The Knicks had an opportunity to win the NBA Draft Lottery for the first time since 1985 when they drafted a guy by the name of Ewing. With two premiere big men in Kentucky’s Karl Anthony Towns and Duke’s Jahill Okafor, the Knicks were set up to snag their next franchise cornerstone to pair alongside Carmelo Anthony.
Except, well the lottery didn’t go according to plan. The Knicks who had the second-best odds out of any team ended up with the fourth pick in June’s NBA draft. Say goodbye Towns, say goodbye Okafor. In reality, they really have nobody to blame but themselves.
In a season of failure and embarrassment, the Knicks decided that over the last two weeks of the season, they were actually going to win basketball games. So even when the Knicks win, they lose!
Trust me, I understand that players and coaches are trying to win games. However, by winning three of their final five games, the Knicks franchise cost themselves the best odds in the draft lottery, which in turn went to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Of course to the surprise of no one, Minnesota ended up with the first pick in the draft.
Shame on any Knick fan actually rooting for wins over the final couple of games! They cost the franchise dearly. This exact scenario proves that yes, sometimes it is okay to root against your own team.
The Knicks are now very unlikely to add one of the cornerstone big men that would be perfect for this team in 2015-2016. Yes, they still have a top four pick in the draft. Yes, they still have a chance to pick a quality player, but now the Knicks are in a position where, simply put, they can screw it up.
Phil Jackson needs to prove that is he up to the challenge of running a basketball operation. There’s no doubting the Zen Master’s basketball IQ with all of his championship rings as a head coach, but his first season as president of the Knicks has the fan base wondering if he’s the right man for the job.
The Tyson Chandler-Jose Calderon trade was a colossal failure and he gave away Iman Shumpert and JR Smith for nothing, but neither move set back the goal of rebuilding and changing the culture of the franchise. However, the clock officially starts on Phil Jackson here in this 2015 offseason.
This draft pick and offseason will go a long way in determining the direction of the franchise. No excuses, the Knicks must hit a home run with their draft pick. That challenge became a lot more difficult picking fourth.
Even when they win, they lose.