When was the last time the New York Knicks won an NBA championship?  1973.  Winning = respect.  Ask the Yankees and Giants (sort of) in the same city.

Knick fans cry out loud daily about the team not getting enough respect in 2012-2013 while Carmelo Anthony lights up scoreboards, Mike Woodson coaches the club through injuries and a division title is won for the first time since 1994.  You can win divisions.  You can have great regular seasons.  But people and fans and media and players and general managers remember and respect you for winning when it matters.  In the playoffs.  Ask Derek Jeter.

What the Knicks are doing right now is terrific.  It's great for basketball and for the city of New York and the league and NBA fans and those showtime nights at Madison Square Garden.  But New York has to win in the playoffs.  It has to topple the Heat, the current champs, or someone else.  The Knicks must reach the NBA Finals or, gulp, win the whole darn thing.

Then Aretha Franklin will sing.

By:  Mike Lindsley, "Mid-Day with Mike, 1-4, Yankee pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio.  Follow him on Twitter @MikeLSports.