If you're a New York Knicks fans there are just a few things that become automatic to you. Patrick Ewing is a basketball God. Madison Square Garden is the greatest sports arena in the world. New York is the Mecca of basketball. Most importantly, you should hate the Miami Heat as soon as you come out of the womb. That's all good and fine, but when Dwayne Wade says their game at Madison Square Garden should be canceled as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Then when he goes on to say he'll donate his game salary to charity all Knicks fans should show him respect, even if he plays for the Heat.
While the NBA did cancel the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener scheduled for Thursday night because of Hurricane Sandy, Friday’s Heat-Knicks game went on as planned. The storm hit New York City with extreme force on Monday, and the death tole is rising. The economic damage to the city has been estimated to be in the billions and rising daily. Many, including the Heat's Dwayne Wade, objected to the game being played but David Stern decided that the show must go on and the NBA machine would start running full force at Madison Square Garden tonight.
Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Wade not only didn't think this game should be played but that he'll be donating his game salary to charity.
"We live in a place that's affected by hurricanes all the time," Wade said. "We are sensitive to it."
"I don't think we should be playing tonight," he said following Friday's morning shootaround. "There are bigger things, things of more importance, in this city right now.
"Obviously, sports are something that takes people's minds away from things but I think there are bigger things that need to be done here in the city."
Wade's 2012-13 salary is $17.2 million. The standard NBA accounting of game salary is 1/110th of overall salary, that accounts for pre-season and playoff games. That would make Wade's donation $156,000 before taxes.
The NBA and Players' Union have donated $1 million to Sandy relief and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban claims he will make a similar donation.
Those donations should all be applauded. However, Wade's point shouldn't be taken lightly. New York City is in shambles. Thankfully the Mayor finally smartened up and postponed the New York Marathon yet tonights game went off without a hitch.
Now, the logistics of putting on the Marathon as compared to a game in Madison Square Garden are basically incomparable. The Garden is isolated, inside and doesn't cause bridges to close. However, it is very easy to question if this game should have been played.
Thousands of New Yorkers remain without power. Forget running water, drinking water has become a luxury. Store shelves are depleted. Traffic lights and signals are out or flickered all over the city. Cars and bodies alike are floating on the surface in neighborhoods.
New York City isn't much further along in the recovery since canceling the Knicks-Nets game. It's understandable if the game going on might make some New Yorkers frustrated. Life is not carrying on like normal in the darkness of Sandy's aftermath.
Of course, some would argue that a Knicks game wont hinder the city's recovery. So far, the Heat who had a three-hour bus ride from Newark Liberty International Airport to midtown Manhattan Wednesday, seem to be the only ones inconvenienced from this game. It could even be said that the game is a welcome distraction for New Yorkers. What's known for sure is there are more important things going on tonight in New York than this game.
That being said, as easy as it is to hate the Miami Heat all Knicks fans should respect Dwayne Wade for his remarks and standing behind his beliefs by donating his game salary. That being said, it's easier to respect him knowing that the Knicks were able to win 104-84.
If you would like to help with the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10!
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