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go ny go

The Tale of ‘Go NY Go’

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES:  The interior of Madison Square Garden in New York on 13 February, 2002, before a New York Knicks-Toronto Raptors basketball game.   AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Pretty much every Knicks fan and/or owner of the platinum record New York Is in the House: Vol. 1 is familiar with the rap classic "Go NY Go", or at least its basic but undeniably catchy chorus. (Said chorus: "Go New York, go New York, go." Repeat as needed). Few of us, though, know the story of the song's creator or the remarkable success he's had since his foreboding rhyme of "swish" with "Smith". In his Knicks Fix blog, Alan Hahn shared the story of Jesse Itzler, the man whose business connection with Ernie Grunfeld's wife earned him the chance to write a theme song for the 1994 Knicks. While the song will forever evoke memories of those badass mid-nineties squads, it was only the beginning of Itzler's impressive career behind the scenes of some familiar marketing involving the Knicks and the NBA in general. Remember the "I Love This Game!" slogan? That was Itzler. Have you seen those "Take a Sheet" ads? Also Itzler. Ever heard "C'Mon 'N Ride It (The Train)"? Not Itzler, but I'm sure he'd approve. So, Itzler has seen plenty of success in the decades since "Go NY Go", but what about the song itself? Some other folks have tried their hand at reformulating the No. 1 jam over the years. I'm of the opinion that none of the subsequent attempts are even worthy of the "Go NY Go" title, let alone plays on the Garden PA system, but you be the judge.

Here is the original "Go NY Go" from the 1993-1994 season, followed by its subsequent butchering in the 1999-2000, 2008-2009, and 2011-2012 seasons (also worth a look: Keenan Cahill's supreme lip-sync of the song featuring Landry Fields and Andy Rautins).