After last night’s turn of events during the 2022 NBA Draft that saw the New York Knicks, one of ten teams that didn’t play a single minute beyond their 82nd game and that completed their 49th consecutive season without a title, traded not one but two Top 15 draft choices, along with one-time perceived savoir Kemba Walker, to three other doormats.
The event was held at the home of the Brooklyn Nets, who admittedly have their own troubles these days. But more than enough Knick supporters were in attendance, as baffled as anyone covering the evening was as to just what in the wide, wide world of sports was Jim Dolan and his lackeys doing??!?!
When the dust finally settled, consensus landed upon the theory that the Knicks were clearing cap space from their bloated roster to pursue free agent forward Jalen Brunson, who had a fairly decent two rounds with the Dallas Mavericks this past post-season, which is admittedly two more rounds than the Knicks participated in. The Knicks are so all in on Brunson, they have already hired his father an assistant coach. An assistant to veteran leader Tom Thibodeau, who is notoriously adverse to working rookies into his team. The same Thibodeau who led the Knicks to 49 losses last season–or one defeat for every year the Knicks have now gone since they last were NBA champions.
Yes, I qualified it accordingly. There was an ABA then, and if I recall correctly the same Knicks team losr a pre-season game to the ABA champs the following fall, Things haven’t gotten much better since.
These Knicks have already burned through the support of one famous director who used to attend their games, who’s now banned from Madison Square Garden. A second still supports the team, but even he stopped going in person to games last year as the promise of a playoff appearance in 2020-21 that still resulted in a first-round elimination was all but obliterated by the 2021-22 underperformance.
And now it appears that the Knicks are stockpiling future draft picks once again, perhaps to point to future reconstruction–likely for a coach other than Tibs–or perhaps to use as bait to pursue other veterans like Brunson.
Now if my tone is a bit snarkier than usual, please understand I’ve been alive long enough to remenber that last title, their second in four years thatb coincided with my beginnings as a hoops fanatic. Increasingly, that makes me a dinosaur, Most Knicks fans these days can barely recall the 1999 finals appearance, as an eight seed in a strike-shortened season, or the 1994 loss in the seventh game of the NBA finals, while Michael Jordan was off playing baseball in Birmingham, where John Starks picked the worst possible time to go ice cold.
We’ve heard the Knicks aggressively pursue veteran free agents before. Most aren’t impressed by the allure of New York and the Garden, which is now the oldest arena being used in the NBA. Yes, it’s been remodeled, but it’s not exactly contemporary versus Barclay’s Center, Chase Center (which replaced the previous elder states-court in the Bay Area, the Oracle Arena) or any other center, for that matter. Lebron James was supposed to be here. He never showed up. There’s plenty of whispers Brunson won’t either.
So once again it seems another winter of discontent looms for Knicks fans, likely following a summer of false promise and confusion. Yes, I still have my jersey, and since it fits me far better these days I’ll occasionally wear it in hot weather.
I’m really happy I found another jersey and team to rock and root for . Thanks, you know who. You not only made me a better person, you made me a less agitated fan.