It’s been a long time since anyone could say the words “competitive” and “Knicks” in the same sentence. In fact, the Knicks had been terrible for so long that it was to remember when they were ever good. But NBA fans remember the days the John Starks, Oakley and Patrick Ewing and Pat Riley. Some of us more distinguished gentlemen may even remember the days of Frazier.
These days, many of us are trying to forget the days of Isaiah Thomas, Balkman and the like. We’re trying to block out the days of Marbury and focus on the future. And the future looks bright for the Knicks. Amare Stoudamire and the new look Knicks are packing the seats at the Garden again, and a competitive and relevant Knicks team is good for everyone.
A competitive Knicks team makes the Eastern Conference respectable. The old Knicks seemed to have had a rivalry with damn near every single team in the conference from the Bulls, to the Pacers, to the Heat. It’s all coming back. We saw glimpses of that intense rivalry when Amare made comments to the media that his team was not afraid of the Heat. The Knicks then backed that up with a win on their home floor against the Heat. The only thing missing was a fisticuffs and balding coach being dragged across the floor.
The atmosphere in the Garden for that game reminded us all why the NBA needs the Knicks to be relevant again. When the Knicks are good, the Garden is filled with stars. And there’s no place like the Garden during the playoffs. Right now, the Knicks currently sit in 6th place in East and look like a team bound for the playoffs. I don’t want to jinx it, but it looks like playoff basketball will be returning to the mecca.
More importantly, as far as the gaming industry is concerned, when the Knicks are good, New Yorkers are betting on them.
Sportsbooks have been offering odds on whether Carmelo Anthony ends up in New York since the offseason. Rumors have continued to fly, but there’s still no deal on the table. One thing is for sure, Anthony is missing piece to making the Knicks championship contenders. And if the Knicks being good is as good for the NBA as it looks, you’d almost expect David Stern to force this deal to go down.