Tonight marks the beginning of a new era for the New Look Knicks. After months of speculation, back room deals and misdirection, Carmelo Anthony is now a Knick.
I, like many fans, believed at first that the Knicks had been out matched at the negotiating table and this left me with a bad taste in my mouth. No doubt the Knicks will end up seeing one of their former players flourish in another environment. Then again, David Lee is a name that is barely whispered in these parts anymore. How quickly we move on.
Just a year ago on February 22, 2010, the Knicks faced the Milwaukee Bucks with a starting lineup that featured Wilson Chandler, Lee, Danilo Gallinari, Tracey McGrady, and Sergio Rodriguez.
Tonight the starting lineup is likely to be Ronny Turiaf, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Landry Fields.
A major upgrade by any metric, no matter who is ultimately given credit. Let’s be honest, some of the elation or disapproval of the Melo deal was based on how you feel about Isiah Thomas and James Dolan. Rumors swirled about the possibility of Dolan and Thomas userping Donnie Walsh’s duties as GM and pushing up the price for the coveted superstar. Now it seems that Carmelo Anthony was up front with Dolan about his desire to sign the extension and be traded before the new CBA rules kicked in. This is ultimately what forced the Knicks hand.
They’ve lost some good soldiers along the way. The once blue collar team now resembles something out of a Hollywood script. Regardless, I will say thank you to the players we lost for putting their blood, sweat and tears (and teeth in Wilson Chandler’s case) into turning the Knicks back to respectability. The period of mourning is over. Now I turn my attention to welcoming the newest Knicks.
Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony will be suiting up along side Amar’e Stoudemire just in time for “Legends Night” at the Garden. Like a Blake Griffin Slam Dunk Contest, the NBA sure does know how to write a script.