Are you less likely to reflect that a new day has arrived than that yet another day has departed? For a lot of fans, the looming free agency of Kevin Durant has become a more pressing concern than watching our current historic run.
And I get it. We all worry about the future. Our enjoyment of things is often tinged by how often we can expect that experience to repeat. A one night stand is all fun and good unless one party wants more than just the one night. Similarly, the bombastic clearing of cap space by the New York Knicks has opened up a bunch of emotions - the kind of emotions that led to Draymond Green famously telling Durant to “just leave already” in a heated early-season argument.
Because I believe the Knicks are getting some indications from the people close to these players that they are heavily considering joining the Knicks.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) February 1, 2019
That is what is generating all of this.
Doesn't mean any of it will happen. But that's why this conversation is happening. https://t.co/swPTJS3u3i
Some perspective on the New York Knicks
An article by our old friend Patrick Murray inspired me to write this piece (Patrick, you magnificent bastard, thank you!), and you should definitely click over and read the whole thing. There is a ton of buzz right now about the Knicks. Durant and Kyrie Irving are now supposedly teaming up there because... well, it’s actually not clear exactly why the Knicks are an enticing option. As Murray says in the linked article, the recent franchise history is far from comforting for those dreaming of a revived Big Apple.
History as a judge
But one cursive glance at the Knicks free agency history suggests a different outcome. The Knicks have long attempted to fast-track the rebuilding process, repeatedly trading young talent and picks to open up cap space to chase the best players in the league. And the Knicks have always, without fail, struck out. It’s the precise opposite of how the Warriors built their dynasty.
He goes on to recount the massively unsuccessful chase of Lebron James back in 2010. One that left the Knicks with a huge contract given out to Amare Stoudamire and Raymond Felton (lol) instead. The team had already stripped themselves of assets in order to land Carmelo Anthony. These factors conspired to make the Knicks a bad team with no future, and the pattern is repetitive.
Five years later, again they aimed high up but end with nothing but Robin Lopez instead of a franchise player in 2015.
And now, here we are again. The team just blew out their best young talent in order to position themselves for a chase that may never capture anything close to their intended targets. This isn’t new.
The last Knicks draft pick to sign a multi-year contract with New York after his rookie deal was Charlie Ward, who was drafted in 1994.— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) January 31, 2019
Fans of the team are all too familiar with this experience. Reactions were pouring into the internet from all corners, but none summed up the painful sense of familiar dread quite like Seth Rosenthal did over at our sister site, Posting and Toasting:
The Knicks cannot make me feel. From outside the inferno, I took inventory and concluded there was nothing inside to burn; nothing that hadn’t already burnt. I live in an igloo of cinders, and rent’s due.
Daniel Hardy showed up in our writers chat this morning, to succinctly summarize the general sentiment that I personally hold:
And yet somehow...
But for some reason, the Knicks keep showing up in these discussions. A lot of it is just rampant media speculation. Remember that Durant, in one of the few instances this season where he addressed the Knicks rumors said “I have no clue where that’s coming from.”
Beyond the media speculation we have to be aware of the machinations behind the Lebron James and Anthony Davis’ of the world. They both have the same agent, Rich Paul, who has an extreme interest in managing the conversation around which stars are rumored to be going where. So much so that he got his client fined a cool fifty grand.
Kyrie Irving acknowledged he sees the Knicks positioning themselves for this summer. Said he respects the organization.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) February 1, 2019
Wait. You what now?
Well, whatever. This is something that we can’t know right now. The only real question left to ponder is how much this really worries all of us Warriors fans.
What DEFCON level is your concern at in regards to Kevin Durant’s departure in upcoming free agency?
This poll is closed
5 - Normal peacetime readiness;
4 - Increased intelligence-gathering and security measures
3 - Armed forces readiness increased above normal levels; Air Force ready to mobilize in 15 minutes
2 - High readiness; armed forces ready to deploy in six hours
1 - Maximum readiness; all forces ready for combat; nuclear war imminent or likely