The New York Knicks have gone four decades without a championship, a team largely regarded as playing in the mecca of basketball. The prestigious Madison Square Garden, known by its fans as “The Garden,” showcases some of the league’s top NBA talent, attracting the likes of celebrity crowds and sold-out seats. This may be enough for the casual basketball fan, but true Knickerbocker fans understand the team has had its woes for the last several decades. The NBA is in a weird place to say the least, with struggling top NBA franchises, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Boston Celtics, the Chicago Bulls, and the New York Knicks not seemingly contending for a championship this year.
Although the other three historic NBA franchises have all relatively novel reasons why they are in a drought, the Knicks on the other hand have a history of shelling money at big free agent players, not really giving their team a chance to rebuild a strong core. The Knicks net-worth however has always been successful. Last year it raised the franchise value, becoming the most valuable team in the NBA, valued at $1.4 billion. The value of the team affords their players commodities when traveling and practicing, making the bright lights of Madison Square Garden a little less intense. Most players admit, they would love to play for the Knicks under the bright lights of MSG. There is a saying in the NBA, once a Knick, always a Knick, because the city and the team becomes a part of your identity.
The most recent New York debacle is their failure to reach success with Carmelo Anthony. Anthony one of the league’s most revered scorers, had similar problems playing for the Denver Nuggets. The dilemma is the juggling act of balancing Melo’s hefty contract, while building a team with players suitable for Anthony’s game. The Knicks had a great season last year, making it to the playoffs and starting off the season with a great winning record. The same cannot be said for this season where the Knicks are in 10th place, two seeds outside the playoffs and just 19 wins and 28 losses. This is especially distasteful in a crippled Eastern Conference that only has 4 teams with winning percentages. This is all while having super star Carmelo Anthony and a capped out salary, Knicks fashion to say the least.
There are growing rumors circulating among the league’s sports-crews, that Carmelo Anthony may indeed be traded out of New York before the season’s trade deadline. The Knicks sit only 2 and a half games outside of a playoff spot, and sources believe the Knicks feel they can get more for trading Anthony, and still make their playoff aspirations happen. Moreover, the Knicks would probably have to offer Carmelo a max deal of $129 million over five-years contract, forfeiting most of the franchises cap space. This would pretty much disable the Knicks from pursuing another superstar to play with Carmelo, something needed in the modern NBA to win championships. All in all, the New York Knicks have gone four decades without a championship, since their 1972-1973 season.
Commentary By Zane Foley