By James Griffo

There was a period of time in which the New York Knicks had gone through almost a decade of turbulence and unmitigated bloodbaths.

Just imagine what fans would’ve felt like if the Knicks had failed on signing a “big name” that offseason. Hostility would’ve been at an all-time high, as if it weren’t already during that period of mediocrity.

When Amar’e Stoudemire proclaimed that, “The Knicks are back,” at his inaugural Knicks press conference, he really meant it.

For Knick fans, it seemed like yet another form of false hope that was going to fade into Knicks purgatory. But Amare backed it up.

Nine straight 30+ point games, a lethal mid-range jumper a la Luis Scola’s, an explosive drive that got him to the free throw line so many times, a 1-4 pick-and-roll synergy with Raymond Felton—it seems so long ago now—and the usual “MVP” chant treatment—although those are a nuisance. That was followed by luring Carmelo Anthony to New York—and no, Stoudemire was not ruined by ‘Melo—and single-handedly leading the Knicks to the playoffs for the first time in seven very long years.

That’s a lot of accolades in just the 2010-11 NBA season.

Although they were swept by the savant Boston Celtics in the first round, the Knicks were indeed back on the map. Stoudemire’s, “Knicks Are Back,” statement was held up, the general public was interested in Knicks basketball again, and, after all, there was some hope for the future to come.

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