There are fans, and there are superfans. Alex Pflaum, a Westchester Knicks season ticket member from the team’s inaugural year, falls into the latter category. Immediately upon meeting for this interview, clad in a Westchester jersey and Knicks hat, Alex fired off a series of questions about the upcoming season.
“Is Coach Miller coming back?” “Do we know which players are coming back?”
He also expressed a keen interest in the three new teams joining the D-League, bringing up the upcoming expansion drafts and showing an extra, mischievous excitement for the newest team coming to New York. “I’m very excited for Long Island (Nets) – I want to get a rivalry going ,” Alex confessed.
More often than not, Alex is the first person to arrive on game days. He reveals he has a strict game day schedule that starts well before doors open.
“At 2:00, I get my gear together. At 2:30, I’m waiting for train and by 3:00, I get to the Galleria Mall (in White Plains) where I have a light dinner. Around 4:30 or 5:00, I walk over to the County Center – and by the way – I have a secret way of doing it.” (Editor’s Note: He told us the secret route, but we can’t give it away!) When the doors open at 6:00, Alex buys himself a large Orange Crush and a small candy.
He’s a staple in the balcony, just above one of the rims. One cannot see the video board without also seeing Alex, who is usually up out of his seat, encouraging everyone around him to do the same.
The first time Alex heard of the Westchester Knicks, he was at a boxing event at the County Center. “But it wasn’t official,” he says. “When I saw it on oursportscentral.com, that was when I knew it was really happening.”
His reaction? “I was like, ‘thank God,’ something fun to do! I live so close to the County Center it’s ridiculous.”
He knew from day one that he would get season tickets – it’s in his blood. His grandfather was a Rangers season ticket holder, and now his dad is one as well. While hockey might have the edge to basketball just in terms of his favorite sport, he’s happy to have his season tickets with his hometown team.
We pressed him on why he has so much fun at the games. He asked us if we had heard about the semi-pro team that used to play at the County Center in the early 2000’s (the Westchester Wildfire). We had. “This (the Westchester Knicks) is so much better. The quality of play is better – and honestly more fun to watch than the NBA too! They (players) don’t give up. I love the feel of the seats going up and down.”
The seats go up and down? This was news. But as Alex informed us, “When you have as passionate a fan base as we are, you feel the vibration.”
Outside of basketball? “It’s a sense of community. I love seeing the different towns being promoted, the new fans coming in.” Alex has made quite a few friends, and looks forward to making more. “Remember when I dressed up like a bear? The guy who dresses up like Father Knickerbocker (see Bryan Madden’s Who’s Who profile here) challenged me to a dance off.”
Favorite Player: “My buddy, Thanasis (Antetokounmpo). We would catch up once in a while. And Devondrick Walker was always really nice to me.”
Favorite Promotion: “Hot Shot – I won the first one!” Alex said, simultaneously whipping out video proof on his cell phone.
Favorite Moment: “Ra’Shad James made this ridiculous one-hand dunk – it was a jam! It was awesome. One more: the very first game, Opening Night the first year. Opening Night is when all the fun stuff happens. I love the smoke – are you going to do that again?”