There comes a point when wanting something isn’t enough, no matter how fervently you hope for it. There wasn’t a soul in New York with any kind of feel for the city’s basketball history who didn’t want Chris Mullin to find magic at St. John’s. It had everything you wanted for a fairy tale: an old hero, an old kingdom, a waiting throne.
All that was missing was the happy ending.
Four years later, we are still waiting for the happy ending.
Four years later, in what was supposed to be the culmination of this beautiful basketball ballad, the Johnnies are trapped in a mudslide and can’t figure a way out of it. This was supposed to be a nonstop flight toward a splendid destiny.
Instead, it is last place in the Big East.
This time it was an 89-78 loss at the Garden to Georgetown in front of 17,801 fans who were mostly clad in red and mostly departed muttering to themselves. The Johnnies played as they have too often lately: There were a couple of four-and-five minutes stretches where they were engaged, interested and prosperous.
And vast swatches where they seemed utterly disinterested in any of the fundamental things that define good basketball teams: defense, tone, pace, togetherness.