Well this just worked out perfectly for today. It’s throwback thursday, where you can post up an old school picture or talk up something old school, which is what I like to do around these parts. Today’s edition of this will feature the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers, who happen to be playing this evening. Who could have planned that out better?
When you think throwback, you do think Knicks and Pacers. The Hicks against the Knicks. Big City versus Naptown. Those were all the themes thrown out in the 1990’s when it felt like every year these two teams were playing each other at some point in the playoffs. Even regular season meetings felt a bit more important based upon the previous meetings.
That is where I would love to the rivalry get back to, and who knows maybe it is approaching that rivalry status already? But let’s take a look at the past history, and what stands out the most throwback wise in my mind.
There are the standout moments of Reggie Miller and his antics against the New York Knicks. But there’s one series that just comes to mind right away because that is what got the Pacers into their first and hopefully not only NBA Finals. The 2000 Eastern Conference Finals had to be the Pacers and Knicks.
The Pacers had the top seed in the year 2000 and looked poise to take their game to the Finals. Who would be there waiting for them, but the New York Knicks? Would there be any other team you wanted the Pacers to go over to make their first NBA Finals appearance? It was like the Colts getting through the Patriots to make a Super Bowl appearance. It’s funny how life works out that way.
The Pacers even had to knock out the Knicks at the Garden, where Reggie had already established himself a few years ago. This series does leave some blanks in my old memory banks, but I just remember how cool it was knowing the Pacers were going to the NBA Finals. You wanted to greet the team at the airport. You wanted to see what celebrities would be in town since the Pacers were playing the Los Angeles Lakers.
My celebrity story is that I somehow bumped into Penny Marshall at the airport here in town while there awaiting the arrival of some friends. There’s one memory I have of that Conference Finals!
Overall, these are just two storied franchises that you know have that past history with each other. When the teams meet again, those memories do come back to you. I will always have this call of Mark Boyle in my head, and who knows maybe he can pull it out again when the Pacers make the Finals this year.