Since 1946, no New York Knicks team has ever lost 16 games in a row. It’s 2019 and this iteration of the Knickerbockers have finally done it. Sixteen games now stand as the longest losing streak in team history. It’s been 73 seasons as a franchise and never have New York fans suffered this much losing. They haven’t won a game since January 4th. It’s February 11th now.
That losing brought me to seek out the last time a Knicks team was so bad. It made me wonder which Knicks team held that distinction of being the worst ever. It also had me looking for the team that started and ended that longest losing streak. Fortunate for me, I didn’t have to dig long because that season wasn’t so far away.
It was the 2014-2015 season.
Phil Jackson was almost a year into his stint as Knicks President. It was Head Coach Derek Fisher’s first season as a head coach and his first season not playing basketball as he retired after the 2013-2014 season. I still remember, all the talks about Phil wanting a coach that would help him install the triangle offense and he was trying to get current Golden State Warriors coach, Steve Kerr. That didn’t happen and we all know how Kerr’s legacy ended up as a basketball coach.
In my opinion, the Knicks settled for Fisher and I don’t think any basketball purist felt he would be the guy to turn around a faltering New York franchise. But there he was patrolling the sidelines of hallowed Madison Square Garden, trying to install an offense that the players didn’t want to play, especially the franchise player at the time, Carmelo Anthony.
When the losing skid began, The Knicks were already rolling towards one of the worst records in franchise history entering play December 14th with a 5-20 record. That night, New York lost to the Toronto Raptors, 95-90 and the 15 game streak began. That night, Anthony scored 34 points and helped keep the game close, but the Raptors would ultimately prevail.
The Knicks wouldn’t win again until a 99-92 victory over an Anthony Davis-less New Orleans Pelicans team.
The brings us to today. Or January 4th at least. The last time these Knicks have won a basketball contest. That night they were in Los Angeles, playing a Lakers squad that was without their star Lebron James. The three leading scorers for that game are now wearing a Dallas Mavericks uniform. And so the losing began.
It’s now been 16 games.
16 games are the longest such streak in New York Knicks history. They have been competitive in some, looked lost in others but overall it’s a young bunch taking its lumps as other teams are seeing the schedule and licking their chops. Fortunately, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.