By: Dakota Durant
If you’re a fan of the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers, or New York sports in general, then I’m sure over the years you have come to learn more and more things about “The World’s Most Famous Arena.” If you are familiar with Madison Square Garden, then the name George Kalinsky might just ring a bell. Since 1966, nearly forty-seven years, George Kalinsky has served as the official photographer for the Mecca of Basketball. In addition to Madison Square Garden, Kalinsky was also the official photographer for Radio City Music Hall. Over the years he has proven to be one of the most talented photographers working in sports due to his ability to capture each and every moment, along with the emotion that goes with it is immeasurable. If you’ve ever watched a New York Knicks game on the MSG network, then I am almost certain that as you are reading this you are thinking of the Garden of Dreams commercial. Many of Kalinsky’s works have been used to raise money for the Garden of Dreams Foundation. From famous portraits of Walt Clyde Frazier, to Patrick Ewing, to Tyson Chandler, George’s list of awards and achievements goes on and on.
It is no surprise that Carmelo has taken a liking to Kalinsky’s work. If you happen to follow Melo on Instagram or any other social networking site than his love for art shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Anthony currently has a piece done by Kalinsky in which the subject is none other than Muhammad Ali. As one of, if not the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali has not only changed the world of boxing, but has revolutionized sports as we know it. Having a piece that combines art and Muhammad Ali, seems to be perfect for Carmelo, in that his appreciation and love for both are tied into one. Melo has spoken about his respect for the great boxer, in many interviews he’s been asked if he has ever been star struck, and his answer has always been when meeting Ali.
Ali won’t just leave a legacy on the sports world for his phenomenal skill, but his ability to rise in the face of adversity and to stand up for what he believes. Of course, he will always be known for his tremendous ability to box, but he will also be known for his courage. Despite the criticism he received for his personal beliefs, he became the first person in history to win the heavyweight title three times. Believe it or not, Kalinsky’s work is completely relatable to Carmelo’s life. Not only because Carmelo has an interest in boxing as we’ve all seen in his latest Degree Do More commercial, but more so because of what in the midst of all the bright colors, Muhammad Ali’s face represents. It symbolizes greatness, the strength to move forward, the ability to accept criticism, and the courage to take a stand. So yes, Carmelo does love the sport of boxing, but he connects to the great boxer on a much different level. He connects to his greatness, his passion, and his strength, because standing under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden is no easy task, it takes someone extremely great to accept the criticism he has. While Carmelo himself will admit that he has a lot more to do here in New York, there is no question that the scoring champion will give it his all in order to bring home a championship. Although for many the pressure of performing here in this great city may be a challenge, Melo has embraced that challenge.