United by UConn School of Law – and the Knicks

Immediately after the coronavirus pandemic stranded him in California, Fred Cantor ’78 JD observed his ideas turning to his lifelong enjoy of the New York Knicks — and the enduring bond it fostered with UConn Law Professor Lewis Kurlantzick.

The ideas and recollections turned into a e book, “Fred From Fresh new Meadows: A Knicks Memoir,” posted in November by The Strickland Press. Proceeds will advantage the John Starks Basis, a school scholarship fund proven by the retired Knicks star.

The cover of "Fred From Fresh Meadows," a new book by UConn School of Law alumnus Fred Cantor.

Cantor and his wife, Debra Silberstein, break up their time in between Westport and Orange County, Calif., and they were being in California when the pandemic struck. Cantor’s health practitioner recommended him not to vacation for the reason that of serious overall health issues. Bored and isolated at property, he put his electrical power into the e book.

He wrote that his first memory of the Knicks dates again to 1962, when he was 9 a long time previous. He was flipping by means of The New York Moments sports activities area when he browse that a player named Wilt Chamberlain experienced scored 100 details from the Knicks the evening in advance of.

“How could any individual rating 100 details in an NBA match?” Cantor remembered thinking at the time. “Sure, Roger Maris experienced strike 61 homers the former fall. But 100 details in a activity?! That appeared difficult.”

Fascinated not only by Chamberlain’s virtuosity but also by the Knicks’ astounding reduction, Cantor was hooked — on the underdogs. The e book aspects his intense Knicks fandom by means of many professions, major health care processes, and even a prospect come across with Tv set producer Larry David. Cantor questioned, and David confirmed, that David’s daughter, Cazzie, was named following Knicks terrific Cazzie Russell.

“Writing was a great way to be imaginative and interact with a little something when I was sensation up to it,” he suggests. “It was hardly ever my intention to do something with the e-book, but then I showed it to some good friends, and they appreciated it and inspired me to consider to publish it.”

The guide also particulars Cantor’s friendship of approximately 50 several years with Kurlantzick, which started when Cantor took Kurlantzick’s Authorized Composing course at UConn Legislation and they identified their shared passion for sports activities, in particular the Knicks. Their initial conversation, in September 1975, was memorable.

Cantor had unexpectedly scored a ticket to Video game 6 of the Entire world Collection among the Boston Pink Sox and the Cincinnati Reds at Fenway Park. He could attend the recreation or he could comprehensive an assignment for Kurlantzick’s course, but he could not do the two. He made a decision to describe the situation to Kurlantzick and check with for an extension. He remembers increasing extra and a lot more nervous as he produced his case and Kurlantzick remained silent and stone-faced.

When Cantor completed, Kurlantzick was outraged. “Are you mad?” he demanded. If  Cantor missed Game 6 of the Environment Sequence for a composing assignment, Kurlantzick mentioned, he surely should be out of his thoughts. Cantor got his extension and the two received to conversing.

“Fred and I right away clicked just after that second and after we realized we the two dwell and die by the New York Knicks,” Kurlantzick says. “Fred has 1 of the brightest, most inventive minds, and I’m so thrilled we have stayed in contact all these years.”

Their friendship blossomed the adhering to 12 months when Cantor moved to a new condominium with cable Tv. Kurlantzick was thrilled and available to split the cable bill so they could look at Knicks online games together. Cantor even gave Kurlantzick a spare essential so that he could  watch games when Cantor was absent.

The two attended several games in the course of the decades and retained in touch. Kurlantzick visited Cantor in California in 2018, and the professor is the initially person Cantor many thanks in the book’s acknowledgements.

The friendship has affected Cantor’s lifetime in lots of ways. He joked that the betrayal of Kurlantzick’s son — who became a Boston Celtics supporter — confident him not to have small children.

Now formally retired, Kurlantzick continues to instruct a sports law class. Cantor retired 10 years back from his job with the Metropolis of New York, where he was functioning as a regulatory law firm, when severe wellbeing complications prevented him from maintaining a 9-5 schedule. At 67, he does what he can to retain himself as active as his health will allow for.

He and Silberstein are still stuck in California, doubtful when the pandemic will subside adequate that it will be harmless for them to journey. In the meantime, Cantor has had some of his favored Knicks memorabilia delivered to California, and he’s enjoying the reaction to the e book.

“I assume it’s a good read for any sporting activities admirer and I’m thrilled the proceeds will go to a very good spot,” he states. “As I search back on my daily life, I see so considerably of it in the context of that just one season or that a single crew. It just produced perception to create a tale of my existence that way.”