May 17, 2010

An Impassioned Plea

My blog is typically reserved for the outré geeky, divinely techie, obnoxiously smart advertising insight and digital deliciousness but today a different passion overcame me and I needed to wax about a topic that is very close to my heart.


My love of the game started at a tender age, from sun up to sun down there was only one place I could be found, either warming up on the half courts or running full on the main court. When not playing I was in front of my television screen watching my beloved Knicks playing every game like it was game 7 of the Finals.

I was born in Brooklyn, a basketball town to two huge basketball fans. Both my parents imbued in me the torturous agony of being a Knicks fan. I idolized individual players like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic and Reggie Miller but was taught to save my utmost affection for our hometown Knicks.

Year after year I watched Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Charles Oakley, Anthony Mason, Doc Rivers, Xavier McDaniel, Greg Anthony, Larry Johnson, Gerald Wilkins, Mark Jackson, Kenny Walker and an assemblage of other players constantly fall short to the superstars of the league.

As if adolescence wasn't tough enough.

I will never forget that summer afternoon watching the Knicks and the Pacers clash it out when suddenly O.J. was absconding in the passenger seat of a white Bronco.

My mother immediately stood up and threw her empty cup onto the living floor in complete outrage and disgust, she was right in the middle of a tirade against Reggie Miller as she was going into detail about how Reggie Miller's family must have been Rhodesian and that Rhodesia was now known as The Republic of Zimbabwe and it was because of his ancestry that Reggie had acquired his lanky frame and lighting speed.

Her outrage wasn't at the murderous villain who was fleeing from capture along a Los Angeles highway, it was that our beloved Knicks had been interrupted right in the middle of a classic battle with one of our arch enemies the Indiana Pacers.

Neighbors came down, people came out of their apartments, the phone started ringing and there was suddenly an uproar, the entire neighborhood was in distress and it had nothing to do with O.J. as a matter of fact no one could care less, it was all because we were missing the game.

No other city in the world focuses its energy on its hometown team more than Knicks fans.

Imagine how abominable their play has been over the past decade, how gruesome the situation has become. We were raped and pillaged by a man who decimated our team both physically and financially and if your a New Yorker, spiritually.

We have become reduced to a side show that can barely beat the Maccabi Tel Aviv team that comes to play annually.

Sure we have the Yankees who are a pristine dynasty. They have brought us some comfort but the real die hard New Yorker knows deep in their hearts that until the Knicks win we cannot rest.

We now have a chance to sign a legitimate cynosure, the real deal, a certified kosher superstar! Someone who would soak up the lights, become the toast of the town and give us fans a reason to cheer again.

The Garden would once again become the Supreme Mecca of basketball and the great people of New York would once again ascend 34th street with pride night after night to catch a glimpse of the hero we so desperately pine for.

That hero is a young man who was destined to play in this city. He payed his dues to his home town, he gave them a taste of what it is like to win but was unable to bring them a title because of a slew of reasons that all boil down to one. This basketball king was meant to claim his crown on the largest basketball stage in the world.

Winning a title in Cleveland would have been like winning the Battle of Brandy Station as opposed to winning a title in NYC, akin to winning the Battle of Gettysburg. What Lebron doesn't understand is that destiny is playing its hand and it isn't ready to show.

How can one man so naturally gifted and so destined for basketball greatness settle for bringing a title to the Rust Belt? A city whose national fame is based on the fact that it was ranked as the best city for business meetings, with nick names like "The Cleve", "Sixth City" and "C-Town". Don't we have a supermarket chain named C-Town?

Lebron, the time is now. There is no other place in the world where you will bask in the glory of the greatness that is NYC. No other city will shower you the praise and the honor you have earned. Consider Cleveland your college years and now step up into the big leagues and "make it here".

Watch as great actors, prolific musicians, comic geniuses, political dignitaries, eccentric artists, renown writers and brash billionaires all dedicate their evenings to watching you crush the competition.

Savor the city that will cater to your every whim. Come into your own in the cultural capital of the world and stake your claim to the throne that awaits you in Midtown.

You will not only amass great wealth and admiration but you will re-inspire a city that has been dormant. You will ignite a basketball renaissance that will reverberate throughout the world and will bring prestige back to the American Basketball.

Winning a title in any other city will always be second rate to the millions of fans who will line the Canyon of Heroes as you glide through to the sweet tunes of a custom written song by Jay Z that will define you as a champion year after year.

Throngs of people who "make it here" will be screaming your name and you will be the toast of the town.

Tell me what other city can offer you that?