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Knicks & Nets: Such Lose, Much Sad

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Fordham University

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Knicks & Nets: Such Lose, Much Sad

New York NBA teams consistently suck. But fear not, I have the solution!

Keith Rose

2.25.18

Read time: 11 min.

Disclaimer: Article reflects statistics at the All-Star break

The NBA All-Star game surprised fans this past weekend, as the star players from either conference actually played some defense. Whenever I hear defense is being played on an NBA basketball court, I assume that court security is tackling a streaker, or that your weird Kinda-Friend Lance, empowered by the kiss-cam, is being denied from his most recent advance. But nope, Kevin Durant and Lebron James locked up Steph Curry to ensure a Team LeBron victory – surprising!

REPORT: Teams can shut down Steph Curry if they cover him with the two best players in the world. More at 11.

Now that brings us to some less-surprising news at the All-star break: the Knicks and the Nets are still fucking terrible. Year after year, for the foreseeable future, according to some diabolical cosmic rule (and Billy fucking King) – the New York City NBA teams have no shot of making the playoffs. The Knicks came in to the All-Star break with an 8-GAME losing streak and now sit at 23-36. The Nets are, remarkably, even worse at 19-40, but I think the Knicks may just beat them out for New York’s coveted Suck-a-thon trophy with NBA All-Star Kristaps Porzingis out for the season with an ACL-tear.
For any non-basketball fan that has made it this far in the article, I will compare the Knicks and Nets to something more tangible with the Fordham experience. Have you ever been to Midnight breakfast here on campus? The one where Father McShane and the residential life directors serve breakfast in the caf? Ya know, where you and your buddies excitedly go to satisfy your late-night baked cravings, but then had an awkward encounter with your RD after you asked for bacon at the French toast sticks line –you know what I’m talking about?
Well, the seasonal plight of a Knicks or Nets fan works like Midnight breakfast. You've been before, you know what to expect. There is no objectively good reason that it's supposed to be better this year. But, damn it, you are a glass-half full kind of person. You think, “Well, we have a new food distribution company on campus and we could really benefit from a new system. Plus, the team added a few new members, and all of the surrounding sources are really hyping these new RD’s up – saying things like ‘watch out for RD Karen, she has a really quick wrist turning those sausages.’” You are excited for the event to start, hopeful for the future. Your eyes are oh-so-wide. As you and your friends enter the caf you immediately begin counting your wins. “Ooh it’s packed in here, must be good!” But then, your inevitable fate becomes all-too clear. The food is the same bad food you avoid getting in the morning, it is too packed, and you feel stupid for hyping it up all day, thinking it would be different. And now, you’re uncomfortably faded around the President of your University.
Maybe you have never been to Midnight breakfast. Or maybe you love Midnight breakfast – in which case, stop reading this article. We don’t want your tasteless eyes gazing upon our quality content… Just kidding! I’m a Knicks fan, as tasteless as they come!
Similarly to how Fordham students imagine a better Midnight breakfast, I imagine a better Knicks team. So, I’m going to put on my GM cap and tell you folks what the Knicks and Nets need to do in the near future if they are ever going to rise from the ever-growing pile of garbage that is New York basketball. What qualifies me to make this analysis, you ask? Absolutely nothing. But what qualifications does Stephen A. Smith have? The answer is again, absolutely nothing. So I will throw my opinions out into the void of sports commentary – where the loudest shouts get the most attention.

KNICKS



Ok, so the first thing you have to do as a general manager is determine a clear strategy for the future, with an obvious final goal of winning the NBA championship.
Strategy: Continue to build around our core young players, with hopes to sign another All-Star to play alongside Kristaps Porzingis. Our most recent draft pick, the Frenchman Frank Ntilikina, AKA Frankie Smokes, is a 19-year old who has already shown to be a focused defender and intelligent offensive distributor. Kristaps is only 22 years old, and is an amazing talent for his ability to stretch the floor as a perimeter threat while also bolstering the defensive unit as a 7’3” shot blocker. WE NEED HIM.
Ok – we have two good players to build around, but the roster talent falls off from here. Our next most valuable players are Michael Beasley, Enes Kanter, and Tim Hardaway Jr. Beasley is probably in the prime of his career right now, and is a really good scoring option. However, Beasley is also the oddest human who has ever picked up a basketball. He wears watches on his ankles. Enough said. Kanter and Hardaway Jr. are both 25 year olds who are pretty talented – Kanter being an offensive rebounding machine and Hardaway being our only deep threat other than Kristaps. The question is: are these players going to be vital in our rebuilding towards a championship? The answer: nah, bro.
Kanter will likely be a Knick until the 2019 offseason after he picks up his player's option on his contract, where the Knicks are set up to be big spenders. The free agent period leading into the 2019-2020 season is going to be huge for the Knicks, because we will finally have the cap room to make some serious MONEY MOVES (shouts out to Cardi). Why? Because we will have finally paid the $72 million dollars owed to Joakim Noah for riding the pine. So – wid all dat money, Kanter can see his way out the door. We need to sign an elite player (preferably perimeter) that will both incentivize Porzingis to remain a Knick and give us a fighting chance against high-volume offenses.
This job is easy. You just have to say things like ‘high-volume’ and throw around contract amounts. You know those classes where participation counts as part of the grade, so some kids will raise their hands each day and say the most unrelated shit just to get their daily credit? It’s like, “Shut up Kinda-Friend Lance, you don’t have to remind the class everyday how supply and demand curves work – do you have anything to say that you didn’t learn in your high-school economics class?” Well that’s how GM’s must feel, like Kinda-Friend Lance. You never really know what’s going to work out or how players are going to play together, so just say something about player efficiency rating and get your daily pat on the back.
As for Hardaway Jr. and Beasley, I think they could both be influential players vital to our success. My only worry is that Hardaway has a $71 million-dollar contract with 3 years left. He has shown that he cannot be our 2nd scoring option, and only might be a decent 3rd, so we are overpaying him. I would look to trade him next season if the losses start piling up, in preparation for an important off-season.

As for the rest of this season: issa tank time. The upcoming draft class is looking very promising, so we gotta start losing! I need to hear these chants in MSG: ‘anything for Ayton,’ ‘bag it for bagley,’ and my personal favorite, ‘sucka dick for Doncic.’
Alright – I hope actual GM Scott Perry is listening: Build around Kristaps, Frank and this year’s draft pick, land a big name in free agency next summer, do not re-sign Kanter to a huge deal. Easy money.

NETS



The Nets are even worse than the Knicks. Yeah. Here we go.
Strategy: Pivot the Nets organization from a low-tier basketball team into a high-society traveling rap opera led by former owner Jay-Z. This would be much more entertaining than the current situation.
Actual Strategy: Jesus, I have no clue.
The Nets most valuable player currently is D’Angelo Russell, a 21-year old point guard. But D’Angelo has not shown that he can be an elite point guard in this league.
Rebuilds in this league seem to only work when a team has drafted their GUY, a player who will almost certainly thrive in the league and make other players better around them. I don’t think the Nets have their guy with Russell. To make matters worse, the Nets have not had a first-round draft pick in recent years after trading them all away to Boston, including this year’s pick. Ahh 2012 - the year that the Mayans correctly predicted doomsday, as the Nets franchise traded away their future for a group of players (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry) that were all well beyond their time. It was like watching an NBA franchise cast the movie Grown Ups. Why? How are you supposed to rebuild without draft picks!?
It’s not easy being a New York basketball fan. The Nets are doomed to be terrible for at least another 4 years. At least the Knicks have something to look forward to. The Nets on the other hand, may God have mercy on their souls. However, WE ARE ALL NEW YORKERS. The tragedy of mediocre basketball in this city is a bonding element for all of us. Seeing Kristaps tear his ACL, freaking out about the Nets trading away draft picks, catching the train at the last moment just to have the closing doors separate your body from your soul - this shit relates us as New muthafuckin Yorkers. So be proud of that mediocrity, and love your fellow Knicks/Nets fans, because we are in this together, and it will surely be a long, grueling journey.