Madison Square Garden in New York is regarded as the "Mecca of Basketball" thanks to its rich history. It is one of the most iconic sports venues in the world and it is a dream for NBA players to put on a show at The Garden.
The Knicks being an utter mess for the last two decades hasn't changed that sentiment for the players and we have seen so many memorable performances by greats of the game like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant at the venue. Perhaps the most iconic performance of them all came from Michael Jordan back in 1995 as he dropped 55 points to lead the Bulls to victory.
It was his 5th game back on his return from his first retirement and MJ wasn't quite himself prior to the game at MSG, but he saved his best for The Garden. Jordan has in the past spoken about how much he loves playing there and he once gave some special praise to the fans in the arena.
"I have always liked Madison Square Garden, even when I was in college when we played St John's or some of the games that we played. It has always been an area or a place where basketball enthusiasts could notice a fake basketball player. If you're a real basketball player, they honor that, they show respect for that. If you (are) just a hype, you can't fool them and they'll see it. It is like stepping on the stage with an act and people can see that it's an act or they can see that if it's talent, so that's the way I've always perceived Madison Square Garden."
Great basketball is always appreciated at The Garden and it is just a pity that the Knicks haven't been any good for so long. There was some hope of a change in their fortunes after a surprise playoff berth in 2021, but they crashed and burned this past season.
A lot of the blame for their struggles can be attributed to owner James Dolan and there was joy among the fanbase when a report emerged that he is likely to sell the team after the MSG Sphere was constructed. The joy was short-lived, however, as the man himself dismissed the report and you are left wondering when the Knicks will become good again. Regardless of their struggles, MSG will remain a hallowed ground for opposition players and we can expect more epic performances in the years to come.