Friday, April 11, 2014

Garden Dreams to Garden Nightmare?

The New York Knicks and New York Rangers have been sharing Madison Square Garden (and an owner) for most of their shared existence.   Growing up in the late 60's and 70's the Garden was the place to be.  Fans of the two teams experienced multiple seasons where both teams made deep playoff runs (despite visits from the circus), including two championships for the Knicks and two Stanley Cup finals appearances for the Rangers. 

After some down years, the teams' rebuilt and reached the pinnacle in 1994 as both teams
electrified the Garden, going to game sevens in the finals.  The Mark Messier-led Rangers won their first Cup since 1940; the Patrick Ewing-led Knicks dropped a heartbreaker series to Houston (thanks John Starks!).  Twenty years have passed since that glorious Spring, and we find the Rangers a consistent playoff team, with a solid mix of veterans, young stars, and bona fide hall of fame goalie.

The Knicks are a different story.

(Post Break: A quick history lesson: in 1987, Knicks GM Al Bianchi brought in Providence College's head coach Rick Pitino as the next "hot" coach.  In that same year, Phil Jackson took an assistant position with Doug Collins and the Bulls leaving the CBA's Albany Patroons having won two straight league titles and being designated the next "hot" pro coach.  Short term, Pitino takes Mark Jackson and Patrick Ewing to a division title, then cashes out and goes to Kentucky.  Jackson takes Michael Jordan and the Bulls to six titles, Kobe and Shaq to five more.  The Knicks?  Well, we still have James Dolan . . . )

The Knicks are now looking up to Raptors, Wizards, Hawks with no long term prospects and no first round draft pick.  They've mortgaged the future for a "superstar" (Hi Melo!) who has no ability to carry or lift a team - and has the option of leaving before the team finishes paying for him.  They've brought in Phil Jackson in the twilight of his career, as a president - not a coach - to try and resurrect the only team he ever wanted to coach.  With no viable draft picks on the horizon, the only option for Jackson is to blow up the roster and rebuild.  But will he have the patience to lose 60 games while the Garden patrons exercise their lungs booing or by apathetically refusing to show up (or even worse - going to Brooklyn to watch the Nets!)?  The organizational strategy is to have the Knicks attract potential free agents in 2015, but, in my opinion, if they don't start by bringing in young players they're doomed to just tread water.


By the way, the Garden itself will be the victim of a Penn Station renovation in less than 10 years, which means moving time for everyone is on the horizon.

Just Sayin'

OK Burger King, LeBron joins the "all time greats" and Johnny Manzeil and Alex Morgan are already there?  That's why I go to Wendy's or Chic-fil-a.

Anyone who had David Robertson lasting less than seven games - you win!

Rangers clinch second place in the division and fourth seed in the conference.  On to the first round of, what is by far, the best playoffs in sports - the quest for the Stanley Cup.

Fantasy Football Note: Jaguars defense added valuable parts and are sitting on the Clowney/Mack draft survivor - I think Gus Bradley will mold them into a top 10 D/ST in 2014.

No comments:

Post a Comment