Don’t look now, but the Knicks are a completely respectable 4–2 heading into tonight’s game at San Antonio. This is a lot to take in for fans of the team who, instead of being faced with another season of hopeless loyalty, must now scramble to buy Chris Duhon jerseys, grow D’Antoni-style mustaches, and get Starbury head tattoos to show their support for the crew. The Knicks are doing so well, in fact, that the coverage in the papers today is actually positive.
The Times, for example, has a story about how effective a rebounder Zach Randolph is. But it’s been such a long time since anyone’s actually written a happy Knicks story that, as if by reflex, a good chunk of it is spent calling Randolph fat. It opens by saying, “Slide a piece of paper in front of Zach Randolph, and he would be hard pressed to jump over it.” Players and coaches are then quoted as saying he “can’t jump at all,” is “not a racehorse,” and “is different.” But they really do mean that in a good way. (Though that he’s described as a player who “gobbles rebounds with an ungainly efficiency” does seem kind of mean.)
It’s really a perfect way to wean Knicks fans off the negativity of the last seven years or so. This isn’t a new Zach Randolph; he’s still the same guy the Knicks tried to trade in the off-season. But see — he’s sort of good now! Just like the Knicks!