Today, we will be discussing the New York Knicks, a lousy team plagued by recent troubles, a proud history, and tremendous anxiety about the future.
Team I Don't Like
Things I Like
Coach D'Antoni is easily one of everyone's favorite coaches in the league, and I am no exception. Nate Robinson is a certifiable freak of nature who is endlessly compelling and exciting to watch. His highlight reels are worthy of their own taxonomic category of sheer delight. Why is this? It's the obvious answer: Nate Robinson is 5'9". This is also my height. It's also apparently right at the average height for an American man. Nate Robinson could be the compelling Everyman of the NBA, a comfortable anchor of familiarity and realism in a sport populated by fantastic giants. Instead, he is even more alien, because he is not like us. I am the same height as Nate Robinson. I am 99.9% certain I will never be able to dunk. This is true of most men (the average, Everyman) of this most average height. Nate dunks with ease. Nate dunks brilliantly with ease. He is the defending Slam Dunk Champion. But he is the same height as Johnny On-the-Street. It's in this seeming contradiction that Nate draws a lot of his appeal. If you follow the Knicks or really the NBA at all, you probably already know all this and are wondering why I am dwelling on it. Answer: I am dwelling on this because there ain't a lot of good things about the Knicks to talk about. After Nate, it's a whole lot of clouds and little silver lining.
Other potential silver linings: I find Al Harrington delightful for some inexplicable reason and am optimistically excited about the potential of Toney Douglas, Danilo Gallinari, and yes, Darko Milicic.
Things I Don't Like
Everything else. This team is bad, practically by design. They have refused to acquire any decent players and basically just wrote off last season and this season on the hopes that they win the Lebron James sweepstakes or at least get a consolation Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, or Amare Stoudemire. This sucks and everyone knows it. The Knicks are sucking in the hopes that they will be a viable option to Lebron. They had decided to suck, years before this. This will cost them the entire season with no guaranteed result. This is a gamble and one that should make fans really nervous.
Wilson Chandler is so forcibly bland and nondescript that the actual Wikipedia page "Trivia" section sounds like it was made up as a sort of subtle satire along the same lines as the Blowtorch's facts about Andre Miller. What follows is the actual Wikipedia excerpt, as of posting time:
Chandler's favorite movie is "He Got Game".
During a game against Wake Forest while he was in college, one of his dunks was #3 on SportsCenter's Top Ten Plays.
He did not go to his senior prom.
Before entering the NBA draft, Chandler hired Chris Grier as his agent.
Wilson signed a shoe endorsment with the Pony Brand. 70's high flyer David Thompson and Spud Webb both wore the shoes in games.
Chandler's favorite food is pepperoni pizza
Wilson Chandler is an NBA starter. He plays for the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. He is a millionaire. He did not go to his senior prom. His favorite food is pepperoni pizza. This is the legend of Wilson Chandler
No team is more invested in the idea of prophecy than the New York Knicks. Indeed, it's the only thing that sustains them. They have to believe that this year is meaningless. They have to believe that it doesn't matter if they are last in the NBA, that hell, that might be favorable. "It's always darkest before dawn," they will say with a sincere look in their eye and their heart singing the name of their messiah, the Chosen One. They chose this. They deliberately chose to suffer so that their sins might be redeemed in the Summer of Lebron, that the meek will indeed inherit the earth, and that lo, they might be able to get Chris Bosh too. Knicks fans will look at you knowingly and nod sagely and say, "All this shall come to pass."
If you know anything about irony, you must know that the Knicks, because of their hope, are doomed forever.
Only watch them if they are playing a team you would watch anyway. Sorry, Knicks fans: to repeat the familiar refrain, maybe next year.