Wow, how exciting was that NBA trade deadline?
So many trades and roster moves that affected the power dynamics in the Association. Boogie teams up with Anthony Davis in New Orleans, Lou Will bolsters the bench for Houston and Nerlens Noel leaves his BFF to join Dirk in Dallas.
Then the focus shifted to New York. What would the Knicks, who started with some promise and then went free falling like they were Tom Petty, do to save their season and stem the tide of disaster? There were murmurs all throughout the week leading up until the last minute of deadline day. Maybe the Clippers or Celtics would snag Melo away. Could they add Joakim Noah to the deal and get picks in return? Or would the Cavs pounce for Melo after Kevin Love’s injury? Would Courtney Lee be on his way to join the Clippers for players, picks and cash?
Speculative Knicks fans soon found themselves on a death spiral, because what did the Knicks ultimately do? Nothing. That’s right, nothing. All they did was release Brandon Jennings a few days later in order to sign Chasson Randle, who this time last year was playing for ČEZ Basketball Nymburk in the Czech Republic.
We’re into the early part of March and the Knicks have already proven themselves to be lambs, not lions. Most reasonable and miserable fans have realized that this team is not going to the playoffs in a hurry. As the rest of the Eastern Conference continues to sort itself out, the Knicks will sift and sink to the bottom. Currently, they’re 25-36 with the opportunity to do much worse and possibly even tank for a better draft pick in June.
Jeff Hornacek, a man whose endless disappointment with this team knows no bounds, has publicly reiterated that he intends to be patient with the roster and style of play. However, when most, if not the entirety, of your team objects to the basic offensive framework that the team is built around, your patience can only go so far. Even the Dalai Lama, who most would consider a patient man, would be internally and externally screaming due to the nightly ineptitude of this team.
On the subject of spiritual leaders who study eastern philosophy, Phil Jackson has, quite frankly, not done anything of worth this year. He couldn’t get rid of Melo, the Roadrunner to his Wile E. Coyote, Derrick Rose (yet), or Joakim Noah. Then it was revealed that he was reportedly seeking a first-round pick for former second-round pick Kyle O’Quinn, because that makes sense. I think by the end of the season Sasha Vujacic will be our only active healthy player under contract.
The ostentatiousness of this guy, who yes, is one of the greatest “coaches” of all time, is staggering. Similar to the way that Isaiah Thomas was not fit to be anything other than a player, (as Magic Johnson will soon learn in Los Angeles), Jackson has proven to be out of his zen-like element as general manager. He’s shown time and again that this project appears to be more of an exercise in ego-grooming than anything else, openly disdaining players, fans and critics alike.
Looking forward, there’s nowhere to go from here but to the tank. Assuming there will be massive bloodletting for this team over the summer, dive bombing in the standings now to make the most of what should be an exceptional draft is crucial. I know most fans have a reluctance to embracing the art of tanking but I counter with this argument: if the Philadelphia 76ers could do it, why not the Knicks?