Since the start of the century, the New York Knicks have been the model of inconsistency.
They have made the second round of the playoffs only once since 2000, while failing to maintain anything close to a consistent roster. This has led to the question, how much more losing can Knicks fans handle?
There are two types of bad in sports. First, there is just bad. This is were a team just doesn’t have enough talent to win any games, yet the fans know that good things will come. Bad teams will eventually get better due to the high draft picks and top prospects they will most likely recieve. So as a fan of a bad team, it’s easier to deal with losing because you know that as time goes on, the winning will come.
Take the Minnesota Timberwolves for example.
Yes, they bad now, ranking near the bottom of the Western Conference for quite some time now, but they’re on the rise, with young prospects like Andrew Wiggins, Zach Lavine, and Karl Anthony-Towns. Timberwolves fans can take solace in the fact that they have a core to build around and in a few years, the team will start winning basketball games.
Then there is the second type of bad, which is called frustratingly bad.
Frustratingly bad is when a losing team has no future in sight. The losses pile up yet the team have nothing to show for it. No draft picks, no prospects, nothing. As a fan, it is frustrating to root for that team because you really don’t know when your team will be relevant. Frustratingly bad teams also make head scratching moves that make you wonder how much basketball knowledge the front office actually has.
This term has plagued the Knicks for far to long.
The Knicks have been the laughing stock of the NBA for over a decade.
While most teams try to rebuild through the NBA Draft. The Knicks do the complete opposite. They look for quick fixes, players who only have a couple good years left in them.
They also look for past their prime veterans, players who were great earlier in their careers, but are closer to retirement than their prime. Not only do the Knicks sign these players, but they sign them to big, throw-caution-to-the-wind contracts.
On top of that, the Knicks seem to find the NBA draft irrelevent. Rarely do they actually have their won first round pick because it usually gets traded to another team for a player that doesn’t make any sort of positive impact on the team. Or they have another teams first round pick which is usually towards the end of the first round which ends up being someone who doesn’t even make the roster.
The Knicks have one of the best fan bases in the NBA. Every season good or bad, Knick fans pack Madison Square Garden. Over the past 15 years, the lowest the Knicks have ranked in attendance is 10th back in 2008. Yet the Knicks front office has never put a consistent winner out on the court.
Year after year, the Knicks trade away their picks, waste all their cap space, and throw a roster onto the court that always ends up in the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
On top of all this, the Knicks haven’t won a championship in over 40 years. It’s not like their in a title drought like the Lakers or Celtics. They just keep shooting themselves in the foot.
This city is dying for a championship, or at least a team that will contend for one every year.
So the question still stands, how much losing can Knicks fans handle? There really is no right answer to this question but one thing is for sure. The Knicks owe it to their fan base to give them the hope that every year can be their year.