Most New Yorkers have seen them on the subterranean New York City subways. They mutter to themselves, display delusions of grandeur, hallucinate about things that are not present and wear the same stained article of clothing every other day. Transplants from other cities are uncomfortable around them at first. No, this isn’t about the city’s bustling vagrant population or the mentally unstable.
They’re Knicks fans. That mindset runs up to the front office and trickles down to the fanbase. There’s not much subtlety involved with the Knicks. Every transaction has to be earth-shattering. Can the Knicks trade of Shumpert get their season back on track? Stop it. However, the Knicks are practically begging at this point and it’s unbecoming.
The Knicks were near the top of the line to challenge the Miami Heat last season. Instead, Paul George and the Indiana Pacers skipped them in line. After watching George’s development from raw prospect to Indiana’s Scottie Pippen, the Knicks have soured on their young star in the making for some reason and seek to trade him.
They also want to make a rash decision by threatening the best head coach since Jeff Van Gundy and holding his job security over a ledge throughout the season.
Nine games into their campaign to keep Carmelo Anthony and Mike Woodson, the expectations are so low that they’re already floating more baseless rumors through the city’s papers than TMZ. They peddle promises about summers that are more than three winter solstices away.
They’re already eyeing Kevin Love in 2016. Kyrie Irving is shooting down wild speculation better than he’s shooting from the field.
The latest whispers circulating on the Knicks trade rumor mill involves Iman Shumpert who underwent two surgeries in the offseason, one to shave his high-top fade and a secret procedure on his left knee. The surgery on the same knee which he tore the ACL in last summer, is the one that appears to have concerned the Knicks to the point that they’ve begun shopping him.
Last week, Shumpert’s name arose in talks for Kenneth Faried. Denver didn’t bite on that lopsided trade. Over the weekend, it was leaked that the Knicks were seeking Rajon Rondo in exchange for Amar’e Stoudemire, Shump and Raymond Felton. The Celtics could snag Greg Monroe and a Piston teammate to be named later for Rondo. Danny Ainge isn't that committed to tanking.
Let’s be clear. Nobody faults the Knicks for trying to trade a possible star player for an elite point guard. Closed mouths don’t get fed after all. However, it also represents a culture around the Knicks that revolves around celebrity over substance. If you can make a trade for an All-Star teammate to join Anthony in New York, props to him. However, their annual crystal ball free agent strategy which consists of trade machine dreams and free agent fantasies from Dolan and Steve Mills is a failing strategy.
Go for broke is how the Knicks roll. Never mind that they don’t have the assets to assemble these super teams they have in mind. The Knicks actually believe they can count cards. Instead, they’re mortgaging their future on a wing, a prayer and trades that will never happen. Inevitably, this strategy will result in them losing all of their earnings, turning up broke and sleeping underneath a bridge.
Trying to swing an athletic swingman with range from downtown and bunny hops off the dribble who they were hyping up to be an All-Defense first teamer a few months ago for Rondo shows how desperate they area and how foolish they believe other general managers are.
The Knicks don’t seem to understand that there is no quick-fix solution to what ails their franchise. This year’s roster isn’t so old that their average is determined by carbon dating, but there are issues up and down the depth chart. Tyson Chandler is deteriorating at an accelerated rate, Metta World Peace gives better quotes than he plays perimeter defense. Anthony is still more one-dimensional than the toon who framed Roger Rabbit. Stoudemire is DHing with Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith is calling enough shots to get his brother on the roster.
James Dolan’s get c’hip quick schemes don’t work. He wants to win a title like Drake wants Rihanna. They’re both trying too hard. New York’s favorite phrase applies to the Knicks cap situation and unhealthy roster structure. It is what is and it won’t change until they open a new chapter, let a few contracts expire and get these bloated contracts off of their floor.