The latest episode of the ‘NBA’ featured its most embarrassing character, the New York Knicks, featured them losing for a ninth consecutive time, this time to the Los Angeles Clippers 99-78, and it wasn’t even that close. Things are bad , real bad.
So bad that Carmelo Anthony is saying that they would be worse off, crumbling to be exact, without Derek Fisher at the helm. Because being 5-29 isn’t bad enough, or not the bottom of the barrel according to Anthony, who last season experienced not going to the playoffs for the first time in his career. It turns out being 2-16 isn’t “so bad”. It turns out that losing nine consecutive games and 19 of their last 20 is actually better than something. What? No one knows.
Why are the Knicks out pick for the most embarrassing team in the league? Because unlike the Philadelphia 76ers, they weren’t built to lose on purpose. Players don’t lose on purpose (at least we hope they’re not). Owners, general manager and maybe coaches do as well. But the result is still the same, and the Knicks weren’t put together in recent years to be this bad. This was supposed to be a championship team, yet the moves made this offseason, including signing Carmelo Anthony to what will make him the highest paid player in the NBA at some point, have turned them into a joke, or the NBA’s version it.
So what now? Simply waiting for contracts to run out. Amare Stoudemire will be a free agent (finally) and so will Andrea Bargnani. While Stoudemire did look like a franchise player to build around when he was signed, that didn’t last long. Maybe signing Anthony to play next to Amare was a mistake, but that’s a bit late to fall back into that question. Bargnani on the other hand was a bad deal from day 1, one which the Raptors probably hardly believed they were pulling off.
So until then, the marquee basketball club of the biggest market in the United States is in taking mode. Maybe they’re not trying to tank, but their record suggests that bottoming out is the only thing they care about. Carmelo Anthony is wasting away another year of his prime for the chance of things getting better next year. He put his faith in the hands of Phil Jackson and was rewarded handsomely, financially at least, for that decision, maybe numbing the pain of playing on a terrible team.