Though some people have come out of the woodwork to support New York as of late, there's no denying the masses of passionate fans that have stuck by the team since day one are being rewarded while enjoying the team's exciting play.
Loyal fans of Joe Budden and his music can certainly relate. After years of pumping out good music and staying on the grind, the rapper is now reaping the benefits of all his hard work. All the right things seem to be happening at the right time for Budden.
After watching his hip/hop super group Slaughterhouse's latest album come out last summer, Budden is now celebrating the release of his newest solo effort, No Love Lost. The album comes after a number of highly-anticipated years by his die-hard fans, and Budden also said that the more recent connections he's made helped him put together some killer collaborations.
The rapper appeared at the Apple Store in SoHo earlier this week for an exclusive Q&A session, and performed a short set from his new album afterward. Many of Budden's fans and longtime supporters came out to watch, and much to their enjoyment, they can relish in the fact that the "Love & Hip/Hop" star appreciates having them around for what has been the interesting ride he's called a career over the last decade.
Could that be partially because Budden himself knows what it's like to be a passionate fan of something or someone through both the good times and the bad? The New Jersey native is a Knicks fan, and stopped to chat with KnicksJournal.com for a few minutes about one of his favorite teams. Curious about Budden's thoughts on the team's season or who'd he put on a Knicks anthem collaboration? Continue reading below for our conversation.
Q: You talk about sports every now and then in your music. You're an active tweeter too, and judging by your recent note about a guy like Chris Copeland, I think it's safe to say you're much more than a fair-weathered fan of the Knicks, right?
A: Yeah, I'm a long-time Knicks fan. I go years and years back. Moments like Larry Johnson's four-point play and Allan Houston's game winner in the playoffs against Miami are big ones for me. They've always been contenders. Obviously they haven't won it all in a while, but they contend. If you're rooting for a team, that's all you can ask for.
Q: You seem to know this team pretty well from A to Z, so would you say the Knicks did enough at the trading deadline?
A: I was disappointed to see a guy like Ronnie Brewer go. I felt like he contributed greatly to our early season success. We need guard help, especially with Iman Shumpert not being 100%. With Rasheed Wallace hurt though, I could see where the G.M. was going when he went out for a big. They got a tough big in Kenyon Martin.
I guess I was happy with it. I tweeted that I would've liked to see them go after a Brandon Bass or even like an Al Jefferson kind of player. But to bring someone like that in, they probably would have had to give up some other pieces. Like I said, it was important to go out and get a big man. They did that, so you can't ever not be happy with a big.
Q: Obviously the Knicks are trying to chase Miami and might have to make some noise against them in the playoffs to go far. Taking Sunday's loss into consideration, does New York still have what it takes to get past them?
A: Definitely. I think Sunday's game goes a lot differently if Amar'e Stoudemire doesn't sit out the final 8 minutes of the game. You want to be able to play to your strengths, and obviously one of New York's biggest strengths against Miami is that they have skilled bigs. I couldn't understand sitting Stoudemire when the Heat go small and play Chris Bosh at the five and Shane Battier at the four. I'm not the coach, but they definitely have a shot. I'm anxious to see what happens next time they play.
Q: It's up to Mike Woodson to make adjustments like that based on matchups to put the Knicks in the best position to win, isn't it?
A: Yeah. Well, yesterday that was my thing...I would have played Amar'e more. But I've had Woodson as a potential "Coach of the Year" candidate since day one. He's done a great job with this team, and obviously the way management brought him in signifies that they believe in him and his system.
My thing is simply that I'd ask him why he did what he did in that situation. That's why I'm anxious to see how the next one plays out, but I'd like to see what lineup Woodson rolls out and the way he subs guys in and out.
Q: Lastly, one more question that's a bit more music related for you. Fellow rapper Knicks fans like Fabolous and Lloyd Banks are on your new album. Your guy Swizz Beatz has produced the Knicks' team anthem the last two seasons, but he's not the most mainstream guy. That tells me there's even more room for New York's finest hip/hop artists to join together and make the next anthem a classic one. If you were in charge, who would you put on such a track besides yourself?
A: Naturally I would've said Jay-Z, but I'd get all the New York guys together. You can get artists like Jadakiss, French Montana, and Maino. There are so many New York MCs that are all pretty much Knicks fans. If we could all get together and do a type of "We Are the World" type anthem, that'd be great.