Sunday , Mar , 08 , 2009 Oly Sandor

5 reasons for the New York Knicks’ successful season

For years, James Dolan, Stephon Marbury, and Isiah Thomas ran the NBA’s flagship franchise, the New York Knickerbockers, and it’s historic stadium, Madison Square Garden, into the ground. Thankfully, the owner, point guard, and coach/GM were stopped last spring. With commissioner David Stern threatening to intervene, Dolan hired Donnie Walsh and essentially fired Thomas. The veteran executive has since cleaned house and made several moves to bring this storied club back to respectability …


5 reasons for the New York Knicks' successful seasonEach week HoopsVibe The Blog drops a basketball related list for fans to weigh-in on. We call it ‘Listed’ …

Together, they desecrated basketball’s Mecca. 

For years, James Dolan, Stephon Marbury, and Isiah Thomas ran the NBA’s flagship franchise, the New York Knickerbockers, and it’s historic stadium, Madison Square Garden, into the ground.

Thankfully, the owner, point guard, and coach/GM were stopped last spring. With commissioner David Stern threatening to intervene, Dolan hired Donnie Walsh and essentially fired Thomas. The veteran executive has since cleaned house and made several moves to bring this storied club back to respectability.

And things are looking up in the NYC. When considering where this organization came from, the 2008-09 season has to be deemed a success –even if they miss out on the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

In this edition of ‘Listed’, HoopsVibe the Blog is counting off the top five reasons for the Knicks’ triumphant year. As always, read the post, form an opinion, and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.

#5) Entertainment … 

Until recently, the home team had been so awful MSG was often forced into supporting the visitors. For instance Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, and the Los Angeles Lakers received unconditional love when playing New York in the winter of 2007-08.

No more. Now they entertain.

MSG will still respect a worthy adversary, but they also enjoy Mike D’Antoni’s up-and-down, run-and-gun system 41 nights a year. ‘Seven Seconds To Shoot’ might not win an NBA Title, but it’s certainly fun.    

#4) Less cancers … 

There are far fewer malcontents. Marbury was excommunicated on the eve of the regular season, Zach Randolph, along with The Posse, was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, and Thomas has been MIA since the overdose incident.

The locker room has, arguably, less talent, but is more functional. Obviously, this makes winning easier.

#3) Increased effort and pride … 

Thomas’ teams had a habit of quitting. Knick players would get behind early, give up, and the result was sealed by halftime. MSG would then get so hostile and negative that games were tough to watch on television.

In D’Antoni’s up-tempo system, no deficit is insurmountable. The former coach of the year also demands maximum effort and won’t tolerate players waving the white flag of surrender. Ever. 

#2) The youngsters have developed … 

  • Last year, David Lee produced, but, because of politics, never received fair playing time. As the starter, Lee has secured his place amongst the game’s up-and-coming power forwards. The four-man is a low maintenance, blue-collar, double-double machine.
  • Nate Robinson has had many positive moments. He is perfectly suited for the sixth man role. Of course, there was also the Slam Dunk Contest, where Kryptonite reigned supreme.
  • Chris Duhon has been solid. In his first year as a starting table-setter, the former Dukie has averaged a respectable 12 points and 8 assists per night. Most importantly, he has provided leadership and makes smart decisions.
  • Then there is Wilson Chandler. His 14 points and 5 rebounds are nice, however, the highlight reels best tell his story. So enjoy …

#1) They’ve cut salary … 

Walsh has somehow swapped big-tickets for expiring pacts. Gone are salary albatrosses like Zach Randolph (17 million dollars per season), Jamal Crawford (10 million dollars per season), and Jerome James (6 million dollars per season).

They’ve been replaced by short-term contracts, so the Knicks, with a paltry 19 million in committed salary for 2010, have enough room to add top free agents in sixteen months.   

Do you consider New York’s season a success? Why? Why not? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of wallyg.