Knicks Didn't Get LeBron, but All Is Not Lost
Knicks fans have every right to be angry at LeBron James and to be disappointed in Donnie Walsh.
If James were to come to New York City and not perform because of there being too much pressure, the Knicks would've been in trouble. At the end of the LeBron James saga, let him go where he wants.
Three stars without a roster built around them won't win them championships on their own. Maybe if it were three-on-three, but that's not how the NBA works.
Not to say that the New York Knicks are stacked from top-to-bottom like the Lakers— they're not— but at least they have gone from a laughingstock to a playoff contender.
The plan for Knicks President Donnie Walsh was to get under the cap. In order to do that, he successfully traded away Zach Randolph, Jamal Crawford, and Jared Jeffries, among others. It's not his fault that Eddy Curry's contract can't be removed, but it will expire after next season.
Trying to lure in James, he signed Amare Stoudemire to a five-year, $100 million max contract. Normally, a player of Stoudemire's second-tier caliber wouldn't warrant that type of contract.
Walsh tried any way he could, overspending perhaps, to get James to play in the Big Apple. It's not as if Walsh sat in his office waiting for LeBron to come to him.
In a last-ditch effort to bring "The King" in, he sent Isiah Thomas of all people to meet with James' people. In the end, it didn't work.
During "The Decision," shown nationally on ESPN, James was asked his feelings on the Knicks. He didn't even directly respond to them, saying "there were a lot of teams out there." He mentioned Tom Thibodeau, the new Bulls coach, without mentioning any Knicks-related personnel. LeBron just didn't want to play in New York where he would have had to be the man.
The Knicks, though, have improved their team, not letting the Lebron snub ruin an opportunity to compete in a below-average Eastern Conference that has seen its top team, the Cavaliers, fall to the bottom.
After signing Stoudemire, who should fit perfectly into coach Mike D'Antoni's system, they are reportedly close to signing free agent point guard Raymond Felton.
He may not do what Steve Nash does for Phoenix, feeding Stoudemire in the paint, but Felton is a major upgrade over Chris Duhon and Sergio Rodriguez. Felton was passing to Gerald Wallace in Charlotte, and that team made the playoffs last season, so the Knicks certainly can make it with a better player in Stoudemire.
The Knicks are still looking for that other big man to play alongside Stoudemire, and it could be Carmelo Anthony. There have been conflicting reports on whether the Nuggets will trade him, but if they do, Anthony would want to be a Knick.
The need for either Chris Paul or Tony Parker at the point is unnecessary with the addition of Felton, unless the Knicks can actually pull that off.
The Knicks will be a playoff contender in the East this season. They have made improvements to at least put themselves in position to do so, and they still have enough money for another max player.
Will they win 50 games this season with this current roster? No, but 45 may not be too much of a stretch.
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