"New York's biggest rival is New York's fans" - Gilbert Arenas on New York Knicks fans' hostility during home games

Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks
Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks
Godwin Mathew

Former NBA player Gilbert Arenas has said that New York Knicks' fans are the team's 'biggest rivals', due to their hostility towards their own players during home games. Madison Square Garden (MSG) is one of the most electric stadiums in the world, where New York Knicks fans turn against their own players if the team doesn't fare well.

There have been several such instances of Knicks fans booing their own players. Carmelo Anthony endured many such experiences during his stint with the Knicks. During a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, he endured boos from the MCG crowd after an off night. In another instance, Melo experienced the same after a poor game against the Charlotte Hornets in 2017. Speaking about the same in an interview, Melo said:

"You've got to be cut from a different cloth to take this day in and day out, and to deal with this all day long, every day, You've got to take the good with the bad. I don't know how I do it, but I do it."

Gilbert Arenas cited the example of Ben Simmons. He said that the hostility faced by Simons from 76ers fans is something Knicks players often endure on a nightly basis. Elaborating about the same on No Chill with Gilbert Arenas, he said:

"Getting booed on the road means I'm killing you. You don't like me because what I do. Getting booed at home in reality is you don't like me. So how Ben Simmons feels in Philly is how every player feels in New York, when you actually start booing."
"You know, so it's one of those things is that New York's biggest rival is New York fans, that's their biggest rival. If those two can actually figure out how to coexist in the same building, it'd be hard to beat New York."

MSG fans have also been overly hostile to opposition players. In one such instance, a fan spitted on Trae Young after the youngster silenced the Garden by putting up a memorable performance in the playoffs last year.

In the New York Knicks' first home game of the 2021-22 season, though, their loud and electric fans helped the team get over the line in a close game.

The Boston Celtics forced two OTs before Julius Randle helped the Knicks register a 138-134 win on the night.

Can the New York Knicks repeat their brilliance from last season?

Boston Celtics vs New York Knicks
Boston Celtics vs New York Knicks

The New York Knicks finished fourth in the Eastern Conference last season. However, they lost in the first round to the Atlanta Hawks, thanks to Trae Young's heroics. Many appreciated Tom Thibodeau for the team's sensational turnaround in fortunes, because only a year ago, they had finished a lowly 12th in the East.

Entering the 2021-22 NBA season, the Knicks intend to embark on another playoff run. Making their intentions clear in this regard, they recruited Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier to strengthen their roster.

Julius Randle was impressive last year, as he put up impeccable numbers to win the Most Improved Player award. The 26-year-old will hope for another great showing this season to help the franchise get into the 2022 playoffs.

Game 1 βœ…Let's keep it rollin'! #NewYorkForever

The New York Knicks certainly have an exciting roster this season. However, competing in a stacked Eastern Conference would pose several challenges. They will require big performances from all their star players to help them build on their postseason run last year and make a deep run in the 2022 NBA playoffs.

Also Read: How much is Gilbert Arenas Net Worth in 2021?

Edited by Bhargav
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