Other than some end of the season interviews featuring Coach Fizdale, it’s been all quiet on the Knicks front. Don’t be fooled however, this is simply the calm before the storm. The Knicks are embarking on the most important offseason in franchise history.
A few days ago, Coach Fiz was the on ESPN’s show The Jump and spoke about his first-year experience as the Knicks coach. He admitted that the flexibility the Knicks have, including the pile of draft picks acquired gives the team the opportunity to build around whomever they may get in free agency. With a lot of people shocked at the mid-season trade of Kristaps Porzingis, it has now actually turned out to be quite an excellent trade for the Knicks.
The franchise is about to head into the offseason with approximately $75 million in cap space, 7 first round draft picks in the next 5 years, and a guaranteed top 5 pick in this year’s NBA draft. With all things considered, including legal troubles that Porzingis could potentially be facing, Scott Perry and the front office did a masterful job in this trade. You know who else deserves credit? James Dolan. Yes, that’s correct.
For many years he was meddling in basketball affairs and generally got in the way of the franchise establishing a good basketball culture with great basketball minds. That’s no longer the case. Dolan has clearly taken a back seat and let this front office do its job as they intend. This season has gone smoother than most any other recent season. The Knicks are acting responsibly and the franchise has turned the corner and become a prominent and proud destination again. That doesn’t happen without Dolan reaching a point of reflection and admitting that he shouldn’t be making basketball decisions. He’s now admitted that and handed over the duties to people who understand the nuances of the job and do it quite well. Dolan has always provided the Knicks with whatever finances necessary to win and he’s dying to have a winning team, just like the fans. Kudos to him for taking a backseat and letting the front office take care of everything.
Hopefully with how successful we hope the Knicks are in this summer’s free agency and draft Dolan starts getting some credit for being able to change for the better of the franchise. Too many people lurk waiting for him to misstep so that they can further blame him for the Knicks failures over the years, they should start recognizing when he does good things as well.
Knicks fans had the opportunity to meet Mitchell Robinson, their prized shot-blocking center from the Bayou yesterday at the NBA store in NYC. Robinson was a great sport with the whole experience, taking pictures with all of the employees before making his way down the crowd that awaited him below. It’s not common for a team that won 17 games to have fans rushing to meet players like yesterday. It just further goes to show what a special base of fans the Knicks really do have.
We’ve seen the pictures of The Garden sold out with the crowd cheering like the Knicks are in the playoffs when it’s really a 17 win team. And not just that, Knicks fans are very knowledgeable from a basketball sense, the fans always have a good pulse of the team.
Adding fuel to the fire, this morning it was reported by ESPN’s Ian Bagley that current and former teammates of Durant expect him to sign with the Knicks this offseason. Of course, nothing is official until he signs the dotted line but it only adds to the fuel to the fire and continues to give the fanbase more excitement and hope.
Feature Image: elitesportsny.com