The New York Knicks
The NBA is one of the most watched sports in the world with about 2.2 billion viewers. The team that I will be writing about are the New York Knicks, covering some history of the Knicks as well as the potential future of the franchise. The New York Knicks are possibly one of the most unfortunate teams in the NBA; they have had a bit of a dry spell in terms of winning championships as well as even being true championship contenders, with factors coming in such as horrible drafting, terrible trades, and an inferior front office.
The last time the New York Knicks won a championship was 1973. In 1973, the Knicks ended with a 57-25 winning record and were 2nd in the Eastern Conference. At the time, the lineup consisted of Dick Barnett, Henry Bibby, Bill Bradley, Dave Debusschere, Walt Frazier, John Gianelli, Phil Jackson, Jerry Lucas, and many others who all contributed to the winning season. After that fantastic run though, the Knicks have not won another since. They had a bit of a drought after that but finally in 1988 to 2001, the Knicks made fourteen consecutive playoff appearances, but didn’t achieve the final goal of winning a ring. In the 1993 season, they made the first finals appearance since their last appearance 21 years ago but lost to the Houston Rockets led by Hakeem. Five years later, they made the finals again just to lose to the San Antonio Spurs led by Tim Duncan. After 2000, the Knicks have had a consecutive 9 losing seasons, but finally, they made a playoff appearance in 2010 led by Carmelo Anthony but lost 0-4 to the Celtics. They made the playoffs the next 2 years after that, again, led by Carmelo Anthony but didn’t make much of it and never went past the second round. They then have been on an eternal decline of unfortunate events, in the 2014-2015 season, the Knicks had their worst season record, losing 65 games. Last year, in the 2019-2020 season, they again failed to make a playoff appearance with a record of 21-45.
The failure mainly resides in just horrible drafting and trades that just messed up the roster. In 2015, they drafted Kristaps Porzingis, a rookie with potential who is currently having a subpar season due to injuries but during the NBA Bubble playoffs, he was playing spectacular, with averages of 30.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, and 1.5 BPG. I understand why they traded him, since he was injury prone, but overall there are mixed feelings about the trade overall. In one end, the Knicks got rid of damaged goods, Porzingis, although he is a good player when healthy, he truly never is healthy a full season and was just taking up cap space. On the other hand though, the Knicks didn’t really receive anything besides two first round picks and knowing the Knicks, it will just turn into another disappointment of a draft. The reason why they traded Porzingis was because there were rumors that the Knicks expected to sign some big name free agents, but in the end, rumors are just rumors, and didn’t lead to anything.
This year however, the Knicks have come alive again. Not only do they currently have a winning record of 19-18, they are also 5th in their conference. This year’s Knicks lineup consists of last year’s rookie RJ Barrett, recent 1st time all star Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, recently acquired Derrick Rose, Elfrid Payton, Nerlens Noel, Reggie Bullock, recently drafted Obi Toppin, and many others who will hopefully continue to shine and end the drought of not appearing in the playoffs. The team truly looks like a playoff contender and looks like they are only missing 1 veteran player to try to be able to contend for the championship. Although it’s highly unlikely, if they could trade or sign 1 veteran, this team could be trouble. Unfortunately though, I don’t think any other team will be winning a championship soon. The other New York team, the Brooklyn Nets, have recently signed Blake Griffin, and although he is well off of his prime, he has Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and James Harden as teammates and it’s just another super-team, who will win consecutive championship rings.
Now onto the rumors which are bringing some hope to the New York Knicks fans. The Knicks are currently eyeing Victor Oladipo, recently traded to the Houston Rockets, as the final piece to the Knicks making a playoff appearance. His contract is ending soon and if he is lucky enough to make it to the end of the season without being traded, it’s unlikely he chooses the Knicks if multiple teams try to sign him. This rumor does have potential though because Victor Oladipo recently turned down a 2 year, $45.2 million extension to the Houston Rockets. Its highly unlikely though that Rafeal Stone just lets Victor Oladipo just leave, so just expect for him to be traded before the trade deadline. If the Knicks are interested in him, they could potentially have a trade lined up.
With the conclusion of this article, We have covered some history about the Knicks, the last time they won anything meaningful, some of the players that contributed to winning seasons, trades/drafting, and some hopeful news for the organization. Hopefully, the Knicks continue to exceed expectations, and finally bring joy to New York Knicks fans.