A Look back at the rebuilding of the Knicks

October 11, 2011
By Dan1495 SILVER, Brooklyn, New York
Dan1495 SILVER, Brooklyn, New York
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you expect greatness, you shouldn’t be surprised by it.
~ Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers

Since the turn of the decade, the New York Knicks have been the laughing stock of the NBA. Up until the 2010 – 2011 season the Knicks had been in a playoff drought since the 2004 campaign and were looking at 9 consecutive losing seasons. For years the organization tried building their team around players such as Stephan Marbury, Zach Randolph, and Jamal Crawford, but it never seemed to work out. So, Jim Dolan thought it was time to bring in someone who can turn a laughing stock team into an elite one. It all started with the hiring of Donnie Walsh on April 2, 2008. Instead of building the team through the draft he chose to go another route. His goal was to tank the next two seasons in order to get under the salary cap and suave two key free agents and bring the team back to the top of the eastern conference. Fans were furious with the team’s decision to throw away the next two years. In a person’s perspective why spend thousands of dollars buying tickets when they would be watching a team that was doomed to lose from the start.

Before the players come the great head coach and on May 10, 2008 the Knicks finally lured in a coach such as Mike D’Antoni. The team and their entire fan base were confident with the decision to hire him especially considering he had won 50 games or more in four consecutive seasons. On November 21, 2008, the Knicks dealt one of their top scorers, Jamal Crawford, to the Golden State Warriors for Al Harrington. Hours later, New York traded Zach Randolph, along with Mardy Collins to the Los Angeles Clippers for Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas, with the intention of freeing cap space for the 2010 offseason, when top-flight players such as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Amar'e Stoudemire would be available. In February 2009, the Knicks traded Tim Thomas, Jerome James, and Anthony Roberson to the Chicago Bulls for Larry Hughes, in addition to sending Malik Rose to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Chris Wilcox. Additionally, the long standing controversy with Stephon Marbury ended when the two sides agreed to a buy-out of Marbury's contract, which allowed him to sign with the Celtics when he cleared waivers on February 27, 2009. Even though the Knicks had just increased by 9 wins after re modeling the entire roster the excitement was already there

looking towards the future.
After two dreadful long years the patience had finally paid off. It was a big disappointment to find out that their top free agent LeBron James made his decision to take his talent to Miami but as the looks of it maybe it was the right decision to go elsewhere. Critics all over the country stated that LeBron didn’t have what it took to lead a team to an NBA championship and that was the reason he chose to team up with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh down in south beach. But the Knicks were looking for a leader and on July 5, 2010 the Knicks found that in Amar’e Stoudemire. The Knicks continued to redesign their roster trading David Lee to the Golden State Warriors for Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike and Ronny Turiaf. The Knicks also struck deals with former Bobcats point guard Raymond Felton and Russian center Timofey Mozgov.

The start to the season was rough as the Knicks held a record to 3-8, but when Amar’e called for a meeting with the team he gathered them and made the team as one. The Knicks from that point on went on a roll. Winning the next 13 of 14 games, No team was able to stop them. D'Antoni along with Stoudemire and the core of young players, including Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Mozgov, Wilson Chandler and rookie Landry Fields, piloted the Knicks to a 28–26 record prior to the All-Star break marking the first time the team had been above the .500 mark at that point of the season since 2000. In spite of the team's mounting success, New York made a push to acquire Denver Nuggets standout Carmelo Anthony. After months of speculation, on February 21, 2011, Anthony was traded to New York, with teammates Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter, and former Knick Renaldo Balkman. Denver acquired Felton, Gallinari, Chandler, Mozgov, Kosta Koufos, a 2014 first-round draft pick, the Warriors' second round draft picks for 2013 and 2014 and $3 million in cash. In addition, the Knicks sent Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry to the Minnesota Timberwolves and in return the Timberwolves' Corey Brewer was sent to the Knicks.

For the first time in 8 seasons the Knicks were in the playoffs and hungry for a championship. Even though they got swept by the Celtics in a quick 4 game series the Knicks and their fan faithful came a long way from the dog days of Isaiah Thomas. For years to come the Knickerbockers will be a strong contending team and hopefully we won't be waiting too long for a parade to be awaiting us in central Manhattan

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