The folks at MSG Network had a full court press last night to usher in the Knicks 2012-13 season. A media party was held at Walt “Clyde” Frazier‘s Wine and Dine just blocks away from Madison Square Garden.
There are likely several reasons for the excitement. For starters, there is an entire NBA season on the schedule. Last season’s lockout kept games scrubbed until Christmas Day. MSG announcers, who were in attendance with the exception of lead TV play-by-play voice Mike Breen, and occasional Knicks studio host Bill Pidto, are excited about this season.
Alan Hahn, a longtime beat writer, starts his second full-time season as MSG studio analyst. He declared last night that there are no more “next years” for the Knicks. He said there is anticipation that “next year” is finally here.
And the other reason for the Knicks buildup is the elephant in the room. This town belongs to the Knicks, but the Nets have owned the press. They made the highly publicized move from New Jersey to Brooklyn during the off-season. Fittingly, the Nets open their Brooklyn digs with their regular season opener Thursday night on TNT, of course against the Knicks.
Frazier sat down with FishbowlNY. Here are his thoughts about the Nets overshadowing the Knicks.
A Hall of Famer, Frazier added that a rivalry will not be based simply on geography.
“I always think a rivalry is determined by the fans,” Frazier says. “Nets fans are talking trash now, so that makes the Knick [fans] talk trash, and that builds the rivalry.”
As the Knicks, 36-30 last season and a first-round exit to the Miami Heat, are ready to show their muscle on the court, Jill Martin is ready to get star struck again. Martin is known for her scouring the best seats at MSG locating celebrities in the house, including the fan favorite, her halftime segment, “Gimme-A-Minute.”
Martin, who also contributes to The Today Show, previews opening night from the celebrity reporter perspective.
The Knicks opening night is next Friday against the Heat at 8.