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New York's Knicks (MP3 Audio Entertainment)

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This is a story of a beautiful season. "Dee-fense." The Garden fans chanted, and the Knicks won. "Let's go Knicks," they shouted, and the Knicks won. "We're number one," they roared and the Knicks won.

It wasn't always that way. In fact, it was 24 years to a beautiful season . Sometimes they were close; other times forget it. Some people laughed at the Knicks long before they laughed at the Mets.

Then, six years ago, a young man named Willis Reed came to New York out of Grambling College. He was followed by Dick Barnett... Dave Stallworth... Cazzie Russell... Bill Bradley... Walt Frazier... Dave DeBusschere... Mike Riordan... Nate Bowman... Bill Hosket... Don Way... John Warren.

The laughter slowly died and the thunder in the voices of Garden fans began growing. They sensed something big. Harry Gallatin... Vince Boryla... Carl Braun.... Dick McGuire... Whitey Ackerman... they became distant memories. There were new Knicks... winning Knicks... Champioship Knicks.

No one really can tell when the Championship was born. Reed thinks he knows. "It was right after we lost to Boston in the playoffs" recalls the Captain. "We sar in the dressing room and vowed we would win it this year."

And so the season started... and the Knicks began winning. They won their first five and lost one. They won their next 18 for an NBA record and were finally stopped by Detroit. They won games and played dazzling ball.

"The best team ball I've ever seen," claimed ex-Knick coach Joe Lapchick. A great team but they'll have to win more before they can be compared with the Boston Celtics," said Wit Chamberlain.

It was a team in every sense of the world. "Collectivism," was the erudite way Bradley put it. "We just put it together," said Frazier.

"There are no stars on this team" said Reed , the Mr. Everything of the NBA. No stars; just winners.

Each night, some player stepped up and did what had to be done and the Knicks won. Maybe it was Reed against Alcindor... or the hardnosed DeBusschere against the world... or Frazier and his fast hands... or Barnett and his tricky moves... or Bradley and his hot shooting... or the Minute Men in general.

It was a team effort," proclaimed coach "Red" Holzman, not the first to say it at all. It never was more appropriate and it added up to a 60-22 first place finish and a 4-3 defeat of Baltimore in the playoffs and 4-1 over Milwaukee and finally 4-3 over the Los Angeles Lakers for the Knicks' first championship.

It is all here. An instant replay of a beautiful season and a beautiful campionschip for a beautiful team.

Lenny Lewin

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