THE NEW YORK KNICKS AND THE CURSE OF MAYOR MIKE
With the New York Knicks in this year's NBA Playoffs a large portion of the Big Apple (all of them sports fans) is ecstatic about the opportunity. You see, it's been a long time since the nation's most abundant metropolis has staked its claim in basketball fame past the first round of action. Of course, folks can point out tons of reasons behind the lackluster performance of psst years–injuries, distractions, lack of moral support, politics even! Here's what New York City-based writer and new República recruit, F. Garcia has to say about some mayoral-affiliated reasons for New York's recent basketball run:
Words by: F. Garcia
In his 3 terms as mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg’s inescapable presence has impacted a whole lot of us New Yorkers. Whether it be for the ban on trans fats, the ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, the ban on sugary drinks, or his unapologetic support of the NYPD’s Stop & Frisk policy Bloomberg, he's has proved to be quite a divisive figure. The truth is that Bloomberg’s time in City Hall has affected us in more ways than we could have possibly imagined. In 9 months time when the next mayor is sworn into office there will be many fokls glad to see him go. The fans of the New York Knicks being chief among them. The fact is that the Knicks have been by the worst professional sports team in New York City (statistically) while Bloomberg's been in office.
The idea that politicians can be blamed for the fates of our beloved sports teams isn't necessarily a far-fetched one. Take New York's other beloved sports franchise, The Yankees. They've won 9 championships, all with Democrats in the White House. In fact, the last 5 World Series that the Yankees have lost have all occurred during Republican presidencies. How's that for politics affecting team spirit?
On November 6th, 2001 Bloomberg was elected mayor and in the 12 NBA seasons since then the Knicks have only won 1 game in the playoffs. Sounds incredible, right? During Bloomberg’s time in office the Knicks have had 8 top-10 draft picks and not one of them played on a winning team in New York. Meanwhile 2 of the draft picks the Knicks traded away, Lamarcus Aldridge and Joakim Noah, went on to become NBA All-Stars elsewhere. Up until two weeks ago every New York professional sports team except for the Knicks had won at least 1 division title during Bloomberg’s time in office.
There is renewed excitement around the Knicks this Spring as the team’s first division champion since the days of "GO NY, GO" appeared ready to make a deep run into the playoffs. While we all hope that these Knicks will do the unthinkable and win their first championship in 40 years (the time it takes to be born and become a jaded middle-aged father), at least we can all take solace in the thought that if they don’t we can just chalk it down as another reason why Bloomberg is f-ing up and folks like me can't wait until he leaves so we can finally get us an NBA Championship. Real talk.
*F. Garcia is a native New Yorker, teetotaler, vegetarian and sports fanatic. Check out more about his passion for the city, the politics and the opinions here.*