The Knicks have been promoting this week — in which they play the Lakers, Cavaliers, and Celtics in consecutive home games — as “Dream Week.” The “dream,” basically, is being able to see so many great players in the span of just five days; the fact that the Knicks are involved is basically irrelevant. So in a sense, those in attendance to watch Kobe Bryant score a Garden-record 61 points last night — in just 36 minutes! — got exactly what they were promised: a superstar at the top of his game. They also saw the Knicks lose.
It wasn’t really a surprise that Bryant received a standing ovation from the crowd as he left the game; judging from the MSG Network’s crowd shots, everyone left in the arena at that point was wearing a Kobe jersey. In his postgame press conference, Mike D’Antoni said that “it was a road game for us.” But he said it with a smile, adding that “we’re not there yet.” Even he realizes that until the Knicks are “there,” his team (who had won six of seven) aren’t nearly the draw that the Lakers, Cavs, or Celtics are — even to Knicks fans. For now, New York fans can only watch great players on the opposition — and, of course, hope that they’ll sign a big contract with the Knicks in 2010. Which is to say: See you tomorrow night, LeBron!