The Knicks had awakened from the early game jitters that were easily attributed to opening night in Madison Square Garden and were poised to make a statement to themselves, the city of New York and to the league. They were well on their way to beating the Portland Trailblazers when a deadly virus struck the newest Knick.
Amare' Stoudemire who had a history playing in the vaunted Mike D'Antoni system knows full well to rotate the basketball, not get caught in double teams along the baseline and definitely not to force one on one play, but it happened.
Stoudemire became a one man wrecking crew in the second half hell bent to put on a show and score his points without a single care of winning. This was completely contrary to the rhetoric Amare' fed the media when he was courted by the Knicks and before the season began. He was full of declarations of team basketball, bringing a winner to NYC and raising the game of all the young talent on the team which had so much potential, so what went wrong tonight? Why did Stoudemire destroy any hopes of a win with his selfish, erratic and out of control brand of basketball?
It was only when I replayed the game did I see the signs. Dilated pupils when you catch a basketball, uncontrollable twitching of the leg on your non-pivot foot, tunnel vision and bull in a china closet moves to the basket. I gasped, clutched my heart and noticed a tear rolling down my face. It was another case of Al Harrington's Disease.
For those who don't know Al Harrington's Disease, which will be referred to as AHD from now on, is a neurological disease that affects unsuspecting men over six feet eight inches tall when exposed to the D'Antoni System. Common symptoms are uncontrollable leg movements, running wild in the paint, disregard for your teammates, thinking you are open when you are clearly not, false confidence in your shooting ability and an inability to pass the ball to the open man.
There is no known cure for AHD but with time players have learned to control their issues with herbal tea, slow ninja breathing techniques and trips to the massage parlor, happy endings a must, before each game is played. Al Harrington himself was able to settle in after a few months and be productive after being exposed to the D'Antoni System. But I am worried about Amare' Stoudemire's prognosis.
You see Stoudemire had been exposed to the D'Antoni System years ago and should have built up antibodies to protect him from being overcome by AHD but I think this new strand of AHD might have mutated making Stoudemire no match for its potency which leads to the obvious question. Why sign Stoudemire and lock the team into 100 million dollars when Al Harrington himself would have been cheaper and had learned to overcome this new version of AHD?
Hopefully the Knicks' doctors quickly diagnose Amare''s case of AHD and begin vigorous treatment before the season is completely lost but I fear the worse. I think this case might be terminal and lingering for the next six years.
Tonight AHD attacked and the Knicks lost to the Portland Trailblazers 100-95