With Christmas upon us that typically means great NBA matchups so I thought I would take a brief look back at some memorable ones. Please understand that I am in a compassionate mood knowing how badly the Knicks have fallen and wanted to give my NY friends some fond memories.
We all remember in 1947 when the Knicks edged the Providence Steamrollers in the first ever Christmas day NBA game.
Knicks – Celtics – 1985 – This game served as Patrick Ewing’s emergence into the NBA elite. Only a rookie in 1985, Ewing’s Knicks faced Larry Bird and the heavily favored Celtics and Boston built up a 25-point lead that seemed insurmountable. Ewing led a remarkable comeback and scored 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to upset the defending NBA champ Celtics.
Knicks –Bulls – 1986 – This game marked the beginning of a rivalry that would define the Eastern Conference for years. For the first time, Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing played on the big stage. Ironically, Ewing would be the one to lead the Knicks with last-second heroics. The Bulls led the Knicks 85-84 going into the final possession. After a missed jumper, Ewing rebounded the shot and threw up a short buzzer-beater to stun the Bulls.
Knicks – Nets – 1984 – Bernard King drops 60 points on Nets but Knicks lose 120-114.
Lakers-Heat – 2004 – As great as some of the other games on this list were, none will ever top the 2004 showdown between Kobe and Shaq. Nobody really knew what to expect in Shaq’s return to Los Angeles. After all, it was viewed as Kobe’s fault that he was gone. Would Kobe and Shaq shake hands before the game? Completely ignore each other? Would Shaq punch Kobe? Heat win 104-102
On the heels of the NY Jets being double digit underdogs at home for the first time ever against the Pats and the Jacksonville Jaguars being favored in a game (against the Titans) for the first time in almost four years, it seemed like in the spirit of the holiday season, I could prepare a wish list for teams and athletes so here we go.
NCAA – more bowl games. I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of the Tostitos/Doritos/Banditos Bowl and hey don’t miss the Duck Commander Independence Bowl.
LeBron James – time for the team to mesh. It’s a big burden to carry to play with such slugs like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love so we feel your pain.
NHL – mumps vaccine. Seriously, how bizarre is this and once Sidney Crosby got it, now the other sports leagues are vaccinating anyone and everyone.
Adrian Peterson – some type of fairness. With all the crimes and terrible acts that have been committed in the NFL, Peterson is being made the scapegoat of the poor handling by the NFL of Ray Rice and enough is enough.
Peyton Manning – a playoff win in Foxboro or cold weather or in the clutch or all of the above and most importantly that shirt that allows his poor little chin and neck to stay warm. Or a different Nebraska town.
Donald Sterling – a guest star appearance on the TV show Black-ish.
USA Soccer team – some attention before the next World Cup
Derek Jeter – whatever he wants. He deserves it.
Rex Ryan – a quarterback that has some real skills and a job as a defensive coordinator which is ultimately what he is best suited for.
Kobe Bryant – a team that gives him one more chance to win an NBA title
LaMarcus Aldridge – someone to actually watch him play.
Patriots – a Superbowl win so they can stop carrying around the burden of being the Boston sports team that has gone the longest without winning a championship.
Tom Brady – a Superbowl win to give him four and tie him with his childhood hero Joe Montana and once and for all be considered possibly the best of all time.
Bill Belichick – a Superbowl so he can stop living with the Spygate wrap.
Arizona Cardinals – a QB that can stay healthy for more than a quarter. What a shame this is because if Carson Palmer was healthy they could have gone to the Superbowl.
SF 49’ers – some group therapy for the GM and Jim Harbaugh.
Jim Harbaugh – the job at Michigan so he doesn’t go to the Raiders. Talk about a Plan B.
Dallas Cowboys – a playoff win.
Jay Cutler – nothing can help here.
Max Scherzer – some real money. 144 million is downright insulting.
Giancarlo Stanton – an effective wealth manager
NY Yankees – a healthy elbow for Tanaka and CC to start eating again.
Chicago Cubs – for Steve Bartman to throw out the first pitch to Bill Buckner (ex-Cub) double jinx equals cancellation of all curses.
Golden State- a trip to the NBA Finals. Who didn’t love Run TMC (Mullin, Hardaway, Richmond) and any team that was once run by a guy named Sleepy is my kind of team. *By the way ask a casual sports fan what state Golden State plays in, you would be surprised at the answers you’d get.
Odell Beckham – doesn’t need a thing
Stephen Ross (Dolphins owner) – a clue, a winning QB, a head coach. Any or all?
Falcons– a tie in week 17 vs Carolina – so the Falcons make it with a record of 6-9-1.
Mark Altman – an actual blog site instead of this email format. I know I know. By the end of January and it’s a Ruthian guarantee.
Happy Holidays everyone and Happy New Year.