I really don’t know what to call it. Happy coincidence or serendipitous but my schedule happened follow him. At first, I was able to get a glimpse of Madison Square Garden’s own Boeing 737 (tail number N37NY) preflighting at Westchester County Airport (KHPN) before flying the New York Knicks to Toronto and it just so happened that I was going to be in Toronto for an overnight on the 14th! It didn’t matter that I was going to make the trek by myself because I was set on looking for excitement. I’ll tell you right away, I was not let down!
I arrived at the Fairfield Inn Toronto Airport around 1600 and knew that I needed to search for a ticket (thanks Craigslist), get back on a shuttle to the airport, either pay $33.00 roundtrip for a Toronto Airport Express to Downtown or $6.00 roundtrip for the 192 Express Bus to Kipling Station then transfer two stops on the subway (Kipling –> St. George –> Union) then find the Air Canada Centre, meet up with said ticket seller / owner then venture in and watch the Knicks take on the Raptors. I’ve done the expensive “quicker” bus but thought that I should save some money since my ticket would end up costing $90 so off I went.
It was really easier as the subway only goes either east / west then north and south and if I missed my stops, I would it them later on the same line. People were friendly and I was able to get around. Granted it was a whole 30 minutes longer than the express, but the game started at 1900 so I had plenty of time.
Union Station was CRAZY! Food places abundant, and everywhere I looked, people were all talking about Jeremy Lin. It was almost like a constant meditation and chant all around me. I was even getting excited as most of the people there were yes, unfortunately for the Raptors, there to watch the Linsanity live.
I met up with the “guy” and to be honest, I’m not all that much of a fan of scalping especially since it was a lone seat but he reassured that I had him number and I was able to get in, sit in my seat and not have anyone kick me out. Good stuff. The seat was next to a great couple who actually were gifted the tickets months ago and were more than excited that it was this particular game especially that Jeremy Lin was part of his fantasy team!
Admittedly, the game started off slow and at the end of the first half, the Raptors were holding a strong lead and Jeremy Lin only had 9 points but did have 4 assists. It looked like Stoudemire and Lin were trying to play off of each other but to no avail. It almost looked like there were communicating in foreign dialects adding to the sloppy plays, mishaps and turnovers. Hoping for a better second half, the third quarter would only have Lin adding another 6 points with back to back foul shots missing the rim. At one point, I was afraid that Lin wouldn’t hit “the 20″ or heaven forbid, the Knicks winning streak would end…all because I was at the game??? I’m not that vain, but a thought, that I’m sure we all conjure up lining up perfectly well as superstition, popped up that it was because I went to game.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Knicks finally started knocking at door and with 1:05 left, Jeremy Lin hit a 2 and 1 tying the game. The arena was on their feet and the chanting began. I was yelling along with everyone else and after a couple of great blocks back and forth, Lin found himself with the ball asking Coach Mike D’Antoni for a timeout. Unexpectedly, Coach waved his hands off and a play was called. Apparently Lin went with an audible and successfully hit the three-pointer! High fives, screams and chants later…the Knicks continued their fairytale and I had the best time EVER!
Great recaps of the game! Oh yeah, by the way, his 137 points in his first five career starts, is the most for any player who began his career since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77, passing Shaquille O’Neal (129).