Imagine the first time you do something it’s the best time. It’s a true blessing and a curse.
Take for example if you went to a new bar and the place is WILD… Like there are tons of babes, you were spitting your best game, had the time of your life and woke up with two smokeshows next to you in the morning… OH! And somehow you weren’t hungover!!
But the next time you go there, it’s never quite the same. There’s never as many chicks, or if there are more, they weren’t as hot, or if they were as hot, you just weren’t on your game… Nothing tops that first outrageous time.
Well, my first time at MSG was like that… Except, dare I say, even somehow better.
The year was 2014 and I had bought tickets to a Knicks game that Christmas to bring my fam to. I hadn’t gone to the Garden for a Knicks game* (despite having grown up a 40 minute train ride to the city), and always wanted to see what the fuss was all about.
Well, the Knicks STUNK at that point in time. They were 16-27 and the Bobcats who they were facing weren’t very good either… So at the very least, we were going to see a competitive game!
Now to paint you the full picture, you should know… This Knicks team was one of those teams I absolutely loved – Ray Felton, Melo, Shump, JR, Tyson Chandler, THJ (the first time around)… I mean, I loved them**. I didn’t care how bad they were – sure, they stunk but I loved them anyway!!
Whatever, getting back to the story, we get to our seats – nosebleeds, but realistically I was 23 years old buying tickets for my family at MSG… I wasn’t a baller so we weren’t sitting courtside! Anyway, we get up to our seats, good enough spot, you can see it all, whatever.
All of a sudden, a security guard comes up and asks, “Is one of your (my first name here) Taylor?” I’m like, “Shit… Of course this is happening. I probably bought fake tickets or something and now we’re getting kicked out.”
INSTEAD, the chick I was seeing at the time’s dad worked for MSG and, BOOM, upgrades my seat. Let’s gooooo!!!
Then we get down to the lower level and watch from like handicapped seats (which btw are CRAZY spacious, so that was wonderful) and what do you know… Melo is hitting everything. I can still remember that halfcourt shot he hit heading into halftime and my dad saying, “He just can’t miss right now!!”
Anyway, the game ends and Melo has 62 points. SIXTY TWO!!! An MSG record!!!
“I made history tonight..only a small group of people that knows what that zone feels like and tonight I was one of them.”
5 years ago today, Carmelo Anthony scored a Knicks franchise-high 62 PTS at MSG.
62 PTS (23-35 FG, 6-11 3PT, 10-10 FT) 13 REB, 0 AST, 0 TO pic.twitter.com/SCYV6Xjczb
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 24, 2019
TAKE A LOOK AT THAT FUCKING STAT LINE – EVERYTHING ABOUT IT IS ABSURD!!
62 points is silly. MSG record. Amazing. I was a #witness.
Also, Melo going 23 for 35 is nuts. For reference, last night when Harden scored 61 (one point shy, sorry Jimmy) he did so on 17 for 38 shooting. That’s grabass. Harden went 45% from the field, whereas Melo did so much more efficiently shooting at a 66% clip.
Going a perfect ten for ten from the free throw line is great too. Everything was falling for Melo.
Oh, and let’s talk about the ZERO turnovers. ZERO. Melo shot the ball 35 times, which means he touched the ball, uh, I don’t know, A LOT!!! And not ONCE did he turn it over!! Incredible.
And hilariously zero turnovers… You can’t ignore that. It adds to the ridiculousness of his stat-line that night. He knew it was all about him. “Fuck the rest of this team!” – Melo that night (probably).
The 13 rebounds is great and all, but Melo was the four spot on that team and so that didn’t really impress me… But don’t get me wrong, 13 is a good number.
But here’s the thing… Melo even didn’t play the final 7:18 of that game! We were up 37 and instead of padding his RECORD BREAKING MSG STATS, he sat.
Gotta pour some out for Melo here, that performance was all time. Something I’ll never forget and something that will make Harden’s *almost* record last night that much less impressive.
I’ve been back to the Garden since a few times, but nothing like that first… In fact, one time I was there with Ketch, the Baron Davis/Monta Ellis-led Warriors (I think) were up like 72-36 in the 2nd quarter… And later in the game the crowd sarcastically chanted “M-V-P” at Quincy Acy when he was shooting free throws.
Suffice to say, my first time at the Garden could possibly have been my best, and honestly, I’m pretty okay with that.
* = I had gone for a PBR Bull Riding event, and let me tell you, that shit was electric. It was like a college frat party in Texas (at least I imagine)… Everyone in flannels, jeans, cowboy hats, blasting country music, getting jacked up off Bud heavies. It was glorious. 10 out of 10 would recommend.
** = I did NOT love Prigioni who was on that team. I never “got” him or what the Knicks (or anyone) saw in him.
SOURCE OF ALL STATS: Basketball Reference.