The New York Knicks may have missed out on the NBA Playoffs for a fourth consecutive year but that doesn’t mean there’s a dearth of former New York Knickerbockers making their presence felt right now in the Postseason.
The 2016-2017 New York Knicks season was filled with turmoil, cryptic tweets, a power hungry owner with a short fuse, a silent owner, and a team full of players who didn’t know what was going on half the time. Carmelo Anthony, the team’s superstar, who forced his way to the Big Apple during the 2010-2011 season, had possibly the toughest season of his career.
As the team’s superstar he carries the responsibility and some would say burden of leading this team, taking the hits when things don’t go as planned, and not getting nearly enough credit when the team wins, which hasn’t occurred much since 2012-2013. Most would agree Carmelo has not been the best leader and the year he had legit talent around him, it was Jason Kidd and other veterans who took the bull by the horns and let Carmelo just play basketball.
Speaking of those “other players” Carmelo played with, I’m sitting back, admiring the NBA Playoffs without a horse in the race, and it suddenly hits me the more games I watch the more I have flashback to Knicks’ seasons past. The fact is this Postseason is riddled with former Knicks players, whom are all contributing in significant ways for their current teams.
The two most glaring players that stand out have to be current Cleveland Cavalier players and NBA Champions, Iman Shumpert and JR Smith. These are two guys that had played major roles for the Knicks in the brief moment of success a few years ago and then were cast off like they were losing contestants on the show Survivor.
How about another guy Carmelo played with, Jose Calderon, who’s currently fit snug into a nice back-up point guard role for the Atlanta Hawks. For the Knicks, Calderon was forced to start and was often exposed in his advanced age. Sticking with the guard theme, how about Brandon Jennings who was a Knick THIS YEAR! He was also the one who spoke outwardly about the disconnect within the Knicks organization once he was released and signed with the Washington Wizards mid season.
There are also a bunch of big guys making an impact on this postseason in Zach Randolph, Channing Frye, Jason Smith, and David Lee. Only Jason Smith had played with Carmelo Anthony but the other three were let go from the organization before they had an opportunity to make a real impact in New York. Personally, I love David Lee and the way he plays the game, he did have some very successful seasons in the orange and blue but Zach Randolph aka Z-Bo is the real heartbreaker. This is a guy who is literally a walking double-double, he could roll out of bed and score at least ten points and grab ten boards. You look at what Z-Bo has been for a consistently good Memphis Grizzlies team and as a Knicks fan you wonder, what if….
It’s truly tough to have to watch the NBA Playoffs without a horse in the race for a fourth straight year and seeing all the former players to don the orange and blue playing well, I am happy they found success, but it makes you wonder what could have been. What it also does is reaffirm the dysfunction of the various upper management personnel the team has had throughout the years and the inability to restore a once proud franchise to respectability.