Unless you’re one of the lucky few Knicks season ticket holders invited to last night’s Subscriber Forum, you missed out on some quality shenanigans. Thankfully, LoHud Knicks fan Paul Lee submitted this first hand account of what went down:
Last night, the Knicks held their annual Season Subscriber Forum at Capitale in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The private event featured passed hors d’oeuvres, upscale stadium fare, an open bar, and a 45-minute Q&A session hosted by Scott Lasky. Specific details were not announced prior to the event, so attendees were pleasantly surprised when the guests of honor were finally announced: Jared Jeffries, Iman Shumpert, Landry Fields, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and current talk-of-the-town, Jeremy Lin.
The trio of Lin, Fields, and Chandler were introduced under their new moniker, “The Smart Crew” (or as Lasky said from time-to-time, “The Smart Triangle”), and in unison, they each donned a matching pair of dark-framed “nerd” glasses. When asked how he gained membership in “Smart Crew,” Chandler’s response drew laughs from the audience. “Well, we’ve got Harvard, Stanford, and Dominguez [High School in Compton, California].”
Jared Jeffries kicked off the Q&A portion of the event with a comedic introduction of his teammates, giving Iman Shumpert the title of “Mr. Perfect Body,” revealing (jokingly) that “Landry’s uncle got him into Stanford,” ripping on Carmelo Anthony for eating “five bags of chips on every flight” (divulging his weakness for Cool Ranch Doritos in particular), and mocking Amar’e Stoudemire’s deep baritone voice (his “Shaq voice”).
The true highlight of the event was when the players were asked who was the best singer or rapper on the team. Anthony was quick to single out Fields and Shumpert (various videos featuring Shumpert’s rap have been circulating on YouTube for quite some time). At this point, the duo treated the audience to a mini-talent show with Fields busting out his own remix of Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars’ “Billionaire” and Shumpert delivering a brief freestyle rap.
The incredible off-the-court chemistry between the five players was evident throughout the night, as they joked and recounted stories with each other. All of the players were quick to praise Stoudemire for being “the guy who started it all” – the guy who had the guts to embrace the challenge of bringing quality basketball back to New York City. They also praised Stoudemire for battling through the death of his brother, Hazell, which drew a standing ovation from his teammates and the entire audience.
When asked to describe the last three weeks, they gave credit to Jeremy Lin for invigorating the team and each spoke about how wild it has been to be a part of “Linsanity.” In his usual humble fashion, Lin deflected the praise and gave the audience an account of how each of his teammates has contributed to his rise. He credited Jeffries for “[b]eing a big brother … taking me out to eat, even before I was getting minutes, and always making sure the young guys have someone to hang out with on the road.” He referred to Fields as his closest friend on the team and thanked him for being there to “talk about life.” He referred to Anthony as his most vocal mentor. “He’s been in my ear, giving me advice during every practice, every time out.”
In response to Lin, Chandler gave a humorous account of his first time meeting Lin – a story which could not more accurately portray the unlikelihood of Lin’s rise over the last three weeks. At a Bay Area hotel, shortly before Lin’s first game with the Knicks, Chandler walked out of his hotel room as Lin was walking out of a room directly across the hall. When Lin greeted him in the hall, Chandler gave his standard “fan reply” – he waived hello and quickly walked away. Accordingly to Chandler, Lin caught up to him and introduced himself again. “Hey, Tyson. I’m Jeremy, your new teammate.” Chandler – admittedly a bit shocked and unimpressed – responded, “Oh, hey. It’s nice to meet you,” and quickly walked away again.
The event was a chance for the players to thank season ticket holders and display the more personal, off-the-court sides of their personalities. Those in attendance got more than they could have asked for – the players were funny, endearing, and sentimental. Most importantly, they appear to have wonderful team chemistry and they convincingly expressed their commitment to winning.
Quite a recap, Paul! Thank you for sharing your experience!
Paul Lee is a 3rd-year law student at Pace Law, focusing on Environmental & Energy Law. He’s graduating this May.