We are excited to be joined by Josh Khalou, a Sport Management student at Ithaca College from Long Island, New York. Josh is a die-hard New York Knicks fan and has experienced extreme frustration and disappointment throughout the years of rooting for his team. He will be writing a weekly column for Saving the Skyhook, expressing his thoughts on the Knicks. Below is the inaugural post. Enjoy.
*** *** ***
I’m writing to express my feelings on why it has been absolutely horrible to be a fan of the New York Knicks. I’m from Long Island, New York and have spent my whole life in the state. I love everything about New York, including – and especially – the New York Knicks. They’ve been my favorite team for as long as I can remember.
Yet, it’s been a struggle. I’ve been a suffering Knicks fan since I got my first basketball jersey, which was an Allan Houston Knicks jersey when he was carrying them to the NBA Finals. Few things have stressed me out more than being a fan of this team. The strain of being a Knicks fan for me started when they traded Patrick Ewing – everything just went down hill from there. The Knicks started signing overrated players to long-term, guaranteed contracts; players such as Eddy Curry, Stephon Marbury, Jerome James and many others. The Knicks essentially have had one of the highest payrolls in the NBA almost every single season I’ve been following the team, except for when they were freeing cap space for 2010. The reason much of this has happened is because of Isaiah Thomas. Don’t get me wrong, I respect the legendary point guard for everything he has done on the basketball court, but he was, to put it kindly, a horrible general manager. In case you don’t remember, Thomas is the man who drafted Renaldo Balkman over Rajon Rondo. He is also the one who traded draft picks that had the rights of future All-Stars such as LaMarcus Aldridge and Joakim Noah. Oh, and don’t forget about the sexual harassment charge.
Many seasons (such as this one) there have been high expectations, but it is constantly followed by disappointment. An example of this is the move that brought in Stephon Marbury – highly regarded as one of the league’s best guards at the time, sort of how we look at Chris Paul today. It seemed like a great addition; a native New Yorker from Brooklyn who was finally coming back home to play in the Big Apple. Yet, it was only met with more failure and grief. In his five-year tenure with the Knicks, Marbury led the team to the playoffs just once, only to endure an embarrassing sweep due to the strong performance of Jason Kidd and the New Jersey Nets. Marbury soon damaged his image when he started making awful off-court decisions. There were feuds between him and Thomas and him and Larry Brown. After that first-round playoff exit, his best record with the Knicks was 33-49.
The post Marbury days haven’t been too fun to watch either. It was mostly three years of me watching scrubs play basketball, aside from David Lee – that’s my man. The Knicks were tanking for three seasons because they traded poor contracts and multiple draft picks to free up cap space for the summer of 2010, which headlined free agents such as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and other stars. Of course, the Knicks wasted those three years and ended up signing Amar’e Stoudemire, is now considered to be one of the game’s worst contracts.
Pretty much, my life being a Knick fan has me watching overpaid players play and most of the time, lose. Every year I ask myself this question: When will the Knicks just stop being the Knicks?