Most of our posts here on Posting and Toasting consist of previews of upcoming matchups, breakdowns after games, reporting potential moves, and analyses of how players are performing. Mostly, it’s a lot of on-court content, as it should be. But today, I just had to stray away from that momentarily because the media’s recent coverage of the Knicks has been somewhat unfair. And this is nothing new. The Knicks have long been the laughing stock of the league, despite the fact that there are franchises that have done worse. But despite the fact that the Knicks are on pace to overachieve, the media continues to diss the Knicks, laugh at their fans, ignore the positives, and dismiss the facts, simply because, it’s easy, it’s funny to non-Knicks fans, and quite frankly, it gets clicks and views.
First, let’s start off with TNT’s coverage of the Knicks vs. Celtics game last Thursday. We all know that Inside the NBA on TNT is a program that capitalizes on it’s personalities and is just as, if not more, known for their comedy and entertainment as they are for their actual basketball knowledge and analysis. And because of that, they frequently make fun of players, coaches, front offices, and fans. So it’s not like the Knicks are the only team that are the victims of their humor and “breakdowns”. But a lot of what they said last week were either blatant lies or laughing at the Knicks just because they are the Knicks.
TNT analysts again filleting the Knicks:— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) January 27, 2023
“They haven’t been relevant since Patrick Ewing.” — Charles Barkley
Shaq called Julius Randle “Randolph.”
“Whatever his name is.”
Charles Barkley started off the night by claiming that the Knicks haven’t been relevant since Patrick Ewing, which is a downright a lie, given the fact that so much of the media, including himself, loves to talk about the Knicks regardless of how they are doing. If the Knicks were so irrelevant, why were they tied for the seventh most nationally televised games last season? Why was TNT televising them? Why do they have 12 nationally televise games this season despite an underwhelming season last year? Then, Shaquille O’Neal, who has built a reputation for looking down on so many of today’s big men, mistook Julius Randle’s name and called him Julius Randolph, despite the fact that Randle was an All-Star just two seasons ago and played on the Lakers, a team O’Neal very closely follows, not too long ago. It may have just been a slip up but then he quickly followed up his mistake with “whatever his name is.”
And then much of the actual in-game commentary, led by renowned Knicks hater Reggie Miller, was focused not on how the Knicks were beating one of the best teams in the league on the road, but on how the Knicks have been lacking in All-Stars in recent years and how they missed out on Donovan Mitchell. Again, it’s asinine to tune into an NBA game on TNT and expect their crew to not laugh at or joke about your team, regardless of who you are, but when so much of what they say disregards facts so often, it gets a bit ridiculous.
Then there was the Knicks vs. Nets game on ESPN, which was one of three games that capped off rivalry week this past Saturday. It wasn’t the prettiest game, and Kyrie Irving and the Nets — as much as I hate to say it — deserves credit for the win. And the Knicks, for the way they came out and performed, certainly deserve their share of blame and criticism as well.
But ESPN’s Jalen Rose and Stephen A Smith, much like TNT’s cast, seemed to base their analysis on somewhat moot points. After Irving dropped 32 points, 21 of which came in the crucial final period, Smith, the self-proclaimed die-hard Knicks fan, could only complain about the Knicks’ lack of an Irving-like star. Smith even claimed he would rather have Irving’s 32 points over the 69 points that Randle, Brunson, and Barrett combined to score. Math aside, we all understand the importance of stars in the league and that it’s a commodity every team is constantly in search of. But to continue complaining about not having Mitchell and how the Knicks front office just needed to include a few more picks, when the Knicks, without “stars” are just three and 3.5 games behind the Cavaliers and Nets respectively, is getting old, and lazy. Making this tirade even more foolish is the fact that Smith himself went on national television last year and revealed that sourced told him that Ainge wouldn’t trade Mitchell to the Knicks.
"When the [Knicks brass] showed up for the playoff game with [Jalen] Brunson on one side and Donovan Mitchell on the other, I was told that Danny Ainge sat up there and said, 'when hell freezes over will I do a deal with them.'"— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 19, 2022
Then Rose, a former Knick, went on to reiterate that the Knicks don’t have a superstar, which by the way, is something we all have known for years. But let’s be clear, this Nets team, with their superstars, have won just as many rings as the Knicks in recent years. It was actually former Celtic, Kendrick Perkins who defended the Knicks. Perkins has been pretty vocal about how impressed he has been with the Knicks this season, and he once again happened to find a way to be the voice of reason among a network that loves to diss the Knicks for clicks and ratings.
And look, I understand that it’s lame to complain about your team getting negative coverage, because every team gets it to a certain degree. And the Knicks are far from a perfect organization. They aren’t contenders right now and haven’t been in ages, their owner has his share of faults, they have some of the most confusing, unbelievable losses of epic proportions, and the fans can be stubborn, fickle, and annoying. But you can say that about a lot of teams that get nowhere near the amount of disrespect that this team and it’s players get. This piece won’t change a thing, and until the Knicks win it all or at least get close to it, none of this will go away. But hopefully all of us actual die hard fans, unlike Smith, can stick together through the annoyingness that is the media and fans of other teams (who we haven’t even gotten to) and at least take solace knowing the we get to listen to Mike Breen and Walt Clyde Frazier on most nights. Keep your head up Knicks fans!