By Ben Horney, Knicks fan since '94
The Knicks fell short of their ultimate goal this year, and it hurts. It hurts because we cared so much about this team, and we cared so much about this team because they mattered. They mattered like the Knicks of the 90s mattered -- when winning the division and fighting deep into the playoffs was not a bonus, it was expected.
Through tireless work, these Knicks have restored those expectations. Once again, they will be expected to contend for a championship for years to come. The Knicks -- like Amar'e Stoudemire so boldly proclaimed a few years ago -- are back.
Winning a championship in the NBA is the ultimate success, but success can not solely be defined by rings. It's not easy to win it all; only eight different teams have won a title in the last 29 years, and 13 of the league's 30 teams have never reached the pinnacle.
This year's Knicks, while falling short of their ultimate goal, had many positives and many successes. And once the sting of defeat wears off, it will be easier to remember this season for all the positives that occurred.