It is hard to imagine a time when we needed this more, frankly, this flabbergasting, dumbfounding, out-of-the-(orange-and)-blue surprise of a Knicks season. Forget the way our world at-large has been upended the last year. Let’s just keep it to our little sporting corner of that solar system.
Let’s remember what these last few years have been like around here, an endless morass of underachievement and underperformance, summer to winter, fall to spring, one sporting calamity after another, an endless loop of failure, of frustration, of futility.
The Islanders gave a whiff of oxygen last summer, and maybe that was a harbinger. They share the Knicks’ colors, after all, and when they beat the Panthers, Capitals and Flyers in the NHL’s bubble, playoffs they reminded a faction of New York of the possibilities of hope.
But let’s be honest about something: Even that was different. What the Islanders did was salvage a season that, before interruption, was careening out of control, seven straight losses and 11 out of 13 before the virus shut everything down. Theirs was a tale of redemption more than revelation.
This? This is different. This is the shoebox full of mint baseball cards in your attic, found years after you assumed your mother had tossed them in the trash. This is the “Bank Error in Your Favor!” Community Chest card from Monopoly. This is the river card somehow completing your inside straight after you’d begun to mentally cash out for the night.