Going into the 2012 NBA Draft, expectations were incredibly low in the eyes of New York Knicks fans. The team didn’t own a first round pick, the price of needing to shed Jared Jeffries’ contract before the 2010 off-season, and didn’t have a selection until 48th overall, deep into the second round.
Nobody expected to snag a future All-Star with that pick. There weren’t flashy names flying around the Knicks rumor mill. There wasn’t even much hope that the Knicks could trade up for anybody or acquire a second draft pick, much like they did last year.
The names that flew around our collective minds were the likes of Kim English, Scott Machado, Darius Johnson-Odom, William Buford, Quincy Acy.
Once the draft started, and names began flying off the board, the picture appeared to become clearer for the Knicks. The first round went without a flurry of trades, and no presence from the Knicks, besides their name appearing next to a Houston Rockets pick (from New York).
Into the second round, names began to fall that many didn’t anticipate. Even then, Acy came off the board at 39. English soon followed at 44. But, two names a lot of Knicks fans had eye-balled, Johnson-Odom and Machado, continued to fall. When both names were passed over at #47, there seemed to be some rejoicing for the New York fans. “We’re going to get one of the two we really wanted! How did this happen?!”
And then, something completely different transpired. The names we expected to hear from Adam Silver wasn’t the name that was read.
Kostas Papanikolaou, Greece.
Wait, what? Who? Why? Really? No…
That was the initial reaction. Look, I get it. The Knicks didn’t see any immediate rotational pieces with that selection. The took a player they can stash in Europe for two years before even entertaining the idea of bringing him to the states. It could turn out to be a fantastic selection by the Knicks, as Papanikolaou could develop into a lottery pick-potential type player by the time he’s NBA ready.
However, we’re also surrounded by the names of past European failures by the Knicks, names like Fred Weis and Macej Lampe. We’ve been down this road before. It is uncomfortable, bumpy and winding. You’re also asking for patience from Knicks fans, an often fleeting trait we all lack.
The good news, Machado, somehow, went undrafted. If the Knicks really saw any value in him at all, there is plenty of time to bring him into training camp and compete for a roster spot.
But, still. Its hard to feel disappointed when your favorite team only owns one draft pick, and it comes after 47 players had been picked.
Yet, if its so hard to feel disappointed in that scenario, why do I feel the way I do?