Hello, it’s me, Steven, Knicks fan, and an unabashedly-shameless proponent of overt tanking.
You can take all your traditionalist garbage — my preferred nomenclature is regressive, but it’s too early to be that spicy — about respecting the integrity and honor of the game and shove it where the Knicks have been floundering for the entirety of the 21st century: in the shitter.
One thing matters: bringing a title back to the Garden. Every move the organization makes should be in pursuit of that goal, and that goal alone.
Are the Knicks winning the ship this year?
Thus, this season doesn’t matter.
Thus thus, it’s in our best interest to lose every goddamn game to up our chances of nabbing as high a draft pick as possible to add another young stud to our burgeoning core.
…”burgeoning” might be a stretch. Fledgling is more accurate.
Now, I will agree with the aforementioned regressives — sorry, traditionalists — that striving for defeat should never be a goal for the players; that’ll just teach bad habits.
Luckily, it won’t be hard to blow games with this roster!
There’s definitely promise scattered about — I’ll get into that in a few sentences — but in no world will this team contend. They can grow and develop, but they won’t be adding rings to their bling anytime soon. As such, the ideal outcome of every 48 minutes: the team keeps it competitive until the end, providing our young guns with invaluable reps, before blowing it in the final seconds. Setbacks only build character!
Let’s break down the roster.
First off, it’s too early to judge Knox, Robinson, and Fizdale (if you’re confused without first names, you’ve waded too deep into the wrong article). Does that mean I don’t have any thoughts on them? Of course not! Just keep this caveat in mind as you tread further:
David Fizdale: I’ll give this to him: he’s turned these ragtag fellas into a tough beat. They’re a bunch of scrappy scrubs that’ll fight to the bitter end. “NO EASY WINS AT MSG ANYMORE!!!” (at least for now). His personality harkens back to the grit and grind professionalism of when Garden was Eden, and his no-BS approach to the ravenously-vulturous media is, sadly, essential (the appeal of big markets is tempered by the relentless, persistent, pervasive ruthlessness of the spotlight that comes with it).
Kevin Knox: Every NBA player possesses physical gifts. But sometimes, even often, the superstars are differentiated by their god-given attributes that allow them to transcend the transcendent. Knox isn’t otherworldly like that; he’ll need to rely on sheer mastery of his skills. Maybe a stronger, more offensively-potent Paul George? As much as it pains me to say: perhaps similar to what everyone thinks Tatum will become [insert an obligatory “screw Boston” sentiment here]. Given the scarcity of other top-level guys, the Knicks are banking on him transforming into a major contributor on a championship contender. There’s a chance, and that’s all you can ask for…
Mitchell Robinson: Guess who IS an Adonis? He’s a beast of a specimen that will probably never put it all together, nor stay healthy. His conditioning, though always a problem for neophytes, is still concerning. Even so, freaks of nature tend to find ways to contribute; just look at JaVale McGee!
Mario Hezonja: How about another Lakers comparison: if Enes is our version of Lance’s personality, then Mario represents his game. He legitimately has no idea what he’s doing on a basketball court, but the magnitude of his raw athleticism compensates for a lot. Lance is his ceiling…the G League is his likely floor.
Kristaps Porzingis: The future rests on his shoulders. Potentially the complete package…if the package doesn’t fall apart; unicorns of the body aren’t known for their durability. But best-case scenario: a superior Dirk, an unstoppable MVP. For the record, when KAT donned the rookie of the year crown, I maintained I wouldn’t ship out KP for him; fully actualize both of their talents — there’s a higher probability it comes to fruition for KAT, who isn’t haphazardly-proportioned — and it’s not even a contest. As for who’ll be the most coveted member of that draft class: Booker is probs still in the lead, but I’m riding and dying with my boy KP. Call me crazy (I am), but I wouldn’t even give him up for Embiid, nor Tatum! Now, let’s hope he re-signs…………fuck.
Frank Ntilikina: We gotta see if he can play point guard. Regardless, his lockdown defense ensures he’ll always serve a purpose; think Tony Allen (screw Boston), Marcus Smart (screw Boston), or Avery Bradley (screw Boston). Must he improve his shot? He must.
Trey Burke: The man taking away Frank’s minutes! Could he be our long term backup PG, a spark plug off the bench? A kid can dream!
Allonzo Trier/Damyean Dotson: Like Burke, I could see either as a core guy off the bench, Jamal Crawford-esque sixth men. Or, this story ends with them as trade filler.
Enes Kanter: I love his personality, I empathize with his personal plight, he’s a perfect Knick off the court…but he’s currently firing on all cylinders. By the point we could use him properly, he’ll be getting up there in age; shooting blanks, shall we say. Enes, I truly wish you the best of luck on all your future endeavors.
Noah Vonleh: I’m a believer! Don’t judge…
Tim Hardaway Jr.: My arch-nemesis. Technically, he’s playing “well”…but not “70 million over 4 years” well. The only justification for playing through Hardaway as much as we have: he artificially inflates his stats, duping a desperate franchise — in the stacked West would be my guess — into trading for him in preparation for a playoff push!
Courtney Lee: Trade (he should be enticing for some!).
Lance Thomas: Trade (…he *might* be enticing for some?). We’ll find vets when we’re ready.
Luke Kornet: There’s this pizza place around where I went to college that serves humongous slices for cheap. It’s named Koronet Pizza. Luke here’s name always reminds me of such cheesy deliciousness; that’s the nicest thing I can say about him.
Ron Baker: His ass should never leave the pine.
Isaiah Hicks: Who?
Emmanuel Mudiay: I’ll never oppose taking a flyer on a once-heralded prospect that might overcome their bust status in a different environment. Unfortunately, Dolan’s atmosphere is toxic, antithetical to breeding sustained growth. So what I’m saying is: crumple up this flyer and throw it in the trash!
Speaking of which, toss all these evaluations out the window if Durant is even a possibility. We move heaven and hell to make that happen. I know it’d look like the Knicks repeating the errors of their past ways yet again…and I’m aware us Knicks fans always try to convince ourselves THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT… but seriously, this time would actually be different. We won’t be overpaying some washed up legend past his prime; Durant is a generational game-changer still at the peak of his powers.
Until he suffers a career-ending injury on his first night suiting up for the perennially doomed and tortured orange and blue.
As always, we wrap up any Knicks discussion with our daily prayer. All together now:
Fuck James Dolan.
Until next time, masochists-in-arms…