Each basketball arena in the NBA has its own fans, that react their own way to how their team plays. Some fans are super active, others applause only after a significant play from the home team.
New York, being the “Mecca of basketball” has its own basketball fans that probably understand basketball better than anyone else.
This is not a bold claim, but rather the words of Basketball Hall of Famers, former NY Knicks, who know what fans in the city are all about.
“The thing I remember the most is the response of the fans to how we play,” recalled Bill Bradley, an All-Star 70’s Knicks’ forward, and a two-time NBA champion.
“There aren’t many places where they applause to the pass that leads to the pass that leads to the basket,” Bradley said. “That’s because the NY fans know the game and understand what it means, and how important it is to be unselfish.”
Bradley’s teammate, former Knick, Hall of Famer Earl “The Pearl” Monroe on the other hand, believes that it is the fans that made the NY City basketball.
“They understand, they appreciate,” said Monroe, a 4-time NBA All-Star. “They make you go out and do better. And its been a really great thing.”
“Me, coming to the Garden as an opponent – it was just a heck of a place to come and play,” recalled Monroe, who joined the Knicks from the Baltimore Bullets in 1971. “And when I came here, I understood what it was to be a NY Knick.”
Monroe believes that sports in general bring people together, and the 70’s New York Knicks teams were great examples of that.
“That comraderie you have in the locker room, it never ceases, it goes on and on,” he said.
In 1970, the NY Knicks defended the LA Lakers in a best-of-seven series NBA finals, 4-3. That was the first ever championship title won by the NY Knicks.
They would repeat three years later, in 1973, again defeating the LA Lakers with a 4-1 series win.
In 1973, the Knicks had seven future Hall of Famers on their roster: Bill Bradley, Jerry Lucas (1980), Dave DeBusschere, Willis Reed, Phil Jackson, Earl Monroe, Walt Frazier.
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