For the past seven years, the New York Knicks have been a team overrun with turmoil and blasphemy, sorrows and disappointments—and most importantly, the abandonment of lifelong fans to the team next door, the New Jersey Nets.
These occurrences have produced the inevitable question:
What can the Knicks do to get out of this dry spell?
Well, they can forge a plan—and the Knicks have finally begun to construe one.
They started by firing Isiah Thomas from both the coach and GM positions. They acquired Donnie Walsh to fill the latter, who snatched the Knicks' best pickup all summer, Mike D'Antoni, to assume the former.
All seemed well. The Knicks looked like they actually cared again when they hit draft night and acquired Danilo Gallinari at the number-six spot, Chris Duhon from the Chicago Bulls, Detroit native Anthony Roberson (who was playing in Turkey), and Patrick Ewing Jr. from the Houston Rockets. All players with enough athletic ability to play under D’Antoni’s basketball scheme.
Now, the next step was to start to free up cap space by cutting either Curry, Stephon, Randolph, Rose, or James. Months of trade speculations surrounded the club, but nothing was executed—leaving the roster relatively the same
Not the best move, but their was nothing the Knicks could do. The other teams wanted way too much from an organization at the beginning of their rebuilding process.
Fans fell to their knees, covered their face, shrugged their shoulders, and chanted out slurs.
Turmoil stopped for a while. Knick fans asked and begged for some current news on the Knicks as they entered training camp in Saratoga Springs—the occasional Marbury bomb here and there, but mostly quiet! At least for the Knicks.
Until the expected occurred. Disaster lurking in the shadowy corner showed its face when it was reported that Danilo Galinari's back problem was more serious than thought, and he would be out for the rest of the preseason. Eddy Curry arrived overweight, then missed the first week of training camp with a bacterial stomach virus and Jared Jefferies broke his leg during morning practice.
Jefferies is expected to enter a hyperbaric chamber to accelerate the healing process - same medical procedure T.O did in Philadelphia. Jefferies was expected to play major minutes this season.
Yet again, the Knicks looked disastrous and seem destined to go through another losing season. Their schedule doesn't favor them, and their Eastern Conference rivals are reinforced and ready to go.
However, just when you thought the season was over yet again—a glimmer of light shone on the New York Knicks training facility.
"I don't want to go through any more distractions. I want all of us to concentrate on winning and not if I'm going to start or not. I want us to be able to go forward. If the Knicks want me to come off the bench, that's what I'm going to do. I just want to win a championship in New York because we as New Yorkers deserve a 'chip."
The words of Stephon Marbury—bearer of bad news for the Knicks organization in the last couple of seasons—showing his human side, and demonstrating a mature facet.
Is this the key to success for the Knicks this season—Marbury coming off the bench and showing maturity and leadership for a team that desperately needs it?
Relieving Marbury of the starting position could be beneficial. Duhon, a pass-first point guard, has been said to run D’Antoni’s run-and-gun offense like a glove. With Marbury coming of the bench as scoring threat, the Knicks can most definitely expect major improvements this season.
I see no complication in Lee playing center and Randolph playing the power position. This year our center (Lee) will concern himself more with rebounds and defense while Randolph can do what he does best—score. The only complication is I see no major minutes for Chandler, who looks to be the future star of this team.
Everything happens for a reason. Marbury's summer retreat to the wilderness could've finally erased that egotistic perception he had of life. Randolph being told he would have to fight for his position may have triggered the fight and team-oriented play in him The young guns and old dogs may have started to realize what needs to be done to bring the Knicks organization back to glory.
The Knicks open their preseason play against the new-look Toronto Raptors. It will be interesting to see who D'Antoni starts. More importantly, it will be interesting to see how Marbury reacts.