Tonight Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Joel Anthony take the Heat to visit the Knicks, renewing a great late ’90s Miami-New York rivalry filled with brawls and bad blood.
Negative Dunkalectics featured an anthology of great Heat-Knicks rivalry moments before their matchup in December. The Heatles then commenced to beat the Knicks by 40.
Let’s hope tonight’s game’s better! To help you get pumped, we’re republishing this countdown of the top four greatest moments in the Heat-Knicks rivalry!
Game 5 of their 97 playoff series, in which P.J. Brown body slammed Charlie Ward and then Reggie Miller’s house went up in flames:
Game 4 of the 98 playoffs, famous for Jeff Van Gundy hanging off Alonzo Mourning’s leg during another brawl:
Game 5 of their 99 series, featuring Allan Houston’s buzzer-beater to eliminate the Heat:
Last but not least: the Heat at the Knicks on February 26, 2007, a game notable primarily as one of the games Tim Donaghy describes betting on in his tour de force, Personal Foul:
I worked the game with Derrick Stafford and Gary Zielinski, knowing that the Knicks were a sure bet to get favourable treatment that night. Derrick Stafford had a close relationship with Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, and he despised Heat coach Pat Riley. I picked the Knicks without batting and eye and settled in for a roller-coaster ride on the court.
During pregame warmups, Shaquille O’Neal approached Stafford and asked him to let some air out of the ball.
“Is this the game ball?” O’Neal asked. “It’s too hard. C’mon, D, let a little air out of it.”
Stafford then summoned one of the ball boys, asked for an air needle, and let some air out of the ball, getting a big wink and a smile from O’Neal. I immediately started second-guessing my pick and seriously contemplated running back to the locker room and calling Tommy. But it was too late. The buzzer sounded and it was time to start the game.
Stafford was more than obvious in his effort to favour the Knicks, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Thanks in large part to his quick whistle against the Heat, the team fouls, technicals, and free throws were completely out of whack. New York went to the line 39 times compared to only eight trips for Miami. Free throws made the difference that night and the Knicks won 99-93.
With any luck, Jeff Van Gundy and Derrick Stafford will both be working tonight’s game.
(PS: Go Heat!)
This post originally appears Negative Dunkalectics and is published here with permission.
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