The New York Knicks' coach has resigned, and Papa has a few things to say about it.
There is a mess in Madison Square Garden, which is a place in New York, in the west.
I’ve seen things there. Carmelo Anthony, shooting constantly. He doesn’t even know the basket. He plays basketball on the hardwood court, in his perforated jersey, while the rest of his team lies immobile like the dead at Verdun.
And once there was a coach there, a coach of men, a coach named Mike D’Antoni. But that coach couldn’t take it. He resigned, and I saw him leaving MSG today, his horse growling and hot below him, and he rode down 10th avenue in a trot and the people didn’t even wait for him to pass, they just crossed the street on foot as though they did not care that he was once the coach of the New York Knicks, a basketball team that needs a coach like Mike D’Antoni.
What does it even mean to be the coach of the Knicks anymore. Do they even want men to coach these teams anymore. My stomach growls, and I get a bagel on 31st street. Steve Novak is there, wearing a golden championship belt, and he nibbles on a chocolate-chip baguette. Toney Douglas hides behind him, trying not to be seen, and Josh Harrellson orders a cappuccino, just as we used to drink them in Paris, Josh and I, and Iman Shumpert sits perched atop his shoulders.
There are villains in the folds of this resignation. I see Isiah Thomas dancing atop the Garden and he is villainous like Faust, and he is holding a sandwich and a voodoo doll of Allan Houston. James Dolan does not go a day without making men cry and he does not care when he sees a lion paw the ground and toss its mane, and I know he is sitting at a table at the top of his tall building, in the sky, playing his banjo and singing and knowing how he has hurt this city. JD and the Straight Shot sounds throughout the city, and the people hear it though they do not want to.
And my mind comes back to Carmelo. He is a torn man, ripped between light and dark and his talent makes him strong, makes him a part of the world and yet he does these things and I grimace and Syracuse to the north remembers what once was. And George Karl pets Danilo Gallinari and knows it is better now.
My bagel tastes dry, and I spit it out onto the street, and D’Antoni’s horse tramples it as he rides by, and I say Coach you are still my Coach, I do love offense in seven seconds or less, and he says well maybe you should coach the team, and I think maybe, maybe I should, and he rides away toward the South, toward Washington.