For weeks I had eagerly anticipated the arrival of March 14, 2012, when I would attend my first New York Knicks game of the season at Madison Square Garden. I bought the tickets a month before, after the Knicks had won five games in a row with Jeremy Lin leading the charge. I wasn’t sure if Linsanity would last, but I figured the Knicks were on solid footing for the rest of the year.
As a hardened life-long Knicks fan, of course, I should have known to prepare for the worst. As I entered the arena, the Knicks franchise was once again in a familiar state of disarray. Six hours earlier, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni had abruptly resigned. And for anyone who had been watching the team this season, the root cause of his resignation—and the six-game losing streak that preceded it—was clear: the Knicks’ star player, Carmelo Anthony. But the fact that Anthony was greeted by boos as he was introduced to the starting lineup on Wednesday night wasn’t simply because Knicks fans were angry at him. It was because he had injured their sense of justice.