How Patient Will Title-Hungry NY Knicks Fans Be with Carmelo Anthony?

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterMarch 14, 2013

"Patient" isn't exactly a quality that goes hand in hand with New Yorkers.

We don't like waiting rooms, long stories, subway delays—and we certainly don't have the stomachs to sit through another era of Knicks garbage.

And after watching the team's latest nauseating stretch, which resulted in a 29-point loss to Golden State and a 23-point loss to Denver, it's hard to keep the frustration from mounting.

In fact, I woke up this morning to an unrelated email from a friend and fellow New Yorker, who closed his message with, "Oh and by the way, the Knicks are finished for another 10 years."

New Yorkers don't do patience. Just ask Stephon Marbury how lenient fans are. Once considered the savior, Marbury was getting booed during home introductions before you knew it. I remember cringing in pity, thinking, "How could we as a fanbase be so cruel to one of our own?"

That thought would typically enter my mind just seconds before I'd stand on my seat with my beer raised to the sky while chanting "You suck!" as Marbury was announced over the P.A.

Carmelo Anthony arrived in the Big Apple in 2010 and has one playoff win to show for it. But the problem doesn't lie within the lack of team success since he got here.

It's that he came at a time when patience had already worn thin. 

The Knicks haven't been truly relevant since 1999, when Allan Houston, Latrell Sprewell and Jeff Van Gundy marched to the NBA Finals as the No. 8 seed in a shortened season.

You know what else was relevant in 1999? Napster. The last time the Knicks were a threat, downloading music on Napster was the new fad. Jeans were baggy. The Sopranos was first debuting.

It's been a long time since the Knicks were considered realistic contenders. When the Knicks traded their entire core of young talent for megastar Carmelo Anthony, the fans expected results.

Now in 2013, the team might be sitting pretty at 38-24, good for third in the Eastern Conference, but it sure doesn't seem that way. Especially after witnessing this current Miami Heat winning steak. The Knicks just don't fall under that elite category they've strived so hard to get to.

Over the past two games, Knick fans saw opposing teams like the Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets look young, fresh and cohesive, while the guys in Orange and Blue looked old, lethargic and selfish.

And if you remember when the Knicks traded for Carmelo Anthony, not every fan was on board. The Knicks had a fun, young team at the time who the city was starting to embrace. Amar'e Stoudemire had rejuvenated the fanbase, while Danilo Gaillinari, Landry Fields, Raymond Felton and Wilson Chandler were coming into their own and jelling as a group.

This is pretty much why it's so frustrating to see teams like Denver succeed without a superstar.

If the Knicks get knocked out of the first round of the playoffs, Carmelo Anthony might start to lose some of his luster as a New York hero.

Patience isn't a selective quality that allows for certain situations to dictate its activation. Fans won't become patient because Carmelo's knee is hurt or the chemistry isn't there yet.

If the Knicks keep losing, nobody is going to care why. For Anthony to go down as a true Knicks legend, he'll have to carry the team the way Patrick Ewing did in the '90s.