The NBA draft was a bit of a roller coaster for the sad, sad Knicks and their fans. After Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell went first and second, Knicks fans began that slow, creeping ascent of optimism. Maybe -- just maybe -- Jahlil Okafor, who had been a candidate to go No. 1 overall right up until this week, might fall to them at No. 4.
He didn't. The 76ers snagged Okafor with the third pick -- cue the stomach-churning drop, part one -- and the Knicks followed up by taking Latvian power forward Kristaps Porzingis, who could very well end up being an excellent player but apparently didn't satisfy the Knicks fans in attendance at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The reaction was … well, it was perfect.
A grown man burying his face in his hands.
A crying child -- quickly dubbed Crying Knicks Selfie Kid by the Twitteratti -- trying to decide between taking photos of himself and expressing his disagreement with the selection via a thumbs down, all through tears.
Another adult male -- seated next to the crying kid -- turning up the anger level when he realized he was on TV.
And, of course, one group of young men pleased to simply be on camera.
Together it encapsulated a winter's worth (at least) of frustration for Knicks fans, from a hopeless season at the start to questions about the mysterious Triangle offense to an injured Carmelo Anthony to a full-fledged tank effort to two wins in the last three games to draft lottery disappointment.
GIF: The Meltdown of the Porzingis Kid pic.twitter.com/0n2XxBMEYE— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) June 26, 2015
"I have do to everything that's in my hands to turn those booing fans into clapping hands." - Kristaps Porzingis.— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) June 26, 2015
June 25, 2015: Knicks president Phil Jackson drafts Kristaps Porzingis. February 20, 2016: Knicks president Isiah Thomas trades Porzingis— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) June 26, 2015
Hey Knicks fans, take heart, if Porzingis doesn't work out, he can get anything you want off the top shelf.— Benjamin Hoffman (@BenHoffmanNYT) June 26, 2015
"He has a great sense of American culture," a Kristaps Porzingis teammate told me. "He goes on WorldStarHipHop every day."— Ben Cohen (@bzcohen) June 26, 2015
The scene brought to mind rounds of boos from drafts of years past -- uncomfortable sequences in which a world-class athlete who just realized a lifelong dream is welcomed by so-called supporters something less than cheery. Many of these moments are authored by New York fans, and all of them are overreactions -- two factors that tend to go hand in hand.
Here's a look at some of the best(/worst).
Knicks fans boo Iman Shumpert (2011)
The Knicks picked future Eastern Conference champion Shumpert in the first round (No. 17 overall). That year's draft was at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and by the sound of it a significant number of Knicks fans made the short trip down.
Eagles fans boo Donovan McNabb (1999)
Safe to say the Philly faithful didn't exhibit the greatest foresight on this one, though the reaction from the Madison Square Garden crowd was decidedly split.
Philadelphia radio host Angelo Cataldi rounded up a group of 30 Eagles fans to boo McNabb if and when his name was announced. When the Eagles picked second overall -- and with Ricky Williams still on the board -- the team indeed chose McNabb. Boos ensued.
The name of the YouTube video below, "Eagles Fans Are Smart," says it all.
Cataldi apparently also sought to gather some fans and boo McNabb when he announced his retirement.
Bobcats fans boo Cody Zeller (2013)
This one seemed to contain a lot more genuine emotion, unlike the Philly stunt.
The Charlotte selected the 7-foot-0 Zeller at No. 4 overall with its last pick as the Bobcats. The draft was at the Barclays Center, but down in North Carolina at the team's draft party, fans didn't handle it well. Among the boos: looks of shock, actual laughter, a middle-aged gentleman angrily taking off his hat. Some of the fans headed for the exits literally seconds after the announcement.
Texans fans boo J.J. Watt (2011)
Another one for the "oopsie" column. Some fans -- playing it up for the camera in front of them, perhaps? -- started booing so quickly after Houston's selection of Watt became official that it's hard to believe they had time to even process what happened.
Those same fans, though, seemed to come around a few minutes later, though one was unhappy the Texans took him 11th overall instead of trading down and hoping he would still be available.
Jets fans "oh noooo" Roger Vick (1987)
We saved the best for last. The Jets were fresh off a second consecutive playoff appearance when they took Vick 21st overall in the New York-based draft, but Jets fans started reacting poorly before NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle could even get the name out.
The dialogue went like this:
Rozelle: "The New York Jets first-round selection, fullback -- "
Fan in the background: "Oh noooo!"
Rozelle: "Roger Vick, Texas A&M"
Vick shouldn't take it personally, though. Jets fans made habit of this sort of behavior, as seen in the video below. The Vick pick starts at 0:35.
Stick with it to the end to see fans cheering, "We want Sapp!" followed promptly by the Jets passing on Warren Sapp.
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Tim Healey is a contributor to Sports on Earth. Follow him on Twitter @timbhealey.