New Yorkers weigh in on Knicks-76ers playoff series; Philly-centric sports bar ready to host fans

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Saturday, April 20, 2024
New Yorkers weigh in on Knicks-76ers playoff series
New Yorkers weigh in on Knicks-76ers playoff series; Philly-centric sports bar ready to host fans

NEW YORK CITY (WPVI) -- It's been more than two decades since the Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks have met in an NBA playoff game.

Action News took a trip to New York City to talk to Knicks fans about the rivalry and the upcoming playoff series.

"I'm a Knicks fan! I was born and raised in New York," proclaimed Victor Velez, of Burlington, N.J.

READ MORE: 76ers to face Knicks in 1st round of playoffs | Check the full schedule

As the Sixers prepare for Game 1 on Saturday night, many Knicks fans think Joel Embiid could make or break Philadelphia's performance.

"They're pretty strong, but Embiid isn't where he needs to be. Embiid has got that knee, the problems with the injuries and stuff. He's going to have to tackle that, and they gotta handle Brunson," said Tyreek Alicea of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Of course, it wasn't long before we found some folks in Sixers gear.

"My wife kind of warned me about it. 'Are you sure you want to wear that?' I'm like, 'Yeah! New York fans are great,'" laughed Joe Anello, of Willow Grove, Pa., proudly wearing a Sixers sweatshirt near Madison Square Garden.

Sean Caldwell is from Philadelphia, but he's now a DJ in New York. He knows Knicks fans well.

"It's a similar energy -- real passionate, real dedicated. We do call this the mecca. So I'm not going to denounce that," said Caldwell.

We stopped by Mustang Harry's -- a short walk from Madison Square Garden -- which is usually packed with fans on game day.

"All the fans are fairly revved up on this one," said Mustang Harry's owner Ian Conroy. "The fact that it's the Sixers and your star player is back -- that's going to add to it."

But after a few hours in the Big Apple, we needed a taste of home. We found it at Olde City Cheesesteaks and Brew.

"We are a Philly-centric sports bar concept located obviously in Manhattan," said founder Evan Stein.

With Philly decor - and hometown food - the three locations aim to be a haven for Philly fans.

"When it's an Eagles game, or a Sixers game, or even a Phillies game, New Yorkers stay far away from this place," said Stein.

Game 1 starts at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Garden. Game 2 is Monday night in NY.

Then the series comes back home to the Wells Fargo Center for Games 3 and 4.