What If : June 26, 2002


The NBA and sports in general all run on decisions. Decisions that can move your franchise steps forward or even huge steps backwards. With every decision comes a gamble, with every gamble comes a consequence and with every consequence comes an outcome. The gamble is the risk, will we take steps forward or steps backwards? The answer becomes the consequence, it could have a good or bad affect depending on different factors. The outcome is where everything has been put out in the open, you know what your decision has led to and it's time to ask yourself the question... Do I have any regrets?

The Decision

On June 26, 2002 the New York Knicks made a decision to trade Marcus Camby, Mark Jackson and the draft rights to Nene Hilario, the seventh overall pick of the 2002 NBA draft to the Denver Nuggets for Antonio McDyess, the draft rights to Frank Williams, the 25th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, and a 2003 second-round draft choice.

"Antonio McDyess is the kind of talent that improves our team immediately by adding size, strength and versatility," Layden said. "While we would like to thank Marcus Camby and Mark Jackson for all of their hard work over the years in a Knicks uniform, we felt this trade was not something we could pass up."


The Gamble

Trading a young Marcus Camby who averaged 10.2PPG and 8.9RPG in 197 games with us and was only getting better, veteran PG Mark Jackson, the franchise’s second all-time leading assist-maker with 4,791 (fourth in NBA history with 9,840) and the draft rights to an unproven rookie in Nene Hilario. In return we received NBA All-Star Antonio Mcdyess who was coming off ten games the previous season due to surgery to repair the patella tendon in his left knee. Before his knee injury he averaged 20.8 points and 12.1 rebounds in 70 games during the 00-01 season. We also received the draft rights to unproven rookie Frank Williams.

"In McDyess, we have a seasoned veteran and NBA All-Star," Head Coach Don Chaney said. "He has the ability to score and rebound. It gives us a player that we can go to in the post and demand double-teams from opponents."

[Layden on McDyess' surgery on left knee]

''Antonio is a hard worker and he's passionate about playing and he'll work and he'll be back.''


The Consequence

With 1 minute 55 seconds left in an exhibition preseason game against the Suns, Mcdyess fractures his knee on a put back dunk sidelining him indefinitely. He later continues his play but re-aggravates the injury, finishing his career with the Knicks in only 18 games. Frank Williams amounts to absolutely nothing and retires after 3 years in the NBA. Marcus Camby continues his solid 10 and 10 role while developing into an even more dominant shot blocker. Nene later becomes one of the best big men in the game. He is not All-Star material but paired with the right pieces he can be pretty devious. As for Mark Jackson... Well yeah, he works for ESPN...

''This is a devastating blow for Antonio, knowing how hard he has worked up to this point,'' said Scott Layden, the Knicks' president and general manager. ''Knick fans had only seen a glimmer of his superior skills, and knowing Antonio, we are confident he will overcome this setback.''

''He's still saddened and he wants to get back on the floor,'' Chaney said. ''He's totally disappointed and somewhat devastated. But he has great inner strength, and with his determination, he'll be back.''


The Outcome

Regrets? Initially, I am sure many of you hate the Mcdyess deal but for all you Marbury fans slow down on the hate. After Mcdyess' bust season in New York we shipped him away with Charlie Ward and Howard Eisley for Anfernee Hardaway, Cezary Trybanski and of course Stephon Marbury. With Marbury came excitement, head tattoos and kicks sold for only 15 bucks!

"I think we got the best deal," Knicks center Dikembe Mutombo said. "He's among the best point guards in the league, he's an All-Star player."


The "What If"

So What If we never traded for Mcdyess? Is Camby and/or Nene still a part of the Knicks? Do we have one of those guys paired next to Amare Stoudemire? Do we trade both before this offseason was ever near for a All-Star caliber big? Eliminating the need for Amare and pass on him this offseason? What if Mcdyess stayed healthy? Do we ever see Marbury in blue and orange? Does Mcdyess ever gets traded? Does Isiah wreck the team even worst then he did before? These are all questions that cannot be answered and it goes to show that every decision brings consequences that can lasts for years. So regarding the event that took place on June 26, 2002 ask yourself, What If?

"What if you never knew things that you needed to know?
What if you never been places you needed to go?
What if you get there, and learned them as you go?
"What if" is the question, can I ask then once more?"

Jadakiss "What If"



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