Posted by Colin Doyle, March 23, 2010
I try not to be a fair-weather fan but this is too much. It's really not that bad to stand by a team that has made a few big gambles (smart signings/trades, etc) that didn't work out. But its hell to stand by a team that has been the epitome of everything horrible on earth. And it's been going on for SO LONG. Even when we had a decent team (in the Spreewell/Camby late 90's) It was considered a team on a cinderella run, not a real championship caliber team. And shizzle, I can't even really discuss the "Isiah" era (error) because I've mostly blacked (read:drank) it out. Which brings me to the current time period which I'll label the "D'Antoni Looks Really Embarrassed" era.
How could such a big market franchise get to the state it currently finds itself in?
The owners just don't care enough!
I am often reminded of the famous story about how George Steinbrenner signed Reggie Jackson. How the mighty King George waited hours and hours in a dinky hotel lobby just to get a chance to see Reg-gie and get this deal inked. No matter what, Steinbrenner was determined to bring Jackson to NY. And what happened? Big Reggie helped a star-studded core bring home 2 Championships for the franchise. Do you really think the current owners of the Knickerbockers are going to go to that distance to see Lebron James suit up for NY? No! They'll send Donnie Walsh to the Holiday Inn in Akron with an I-Pod and a Bernie King poster. This really highlights what kind of impact a great owner can have. Steinbrenner returned a struggling $10 Million franchise to it's rightful place as the world's top team, which by the way is now worth well over a billion dollars!
So the lesson here is that you get out what you put into something like this. Steinbrenner hustled, bought, and threatened his way to 7 World Championships and you goddamn better believe he would do whatever he thought It took to win. The Yankees (not surprisingly) became a team that would and did mirror Steinbrenner's attitude.
As fans, what we see at the Garden (with the exception of David Lee, who is great) is one big mess. The Knicks current level of competitiveness rather well compliments their owners...sloppy, uneven, careless in the clutch.
I lose faith that even the much anticipated "clearing of the books" will result in any real turn-around. I dread that once the Lebron deal falls through, the team will turn into a ugly mish-mash of clashing talent and bad contracts. What the Knicks really need most is a finisher. (Not Joe Johnson) Look at the point spread on many of our losses this season. A superhuman athlete like Lebron James would tip the scale in our favor in most of those match-ups, as well as give the Knicks the confidence to be a different kind of team. In short, LBJ is a game changer and a much needed one at that.
Now the trick is getting George Steinbrenner to buy the Knicks so that it actually gets done.