There are certain companies so interwoven into the fabric of New York that they can get away with just about anything. Gray’s Papaya, for example, routinely endorses hot dog-friendly candidates for public office, and they’ve never been boycotted by political rivals. Snapple lost none of its cred when it partnered with The Celebrity Apprentice to create two new tea flavors. And now Moishe’s is tossing its yarmulke into the ring in a unique ploy to bring superstar free agent Lebron James to the long-suffering Knicks. Starting today, the ubiquitous New York moving company is bringing a portable storage container to the parking lot across from Madison Square Garden, and it’s inviting Knicks fans to fill it with signs, cards, New York-centered gifts, and more than a few prayers. Moishe’s will then deliver the container to the superstar’s Cleveland home in a bid to entice the 6′ 8″ savant to drop the heroes and get with the zeroes.
It’s a desperate move, but with a title drought of nearly four decades and an unholy sense of entitlement, Knickerbocker fans know that desperate measures are called for to restore balance to the basketball universe. With scandals in the front office (Isiah) and petulance on the court (Starbury et al.), the former contenders have become a punchline in the NBA. Frankly, that just doesn’t square with New Yorkers: if we can’t build winners, we’re supposed to buy them. That’s how it works, right? There have been just enough hopeful signs through the lean years to keep people from losing interest. For 15 seasons, big man Patrick Ewing did everything he could to get the city a title, but never had the supporting cast to finish. And every true Knicks fan remembers where they were for Allan Houston’s 1999 shot heard ’round the world, an ugly three-cushion floater in a heated playoff series that devastated Miami and gave rise to the term “Knick bounce.” Still, a championship would elude them.
So Moishe Mana and his adopted city have decided that it’s time for a new savior, and they’re doing what they can to bring Lebron into the fold. It remains to be seen if a container full of Knicks towels, bobblehead dolls, and more than a few phone numbers will entice the uncrowned king to play in the garden. But if it’s accompanied by a container full of money? Well, now we’re speaking the same language.