used to the lifestyle in New York. The Knicks have spent a lot of money and are loaded with star power, yet they are a mere 6-10 on the season. Fans who have attended the last four New York games — all of which were at Madison Square Garden — were treated to losses. They pay a lot of money to be there, so when the team stinks they deserve to be booed. Baron doesn’t think so.
“We’re going to have the fans behind us, even though they boo,” Davis said Monday according to the NY Post. “They’re just passionate about winning. All we ask is for their patience and to keep supporting us, because the booing is not going to really help us think through things.”
Losing doesn’t help Knicks fans feel better about the money they spent to go to the games, either. New York fans may be a bit premature in their Phil Jackson chants and may have forgotten that Carmelo Anthony is battling injuries when they rained boos down on him, but there’s only one way to stop it. The Knicks have to stop playing like crap.
Apparently Davis thinks he’s going to bring a lot to the table when he is cleared to play. He said the Knicks offense is going to become “unstoppable” once they hit their stride. Until that moment, the fans will continue giving a 6-10 team the reception they deserve.
At the end of the Knicks-Magic game, New York was up three with less than 10 seconds left. Jared Jeffries allowed Jason Richardson to take a three pointer without much defense and Richardson drained it to tie the game and send it to overtime. Knicks fans were all over coach Mike D’Antoni after Richardson tied it up, and one fan in particular was adamant that D’Antoni should have instructed his team to foul. That fan caught D’Antoni’s attention, and Mike even shook his head and responded to say that fouling was the wrong move as you can see in the picture above.
So what fan would be crazy enough to go nuts by the Knicks’ bench and yell at the coach in his face? Someone who happens to strongly resemble Amir Blumenfeld of College Humor. I have no idea if that is or isn’t Amir, but we do know he lives in New York, has the type of personality to get in a coach’s face during a game, and would have access to such good seats. I could be totally off here, but at the least we know Amir has a doppleganger who attends Knicks games and gets in D’Antoni’s face. Awesome no matter how you look at it.
UPDATE: Amir says it wasn’t him but he has someone at a Knicks game who looks just like him!