Let me begin by saying that Carmelo Anthony is one of my favorite players in the NBA. I’ve been a big fan of his game since he entered the league and in my opinion he is the best pure scorer in the league outside of Kevin Durant. That being said, Knicks fans need to stop worrying about players that aren’t on the Knicks. They also need to stop second guessing Donnie Walsh.
A new era in Knicks history begins this season. Unfortunately, too many Knicks fans are lamenting the offseason “failure” to secure the services of LeBron James. However, there are those who have moved on… to obsessing over Carmelo Anthony and what could have been had Donnie Walsh not handed over the 2012 first round pick.
Well guess what? LeBron James is in Cleveland, Carmelo Anthony is in Denver, and that 2012 pick belongs to Houston. What do these three things have in common? None of them have anything to do with the Knicks at this current time.
We need to move on, as a fan base, from LeBron James. LeBron is in Miami and he is now our enemy.
We also need to stop criticizing Donnie Walsh for moves he made prior to this offseason. Donnie was hamstrung by prior administrations who were responsible for the Knicks being in basketball and salary cap hell. The team had few assets (i.e., no talent,) no draft picks, and no cap space. Aside from the 2012 1st rounder that went to Houston, Donnie has greatly improved the talent level, the Knicks have their 2011 draft pick (although it will likely be swapped with Houston’s 1st rounder,) and the Knicks now have cap space. As far as I’m concerned, mission accomplished. There is now hope in Knicks land. We are out of basketball hell. I say we wipe the slate clean for Donnie Walsh and start critiquing his GM work with the Amar’e signing.
We also need to stop obsessing, as a fan base, about Carmelo Anthony. Would it be great if he ends up a Knick? Of course. In my previous post I discuss how the Knicks lack a go-to shooter at the end of games and how I hoped Gallinari would develop into such a player. Melo would instantly give the Knicks such a player. But right now Melo is a Denver Nugget and we’re spending way too much time worrying about a player who may or may not end up in orange and blue. The bottom line? The Knicks don’t need Melo. This team is going to be good and the franchise is moving in the right direction, whether or not the Knicks acquire Carmelo Anthony.
This is a new era, folks. These aren’t your hopeless New York Knicks. Take a look at the roster – there’s talent. I believe in the talent Donnie Walsh has assembled and I am confident that this team will make the playoffs. Will they advance past the first round? Probably not. But they’ll be a helluva lot of fun to watch. Plus, you’ll get to watch this team develop over the next few seasons.
Sure, they’ll probably get their butts kicked by Miami and Boston for the next two seasons – two franchises that were lucky enough to see the stars align and have fortune smile upon them, dropping All Stars at their doorstep. But in those butt whippings our boys will be learning valuable lessons and gaining experience. All the while Donnie Walsh will be adding pieces to this team, supplementing HIS team, rather than trying to get as far under the cap as he possibly can while fixing someone else’s mess, chasing a pipe dream.
For the next few years you will get a chance to witness Donnie Walsh rebuild your New York Knicks from the ground up – from a laughingstock to a playoff team to a championship contender. There will be no instant gratification, but that will make it even sweeter when this franchise returns to being a yearly contender.
Donnie Walsh has this franchise pointed in the right direction; I am pumped for this season; and I am excited about the assembled talent on the current roster. You should too.