I met a Bulls fan last night while perusing the aisles of Barnes & Noble. He sparked a conversation with me after noticing my Knicks wool cap. “The Knicks looked good against the Bulls the other night,” was his opening line. We went on to discuss the game and our respective teams. At some point in the conversation he said that he felt the Knicks were one trade away. Carmelo Anthony right? Yup you guessed it. He seemed surprised when I told him that I would rather see the Knicks wait before blowing up the roster to land Anthony. Yes, I’m in the minority but with the Knicks staring down a 4-2 record to open the season(C’mon Iggy is hurt. Orange and Blue should handle the 76ers) there is reason to be optimistic in New York.
With victories against the Toronto Raptors and the Washington Wizards, the Knicks have proven that they can beat inferior teams that are not on their level. How many fans were expecting a letdown against the Wizards on the tail end of a back to back following their Chicago victory? You can bet that those who have grown accustomed to the losing ways that have plagued this organization were prepared for that sinking feeling. But there’s something different about this year’s team.
It’s all about attitude. You can take your pick of potential distractions. There’s the ongoing investigation into whether or not the Knicks were holding illegal workouts. There’s Isiah Thomas’ complete lack of professionalism as he continues to lurk in the shadows. Oh and have I mentioned Carmelo Anthony yet? So far the Knicks have been undaunted by the off court troubles.
You can chalk that up to many factors but the overarching reason is leadership. Thanks to Amar’e Stoudemire taking the reins and directing the young stallions to a winning mentality and Ronny Turiaf who no doubt picked up good habits during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers, these Knicks have formed a bond as teammates that was absent in recent years.
It sounds cliché and wishy washy but this is what separates these Knicks from their predecessors. The New York Knicks are a team that cares about each and every possession. Defense if not an oversight because they are playing to win for each other. They are rebuilding instead of dismantling. There’s momentum going forward where there used to be digression and turmoil. There is hope once again for the New York Knicks.