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Are the Knicks the "Bills of basketball?"

by Kevin Plinzke-Staff Writer
Thu, Feb 16th 2017 01:00 pm
Photos courtesy via Wikimedia Commons
Photos courtesy via Wikimedia Commons

Why can't any of my favorite sports teams get it together?

      I'm a die hard, tried and true, New York Knicks fan. I love the team a lot (although my true love is the Buffalo Bills) and I watch almost every game. But the Knicks and the Bills have one painful thing in common: They just can't seem to perform well despite the talent they have. Both teams are simultaneously loaded with potential and mind-numbingly frustrating.

For the Knicks, it's Carmelo Anthony who plays the role that Shady McCoy plays for the Bills: Elite, rare, superstar level of play -- it's all wasted.

To be fair to McCoy, however, Anthony has proven time and time again to be an absolute liability on the defensive side of the ball. The Knicks season is in a free fall and if they don't turn it around soon, it will be yet another talent-filled roster, not taking a trip to the postseason. Sound familiar?

     The other frustrating element to the Knicks situation, is that they have a budding unicorn player, in 7'3" Latvian man-child, Kristaps Porzingis. Watching him night in and night out soaring past people and making incredible plays, has been one of the brightest spots of this season and if he could just keep his level of play consistent and stay healthy (big "if" for big men like him, as their knees and ankles tend to be prone to becoming issues) then he will make this team watchable long term.

One of the biggest problems that I see with this team is the way they handle conflict. Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony's public feud is just embarrassing to the organization and I'm worried it will dissuade future prospects from wanting to come to the Knicks. What type of team president publicly calls out and embarrasses his best player regularly and relentlessly? One that doesn't seem to think a lot. When asked, Spike Lee, a big fan of the Knicks, said "I'll pack Phil's bags for him," in defense of Carmelo. I'm with you, Spike.

This doesn't mean that I think Carmelo is perfect; he's a flawed player and it's likely like he won't be winning a championship with New York. He has been loyal and committed to this organization and there is no question he leaves it all on the floor most nights, at least on the offensive side of the ball. He's done enough as a star player to earn my respect and continued support in the future.

Another brutal aspect to the Knicks is the incident that happened at Madison Square Garden on February 8 with former Knicks player, Charles Oakley. Oakley was in attendance at the game and he was seated behind team owner James Dolan. The two had a verbal altercation and Oakley starting pushing Dolan. Oakley was thrown out by security and subsequently banned from MSG for life.

This is clearly an overreaction and not a fair way to treat a Knicks legend. Not that I support Oakley's actions, as it seemed to me that he was the aggressor in the incident, but you have to handle situations with more delicacy than the way the Knicks handled the Oakley situation.

To make matters even worse, two days after the incident, Dolan fired the chief of security at MSG. Doesn't seem fair to me at all. The Knicks always seem to mismanage every delicate situation.

       A team with as many disappointing seasons in a row is hard to support, but as you guys know from my earlier writing, I'm pretty good at supporting bad teams. I believe it shows character.

When this Knicks team turns it around, which we all know they will, it's gonna be that much sweeter to have it in writing that I was there at (what many fellow media members are calling) rock bottom.


kplin1@u.brockport.edu

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