by.the.way.issue.no.4

Superstar Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks.  (Internet photo)


by.the.way.1


VERY long time ago, it was fun watching the old Knickerbockers play at the Garden.

They were on a roll.

They won two NBA championships almost in succession.

Players became household names: Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Dave DeBusschere, Willis Reed, Cazzie Russell, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Bill Bradley (who went on to become the first and only senator).

A rarely used player, Phil Jackson, later made basketball history by winning 11 NBA rings as a coach (called Zen for his philosophical bent): first with the Chicago Bulls and then with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Today, Jackson is back with the Knicks, not as a coach, but as president of the organization.

He picked a rookie coach, Derek Fisher, who played for him with the Lakers.

Look where the Knicks are: 5-26 (W-L), deep in the cellar, and are going nowhere near the playoffs.

With a very high payroll, they were expected to be a contender, at least in their conference.

Instead, they are the laughingstock in the NBA if not in professional sports.

When the Knicks play, even against under-500 teams, there is no question they are going to lose, the only question is by how much.

“They have a loser’s mentality,” Jackson said as much, as he assessed the wreckage.

“I know some players are trying to adjust to the new concept.”

Fisher, who played for Oklahoma City only last year, seemed lost sitting at the Knicks corner.

He has made more than 10 starting lineups and nothing works.

He has two All-Stars in Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.

But Melo can only score so much.

He needs help but from where?

Stoudemire is over the hill, a shell of his old self as a Phoenix Sun superstar.

The Knicks paid so much money to bring him to the Garden, but injuries kept him on the bench.

They traded for José Calderón, a deadly three-point shooter, but he plays in spurts.

Could LeBron James have saved the Knicks?

Definitely.

Not given them a championship right away, but a decent standing, including probably a shot at the playoffs.

But despite the frenzied wooing, The King chose Cleveland, his old and first team, which is now playing with fire, and LeBron does not do all the scoring, for a change.

Meanwhile, the team he left behind, the Miami Heat, is playing decently with All-Star guard Dwyane Wade carrying the load.

Miami misses LeBron but is not in shambles because of his departure.

What are in shambles are the Knicks.

Too bad the rules don’t allow the owners to disband a team in midstream.

With the present Knicks in mind, breaking up an inept team is not a bad idea.

It’s embarrassing to a huge market like New York.

But it’s not only the Knicks giving the city a bad name.

The New York Giants and the Jets are giving football fans the fits; the Yankees and Mets are playing mediocre baseball.

We don’t follow hockey much but we hear that the Rangers are going great, as well as the Islanders.

At least, that’s one good news.

If you can’t make it in New York, you can’t make it anywhere.

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