You are probably asking yourself right now who is that beautiful person in the picture? Well that is me, and I'm with a New York Knicks dancer inside Madison Square Garden (haha).
Last week, my family and I took our yearly Griswold vacation to New York City.
About halfway through the trip I was getting tired of seeing buildings upon buildings and never-ending pavement.
That's when I decided to do something I have always wanted to do, visit Madison Square Garden.
Residing in Georgia, I didn't know when my next opportunity to visit the historic arena would be and knew this was my chance.
Although I am only 18, I have been a huge sports fan all my life and remember the classic battles Michael "Air" Jordan had against the Knicks at The Garden during his amazing career.
I remember seeing re-runs of the very first fight between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali taking place at MSG.
The first WrestleMania was even held there.
Not to mention all of the incredible entertainers and bands/singers that have come through The Garden to play their biggest hits including Elton John, The Rolling Stones, and the late Michael "King of Pop" Jackson himself.
I wasn't going to pass this chance up.
I made my way through the always busy New York City to get there and hustled inside the building.
Little did I know, they offered tours of The Garden and took you to the upper level suits, down right next to the court, into the Rangers and Knicks/Liberty locker rooms, and many other places inside the arena.
For a small fee, sounds like a good deal right?
So I jumped on it.
Next thing I knew I was being whisked away in a small group led by a hired employee of MSG and thrust into places I never imagined being.
First was the upper-level suits. For only around half a million dollars, anyone can own one of these box suits and receive 12 tickets to every single event that takes place in The Garden.
I'm still thinking on that deal.
Next, we went court-side.
Although the court wasn't orange and blue with the Knicks logo at half-court like I was accustomed to, being the huge basketball fan I am, it was still a sight to behold (the New York Liberty's floor was down).
To look up in the rafters and see the likes of Patrick Ewing and all of the other great New York Knicks players' jerseys hanging from the rafters and knowing you are standing on the same spot they played their profound careers is quite the feeling.
Not to mention Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player of all-time, finished his career there at the same very spot.
After that, we checked out the New York Rangers and the New York Knicks locker rooms.
The locker rooms were custom-made for each team.
The Rangers locker room had a small but wide door allowing the goalies to fit through it. Its lockers were much smaller, yet much wider.
The Knicks locker room had a narrow but tall door allowing the 7 foot or so freakish athletes to fit through it as well. Its lockers were very tall so the XXXL jerseys could hang in them without dragging to the ground.
I actually got to hold a game-worn size 19 sneaker of Eddy Curry's.
It was a orange, blue, and black Nike shoe with the word "E-City 34" embroidered on the side of it.
Meanwhile during the tour I am talking to our tour guide, a hired employee of Madison Square Garden, about the Knicks the whole time.
I'm not even a Knicks fan, but boy do I love basketball.
Knowing it was my opportunity to get some great knowledge about the Knicks future plans, I asked him about the future of the New York Knicks organization.
He said two names to me.
Listen, I know I am not talking to the General Manager by any means, nor a player, nor a coach.
He was just an employee, but I figured what is said by the organization eventually runs down to everyone working there.
And what he told me should give Knicks fans hope.
He said the New York Knicks are looking to land both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade next summer.
Is this reasonable?
I doubt the salary cap would allow it, but since they are going after both players could they possibly get one?
LeBron has already been spotted wearing New York apparel, including the infamous picture where he is holding up a Yankees cap and smiling.
He talks to Spike Lee every chance he gets before and after games.
The King knows the legacy of Madison Square Garden and the New York Knicks franchise.
Is that enough to send him to NYC?
We will see.
D-Wade has shown less evidence.
The only thing we have heard from Wade is that if the Heat aren't ready to contend for a championship next season, he is ready to leave.
I am not saying the Knicks will land both premier players.
What I am saying is that, from my knowledge, they are planning on landing at least one.
Our tour rapped up by being able to meet and interact with a New York Knicks City Dancer (hints the picture). She was a sweet, beautiful young lady and was fun to be around.
Overall, that tour gave me a whole new appreciation for Madison Square Garden and the history of basketball in general.
To walk down the hallways towards the locker rooms and see old pictures of the great New York Knicks teams to go through that arena really made me appreciate the game of basketball. Not only in my generation, but to appreciate the generations passed on before my time.
To see Phil Jackson in a picture made in 1973 in his tight Knicks uniform and bushy mustache standing next to a NBA Championship trophy won as a player is a totally different approach on Phil, me being used to just seeing him win Championships as a coach.
Overall, it was a great experience and I learned a lot of great things.
I hope I was able to share some of those things with the Bleacher Report community!
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