There is a universe, in which the New York Knicks are not the Knicks, where fans of the team would be feeling relatively at ease this morning. In that universe, the Knicks are a rebuilding team that spent the first day of free agency signing good, useful basketball players to reasonable contracts. But we don’t live in that place; here we remember when Knicks owner James Dolan, fresh off trading supposed franchise savior Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks, went on the radio and said this:
Look, New York is the Mecca of basketball. We hear from people all the time, from players and representatives about who wants to come. We can’t respond because of the NBA rules, etc. But that doesn’t stop them from telling us, and they do. I can tell you, from what we’ve heard, I think we’re gonna have a very successful offseason when it comes to free agents.
“I think we’re gonna have a very successful offseason when it comes to free agents.”
Oh my God, that is just so fucking funny to read this morning. Dolan was out there, right after having shot yet another hole into his own franchise, wriggling his eyebrows and all but promising that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were on their way. Now he has Julius Randle and Bobby Portis. Incredible!
Again, there’s nothing inherently humiliating about how the Knicks, just as a basketball organization, have conducted themselves through the first day of free agency. A team coming off a 17-win season and a whiff in the draft lottery should feel lucky that a guy like Julius Randle wants to play for them, and his arrival only feels like a disappointment because of Dolan’s posturing. The Knicks are not special, but most teams aren’t. The only thing this one has to be embarrassed about is its inability to accept that reality.