Monday, June 30, 2008

100th Post!

All Star Blog has survived three years, a few extended breaks, and the rise of the NHL to massive popularity to reach its 100th post. (That last one actually never happened, but I was recently told some Canadians read my blog, so I wanted to inject their day with a little excitement.)

In celebration of my 100th post, I wanted to write about something dramatic, something moving, something awe-inspiring, something which centers on a great success.

But I'm a Knicks fan.

On the night of the NBA draft (a.k.a. Second Christmas, as my buddy J-Rubs calls it) I had the unlucky task of getting to Boston during major train-track construction. This meant four and a half hours from New Haven to Beantown. On the way, J-Rubs texted me to say that the Knicks had selected Danilo Gallinari from Italy rather than take a point guard. He also said that ESPN's Jeff Van Gundy told America that Stephon Marbury is still a very good point guard, prompting me to throw my laptop at the older woman sitting to my left. She was very upset and gave me a piece of her mind. It's amazing how rude people can be when they don't understand sports. Anyways....

My first thought about Gallinari was that the Knicks could finally land a solid foreign talent with some versatility. My next thought was, "There is no way in hell Knicks fans pronounce this guy's name." So with about half of my train ride remaining, I came up with a list of nicknames: 'Nilo (turns out Bill Simmons coined this in his column as well), DG, 'Nari, and the Runnin' Rigatoni.

In all honesty, it is way too early to tell whether or not this was a good selection. David Lee and Renaldo Balkman weren't met with too much excitement (especially Balkman), but the pair changes the dynamic of a lackluster team whenever they step on the court and are both fan favorites. Maybe Gallinari turns into a great inside-outside threat. Maybe he turns into the next Frederic Weis. (He's that French center the Knicks took in '99 whose only great basketball accomplishment was allowing Vince Carter to jump clear over all 7 feet of him in the Olympics. Brilliant.)
Either way, being a loyal fan to the Knicks continues to be no better than trying to patch up a relationship. You do it because you love the idea of her more than what she actually is. You overlook her blemishes in looking forward. You even give her some cash to go out and dress herself up a bit. But what does she do? She buys a top that would look great on someone else but just doesn't fit her figure (Mike D'Antoni), and she gets a pair of expensive Italian shoes when she should really focus on that broken nose (DG).

In the end, the shoes may be a great fit. But she still needs several million in plastic surgery.


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