Just before Sunday’s playoff game between the Knicks and the Miami Heat, there was a big commotion near a hot dog vendor in Madison Square Garden. A group of Knicks fans spotted another Knicks fan and started cursing. Others turned their heads and cautiously walked away from the group. It seemed that the battle had begun.
However, it became clear this wasn’t a brawl when the fans started walking towards each other, arm in arm and jumping around. He wore a custom blue Knicks shirt with the name of the best player, Jimmy Butler. It was just a fan, uh, reading the message on the shirt out loud.
“I did,” Thompson, 37, said proudly. “It took about 30 minutes. I don’t wish to.”
Such a moment filled Sunday’s Game 1 between the Knicks and the Heat, the first second-round playoff game at the Garden in a decade. Fans flocked to 7th Avenue outside the arena to climb the poles, dance and drink after the win.
But on Sunday, the Knicks lost 108-101 at home for the first time in this postseason after trailing as much as 12 points in the first half. Afterwards, 7th Avenue was deserted, lined with police officers gearing up for the raucous crowd, but instead watching fans jump through puddles of pouring rain on their way to the train. is a Tuesday garden.
Here are some of the Sunday fans.
Greg Dell, 48
Greg Dell has a hairless head under his Knicks hat that he uses to show people that he’s a fan of the team. Knicks shortcomings in his 36-year fandom may be responsible for the hair loss, but he said he wouldn’t trade it for something else. And once he turns 12, he adds, he can’t change teams unless he moves to a new city.
Dell said it was the Knicks’ most exciting season since they reached the NBA Finals in 1999. He said he was going to “throw away” the Game 1 loss, and the Knicks predicted he would close out the series in six games.
“It’s like dating,” he said. “If you want to find a loyal spouse or girlfriend, ask your favorite team. If they say Knicks, they’re loyal. They’re not cheating on you. They’re.” I haven’t left you. That’s who we are.”
Miguel Garcia, 45 years old
Miguel Garcia and his two brothers, Danny and John, grew up in the long shadow of the garden on 43rd and 9th Avenues. On match days, it was so close that noise could be heard from all around the arena.
Their first Knicks memory was when forward Larry Johnson was fouled in Game 3 of the 1999 Eastern Conference Finals. made a 3 point shot The ensuing free throw gave the Knicks a 92-91 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
On Sunday, they “had to go crazy” for the special occasion, so they wore wigs of various colors purchased from Party City and entered the garden.
“You know, I have no hair, so I had to wear something,” Garcia said.
Francis Vazquez stopped others nearby from speaking so that they could understand the importance of what he was about to say. This is for God, he said, raising his other hand slightly below it. He said it was for the Knicks.
Greg Dell and Vasquez met at a bar after Sunday’s game. Vasquez said their relationship reflected what he loves about the Knicks fandom.
“I could feel his energy and he could feel mine,” he said.
Vasquez grew up in Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan, where he built a constant support for the team. Still, Vazquez said he would “die for his Nick.”
“Don’t let us win the championship. It’s going to be a riot that day,” he said. “Maybe I’ll be locked up for the day.”
Leah Romito had no interest in basketball at all. But in the last two seasons, her eight-year-old son Axel has fallen in love with Knicks forward Julius Randle and guard Jalen Brunson, and she’s become a fan too. On Sunday, she followed her son’s instructions, screaming and cheering as if born into the Knicks fandom like so many others in her garden.
It was the first game she played with Axel. Branson scored 25 points, but Randle was sidelined with her ankle injury.”Sad,” Axel said. “so sad.”
Lakeisha Reid paid $1,500 to join the game with his girlfriend. She’s been a fan of the Knicks since she was a teenager, and former star center Patrick Ewing, who attended Sunday’s game, brought her father along and thrilled people across New Jersey, where she grew up.
Sunday was her first Knicks game, so she planned a dazzling outfit featuring shiny blue pom-poms.
Reed said she was most surprised by the friendliness of the crowd, which she described as “crazy but polite”. One fan even swapped seats to make sure his girlfriend was comfortable.
“In the North, we’re known for being a little bit hard, and sometimes a little picky, but in the game, it was just the love of the North, the vibe,” she said. It wasn’t a drama. It was beautiful.”
Satchel Abiram grew up in Westchester County, New York and loved the Knicks for as long as he can remember. He said he appreciates the fan base because, unlike Nets fans, Knicks fans are loyal despite going through a few ups and downs and countless downs.
“The moment the Nets lose, they know it’s over. When the Knicks lose, we know we fight,” said Abiram. Yes, the city is behind the Knicks.”
Abiram said the rain and gray skies may have reflected the pessimistic sentiment among fans after the defeat.
“We’ve been down for a long time, so it meant a lot to the city that we were finally fighting,” said Abiram.