All last offseason (and during the season), Knicks fans and some reporters were talking as if Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving already had one foot in the Garden door. Obviously, both star players opted to play for New York’s other team, the Brooklyn Nets. Durant and Irving to the Knicks seemed like a sure fire thing to a lot of people. In typical Knicks fashion, they made themselves look like complete fools. At one point, ESPN even put out this graphic during the season.
Obviously, all three ended up in different places as the Knicks wound up with the third pick and used it to select RJ Barrett. Barrett was a solid player as a rookie, but he still leagues behind fellow rookie Ja Morant.
Kevin Durant debacle
After sitting out all of last season, Durant opened up about his free agency and how he feels about the Knicks. Durant had this to say about Knicks fans and the New York media: “No, I never planned on it — going to the Knicks. That was just the media putting that out there… So around February, as I was thinking, I didn’t want to be the savior of the Knicks or New York. I didn’t care about being the King of New York, that never really moved me. I didn’t care about being on Broadway or that s***.”
Those are some very harsh words to hear from the MVP. As a Knicks fan, it tells me that what was said about him going to Golden State is true. After his tenure is OKC and weak move to go to Golden State, Durant cannot be in the same conversation as guys like MJ, Lebron, and other great players. Durant is no doubt one of the best scorers this league has ever seen, but I do not think he can be the best player on a championship team.
What needs to happen for the Knicks to land a star?
The Knicks are one of the worst run franchises in American sports. I am conflicted on this because James Dolan owns both the Rangers and Knicks. As a Rangers fan, Dolan is the best owner you can hope for. He opens his checkbook and lets the decision makers do their jobs. As a Knicks fan, I can’t stand Dolan. He meddles when he does not know what he is doing. I do not want him to sell because that would mean the Rangers get a new owner and I do not want that. Therefore, Dolan needs to realize he needs to let his decision makers do their jobs and not meddle when he is unwanted.
Also, they need to have the right people in place to make those decisions. Phil Jackson was a joke, Steve Mills was bad at his job, so hopefully Scott Perry and Leon Rose can get it right. Rose is one the most connected men in the NBA. He has ties to players like Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Karl Anthony-Towns. Perhaps his presence can help lure prime free agents to the Knicks.
Despite Rose being here, I think the best chance for the Knicks to land a star is to build through the draft. Until you have a competitive basketball team, no star player is going to want to play here. For the Knicks, that needs to happen through the draft. You have rising players in guys like Mitchell Robinson and RJ Barrett, and Kevin Knox has shown some flashes. Unfortunately, this is not the draft class to hang your hat on. However, all it takes is one player who wants to be here. Chris Paul has shown he still has a lot left. If the Knicks make a trade for Paul, then they can start marketing Paul, Barrett, and Robinson tandem to free agents.
Honestly, what can I say other than the Knicks are a joke. They have been the laughing stock of the league for over two decades. To make matters worse, they have not moved up in the lottery since they took Patrick Ewing. Let that sink in. The Knicks have picked their slot or lower in every draft since like 1985. That’s ridiculously unlucky. Also, who can forget when Lebron said he wanted to sign in 2010, but the Knicks were so unprepared that they didn’t even get a second meeting. The best player in the world wanted to sign with you, but you blew in the first meeting. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up. For now, we have to live with mediocrity, but the Knicks time will *probably* come.
-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)
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