For the Knicks, the frustration goes back to 2011 when the Celtics swept them out the door in Round 1 of the playoffs. And after years of irrelevance and another two of underachieving, New York is finally in position to do some bullying of their own.
The problem is they aren't very good at it.
Their most recent attempt to flex their muscles came before Game 5, when the team rolled up to the Garden dressed in all black with the intent to symbolize the Celtics' funeral, which sounds a whole lot more stupid now knowing the outcome of the game.
After putting on one of the most abysmal playoff performances I've ever seen live, the Knicks got into it with the Celtics once again, exchanging words on the sidelines as soon as the final buzzer sounded.
It appeared as if Boston's Jordan Crawford, who likely had plenty of energy after receiving a "DNP Coach's Decision," had something to say to Carmelo Anthony as the teams walked off the court. And based on Crawford's evil grin, Chris Wilcox's facial expression and Raymond Felton's reaction, I'm pretty sure he wasn't wishing him luck in Game 6.
Though it's tough to decipher what was said, you can't help but try and read Crawford's lips. And if you're like me and graduated from the Lip-Reader's Institute of Technology, you might have made out the words, "your wife" at the end of Crawford's sentence.
Cue the rewind button.
Looking back, you may recall the infamous "Honey Nut Cheerios" game in which Anthony and Kevin Garnett went at it the entire second half. Word started to spread that Garnett crossed the line with some of his trash talk, triggering all sorts of alarms that sounded in Anthony's head. You could actually see steam escape his ears and fire light up his eyes.
Melo was so infuriated he waited for Garnett outside Boston's team bus after the game, forcing the league to issue him a one-game suspension.
In Game 3 of this series, J.R. Smith was tossed and suspended for throwing a vicious elbow at Jason Terry's dome. It was one of those elbows that lacked intent but not purpose.
There's a fantastic mix of hatred here between two teams fighting over their identities. The Knicks are trying to show that this is their time, while the Boston Celtics are trying to prove they haven't gone anywhere.
It's the perfect blend of egos that makes for a captivating series. A win for either team isn't good enough; these guys want to humiliate each other, whether it be with words, elbows or attire.
And for the record, Anthony's wife LaLa fired some shots at Jordan Crawford with her Instagram account. Now you know it's on.
"Try again. You on the bench for a reason."
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