The combination of having a good Olympics basketball tournament for Carmelo Anthony and the weird confidence of Derrick Rose is leading to some surprising optimism surge within the New York Knicks, while receiving mockery for it on the outside.
Rose hasn’t let the reaction to his talk about the Knicks being a superteam, now that he and Joakim Noah have joined Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, to stop him from throwing around more declarations, promising a great season from the Knicks, a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, and hasn’t been a contender (conference finals at least) since 2000. They won 32 games last season. How optimistic can one be?
Rose seems to be in love with the positive energy in New York, maybe hinting that things were less than flourishing during his last season with the Chicago Bulls, as the team missed the playoffs for the first time since Rose was drafted in 2008.
I just love the group. I think everybody is on the same page. I love the culture that Phil Jackson is creating. Just the organization and franchise, I love everybody that’s working on it, and they seem like they’re very excited for everything. That just rubs off on people. I think we have a chance to win every game, and in the league, that’s rare.
Maybe it shouldn’t be that surprising that Rose is this confident about how well the Knicks are going to do next season. When he came off his long injury at the beginning of the 2013-2014 season, he said he thinks he can still be the best player in the NBA. Nevermind that his comeback, the first one, didn’t last very long. Rose is a winner and fighter, and maybe that kind of attitude is something the Knicks need in their attempt to move a bit up the hierarchy of the Eastern conference.
As for Anthony, it feels as if something is changing in him this summer. Winning a third Olympic gold medal brought out some powerful emotions out of him. Maybe he’s finally at peace with possibly not winning an NBA championship, and that could make things easier, simpler, and less tense. The pressure of being the face of a franchise and its one great hope is quite a burden to carry. A relaxed, more realistic Anthony could be better for him and the Knicks.