Knicks star Carmelo Anthony (right) discusses a play with teammate Kristaps Porzingis during the 2016-17 season. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Knicks do not deserve to have fans fill up Madison Square Garden every night if they don't produce a winning product, says Marc Malusis. (Photo: Getty Images)
Is there any sign of hope? Knicks fans have been mumbling that statement to themselves for months as they mentally cope with the disaster that is the franchise that they root for. Often times you feel like they should be paying you to show up and watch them play instead of the other way around. 
 
Rooting for the orange and blue often leaves you black-and-blue.
 
It is tough to be a Knicks fan and they needed some luck this past Tuesday night at the NBA draft lottery. After winning some games down the stretch and losing a coin-flip with Minnesota, the Knicks were sitting there with the seventh seed and looking to move up in the draft. 
 
Not only did they not move up in the lottery, but they lost a spot, falling to No. 8 overall. 
 
Only the Knicks can’t catch any sort of a break like this. Not even Walt Frazier could bring some luck to the Tuesday night festivities as he represented the team at the lottery.
 
Should we be surprised at this point? Because the Knicks are all about the style and not necessarily the substance of the product that is on the basketball court.  
 
Knicks fans and celebrity gawkers pack Madison Square Garden on a nightly basis for 41 home dates during the regular season regardless of the product that trots out there. Maybe we are all to blame for the dysfunction that is New York Knicks basketball. After all, the only way that we could hold owner James Dolan accountable for the ineptitude is to simply not show up and watch this team play. 
 
Yet we still do.
 
On my radio show, I am often asked ‘what can the fans do?’ The easy answer is to not spend money on the team. Yet, we still watch unwatchable basketball. We still spend money on a bad product when the only way to send a message is to stop watching and stop showing up. Why would anyone feel the pressure to change if the profit margin does not change? 
 
There is no pressure to do so because the money keeps rolling in. 
 
Now maybe that will change one day when the frustration level is greater than it is today.  But as I write this column there is no need to change because if you can deal with the embarrassment and public outcry, there are no significant repercussions if you don’t change. So status quo it is and that looks to be the case moving forward as well. 
 
Dolan does not even hold Jackson accountable for the poor record and the inept play of the Knicks as he remains ‘committed’ to Jackson and stands by the five-year-contract he initially gave "The Zen Master". 
 
At this point, Jackson is probably even surprised that he still has a job. If he isn’t, then he has very little self-awareness. 
 
On second thought, Jackson probably feels he deserves to stay because as we have learned, Phil walks to the beat of a different drum. I really think he literally would drive Carmelo Anthony to the airport if Anthony would agree to a trade this summer. After all, Jackson feels it is the smart move to continually talk about how he feels Anthony should play somewhere else in order to chase a championship. I guess in Jackson’s world that helps build up a player’s trade value instead of hurting it.
 
Don’t expect miracles from the Knicks anytime soon. The Eastern Conference will slowly get better. Right now, it is LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and everyone else. As bad as Boston has been in the Eastern Conference Finals, they do have the No. 1 overall pick and should be aggressive in the trade and free agency markets.
 
Washington has a dynamic backcourt in Wall and Beal that will only get better. Even Philadelphia has a brighter future than the Knicks right now. Yes, I'm talking about the 76ers.  
 
So where does that leave the Knicks fan in this city?  On a one way ticket to nowhere and the only way to send a message of discontent is to stop watching the train wreck they have become which does not appear to be in the cards.
 
Is there any sign of hope? Well, at least they have Kristaps Porzingis.