Editor's Note: Mase brings it once more. This is excellent. Game Thread coming soon.
Sometimes I really like Mike Lupica. When the Knicks were relevant in the 1990's, his columns were a must-read. He often praised the team for their effort, and was one of the few staunch Patrick Ewing defenders in the latter years of his career while others were highly critical.
But, there are other times I really don't like Mike Lupica. Like when he's writing his 1,781st column on the Yankees' bloated payroll, preaching his extreme political views in a sports column (dude, you're a sports writer - not Keith Olberman), or complaining about the Knicks.
I can complain too. I know that April 29, 2001 was the date of the last Knicks' playoff win. I remember where I was when Ewing drove past Alonzo Mourning for a clinching dunk that gave the Knicks their last playoff series win in Game 7 of the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals. I remember Scott Layden. I remember trading for Shandon Anderson, Howard Eisley, and Keith Van Horn. I also remember trading four first round draft picks in the Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry deals combined. I've donned my Larry Johnson jersey for good luck on Draft nights that yielded prized prospects like Renaldo Balkman, Mardy Collins, Channing Frye, and a trade that brought a fat Zach Randolph with an even fatter contract. I've gone through the Jerome James, Vin Baker, and Jared Jeffries eras.
I know how much it sucks to not make the playoffs and not be competitive. I also know how much it sucks root for a proud franchise that's become nothing more than a punchline.
That being said, I'm complained-out.
I'm tired and I'm pissed off, but I'm also numb to it. It's been almost a decade of this shit. What's another year?
Lupica chooses to take offense to the Knicks not signing Allen Iverson. He argues that A.I. wouldn't have made the Knicks a better team, but would've made them a "better ticket". Really? That's what we've been reduced to? "Well, the Knicks still suck but with Iverson at least they're entertaining?" Entertaining how? Entertaining like the Stephon Marbury saga? Entertaining like Isiah Thomas' pathetic head coaching stint? Entertaining like his subsequent sexual harassment lawsuit? Give me a break.
Are you not entertained, Knicks fans?
Lupica cites Iverson's leadership eight years ago when he took the Sixers to the NBA Finals at the height of the Eastern Conference's sucktitude (an era which also included TWO Nets teams that won the conference). He even compares him Latrell Sprewell (!).
Lupica pretends to be speaking for the fans, but obviously he a) doesn't read this blog, and b) doesn't know basketball. Iverson was cut by Memphis. MEMPHIS. He's a 34-year old undersized two-guard that can barely play anymore, and that nobody wants. Oh, and did I mention the guy still thinks he's a starter?
I could give two shits about being entertained. I want this team to win. The Knicks aren't going to win this year, with or without Iverson. So I don't blame Donnie Walsh for sparing his team the unnecessary drama that Iverson would undoubtedly bring.
This team still sucks, but people have to understand that it takes time to climb out of the nuclear crater left by Isiah Thomas and his predecessor Scott Layden. The plan was to use the 2009-10 season as a throwaway year. You may not like it. I don't either. But, I'm willing to live with it because guess what? IT'S A PLAN. This team hasn't had one of those since Checketts and Grunfeld were running things and I had braces.
So, root for Gallo. Close your eyes when Larry Hughes shoots. Thinks of names for Mike D'Antoni's mustache (Luigi is my personal choice). Curse when Chris Duhon attempts a three-pointer. Critique Clyde's blazer. Listen to Jordan Hill's album. Vent frustration on Al Harrington's shot-selection on P&T. Let Darko spin. DWTDD. Bite the bullet and deal with it.
But, please stop complaining.