Open in App
  • Local
  • U.S.
  • Election
  • Politics
  • Crime
  • Sports
  • Lifestyle
  • Education
  • Real Estate
  • Newsletter
  • New York Post

    Tale of the Turnpike: Little bro Philly will be big problem for New York

    By Anthony L. Gargano,


    Read The Post’s Steve Serby give the New York side of the rivalry with Philadelphia.

    It’s been a minute since the last Amtrak Series, which seems unimaginable since we share a corridor, the Atlantic Division and a sibling rivalry. But on the eve of the last one, Motorola had launched the world’s smallest mobile phone for the cost of three grand — no texts, hearts or camera included — and the Berlin Wall would soon fall. Patrick Ewing played opposite Chuck Barkley seven years before they would in “Space Jam,” and the finale of the best-of-five series, won by the Knicks in a sweep, took place at the Spectrum, which is now the site for a house of bars and a cheesesteak joint.

    And my man Serby had black hair.

    Make no mistake, even though you’re an arrogant, narcissistic and tad overrated Apple, we’re family. We roll Broadway to Broad Street, the Statue of Liberty to the Liberty Bell and food to no fugazi fandom. We’re East Coast cool both in our own right, and we both hate Boston.

    But you’ve been away from the sports limelight for a long time. Giants back in 2012, right? The celebration that followed the Knicks’ first-round victory last year was as embarrassing as knowing the Yankees still must genuflect to the Orioles. And us? We don’t shine shoes no more, Big Bro.

    According to Herb Caen, the late San Francisco journalist and humorist from the last century, a city is not gauged by its length and width, but by the broadness of its vision and the height of its dreams.

    It’s a Philly Thing, Big Bro.

    Knicks in prime position to fix this weakness from last postseason

    Even your A-Rod said it here during the last two baseball postseasons: “The energy in Philadelphia is unlike any across baseball. It’s amazing. I love it here.”
    Phillies fans had plenty to cheer about the past two MLB postseasons. AP

    You love sports. We live it.

    And all due respect to Spike and Larry David, we have A-listers, too. You’ll see Bradley Cooper and Kevin Hart and Miles Teller and Taylor Swift wearing Sixers colors.

    And when it comes to the ball, you owe us. Back in the day, it was fair. We gave you Black Jesus, you gave us The Doctor. But the Knicks roster should have a blue V across the chest.

    Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, Donte DiVincenzo all Villanova University products, their play molded by Jay Wright, just another legendary Philadelphia basketball figure.

    We’ve even infiltrated your front office. Knicks team president Leon Rose? He’s ours.

    Knicks special adviser William Wesley, the slick, effervescent World Wide Wes? He’s ours, too.

    Draymond Green confidently backs 76ers in Knicks playoff series: ‘Nobody is stopping Joel’
    Jalen Brunson (1), Josh Hart (3) and Donte DiVincenzo (10) all played college basketball at Villanova. Getty Images

    And before you cry Jersey, you know the rule: Jersey is a suburb state. Exit 9 of the Turnpike (split Trenton in half) and north is yours, south to Delaware is ours. Fair is fair, we each have our own shore towns.

    see also Knicks-76ers Tale of the Turnpike: New York has always been the star city

    But to the ball talk that matters. The Sixers are no 7-seed. It’s why The Post lines have the series at a pick ’em .

    Poke fun at the recent playoff results here, if you will. Keeping it real, this is the seventh straight postseason spring in the post-Process, Joel Embiid era and the Sixers haven’t eclipsed the second round yet. But this squad is different. In its first 30 games, before Embiid went down with a knee injury shortly after he scored a Wilt the Stilt-esque 70, Philly was dominant.

    Now Embiid is back and the Sixers haven’t lost. Even after a lethargic first three quarters against the Heat in the play-in game, Embiid took over the game in the final four minutes, with two 3s, an and-1, a crucial offensive board (one of his 15 rebounds) and a pretty dime to Kelly Oubre Jr. for another and-1 and the clincher.
    Joel Embiid and the 76eres were dominant before his knee injury. USA TODAY Sports


    The Sixers, admittedly a team that would fold in tough times, gutted out a gross, typically Miami, zone-defaced game. Of course, the chicken helped. When Caleb Martin doinked two free throws, the crowd came to life with free nuggies and the Sixers went on a run behind Nic Batum’s barrage of 3s.

    see also nba playoffs 2024 Knicks well aware of Joel Embiid challenge that awaits them in Round 1

    For once, they didn’t go chicken in the end, lost in the frowning, sagging pall of Ben Simmons or James Harden. Embiid has a young co-star in Tyrese Maxey — Happy Maxey. You don’t know him well. He’ll be the one with the perpetual smile. He can shoot it and he’s jackrabbit quick with the ball and he plays the game with joy.

    There’s Oubre and Batum and Buddy Hield and tough Kyle Lowry. And Tobias Harris who doesn’t have to play the end of games. Most importantly, Nick Nurse, a true tactician, is in for Doc Rivers, whose playoff demises are Milwaukee’s problem now.

    I have to say, as a former Post employee, who loves your bigness, Big Bro, especially the floor of Madison Square Garden, it’s great to have this rivalry finally take form. And, honestly, if not us, then I hope it’s you someday soon. Between the Sixers and Knicks, they have gone a combined 90 seasons without a title.

    That’s far too long.

    I genuinely feel for my Post Pals Serby, Dave Blezow and Chris Shaw. Maybe Aaron Rodgers will stay healthy and you can see us in the Super Bowl. But this Amtrak Series is an easy pick. The Embeast will take over your house quicker than one of your squatters.

    Next stop: Sixers in six.

    Anthony L. Gargano is a content creator who hosts a daily sports talk show (9-11 a.m.) for ALLCITY Network and, based in Philadelphia.

    For the latest in sports, top headlines, breaking news and more, visit

    Expand All
    Comments / 0
    Add a Comment
    Local New York City, NY newsLocal New York City, NY
    Most Popular newsMost Popular

    Comments / 0