Dear Knick Faithful,
I have been concerned with the overwhelming positive fan reaction regarding the Knicks’ offseason this summer, so in response, I am reverentially writing this letter to inform you: we are unequivocally the most delusional fan base in the National Basketball Association. I assume you must be pondering: “Who the are you to say something like that?”
Please allow me to overture this by saying, we generally are the most obsessive fans in the league; it is admirable how we consistently fill the World’s Most Famous Arena, whether the team stinks or not. Unfortunately, in regards to our Knickerbockers, while we excel in loyalty, we are severely lacking in intelligence. It is baffling the amount of praise we are giving Phil Jackson for this offseason. Let us not forget Jackson’s draft debacle. Despite what NBA draft experts claim, we were justified in booing Kristaps Porzingis. We decorously assumed the pick was catastrophic. Jackson drafted a player, who will probably make little to no impact, thus effectively wasting another year of Melo’s prime. Don’t be shocked if Melo eventually waives his no trade clause, and decides he wants out of New York. A month later, we’re praising Jackson for taking the long-term approach in rebuilding this team back to prominence, instead of taking the “quick fix” approach, an approach that has bedeviled us for almost two decades. Of course, no one raised the question: how exactly does one rebuild with a 31-year-old star in Melo, who delayed knee surgery, just so he can impersonate John Starks, in an all star game?
In addition, let us also not forget, when Phil Jackson was hired on March 18th, 2014, he stated, he planned to make a big splash in this free agency class. He reiterated this statement in March, as the Knicks were in the middle of the worst season in franchise history, stating, “We know what the first-round pick is going to mean for us, but we also know we’re going to build our team with free agents.”
Jackson, whose $12 million a year salary exceeds league MVP Stephen Curry’s1, failed to make a big splash in free agency, in fact, he failed to even make a ripple. When did our standards become so low, as to where Robin Lopez, a decent center, but certainly not a game changer, Aaron Affalo, a pro who is basically on a one year deal, but is slightly overrated, especially on defense and Derrick Williams, an athletic four, but has been a bust since being drafted number two overall four years ago, warrants a successful offseason? 2, A few months ago, if someone had told you the Knicks would land Robin Lopez, Aaron Affalo, Kyle O’Quinn, and Derrick Williams this offseason, would you have been satisfied? I’ve heard fans claim this was the plan all along; Jackson wanted use cap space, to find role players, who fit his outdated system (The Triangle), instead of max guys like LaMarcus Aldridge or Marc Gasol. Let’s be honest with ourselves, given the chance, do we really think Jackson wouldn’t have signed Aldridge or Gasol? I’ve even heard fans claim players will perform at a higher level in a structured system. For example, Demarre Carroll was a journeyman his first few years in the league, before blossoming into an excellent ‘three and D’ player in Mike Budenholzer’s system in Atlanta and just became the highest paid player on the Raptors. Do we really think Derek Fisher, who arguably was the worst coach in the NBA last season, can pull the same feat?
After all of these moves, according to the gambling website Bovada, the Knicks have just 150-1 odds to win the championship, after having 50-1 odds to win the championship last year. That’s right, there is actually a less chance the Knicks will win the championship. So I ask you again, how successful was this offseason?
I will give Jackson some credit: he and his eleven rings, have amazingly hypnotized an entire fan base, in such a way that makes even Sam Hinkie jealous.
Unfortunately, when someone constitutes a negative point, or a possible concern, we have a tendency to designate that person as a hater. For example, we designate guys like Frank Isola and myself as “Knick haters” due to our propensity for negatively writing about the Knicks, but praise guys like Alan Hahn, who notably had Jason Smith in his “ideal starting five.” May I ask, what makes us Knick haters? Do we not bleed orange and blue, similar to the rest of you? May I remind you this is the worst stretch in franchise history? We’ve dealt with terrible teams, despite high payrolls, due to abysmal trades and draft choices. Not to mention, we’ve only had the pleasure to witness one playoff victory since 2000, after setting an NBA record for most consecutive playoff losses. Are we not allowed to be naturally pessimistic after nearly two decades of incompetence? I understand things can eventually turn around, we need to look no further than the Golden State Warriors, the current NBA champions, who were incompetent for decades, before an ownership change and some shrewd moves, led to their first Larry O’Brien trophy since 1975. Believe me, if the Knicks start to progress, I will be the first one to praise them, but I will continue to criticize the team, if need be. I’m not guiltless either, but at least I have the decency to recognize what is actually going on.
If you want to join a Knicks group filled with positivity, join the Knicks’ Click, a group on Facebook, which is over 16,000 members strong. It’s a closed group, but I’ll be glad to add you, if you’d like. You can all sing kumbaya songs, while holding hands and all of that jazz.
As long as James Dolan is the owner, we should continue to have my doubts on whether things will eventually turn around, no matter what high profile name Dolan decides to hire next. Oh believe me, it will happen again, and once again, we will be genuinely excited, despite the lack of experience that person may have in whatever position they’ll get hired for.3 How excited were Knicks fans, the day Phil Jackson was hired as President of Basketball Operations, despite never having experience running a team? And as long as we continue to attend the game, purchase the merchandise,4 Dolan won’t have any incentive to sell the team.
I urge you to open your eyes; hopefully after reading this letter, you will start to see what ‘s really going on. I don’t hate any of you, despite the ridiculous statements, in regards to the Knicks, I hear on a daily basis. I’ve consistently used the word “we”; despite our opposing views, we are in this together, And if you disagree, that’s fine, but try to articulate intelligently, instead of resorting to using the appalling “hater” phrase.
Of course, I’ll be watching our Knickerbockers this season, and I look forward to debating with you all.
A realistic Knick fan.
1 Curry signed a four-year, $44 million extension in October 2012
I will admit, I am a fan of the Kyle’ O’Quinn signing, as he is a fantastic passing big man and his some range; at only $4 million a season, I believe we are getting a steal.
Isiah Thomas and Derek Fisher, are other examples that come into mind.