New York Knicks fans watching their team's second-round playoff series with the Indiana Pacers are certainly liable to suffer from flashbacks to the 1990s, when the Knicks and Pacers met six times in the playoffs in an eight-year span, each winning three series.
But tonight, those watching from home will have an extra strong reminder of that intense rivalry, because they'll be hearing Reggie Miller's voice as one of the greatest villains in New York sports history returns to Madison Square Garden to provide color commentary during Game 2.
And as Newsday's Neil Best points out, it's all going down on the 18th anniversary of the night Reggie scored eight points in 8.9 seconds as the Pacers rallied past the Knicks in Game 1 of a second-round series that Indiana would end up winning in seven games.
It'll surely be strange for Knicks fans to watch this game knowing that Miller has a clear favorite. Those who aren't old enough to remember those battles from the 1990s don't realize how much that city hated Miller. There really is no modern-day comparison, unless LeBron James becomes an analyst in 15 years and calls a playoff game in Cleveland.
But Miller's been doing this for a long time now, and the names and faces have all changed.
"I'm blue and gold, but that's not going to stop me from calling a Pacers-Knicks game fairly and objectively," he told Best. "I call what I see in front of me . . . That's just what I get paid for."
Besides, it might be time for Knicks fans to drop the grudge. If John Starks can do it, anyone can. More from Best:
"Me and Reggie are cool," Starks said. "We are very friendly with one another. That was just stuff that we did on the court. It wasn't anything personal. He was trying to win, I was trying to win, by any means necessary."
Said Miller: "I would say we're cordial. Time heals all wounds. It's time to move on. I would say this: I respect John and I knew how much of a fierce competitor he was and is. He would run through a brick wall for his team, and I can't say that for a lot of guys in our league."
Miller's presence will certainly add some juice to tonight's matchup at MSG, but here's hoping his presence somehow helps reignite a rivalry that was once can't-miss TV.