The Knicks have been home to NBA greats Walt "Clyde" Fraizer, Patrick Ewing, and Willis Reed among others; play in, arguably the greatest venue in America —Madison Square Garden —and are two time NBA champions.
However, recently things have been rapidly going downhill. The lackluster team has not gone to the playoffs since the 2000-2001 season, aren't in contention to do so this season, and don't seem like they will anytime in the near future.
When he took over as the team President in '08, Donnie Walsh promised that he would make sure his team was both competitive and entertaining. Since then, they have failed to be do so as they have accumulated a pathetic record of 51-82 (.383).
Moreover, they just traded away their most entertaining player, 3-time Slam Dunk Champion, Nate Robinson.
The Knicks management have demonstrated little confidence that the team they have now possess the ability to win, which has contributed to the organization's low morale.
One of Walsh's first moves was hiring former coach of the year, Mike D' Antoni. He's a brilliant man who has already proven that he can develop players into stars in this league as he did so during his tenure in Pheonix. Yet since his roster has been constantly changing nearly every month, the Knicks haven't given him a legitimate opportunity to use his skills on the enhancement of the overall team.
In addition, the team's values and beliefs have been under major scrutiny and criticism lately. During the past few seasons, the team has undergone a major roster shakeup as they have been involved in constant wheeling and dealing.
The Knicks' goal to shed cap space in order to obtain one of the several potential marquee free agents in 2010 offseason has been obvious, and, if you want to call it so, rather successful. The team has only 4 players under contract going into next season, so their fate will primarily rely on the moves they make this summer.
In my mind though, this is simply a mockery to the entire NBA, and Knicks fans should be dissapointed in their team. This is not the way a professional basketball organization should carry themselves. They should not be going all-in and putting the franchise's future in the hands of the hypothetical scenario of executing a blockbuster deal to land a superstar such as LeBron James.
The one bright spot has been that the team will have the necessary ammunition to award players max contracts. They will have an estimated $33.4 million in cap space, the most of any organization in the league.
Unfortunately for Knicks fans that are already getting giddy, they must put a few facts into consideration.
First of all, the Cavaliers are the top team in the league, and have been wisely adding talent to their roster in order to not only win a championship now but also to secure their future by enticing LeBron James with a plethora of reasons to sign a long-term deal.
Aside from LeBron, the only three high-caliber free agents deserving of max contracts are going to be Dwyane Wade, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Chris Bosh. May I add also that, similar to the Knicks, there are eight other teams that will be aggressively pursuing those free agents as well, and that New York may not end up with any of them.
Now imagine what would happen if that likely scenario were to become reality. The Knicks will then have to go after the lower-quality free agents and may be forced to hand out the same enormous contracts that they would have to, for example, LeBron or Wade.
All these past seasons thrown away, only to sign an average player to a undeserved, lucrative contract? Heart-breaking isn't it?
In addition, think about all the factors, other than money and the opportunity to play for a big market, that top-flight ballers will seek when they search for a new team.
If you ask an athlete he will tell you that the most important thing to him is winning. Therefore, most free agents will look for a team that has been having recent success and that has a roster already loaded with talent. I'm sorry, but the Knicks simply don't fit that criteria.
So the possibility of signing a franchise savior may appear nice, but in reality the chances of so happening are slim to none. New York Knicks fans should be very upset with the dismal organization.