Posts Tagged ‘ New York ’

The Bright Lights of New York City

What is it about playing in New York City?

It is the stage where players can make a name for themselves. Ever heard of Linsanity? Just ask Kemba Walker. Reggie Miller, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James were all established stars who had their brightest, non-championship moments in New York City. Do you know who Mr. October or November is? Let’s revisit some of the highlights of greatness in New York City.

Today February 28th, marks the 1 year anniversary of the latest star to make a splash here in the Big Apple. Stephen Curry last year lit up the Knickerbockers for 54 points, hitting a Madison Square Garden record 11 3-pointers. It may not have been the record for points for the Garden, nor did the Warriors win the game, but it brought Stephen Curry out into the limelight. It showed the rest of the world why Dub Nation likes to call him Steph “Wet” Curry. Just check the video below if you don’t believe me.

Lighting up the Garden is no new thing. As recent as 2 years ago, Jeremy Lin went from no name back-up, to sending “The City that never sleeps” into a frenzy. Since then, Lin has parlayed that into a hefty multi-million dollar contract and become an inspiration for Asian-American athletes. Heck, he even is coming out with a movie!

But before Lin-sanity and before Stephen Curry lit up the Garden, other stars have broken out here. Whether it was Kobe Bryant and LeBron James lighting up the Garden within 3 days back in 2009. Kobe dropping 61, which was a Garden record until this year, and then James dropping 50+ and getting a Triple-Double (which was later overturned, but who cares). What also we forget to talk about that week, is the defending World Champion Boston Celtics were in town. There just wasn’t a noteworthy breakout performance there.

Obviously, Madison Square Garden has had its fair share of moments. We can also reference the days with Michael Jordan tormenting the Knicks or the Reggie Miller vs. Spike Lee saga. But when we broaden the spectrum of what New York means on a larger scale, we can look at baseball moments.

There is Josh Hamilton lighting up the Bronx for Home Run Derby the last season of the old Yankee Stadium. Hamilton had recently returned to baseball, after years away battling drug addiction, and that summer night in the Bronx was his definite coming out party. He hit 28 first round home runs en route to the victory in the 2008 Home Run Derby.

Rewind 5 years before, Josh Beckett turns in a performance for the ages in game 6 of the World Series. Not only was this a David vs. Goliath performance, but it also was in the WORLD SERIES. Since then, Beckett has won a second title, that time with the Red Sox, but it was this game and that series that truly put him on a bigger scale.

See the recurring theme? It’s not about being an athlete who plays for one of the storied New York franchises (with the exception of Jeremy Lin). It’s really about not being afraid to step your game up when under the bright lights. We see players come to New York, chasing the money and big contract or for the glitz and glamour of playing in the Big Apple. But why not play somewhere else? Focus on the trip to New York and use it as a coming out party on the big stage. Obviously breakout performances come here and there. And usually they are never planned, but just food for thought. Pressure as a visiting player in New York is never anywhere close to what it is as a anyone who dons the NY on their jersey. So maybe, just maybe we can use that as a barometer of where future breakouts may come.



Hurricane Sandy, the Aftermath

A photograph of Manhattan during the blackout courtesy of New York Magazine

Wow. What a week it was last week. I mean let’s just say I was one of those people who COMPLETELY overlooked all of the Hurricane Sandy hype. Alright, maybe hype is the wrong word to use, but nonetheless I was not buying it. Maybe it was me being the California kid at heart or that Hurricane Irene from the summer before did absolutely nothing, but I was not scared.

I spent Sunday, my last ful day with power, enjoying some of the NFL games, the lull of the World Series (more on that later) and primarily wondering what would actually happen. Mayor Bloomberg had prepared the city for a major disaster, and I for one am very happy he did. He shut down the subways and bus lines, also all lines of transportation in and out of manhattan.

Well Monday night, the madness came. While watching movies on Netflix, go figure, the lights started to flicker on and off. Around 8:30 pm, the lights finally went off. Followed by a few rumblings, later followed by a boom. I’m not sure which actually came first, primarily because once the power went out, things started to change. The first night was not too bad, but worst was ahead.

High winds, heavy rain, trees being ripped from their roots, and complete destruction was ahead. Oh not to mention, lower Manhattan became the dark zone. Something straight out of the movie ‘I Am Legend’ which coincidentally was based in Manhattan. But that was the tip of the proverbial iceberg. No cell service for about a mile, no running water, and also no heat. Initial reports said a few days with no power, but my thoughts were that we would be missing power, heat and cell service indefinitely. On a bigger scale, it would mean that I would miss the World Series aftermath, the start of the NBA season and possibly the Presidential election.

I didn’t miss much with the World Series. It was short, uneventful, and definitely something I was not upset I missed. Not so much the fact that the Giants won again, very disappointing for Athletics Nation, but the fact that the Detroit Tigers did not put up much of a fight. Once Pablo Sandoval went all Ruth/Jackson/Pujols with his 3 home run performance in Game 1, the series was all but over. But due to Hurricane Sandy, I was not able to really get immersed, especially with every commercial break during the actual World Series cutting to some preview of the devastation that was coming.

Baseball wasn’t the only sport affected by the Hurricane. The NBA season tipped of Tuesday night, the first full day of no power in Lower Manhattan, and was to be followed Wednesday with the New York Knicks traveling to Brooklyn to face their new crosstown rivals. Well thanks to Hurricane Sandy, there would be none of that. The devastation was too much for the city to handle at the time. But come Friday, the defending champions the Miami Heat would be coming to town. Luckily, the Knicks were playing for more than themselves that night. They came out and manhandled the Heat, led by Carmelo Anthony. It was a good sign for the city, one that needed to come back from all the devastation the week before.

Mayor Bloomberg even went as far as to cancel the NYC Marathon. At first he had stated the Marathon would go on as planned, but that was before the full extent of the damage to the city had been assessed. But after much scrutiny, he decided to cancel the Marathon, citing it would take many of the cities resources away from the relief effort.

Not only did Hurricane Sandy ruin a whole week at minimum for many people living on the East Coast, but it also has affected the sports world, along with the political race. Something to think about for the future, LISTEN to the weather! First the Hurricane, then Nor’easter that came yesterday. It was one hell of a 10 days. Let’s just hope I never have to go through it again!