Monday, September 10, 2012
Top 10 Knicks topics that won't go away
By Jared Zwerling
Just like the team's slogan, "Once a Knick, Always a Knick," its fans and media have their own: "Once it Happens, We'll Always Remember." As Marcus Camby told ESPNNewYork.com earlier this year, "The Knicks' community knows their basketball."
While that applies to many great moments in Knicks history, the past 10 years or so have offered something different: more recurring negatively themed storylines, such as James Dolan consulting Isiah Thomas, which reportedly happened again Friday. Frustration, mounted on top of extreme expectations, tortured Knicks fans over several seasons of futility under Thomas.
Even while the Knicks continue to re-establish themselves, negativity these days, no matter how small, runs deep in New York as if it's an emotional scar after a personal tragedy. You can't stop thinking about it. On top of that, the only thing competitive New Yorkers care about is a championship -- and that hasn't happened in a while.
On that note, ESPNNewYork.com brings you the Top 10 Knicks Storylines That Won't Go Away, starting with 10 through six:
Can they coexist?
10. The Knicks losing to another lousy team. Every time the Knicks got embarrassed last season, fans wrote on Twitter, "They made another below-average team with a below-average player look good." That started Jan. 4 against the Bobcats, the worst team in the league, and continued about 10 more times at the Garden. If J.R. Smith is guaranteeing a championship, it starts with knocking off the bottom-feeders.
9. Jeremy Lin leaving. While many Knicks fans don't want to hear Lin's name again, many -- including Walt Frazier -- are still surprised the team didn't match the Rockets' offer. And until the Knicks address their decision, Lin's name will come up. But if Raymond Felton proves it on the court over the long haul -- which he didn't do last season in Portland -- the memory of Linsanity will collect some dust.
8. C-P-3! C-P-3! Who can the Knicks trade to get Chris Paul? If not, can they sign CP3 in 2013, when he's a free agent? These are the questions on repeat, because there's belief that Paul's close friend (and fellow Jordan Brand endorser), Carmelo Anthony, wants to make it happen. It's also because Knicks fans are not in love with the team's point guards -- and feeling cheated on Lin and Steve Nash, they're aiming higher. But it's mostly false hope.
7. Carmelo Anthony is overweight and a ball-stopper. When Melo had his worst season since 2008-09, some Knicks fans thought they knew why: He's overweight! But in 2011-12, Melo suffered a few upper- and lower-body injuries that affected his shot and stamina. Also, his swollen look comes from his underneath protective padding. While Melo's work with renowned NBA trainer Idan Ravin has paid off, he's still working to erase the "isolation scorer" tag.
6. Melo and Amare Stoudemire can't coexist. When LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook represented their respective teams in the Finals this past season, Knicks fans wondered, Could Melo and Amare ever do it, too? With the increased formation of "big twos" around the league, there will always be pressure on the Knicks' stars. Mike Woodson has been focused on making their partnership work. Will it finally happen?
Stay tuned Tuesday for No. 5 through the Top Storyline That Won't Go Away with the upcoming season (and possibly beyond).