Howard Beck was the best Knicks beat writer, and the fact that he’s moving on to cover his local Nets is a small creature comfort. He still chimes in on the Knicks more than the Nets, it seems, but that’s how I like it. He helps ease me off.
This post is a nice little reminder why the Lin whiff wasn’t the reason why i quit on the team, but just that it concentrated why the team doesn’t deserve my money or attention anymore. The money quote:
Yet the greatest question might be this: Given the franchise’s vast resources, astronomical ticket prices and years of bad basketball, why not overspend a little to reward a dispirited fan base?
I’ll never find out.
I still defend the Melo trade. He’s the type of player that you can build around to win a championship. Never had an issue with it, still don’t. Also think it makes sense to build a team around your best player’s strengths. I would prefer, however, if they would examine the pool of players beyond the star player’s business partners. Building a team completely of CAA guys is laughable, and considering the people handing out the contracts are also repped by the agency, slimy and probably illegal.
I think they are going to get burned hard by J.R. Smith, who so clearly has some future contract promises and cap skirting agreements in place with the team, that if the Knicks don’t get investigated and punished for it, a la Joe Smith and the Wolves, I will be shocked.
Spike is basically working for the Knicks front office these days. He has two courtside tickets that surely he’s not paying full price for (if he pays anything at all) He gets thanked by free agents when they sign. He is the Knicks, more than just a fan. He’s paid in full.
And honestly, if Jim Dolan wanted to give me two priceless, on the court seats to every Knicks game, I’d fake it for the New York Times when they came calling. Not saying Spike’s faking it, he has every loyal reason to stick with the Orange and Blue, but he’s also got a Six-Figure ticket package helping him decide.
That said, to say his children and grandchildren will be Knicks fans for life is laughable. I get the same kick out of Bill Simmons insisting that his kids follow Boston teams despite raising them in LA. I’m sure his kids will root for whoever they gravitate towards. They don’t have the 40 year drought clouding their decision. If they live in Brooklyn, they have a local team, and they have the more popular team across the river. It’s a choice, but how many teenagers choose the things their parents like?
It seems like a good signing, but I was actually a bit upset internally the the Knicks were able to continue to competently fill out their roster.
Likewise, I was kind of excited to learn that they overpaid Felton for 4 years despite bidding against themselves, because overpaying loyal underachievers is exactly the team I was happy to ditch.
I think Melo is a good dude. Amare too. Chandler, great guy. Love Shumpert, Felton was my favorite when he was last on the team. JR Smith is unintentionally hilarious. Novak too, in the complete opposite way. Jason Kidd aside, who is a monster, I really like the players on the Knicks right now. I even think Woodson is a good personality to run these guys, and Grunwald, until the Lin release, an underrated and effective GM.
Which makes my sudden ambivalence towards them very tricky. I still smile when I see Melo and Tyson goofing off in London on instagram, I still want success for these people, but I suddenly see the orange and blue and just feel disgust. The way you feel about a girlfriend who finally wronged you one last time. Every resentment and annoyance you long repressed just boils up all at once, to the point where you can’t even separate the causes. It’s surely an irrational hatred, but one I can’t deny.
I hate that uninformed fans are buying the company line that Lin was a quitter in the playoffs and was greedy in the offseason, which led to his departure. Like listening to a Republican spout on about the deficit, I’m not angry because I disagree, but because I know that it’s a completely fabricated and hypocritical point only brought out when convenient.
I hate that I’m supposed to have sympathy for Jim Dolan’s bottom line for some reason, and that a player costing the owner too much is somehow a legitimate reason to let a guy go, or that it matters that he may or may not be profiting off merchandise. Or that it’s even a debate that there wasn’t a major level of resentment by ownership towards a guy who became popular despite them, not because of them.
I hate that I can’t make a point about this team without spiraling into a long rant about everything wrong with the team. And that’s why I started this blog. I’ve typed several long, unpublished posts on my main blog about my feelings on the team, but it always becomes a mess of ideas and accusations. Those incomplete thoughts about what it’s like breaking up with a team will go here instead.
Here’s my deal. Knicks fan for life, spent High School in Brooklyn and am a current Brooklyn homeowner a short walk from The Zoo (Barclays. Gonna try to make the Zoo happen). I’m in for a share of season tickets, going to at least 7 games. Not a Nets fan, not yet, but happy to flirt a bit while on a break from the Knicks. Maybe I come crawling back to my abusive relationship in Midtown, maybe I stick with the new girl after the initial excitement wears off. We’ll see. I’m gonna talk my way through it here.
This, to start.
My favorite TV Critic, Alan Sepinwall, had this to say regarding the Knicks decision to Let Jeremy Lin walk:
My Knicks fandom ended when they declined to match the Lin offer sheet.
There comes a point where it becomes impossible to ignore just how little the owner cares about anything but his own petty, paranoid vendettas and protecting his people, and how inevitable it is that he’ll ruin anything…
He expands further at the link above, and does a great job verbalizing what I’m feeling right now, which I’ve tried several times to write out but just can’t get it right.
It’s not JUST that Lin is gone, it’s how it went down, and how it reflects everything this team stands for. It was a wakeup call that this franchise, so long as it’s run by Jim Dolan, will simply never get it.
We suffered through the last decade, and in 2008 began a long rebuilding process to get where they are now. To look back at all the pleas for patience, for claims they were letting the basketball minds run the show and build this team the right way, then to have them pull the rug out at the last minute out of selfish spite and misguided loyalties is just too much to bear.
I can see the Barclays Center from my bedroom window, and I’m committed to a handful of Nets tickets next year. I live in Brooklyn, and they are my local team now, regardless of how I feel about the Knicks.
I won’t be a Nets fan sight unseen, and they’re certainly not without their ownership and longterm roster issues, but they have my attention now. I want them to win me over, make me ok with turning my back on one of my greatest lifelong passions. But I don’t know if I can really root for another basketball team. It’s never been an option before.
I guess we’ll see in the fall.