The New York Knicks face a slew of questions heading into the 2012-13 season, now that Jeremy Lin's bolted for the Houston Rockets. How will the Knicks' rebuilt backcourt fare with Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd in the fold? Can Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire stay injury-free and productive all year long? And if we're talking intangibles, can the Knicks recapture New Yorkers' hearts and minds now that Linsanity is no more?
You can add one more question to the pile: How will parent company Madison Square Garden Company's stock fare with Lin out of the picture? The answer is, it's complicated.
Before the season began, Syracuse and UConn were deemed two of the finest teams in the land. Since then, fate has flung the two powerhouse programs in very different, but equally chaotic, directions.
Coming into Thursday’s meeting in the Big East tournament, Syracuse had experienced a charmed season — on the hardwood, at least — befitting a Rothschild heir. They were ranked second in the country, had lost only once in 32 games, and were assured of entering the NCAA tournament as a top seed. The Orange are one of the few teams that wouldn’t be considered delicious ewes against the cohort of lottery picks presently devouring livestock in Lexington.
As a New York Knicks fan growing up in the '90s, nothing was more annoying than having to listen to my dad repeatedly say: "They're good, but they're not great. Those '70s Knicks -- they were great." He had a point. Those Knicks teams were comprised of Walt "Clyde" Frazier, Willis Reed, Bill Bradley, Phil Jackson, Dick Barnett, Dave DeBusschere, and ultimately Earl Monroe. They did something that no Knicks team has been able to since -- win championships. Harvey Araton’s book, When the Garden Was Eden: Clyde, The Captain, Dollar Bill, and the Glory Days of the Old Knicks, discusses all these on-court personalities and their success. But it also puts everything in context, placing the team within their turbulent era and tracing the disparate lives of the players up until today. I spoke at length with Araton about his book, the difference between the NBA then and now, and the way we choose to remember it all.
I'm curious if you could talk a little bit about how this book came to be. In an interview I read, you said it was suggested to you and you had to take some time to think about it.
There were a lot of Old Knicks books written in the early '70s, in the wake of that first championship season. There's an old line about the Knicks: "So many books, so few titles." It plays into this notion of New Yorkers making a bigger deal of what transpired in that era than what really did. So I was a little reluctant at first.