Careful What You Wish For
The sky is falling at a super-sonic rate above Madison Square Garden. The New York Knicks have plummeted to two games below .500, dropping 8 of their last 9 games. Certainly not what anyone was expecting following the blockbuster trade to bring Carmelo Anthony and Company to New York.
Across the spectrum, from fans, to beat writers and bloggers, to Knicks management, there’s a call for patience. They need time to figure one another out. There hasn’t been sufficient time to practice. The players are overworked and tired. The coach isn’t putting them in a position to win. There are a myriad of excuses being served up quicker than Taco Bell Drive Thru in an effort to keep everyone from panicking. The truth is the Knicks and most of their fans panicked a long time ago. Listen to Stephen A Smith on his radio show just before the trade deadline. (seriously, listen to the audio before you read any further)
It’s funny how disrespectful Stephen A was of the Knicks players who were shipped off to Denver and Minnesota . Scrubs! The Cleveland Cavaliers without Stoudemire! “The urgency of the moment has arrived!” I’m not trying to pick on Stephen A Smith. I actually enjoy his work and find him to be very entertaining. But he represented a large faction of fans leading up to the deadline. Donnie Walsh would have been run out of town if Carmelo Anthony was bypassed. The Knicks were absolutely hopeless without him.
Meanwhile, the scrubs that were sent to Denver have pushed them to a 12-4 record since the trade and Anthony Randolph went off for 31 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota a few nights ago. Compare that to a 7-11 record for the Knicks and it’s easy to see who got the best of the deal in the short term. The only problem is the Knicks seem to have long term issues. The personnel doesn’t match Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system. Will he be able to teach old dogs new tricks or will the players be learning a new system under a new regime? This and many more questions remain unanswered. A superstar was supposed to clean the mess up. Instead the mess has piled up higher with every 4th quarter collapse and lackluster effort.
It’s difficult to imagine them turning it around in time to make a strong push in the playoffs (if they even make it), but there will still be apologists that claim despite the ticket prices being raised immediately, as if the Knicks have won 18 championships already, and the Knicks own marketing campaign proclaiming the slogan, “You, Us, We, Now,” that this move wasn’t made for instant gratification. This move was for the future. What you’re hearing now is the collective “I told you so” from those who felt that Carmelo Anthony wasn’t worth giving up half the team, being drowned out by those who are willing to concede this year for the promise of years to come. The promise we’ve been hearing for way too long. Is it too much to ask for a “superstar” to play as hard as he can NOW?
Looking into that uncertain future, I can only see more coveting of “superstars” that may or may not decide to take their talents to Manhattan and won’t necessarily put them over the top. I’ll toast to that! Big 3 Cheers and marketing schemes for everyone! Hip Hip Hooray!