The turmoil that New York basketball fans have been enduring for now close to two decades could have ended last week at the 2017 NBA draft lottery.
For the first time since drafting Kristaps Porzingis fourth overall in 2015, it looked as though the Knicks had a good chance at adding another promising neophyte to grow alongside the 7-foot-3 Latvian.
This was going to be the moment the tides shifted for the Knickerbockers. So they sent in their former fifth-overall draft pick who was part of the last Knicks team to win an NBA Championship, Walt “Clyde” Frazier, in hopes he would bring them some good fortune.
But who are we really kidding? The New York Knicks get lucky? Not this time.
In fact, the Knicks ended up with a lower draft pick than they were slated to have, which did not surprise me one bit.
This franchise has not been able to help themselves when it comes to acquiring players that can thrive in New York. We thought that Melo was going to be the guy to turn this team around and bring back the passion for basketball that New York City has paved into its concrete.
The 1991 No. 2 overall draft pick and New York City High School basketball legend Kenny Anderson visited “The Bernie and Sid Show” on 77 WABC Radio last week to promote “Mr. Chibbs: Basketball Is Easy, Life Is Hard,” a documentary about his career.
Now, I am not the biggest basketball fan by any means, but talking with him made me realize how passionate New Yorkers can get about basketball.
Anderson reminisced about how even as a high school player, New York City basketball fans reacted to his talents on the hardwood. Anderson said that the hysteria over him in high school was comparable to the hype around LeBron James coming out of high school and that was in the social media-less decade of the 1980s! New Yorkers were excited about having one of the nation’s top basketball players hone his skill on the courts of New York City.
Sadly, I think New York’s passion for our NBA franchise is not going to resurface anytime soon. There has been far too much off-court controversy that the Knicks have created for themselves over the past 17 seasons.
Most of the problems are to blame on management.
They have refused to commit to a serious rebuild, continue to waste their time with horrendous contracts and try to win by spending money. There is only one team that has time and time again proven that they can buy their way to championships in New York and that is the damn Yankees.
It’s time that the Knicks stop wasting money on so-called superstars, and acquire some draft picks and young players to rebuild the franchise with a winning identity. It’s time for management to stop being greedy and put some real stock in the guys on the court.