he wait before a Knicks game earlier this season at Madison Square Garden began with me and five other reporters standing in a rough circle in the middle of the visitors' locker room (on a night where the Lakers dressed), keeping vigil for something to happen.
Our cluster multiplied in bursts, like cells morphing and crowding one another under a microscope, doubling and redoubling until it seemed the cement room could barely hold us. Trying to count the reporters was useless, but it was easy to count the number of players as the minutes went by: none. Then one. Oh wait, I see a second. But soon, none again.
Finally, Ron Artest sidled through to get to his locker stall. A small tidal force pushed me toward him where I could make out, "It's good to be back in New York… Always fun…" And, "The Knicks have themselves a good team." A bit of a disclaimer: I could only reasonably assume these were Mr. Artest's words. My head was pressed against the back of a cameraman and pitched forward by someone trying to reach a tape recorder above the fray.
Consider this my moment of clarity when I was struck by a simple question: "Is there a point to this?"