The New York Knicks are on a roll in 2022-23 and, with sole ownership of the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference standings at 37-27, they appear to be heading toward their second playoff appearance in three seasons.
Their level of play has those such as veteran wing Josh Hart believing the franchise could realistically advance beyond the first round of the postseason for the first time since 2013 though, to former NBA guard Gilbert Arenas, he’s still unsure of just how real the club’s chances actually are.
In a recent episode of his show “Gils’ Arena,” when asked what his thoughts are of the Knicks possibly winning a playoff series this season, the three-time NBA All-Star noted that while he believes in the team as a collective, a part of him feels the fanbase could wind up negatively impacting their psyche.
“I trust the Knicks, I don’t trust the Garden,” Arenas said. “I’ve never trusted the Garden because the Garden hates their Knicks players if they’re performing badly or if they’re not performing at the level that they are delusional with…When they get to booing five minutes into the game because the game is zero to four, and then favor the road team and then they’re going to cheer for the road star, I do not trust them in the playoffs…They’re just the worst fans in sports history.”
Arenas would continue by jokingly suggesting that Knicks owner James Dolan should implement the artificial crowd sound system that was used in the Lake Buena Vista bubble during the COVID-19-ravaged 2020 postseason to “keep it positive” in Madison Square Garden.
Knicks Fans Not Afraid to Show Emotion
Knicks fans have never, and will never shy away from wearing their emotions on their sleeve.
In some instances, it has led to infamous scenarios such as Julius Randle’s “thumbs down” gesture in a January 2022 contest against the Boston Celtics in response to the fanbase’s “hot and cold” reactions to his play, though even the big man himself stated in a follow-up remark that “Sometimes you say things you regret to people you love.”
Other instances have exemplified far more endearing reactions to the crowd’s demeanor, with Josh Hart stating that he “loved” how they responded to him and showered him with right the jump upon suiting up for the Knicks.
The love from the fanbase seems to be at a major high at this point in time, and, while league alumni such as Arenas may not have an affinity for the franchise’s faithful followers, current representatives of the Knicks like Mitchell Robinson certainly do.
Knicks Guard Could Land Lucrative Deal
Though he may have been rumored to be expendable during the early stages of 2022-23, over time combo guard Immanuel Quickley has proven himself to be an integral part of this New York Knicks team and, according to SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley, when considering his level of play this season it would be “shocking” if he doesn’t sign a lucrative long-term extension with the club once he’s eligible to do so.
“It would be really shocking to me if the Knicks did not sign Quickley to a big extension and lock him in for several years,” Begley said.
Since the beginning of December Quickley has found himself posting sensational per-game averages of 14.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.0 assists on 46.6% shooting from the floor and 38.1% shooting from deep and, as a result, some such as Begley believe he has thrust himself into the 2023 NBA Sixth Man of the Year race.