1. A House Divided?
Thankfully the February 24 trade deadline is around the corner. When that seasonal milestone is crossed the Knicks may find themselves for better or for worse on the other side of a growing current dividing the league. For the Knicks may be crossing their own version of the Roman Rubicon. That heralded river of lore that once crossed, divided a republic to a point from which it could not turn back. Similarly, for the Knicks, certain postures from within could result in action or inaction that locks the organization into a compromising position as they maneuver to secure Carmelo Anthony’s services.
The possibility of an eventual Knicks/Nuggets (and possibly third or fourth party) deal to land Carmelo Anthony in Gotham has taken its toll on the Knicks. The toll is exemplified in the play on the court from players rumored to be included in a deal for Anthony. The angst and attrition off the court is expressed by players like Raymond Felton, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni and President of Basketball Operations, Donnie Walsh. While, the objective of landing Anthony’s services has even stirred the involvement of James Dolan and possibly the whispers from Isaiah Thomas’ no so clandestine counsel.
From a certain point of view the interest represented from all parties involved within the Knicks organization is understandable. The position of Donnie Walsh to stand firm and patient towards a deal that does not leave the Knicks without a needed balance of good role players is clearly sound. Head coach Mike D’Antoni’s reticence to undermine the chemistry of a young (and possibly up and coming roster) is understandable. Even Dolan’s contact with Denver Nuggets’ ownership is reasonable since it demonstrates the Knicks desire to add a superstar of Anthony’s caliber to the roster. In some ways the push and pull within the organization for a trade at all cost and a fair trade that transitions the Knicks further towards contention is reasonable.
But at times the apparent push and pull on the breaks and pedals towards a trade for Anthony may be sabotaging the Knicks bargaining posture. What should be a united front by Knicks management seems to be morphing into a split at opposite extremes. Extremes that span from D’Antoni’s reticence to part with his god son or a handful of players in any trade to the voice in Dolan’s ear to trade the whole farm for some very good seed.
Meanwhile the supposedly amateurish Nuggets engage the seemingly fractured Knicks with a united front. Sources apparently listing offers pitting the Knicks bid against those of rival teams while tempting the divide within the Knicks. A divide between weak in the knees reticence and knee jerk desperation. A divide that if crossed far off a reasonable mark may inundate the Knicks future aspiration in the torrent of a rubicon of no return. Doesn’t all this beg the question, which organization is really being amateurish? A house divided can’t stand let alone host a pow wow where a unified front can reasonably bargain from strength in the ultimate game of chicken!