As a Pacers fan, I really hate to say anything even remotely complimentary about the New York Knicks. (Side note: John Starks sucks.)
Still, it’s impossible to not recognize how good the MSG Network is. It shows a lot of classic Knicks stuff, which is great because Clyde Frazier is the flyest known human and each time they talk about Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals, it draws us one step closer to the day we all collectively stop erroneously referring to it as “The Willis Reed Game” and start rightfully calling it “The Clyde Frazier Game.” (Walt dropped 36 points, 19 assists and 5 steals on 12-17 shooting from the field and 12-12 from the line.)
Additionally, the network often shows great non-Knicks performances very often as well. Currently, for instance, the channel is showing a program called “Returns to MSG,” which is featuring things like MJ’s “Double Nickel” game where he dropped 55 on the Knicks in his first trip to the Garden after failing to succeed in minor league baseball and Bernard King’s first game playing in New York after signing the Washington Bullets. It also includes MSG returns of guys like Clyde (who was dealt to the Cavs), Patrick Ewing (who played pretty well for Seattle), Mark Jackson (who dropped 18 and 8 and did some shimmying with the Clips), Pat Riley (who was nearly lynched for bolting to Miami), Charles Oakley (who is a guy so dope even a Pacers fan has to love) and Jeff Van Gundy (who was so gutter ghetto girls fell in love with him). Epic stuff. (0n a related-but-not-related note, this morning someone shared this YouTube link with me from when AI returns to Philly.)
In other news, the MSG Network often airs some good street ball stuff from Rucker Park, which is rare to see on television ever since ESPN’s “Streetball” show overexposed and trivialized the And 1 Mixtape phenomenon even quicker than it ruined Texas Hold ‘Em. And it just so happens that right before the “Returns to MSG” show, they were showing the “EBC at Rucker” show. Basically, it is what it says it is: a show of highlights from current and past Entertainer’s Basketball Classic tournament action from Harlem’s legendary Rucker Park.
This episode concluded with one of the greatest moments in Rucker History. It was 2003 and David Stern showed up — and brought his friend President Bill Clinton with him. The two luminaries sat there in attendance watching the action and seemed at home even though they both stood out for their overwhelming whiteness and all-eyez-on-me fame. In an interview conducted some time later, EBC announcer Al Cash aptly reflected upon what having these two men in the stands meant for NYC basketball: “It was a good look for Harlem.”
Better still was the fact that rapper Fat Joe’s “Terror Squad” team was playing that day and one of the other announcers had the foresight to borrow Joey Crack’s gaudy “TS” chain and put it around Stern’s neck.
And even better than that is the fact that there’s a photo of said incident.