There’s a large photograph of me in the foyer of my Mom’s house. In said photo, I’m 9, at Disney World, being hugged by Pluto. Many of the awkward trappings of the age-serious buckteeth, shorts and high socks, a fanny pack(!)-are all on display and commented upon by any guest unfortunate enough to see it. There is one aspect of my 9-year-old self that I’m quite proud of, however, and that’s the Knicks Starter hat that I’m wearing. I’ve been a devotee for as long as I can remember. When I played basketball in the driveway, I was Patrick Ewing. Watching Charles Smith not put the ball in the basket makes me tear up instantly (so much so that I’m not even going to link to the video for fear that I might accidentally watch it myself). I have a “Nobody Beats The Wiz” baseball hat signed by Charles Oakley. In short, the Knicks. I weathered the storm of the 2000s, and was excited by the prospect of the Donnie Walsh era.
This summer I was prepared to walk away.