(Author's note: this article was written on Thursday, July 8).
Two seasons ago, the New York Knicks bolted out of the gate to a 6-2 record.
Under the tutelage of their new uptempo head coach Mike D'Antoni, things were looking up for the core of PF/C David Lee, PF Zach Randolph, G Jamal Crawford, and G Nate Robinson.
Shortly after the Knicks' hot start to the 2007-08 season, President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh put his "big plan" into action.
The "master" plan was to dump salary and create enough cap space for a legitimate run at LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade in the summer of 2010.
Well here's the summer of '10, where's D-Wade, Donnie?
Where's LeBron, mastermind?
However, I won't devote all of my resentment to Walsh, as he wasn't the only one with such a "master" plan.
Rod Thorn (though he's now out of the picture) set up the very same scenario in New Jersey. Dump salary, wait for LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Dirk Nowitzki, and/or Joe Johnson.
So all of the waiting—and losing— has led us to what?
Amar'e Stoudemire in New York, and Travis Outlaw in New Jersey.
And we're expecting NBA championships sometime this century? Talk about delusional upper management.
While the situation is depressing and I've already resigned myself to decades upon decades of continual losing, somehow, it's not all bad for the Knicks and Nets.
The Knicks moved David Lee for explosive F Anthony Randolph, shot blocker Ronny Turiaf, and offensive-minded swingman Kelenna Azubuike, and the Nets are on the verge of adding athletic F Tyrus Thomas.
With those moves in mind, and more to come, it's nice to know that both organizations are avoiding stagnation.
Unfortunately for us as fans of the Knicks or Nets, front office activity very rarely equals success.
And when I say "very rarely," I might as well say "never."
The Knicks are back where they were two seasons ago, or perhaps worse. Their best players then? Lee, Z.Randolph, and Crawford.
Their best players now? Stoudemire, A.Randolph, and Danilo Gallinari. Stoudemire's surely the best of the six, but collectively I'd take the first trio over the second.
The Nets have a nice young core featuring C Brook Lopez (already one of the best in the league at his position), SF Terrence Williams, SG Courtney Lee, and PF Derrick Favors, but success is a long way down the line for such an inexperienced group.
PG Devin Harris is the marquee name on the roster, but he's a selfish, shoot-first floor general that won't aid in the development of any of the Nets' blossoming youngsters. The pieces of the puzzle don't fit in New Jersey right now.
All things considered, I have no choice but to be in a basketball depression. The winters are already long in New York...
And they're about to get longer.
(John Frascella is the author of "Theo-logy: How a Boy Wonder Led the Red Sox to the Promised Land," the first and only book centered on Boston's popular GM Theo Epstein. Check it out on Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble online. Follow John on Twitter @RedSoxAuthor.)
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