Why Can’t the Knicks Win?

1973

1973 was a wild year in the history of the United States. The U.S. withdrew from Vietnam, Watergate introduced the “-gate” suffix to scandal discourse, and the Knicks won the NBA finals. Most historians can’t agree on which event was most significant. 

It has been 46 years now since the Knicks won the championship. Baby boomer Knicks fans know this fact very well, since their childhood victory has led to a lifetime of suffering. Old Willis Reed and Clyde Frazier posters from their childhood bedroom sit in a dusty attic (next to the box with their old Elton John records), having not been thought about in years, prepared to be thrown out once the house sells and they move to Florida. 

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The future looked very bright for those young Knicks fans in the early 1970s. Oh, so bright. They won their second championship in four years, against the Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain Lakers no less. They had a sweet head coach in Red Holzman (Knick Phil Jackson cites his influence) and a lineup full of All-stars. But, you know how these things go. Franchise players have career ending injuries. Rosters get older. Coaches are replaced. Rebuilds happen. 

You would think that in a market like freakin’ New York, the Knicks would have found no trouble building a Finals contending team again. Any of the premier talent could go to the Knicks and become one of the faces of the NBA, just in terms of market potential. Any hands-off owner hiring smart people to make basketball decisions should be able to win at least SOMETIMES. 

So why don’t the Knicks even win sometimes? Why 46 years? What is taking them so damn long? Here is a bulleted list of possible reasons:

  • incompetent ownership 
  • determines the extent of the front office’s abilities/effectiveness
  • unintelligent front offices
  • bad coaching hires  
  • NY media? (maybe a stretch)
  • bad free agent signings 
  • dead weight interfering with roster construction flexibility/effectiveness 
  • trading away draft picks
  • not developing young talent
  • letting Billy Joel continue to play at MSG 

Knicks fans have been kicked around for far too long. Since 2001, the Knicks have made the playoffs a whopping 4 times, never making it past the second round. We deserve better than this embarrassment. The New York Metropolitan area has over 20 million people living in it. Can you imagine how crazy the city will be if the Knicks ever win the damn thing?

Image Sources: AP Images

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