For essentially the last 20 years, the New York Knicks have been the laughing stock of the NBA.
Flush with a number of inherent advantages and resources, it takes monumental ineptness to screw up something so foolproof.
Enter James Dolan.
The owner of the most famous NBA franchise has done everything in his power to essentially screw it up for those hoops die-hards residing in the five boroughs. Since 2000, the Knicks have only advanced to the second round of the playoffs once. Making matters worse, the franchise has only made the playoffs five times during this period.
The cradle of basketball civilization simply deserves better. Fortunately for the Knickerbocker supporters, the summer of 2019 appears ready to pump some sunshine into the lifeless corpse that is the Knicks franchise.
While the free agency period will be chock-full of twists and turns, we first turn our attention to a physical freak of a man hailing from Duke University.
Zion Williamson is a sensation to the likes the league hasn’t seen since LeBron James graced us with his presence. Williamson is the epitome of unique. He’s equal parts Mack truck, Olympic gymnast, and world renowned ballet dancer. There’s a graceful nature with which Williamson plays. Soaring high in the air, Williamson realistically shouldn’t be able to move so effortlessly for a man close to 300 pounds.
While light on his feet, Williamson also torques the ball through the rim with absolute punishment. When further complemented by a silky touch and above-average ball skills, you’re left with a player nearly incomparable to any of his peers — past or present.
The hype surrounding Williamson is unprecedented, particularly in the age of social media where 10-second clips are arguably more impactful than long form pieces written by respected journalists. Williamson’s likable personality is only accentuated by his immense skill on the court. Without question, he’s already a star before even stepping foot into an NBA arena.
For all of the reasons listed above, the NBA is praying that Williamson ends up with the Knicks.
We aren’t going as far as saying that a mysterious frozen envelop will make an appearance — though we also wouldn’t be surprised if the behemoth athlete is playing in MSG next year.
The Knicks need talent…plain and simple. The decks have been cleared to make a major splash in free agency. Additionally, the front office/coaching staff has done a nice job in procuring young talent. There’s not a bona fide superstar currently on the roster — though there are a few intriguing parts (Dennis Smith Jr., Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Allonzo Trier) which would function as serviceable role players down the line.
Much of the offseason will hinge on whether the Knicks can land one of — if not two of Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, and Tobias Harris. Durant is the name most associated with the Knicks. Irving would be a nice get, though could stay with Boston should the Celtics make a deep postseason run. Hailing from the Bronx, Walker would be a natural complement to Durant.
Should all the puzzle pieces fall into place, the Knicks could field a lineup next season with two All-Stars and the game’s best incoming talent. Can you imagine the impact Williamson would have at Madison Square Garden — not to mention New York as a whole?
Remember, this a franchise that created ‘Linmania’ and ‘Linsanity’ after Jeremy Lin’s three-week scoring bonanza. Just think what a couple of Williamson dunks will do for this depraved fan base.
Should Durant leave, the NBA will be wide open. Conventional wisdom would state that the Warriors won’t dominate in the same fashion (barring some sort of crazy signing/trade). As such, the door opens perfectly for Williamson and the Knicks to become the hottest story in the NBA next year.
Image source: Shanna Lockwood-USA Today Sports