The contest scheduled for Friday night at Madison Square Garden, as the New York Knicks play their season and home opener against the Miami Heat, has taken on controversy, that nobody in “Gotham City” expected a week ago. In the wake of the devastation by Hurricane Sandy, in New York City earlier this week; is it too early for life to return to normal, or will the contest bring a couple of hours of welcome relief, to the city’s residents?
Those questions were going through the minds of players from both the Heat and the Knicks, Friday morning according to an article from “ESPN.com,” leaving many of them with mixed emotions about the upcoming contest. Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade, voiced his concerns to reporters after the team’s shoot-a-round early Friday. He said “I just felt that (there were) bigger things to be concerned about than us being here to play a basketball game. Obviously, sports; takes people’s minds away from things, but I think there are bigger things that need to be done here in this city. It was just like, ‘C’mon man. We shouldn’t be here to play a basketball game. If anything, we should be here to do something to help the city.”
Wade’s teammate, reigning NBA MVP LeBron James, told reporters that he sees validity in both sides of the argument. James told the media “I think we’re all in agreeance when we say getting everything situated and getting everything back up running from the hurricane is more important than the basketball game. But there’s also people that believe that we need this basketball game for a lot of spirits and a lot of families. So I’m kind of 50-50 with it as well. I’m happy to be here to play a basketball game, but if the people that (are) here at the basketball game or the people that (are) helping out with this game could give their efforts to make the city run and make these families come out of the situation, then I think that’s more important.”
Knicks veteran guard Ronnie Brewer told reporters, that he is not quite sure which course of action would be correct. Brewer said “I mean, it’s hard to say. It’s just a game….There’s people without electricity, people without homes, people who lost loved ones. So I still think our heart goes out to them. We’ve got to focus on the task at hand. Hopefully this game can uplift some people and give some people in New York something to cheer about. You know, after that game it goes back to real life. There’s still people in New York struggling and still need some relief. I think that’s important.”
It certainly is a tough call; is it time for New York City, to get back a taste of normal life; or is the Association being thoughtless and callous with all the problems that the city is going through? Would it be even more appropriate, for the NBA to postpone the entire slate of Friday night’s slate, as a tribute to the victims of the storm? My guess is, that each of us will have to decide if we think that the Association has made the right choice, going ahead with the contest.