Before the New York Knicks even made a field goal during the first quarter of Wednesday night’s season opener, one fan turned Madison Square Garden into an unexpected party and started his NBA season off better than almost anyone else could.
Nearly four minutes had gone by in the season-opening game and the Knicks were still without a field goal. Head coach David Fizdale called a timeout with his team down 10-2 to the Atlanta Hawks, looking for a spark after New York missed its first nine attempts from the field.
Luckily, one fan took matters into his own hands by banking in a half court shot and inspiring the Knicks to finally show up. Oh, and he won $10,000, too.
For whatever reason, that fan’s shot did the trick.
On the next possession after the timeout, Frank Ntilikina made a 3-pointer and the Knicks were off and running.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a game-high 31 points, Enes Kanter posted 16 points and 11 rebounds, Trey Burke added 15 and four players — Mario Hezonja, Alonzo Trier, Noah Vonleh and Kevin Knox — scored in double figures off the bench in an 126-107 victory.
The Knicks didn’t set the world on fire all night, shooting 45 percent (45-for-99) for the game, but it got the job done to start the 2018-19 campaign with a win.
Atlanta forward Taurean Prince led four Hawks players in double figures with 21 points, while adding six rebounds and six assists.
In a few weeks, this game will be a blur, just a distant memory, but maybe everyone should remember that a Knicks fan actually hit a shot before the team did to start the season for a very long time.
Perhaps James Dolan can hook the fan up with a contract.