But on the eve of the new season, there is a disassociative quality to rooting for the Knicks once again.
For the past two years, the focus has been on an implied future, with very different personnel than on the current squad. That was supposed to end this summer.
But truthfully, it hasn't. Sure, it is safe to buy an Amar'e Stoudemire jersey, but who else? Danilo Gallinari, Anthony Randolph? They are Carmelo Anthony trade bait, as is anyone else who could get the deal done. Ray Felton could be shunted aside for Chris Paul. Eddy Curry is merely his expiring contract to fans. Timofey Mozgov seldom stays out of foul trouble long enough to earn love.
To be clear: there's nothing illogical with the team's strategy. But the emotions of the fans are being held hostage again, this time to Carmelo negotiations. It is a strange and perhaps singular moment to have a sports team ask fans to hold support in abeyance for this long. One hopes it isn't hard, when the long pause is over, to get them back.