The New York Knicks could not get out of the first-round playoffs and got put out by the Atlanta Hawks. After almost nine years of not being in the playoffs and spending almost a decade building a team after Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks finally had their opportunity to shine on the big stage.
Advent fan Andrew Wadsworth, 36, from Oakland, explained why he was happy to see his team show up in the playoffs, even if they did not get to the championship.
TH: How did you feel seeing your favorite B-ball team in the playoffs?
AW: I seen it coming, especially after we got that new coach.
TH: Coach Tom Thibodeau, yeah, he’s a good coach. But y’all still didn’t make it. After going that far and then being put out with 41 wins and 31 loses, that must have been devastating to you, being the fan you are.
AW: Yeah, man, I was crushed. But at the same time I was proud of them. I thought we would go all the way, but I feel good even though we didn’t make it. At one time we even had a hot defense. We snatched fourth seed in the playoffs.
TH: Yeah, I felt the same way about the Warriors this season. When they didn’t make it, I felt bad, too, but I knew why we didn’t get there. We had a lot of key players out, particularly Klay. Draymond and Steph can’t do it by themselves. Speaking of the Warriors, I have to ask you, how can you say you are from Oakland and be a New York Knicks fan? That’s rare to see. Why not like the team from your own city? What made you dislike the Warriors?
AW: (Laughs) I was asked that same question by Draymond Green when the Warriors visited SQ a few years ago. I felt some kinda way about that, too. But I just never liked them (Warriors). Back in the day they wasn’t doing good. The Knicks was the team to beat. I consider myself to be the number one Warrior hater. I only liked the mascot. But what made me hate them the most was when they got rid of Latrell Sprewell for choking out the coach. He was wrong for that, but I didn’t understand that back then. But when he came to the Knicks, I was super happy about that.
TH: Being in prison, guys take sports very serious, especially teams from their own city. I can imagine the grief you must have received from people who are from your city once they found out that you were a Knicks fan.
AW: Yeah, I been called a turf hopper, that I abandoned the town. Oakland dudes in prison hate me for that. But I realize that it’s just they love for the sport. I don’t take it personal. The only thing that unify me with the Warriors was my grandpa, who was a fan. We would be team rivals and have fun with each other on our teams’ game days. I miss that.
TH: I can understand that. When did you fall in love with the Knicks?
AW: I fell in love with basketball after watching my first game in 1993. It was a Phoenix Suns game. I fell in love with the New York Knicks in the ’93 or ’94 season. John Starks was my favorite player. Julius Randle is one of favorite players for the Knicks now. I was fascinated with the Knicks like I still am today. I have Knicks paraphernalia all in my cell.
TH: Yeah, I can see the New York Knicks handmade beaded chain you got on.
AW: Yeah, it’s amazing of the talent we have in prison.
TH: One last question. How did you feel when the Atlanta Hawks fans spit on Trae Young?
AW: It made me think of today’s racism and how bad people can react to things. It took me back to when I saw Reggie Miller being antagonized by Spike Lee a long time ago. I’m so much a fan I think I love the Knicks more than some New Yorkers.
TH: Imagine the irony in that. Sort of like you being from Oakland and not a Warriors fan. (Laughs)