There was a time when I lived and died with the New York Knicks. They absolutely broke my heart in 1993.
Then in 1994.
And then they did it again in 1995.
And for the first time in my life I decided maybe my approach to sports wasn't healthy and maybe I needed a break.
I still rooted for the Knicks through college, but when the NBA lockout hit I took out my aggression from the baseball strike on the NBA.
And I didn't really watch any NBA games for the next decade-plus.
But lately I've been watching the Knicks again.
I'll admit it - it has all the markings of me being a fair-weather fan.
They're good again, and I'm following closer than I have since 1999 - that's the definition of a front-runner.
But I've paid dues.
I was furious at Charles Smith for not dunking 20 years ago.
I cried after Game 7 of the 1994 NBA Finals.
I went into a severe funk after Patrick Ewing missed the layup against the Pacers in 1995.
It's not like I'm a total Johnny-come-lately to the Knicks scene.
But there was a time a 54-win season would have put me over the moon. This year it barely registered. So I know I'm no longer a die-hard.
That was clear in the first playoff game against the Celtics when I texted my friend Justin with each name I heard from the team, in disbelief that these were guys who now played for the Knicks. I couldn't believe I had absolutely no idea who was on the team besides maybe Carmelo Anthony.
(Meanwhile, man is he a frustrating player to watch. When the shots fall he's amazing. But when they don't - yikes. I've watched like 8 games in a row at this point, and I don't think I've ever seen him pass.)
Besides Anthony being essentially a talented chucker, this isn't the most likable collection of talent in NBA history. Too much talking, that whole black suits to the Celtics funeral thing - it's annoying. Just play winning basketball.
When the Knicks did beat the Celtics last week, it was their first playoff series win since 2000. I'm glad I didn't miss anything while I was gone.
But I'm also glad that if and when this season ends - probably short of an NBA title - it won't affect me the same way it did 20 years ago. And if all that goes well and the Knicks don't break my heart...maybe I'll watch them from the start next season.