The Braves are in the World Series, and the Knicks are winning in prime time: Someone bring me my damn Tamagotchi

Kemba brought it back to another era in MSG.

Kemba brought it back to another era in MSG.
Image: Getty Images

It was throwback night in professional sports on Tuesday. The evening began with a nationally televised prime time Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on TNT… and a half hour after that started, the Atlanta Braves played in their first World Series game in 22 years. Both teams won, but that wasn’t what last night was about. It was about vibes.


Last night felt like an autumn evening in the 1990s, back when both teams were among the best in their respective sports.

The Braves may have only won one World Series that decade, but they were absolutely the team of the ’90s in Major League Baseball. In a time with limited internet access, standard definition, and cable television surging in popularity, the Braves were accessible to everyone in America, every day, on TBS. They went from worst to first in 1991 and played in one of the most memorable World Series of all time in a seven-game battle against the eventual champion Minnesota Twins. In total, the Braves advanced to five World Series in the 1990s. You could almost see David Justice when right fielder Jorge Soler became the first player in Major League Baseball history to literally lead off the World Series with a home run.

Can Knicks fans be obnoxious? Most definitely, especially if you’re a Trae Young fan. However, we do have to admit that the NBA is more entertaining when the energy in the Garden isn’t simply Knicks fans in awe at one of the best players in the league dropping 50-60 points on their side, and hoping that one day that performance could come from someone in the blue-and-orange. When Knicks fans are at their rabid peak, that organ and that blue court with “New York Knicks” written on the baseline come to life.

It was always like that once Pat Riley took the Knicks job in 1992, and they went from a below-.500 team to pushing the NBA Champion Chicago Bulls to a seven-game playoff series.

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When Knicks guard Kemba Walker got hot in the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night, the Garden crowd sounded like it did on those nights when John Starks was doing the opposite of going 2-18 from the field in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

(Ed. note: Did ya have to go there? — Rich O.)

We shouldn’t dwell in the past. That is both unhealthy and problematic, but the good parts of the past take you back to a time when life felt like it made more sense. You read box scores in the newspaper, watched highlights on Sportscenter, and your Apple computer was best used to play Wheel of Fortune or Oregon Trail. It’s not necessary to be a fan of either team to get that feeling from seeing the blue hat with the A in the World Series or a happy Spike Lee courtside at the Garden.


There is a reason that franchises have ’90s night promotions. When you set aside the era’s crime, and the subsequent crime bill, and the skyrocketing prison population, what feels better than a metaphorical trip to the 1990s? Dunkaroos, MTV before it was ridiculous reruns 22 hours a day, clear Pepsi… I mean what a time to be alive! Who cares that Playstation I was considered the height of technology, and research meant flipping through a card catalog at the library. The inconvenience is part of the nostalgia. What fun is it to look back if you can’t scold your nieces and nephews for TikToking all day instead of playing outside?


That’s the feeling last night provided. For a few hours you felt like you were in the den watching Patrick Ewing and Greg Maddux dominate, and wondering if their teams were going to go all the way or choke.

We still have a week of World Series games to play, and on Thursday we have the ultimate ’90s throwback matchup: The 3-1 Knicks are off to the Midwest to play the 4-0 (for the first time since Michael Jordan’s baggy suits were in style) Chicago Bulls.


Mommmm, can we go take my Book-Its to Pizza Hut?

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