The tanking New York Knicks aren’t just bad, terrible or any other word you choose to describe them with. Losing for a 13th consecutive time, this time 101-91 to the Washington Wizards, puts them in uncharted territory, setting franchise records and not looking like they have the ability to change the direction of where this is going anytime soon.
So 13 consecutive losses and 23 out of the last 24. The Knicks are the worst team in the NBA, even more than the Philadelphia 76ers. They’re still playing without Carmelo Anthony or Amare Stoudemire, which means the lineups and rotations they’re putting on the floor aren’t just bad, they’re barely recognizable and without two of the players this franchise was supposed to be built around when it came together in 2010 and later on that season when Anthony arrived.
As a rookie head coach, Derek Fisher is experiencing one hell of a baptism of fire to his career. His winning percentage of 13.5% so far is lower only than Bill Hanzlik’s 13.4% when he coached the Denver Nuggets in the 1997-1998 season. The Knicks are well within reach of the franchise record 20 consecutive losses, which happened over the course of two seasons, including the drafting of Patrick Ewing thanks to being terrible a year earlier.
The Knicks are so bad that the Wizards felt it was no problem giving Paul Pierce the night off against them. As expected, the Knicks traded their bounty from the J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert trade, waving Alex Kirk, Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas. They seem to feel fine with what they have now, which reeks of D-League quality.
But for a team that has made up its mind about losing (embracing it, and the more the better), this isn’t really bad or concerning. It might be for fans, who had a very different vision in mind when this season began. It might be for Carmelo Anthony, who keeps saying he needs to trust the process and the decisions being made because they’ve been telling him that it’s going to lead this team, and him, to greatness.
But regardless of their intentions, this season will go down in history as one of the worst ever for one of the league’s marquee franchises that have one of the more recognizable faces in sports playing for them. Yet the Knicks continue to mess up and look bad over a long period of time, and even the short stint of making the playoff turned out to be short sighted, leading to the debacle we’re seeing now, which basically is the poorest form of basketball we’re seeing from anyone this season.