The New York Knicks mock their fans. They also mock everything that is good in the game of basketball. Need proof?
Since the start of the 2001-02 season, the Knicks have made the playoffs four times in a sport where more than half the teams qualify. In those campaigns, they have a combined seven playoff victories, with six coming in 2013. Throughout the last 15 years, the Knicks have gleefully handed out massive contracts to Jared Jeffries, Steve Francis, Jerome James, Eddy Curry, Allan Houston, Amare Stoudemire and Stephon Marbury too name a few. Within the next few years, you can add Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose to that list.
Team president Phil Jackson has done nothing but hand out huge contracts to players without a large upside over the past two offseasons. Jackson first inked Carmelo Anthony to a soon-to-be-disastrous contract of five years and $124 million last offseason, only to watch Anthony get hurt, then miraculously recover for the All-Star Game, then not play another game. This year, Jackson signed Robin Lopez (4/$54), Aaron Afflalo (2/$16) and Kyle O’Quinn (4/$16), all upgrades for this rancid roster but nobody who makes an impact.
It seems logical if not cosmic that Jackson will continue to bring in the NBA’s version of the AARP club with Bryant after this season, when the Hall of Famer finishes up with the Los Angeles Lakers. Sure, Bryant will be 38 years old and continuing to break down physically, but the allure of a star like Bryant will be too much for Jackson and owner James Dolan to pass up. A one-year deal will never cut the mustard, so expect something in the neighborhood of two years and $25 million for a player so far beyond his prime, it seems like a lifetime ago. There will be talk of how Bryant can mentor Jerian Grant and recapture old glory, but the reality will be a washed up player with a washed up team.
Then, Jackson will paint his masterpiece if he hasn’t quit by the end of the 2016-17 season. Rose will come off the books for the Chicago Bulls, and despite missing approximately 324 games each season, he will be in high demand. Jackson and the Knicks won’t be denied, because if there is one thing New York knows how to do, it is overspend in the summer. Rose will be the latest addition, paired up with Bryant, Anthony and a bunch of castoffs. The team will get nonstop press from analysts like Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith. It will be a media circus. It will also be a team that wins 30 games.
The Knicks have shown zero ability to build through the draft over the last 25 years and are yet to make a solid free-agent signing in the new millennium. It has been standard operating procedure to bring in names that no longer match their starpower.
In this respect, Bryant and Rose are the prefect fits on Broadway.