NBA training camps have gotten underway and both players and fans are starting to create some buzz.
One team that is being overlooked is the New York Knicks. With a star player like Carmelo Anthony and calling New York home, you may ask how is that possible?
Well it seems to me that other players and teams, especially the Heat and Dwyane Wade, aren’t giving the Knicks respect this season.
Last season the Knicks had their best regular season since the Patrick Ewing era. Do they have anything to show for it? No, but it’s still a great accomplishment that Knicks fans have been waiting and gone through painful years together for.
They saw a resurgence in basketball in their city and saw two of their favorite players win awards like Anthony winning the scoring title and J.R. Smith winning the Sixth Man of the Year Award.
The 2013 season is now in the rear view mirror and I hate to the bearer of bad news, but those things mean nothing now. The Knicks offseason is over and they now have to defend their Atlantic Division title. They brought back veterans like Pablo Prigioni, Kenyon Martin, and J.R. Smith while losing Jason Kidd and seeing him coach the rival Brooklyn Nets. They also added more veterans like Andrea Bargnani and Metta World Peace.
The Nets are many people’s favorite for the Atlantic Division and most people think they are better than the Knicks. With a starting five of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Brook Lopez, I would be lying if I said that’s not an impressive lineup. After watching teams like the 2012 Lakers, 2011 Eagles, 2012 Red Sox, and other super teams fall flat on their face, I’m not sold on anything yet. History has taught us that you don’t win games on paper.
Both Pierce and Wade have sent direct shots at the Knicks without saying their name. Both have said that their competition this season is each other’s respective teams, the Bulls, and the Pacers. Pierce has been a Knicks killer over his career, averaging 23.4 points, six rebounds, and four assists against them, which are all higher than his career averages vs. all other teams, but Pierce has to learn his place.
The Knicks ended both Boston’s season and Pierce’s tenure with the Celtics last season and put them into rebuilding mode. Pierce wasn’t much of a factor in the series, showing that his age has caught up to him. Pierce and KG are first ballot Hall of Famers but can they handle another full season? The NBA is full of young and exciting talent, so before Pierce says the Nets run New York, let him put on a Nets uniform first.
Wade is allowed to talk because of his three rings and his team winning back-to-back championships, but he has no right to disrespect the Knicks. The Knicks owned the Heat last season, going 3-1 against them. Wade can say whoever he feels like is his competition this season, but sounds foolish not counting the Knicks. The Knicks are in a win now mode and for sure will challenge the Heat this season.
Are the Pacers a great team? Yes. Will the Bulls be a totally different team with a healthy Derrick Rose? Without a question. Are Nets better than the Knicks? They have to prove it but they are definitely better than last season.
What this comes down to is Anthony stepping up for his team and franchise and taking it out on the court. Hope he is remembering who is writing his team off, along with the rest of his teammates. Let this be bulletin board material and translate the disrespect to wins on the court.