Presumably, Knicks fan Ed Barnes will be slightly more satisfied with his team’s effort tonight (trailing Phoenix, 79-76 with 2:58 left in the 3rd quarter), but it will be a long time before he forgets the events of last Thursday night in Boston. From the New York Daily News’ Melissa Grace and Rick Schapiro.
In a move captured on national television, he ripped off his $220 Knicks jersey and chucked it onto the court in disgust – sending the Boston crowd into a frenzy and highlighting the futility of his beloved team.
“They were just giving up on every play,” Barnes, 36, told the Daily News Saturday. “You pay great money to see their games. You pay great money to drink at their games. I watched them give up.”
The Knicks-obsessed mechanic said he tore off his jersey to make a statement to the players. “I wanted to get their attention,” Barnes said, his eyebrow ring, in blue for the other Knicks color, glinting in the light. “You don’t lose by 50 points in the NBA.”
Barnes drove up to Boston on Wednesday night with his nephew Larry Betro to celebrate Betro’s 24th birthday. The pair had $300 seats – four rows behind the basket and not far from Craig Sager, a TNT sideline reporter.
With the Knicks trailing big in the first quarter, Barnes made a bet with Sager that if his team went down by 50 points he would give up his coveted jersey.
Word of the bet spread through the crowd with lightning speed. By the time the fourth quarter came around and the Knicks were losing by 40, the fans were in a frenzy.
“Throw it! Throw it!” they yelled.
And when Boston’s lead reached 50 points with three minutes left in the game, Barnes did just that. The game stopped. The fans erupted.
“The whole crowd was behind it,” he said. “I had to protect my honor.”
For her part, Barnes’ wife, Tiffany, 32, said her husband’s obsession has dominated her life. Among other things, she’s forced to live in a home that resembles a Creamsicle.
“We have to get orange sunglasses, orange watches, orange cars,” she said, noting that they also have a Knicks garbage can in the bathroom. “I have white sheets with orange stripes on them. It is sickening.”