The Knicks eliminated all playoff hope with its lackluster performance in Detroit
By Dave Holcomb
The New York media has plenty of questions regarding, sorry Nets, the city’s still favorite basketball team and its 21-40 season. How will this team rebuild without a first round draft pick? Should Mike Woodson get fired? And most of all, will Carmelo be back next season?
Knick fans are asking those questions along with some others, and being a part of both the media and the Knick fanatics, I figured I would ask them in an article. Here are my questions: When am I allowed to turn off the putrid basketball the Knicks produce night-in and night-out and still be a true fan? How many times do I have to shake my head after a poor shot choice or slow effort on transition defense before I am allowed to switch the channel without being called a fair-weathered fan? At some point, enough is enough.
To be fair, I am not a lifelong Knicks fan, so it’s not like I have been dying since I was born for the team to win its first championship of my generation or wishing the team could have another shot at a title without having to face Tim Duncan or Hakeem Olajuwon in the finals. I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA until I was thirteen, so the NBA wasn’t exactly on my radar. And it’s not like the Knicks have had a drought like say, the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had 20 straight seasons of below-.500 baseball. The Knicks won 54 games last year, the most since 1996, and a playoff series for the first time since 2000.
But in a season that had so much promise, so much importance (Carmelo’s contract-year), and myself tuning in nearly every game (I have seen at least 40 games), the Knicks took a step backwards, a big step. No, three steps backwards, and I don’t think I can watch it anymore.
On Monday against the Pistons, the entire backcourt (Raymond Felton, J.R. Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Pablo Prigioni) combined to shoot 9-for-35 and that was after Smith made five of his last six shots. The Knick guards scored 27 points in the game. Still want Carmelo to shoot less?
In the Knicks’ previous two games, Chicago’s Joakim Noah and Golden State’s Stephen Curry both had triple-doubles. Against the Bulls and Warriors, the Knicks gave up a combined 75 points in the first quarter. In the game before that, New York played a great first half against Miami, only to see the “Masked Man” lead the Heat to a 32-point third quarter- the same total the Knicks had for the entire second half.
The three games even before that, New York dropped a heartbreaker to Dallas, lost to a team that hadn’t won in three weeks (Atlanta) and fell in overtime to the third-worst team in the league (Orlando). That’s right, with the season on the line, the Knicks have lost seven straight games and have squashed any hope of a playoff run.
My question remains, am I allowed to watch something else and still be a true fan?
I have always believed in standing by your team no matter what. Even though I wasn’t present, there has never been anything more rewarding in my 17 years of following sports than seeing the Pirates host a playoff game. Ok, besides two Super Bowls nothing has been more rewarding… and a Stanley Cup… oh, and a final four appearance by Syracuse. But besides that, seeing all those deprived Pittsburghers rejoice and turn PNC Park into a real life pirate ship was unreal.
Sure, some of them were probably bandwagon fans. Every team probably has them, but I still hate them. Nothing is worse than an unloyal sports fan. But with over five sports-centric channels (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, NBCSN, NBATV, MLB Network, plus all your local channels like MSG, SNY, and YES) there are so many other games that portray a higher quality of sport that are available and not enough time in a day to watch them all. Not to mention the other games would just simply be less painful than watching the Knicks.
So am I a fair-weathered fan if I watch Mavericks and Nuggets on Wednesday instead of the Knicks? Part of me doesn’t even care if I am; it’s hard to care about a team with players who don’t care.