Monday, April 08, 2013

N.Y. Knicks - Bernard King Gets Call To The Hall

From the desk of:   DUTCH PANTS CAN'T JUMP

Bernard King
Elected To Basketball Hall Of Fame

His Name Resonated Through Every Playground
in New York City.

I do not remember the 1973 championship season - too young.  I became a serious fan during Clyde Frazier's and Dave Debusschere's last seasons.  I remember when Red Holzman, then Willis Reed, then Red Holzman (again) ran things here.  I was a Knicks fan when Mr. Bill Cartwright was drafted, and Sugar Ray Richardson played.  That leads us into Hubie Brown and Bernard King.

I was like most teenage boys in Brooklyn during summer.  When not engaged in baseball, I was in the park playing basketball.  You played three-on-three on the side, until "Next" for your five guys came up on the full court.  Winner stayed on the court - losers strayed back into three-on-three, or got angry and assembled another five.

Bernard King was part of all of it.  Born in Brooklyn, he became the measure of all things basketball in Gotham.  No playground was replete without the local version of BER-NARD!  Every team had at least three.  Every shot was patterned after his.  In my day, every shot was - In Your Face!  Swishhh!  Or just accompanied by a BER-NARD!

For a guy who's last name lent itself to mundane media metaphors, King was always BER-NARD to us.  I have followed the Knicks for nearly forty years now, and have either found favor or disgust with many players over that time.  Bernard King is without a doubt my favorite Knicks player of all-time, with Patrick Ewing coming in a considerable second.  Throughout the Knicks long playoff run of the 1990's, no player surpassed what Bernard King did to the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics during the 1984 playoffs.  I only wish, like many Knicks fans of the time, Bernard King and Patrick Ewing could have played together.  A debilitating knee injury, and former GM Al Bianci's gross mismanagement of the team prevented that from happening.  I also pondered many times what Bernard King, Patrick Ewing, and Mark Jackson could have done together.  If only...

You can save your arguments opposing his election into the Hall of Fame.  When I think of Bernard King, one thing and one thing only pops into my mind - greatness.  He was a true King of the city.

He was....BER-NARD!


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