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Why Being a Knicks Fan Hurts So Good

“As a Knicks fan, you’re signing up for basically insanity,” Baker said. “The beginning of the year, as a Knicks fan, you’re like, ‘Yo, we’re going to the finals.’ You have no rhyme or reason to say that. You have no player that’s going to take you to the finals, but you just go in with your gut.”

Joel Martinez, Baker’s co-star on “Desus & Mero” who is better known as The Kid Mero, likened the Knicks to a “wild, volatile stock.”

For Safdie, a formative moment came in 1994, when the Knicks, led by Patrick Ewing, faced the Houston Rockets in the N.B.A. finals. In Game 6, with a chance for his team to close out the series and win its first championship in two decades, the Knicks’ John Starks had his shot blocked at the buzzer, and the Rockets escaped with a narrow win.

“Ewing was open,” Safdie said, his voice rising at the memory of it. “Ewing was wide open!”

At the time, Safdie cried before heading to a nearby playground to shoot hoops. He consoled himself with the belief that the Knicks would win Game 7. They lost.

“For the consummate Knicks fan, there’s a certain kind of masochism that comes with it,” Safdie said. “I’m a moody guy to begin with, but my moods and attitudes fluctuate so much based on the play of the Knicks.”

For fans of a finer vintage, the present is often viewed through the lens of the team’s more illustrious past. Nostalgia, though, comes with a whiff of sadness, because the team’s only championships in 1970 and 1973 become more distant by the day.

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