The resurgence of the New York Knicks has been voted the top New York sports story of 2010 in the poll we conducted here at SB Nation New York this week.
Thanks to our friends at Posting and Toasting, who flocked to the polls in droves, the Knicks received 307 votes -- 40 percent of the 764 votes that were cast.
Thanks to a late rush of votes from soccer enthusiasts in the final 24 hours of voting, susperstar Thierry Henry's signing with the New York Red Bulls of the MLS placed second with 173 votes, or 22 percent.
Rounding out the top five were the death of New York Yankee owner George Steinbrenner (10 percent), the contract squabble between Derek Jeter and the Yankees (six percent) and LeBron James' decision to spurn the Knicks and New Jersey Nets to sign instead with the Miami Heat (four percent).
I have to admit these results are a bit surprising, and they don't necessarily reflect my own idea for what the top five should like like. They do, however, reflect the opinions of those who chose to participate. Sort of like an election, if you don't like the results but you didn't participate you can't really complain.
My personal top five would look like this.
- Steinbrenner's death -- The man was a divisive figure, certainly, but for the past 30 years you could not think about the Yankees without thinking about The Boss. Whatever you think of him, he did restore a moribund franchise to its place atop the baseball landscape. There will never be another quite like him.
- LeBron James -- He did not wind up in New York or New Jersey, but he captured everyone's attention for so long that he has to be high on the list.
- Cliff Lee Rejecting the Yankees -- Mostly because that never happens, the Yankees almost always get their man. Also because this has such far-reaching implications in shaping the baseball landscape for the next season or more.
- Resurgence of the Knicks -- Sorry, Knicks fans but they aren't the story of the year yet. They are resurgent and people care about them again, but they haven't reached the top of the heap yet. Still, they have earned a spot on the list.
- Thierry Henry -- Think about how much attention this brought to a sport, and a team, that previously no one other than absolute diehard soccer fans even gave a second thought. Pretty much any casual New York sports fan can tell you Thierry Henry plays for the New York team, even if they can't name the New York team. That's kind of a big deal for a sport still starving for attention.