So this morning I woke up, remembered sports existed, and contemplated never getting out of bed again. In my naive mind, I was hoping maybe Facebook could help me forget about the sad state of New York sports. Mark Zuckerberg reminded me I have memories from February 20th’s of past. Again, my naive mind at work thought “Hey maybe other February 20th’s were better than this one!” Then that nerd Zuckerberg laughs and throws this shit at me.
So in honor of the 5 year anniversary of this brilliant realization by me, we take a walk down memory lane to see if my prediction comes true. (SPOILER: it does.)
2011: On February 22nd, 2011 Carmelo Anthony was traded to the Knicks from the Denver Nuggets. Less than 2 months after Melo’s arrival in New York, the Knicks clinched their first playoff birth in 7 years. The Knicks went onto get swept by the Celtics in the 2011 playoffs, but Knicks fans hope was at a level it had not reached in decades going into Melo’s first full season as a Knick.
2012: The year was littered with injuries. The Knicks finished 7th in the East and won their first playoff game since 2001 in a 4-1 first round loss to the eventual champions, the Miami Heat. A disappointing year, but 2012 did bring the best stretch of Knicks basketball of this millennium thanks to one man
Damn that was fun. #Linsanity
2013: The Knicks were loaded with a healthy Carmelo, Amare, J.R. Smith, Tyson Chandler, Iman Shumpert, and 3 point specialist Steve Novak, along with veterans Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton, Kenyon Martin, and Rasheed Wallace. The Knicks had their first 50 win season since 2000, Melo won the NBA scoring title with 28.7 PPG, and the Knicks won their first playoff series since Patrick Ewing against their rival Boston Celtics. The Knicks then fell to the Pacers in 6 games in the Eastern Conference semis. Another disappointing end to the year, but 2013 was a fun time to be a Knicks fan.
2014-2016: These 3 years of Knicks basketball were filled with disappointment after disaster after disappointing disaster. This stretch was highlighted by the hiring of Phil Jackson, the hiring and firing of Derek Fisher, missing the playoffs, Melo trade talks, finishing last in the East and trading away a majority of the roster.
However, one positive came out of this dark period. One bright spot for the saddest franchise in sports.
So, here we are in 2017: the Knicks are in the 12 spot in the East, the Melo experiment has run its course, James Dolan has made himself the most hated owner in sports (#FreeOakley), and this 7’3 Latvian god is the only that can save us now.
P.S. Even if this was about Melo I had to end it on a Porzingis note for my own sanity
One problem with NY sports franchises is the perception fans don’t want to see a rebuild. I disagree. Best part of being a fan is watch your team build itself and become good. When you are expected to win and don’t it’s crushing. The rise to the top is better. I’d rather see young players improve than a bunch of money grubbing vets trying to hang on in the league. Hopefully Knicks can build around Porzingis and Hernangomez. Draft a good point guard and there’s hope.