The New York Knicks recently announced that they have signed Rasheed Wallace, a 38-year-old basketball player who hasn’t played in two years. This questionable judgment by Knicks management is the latest reason why I am no longer a Knicks fan, but a Brooklyn Nets fan.
As a baby boomer, my sports heroes were Bradley, Reed, Clyde, DeBusschere and Earl “the Pearl” Monroe of the NY Knicks. They epitomized team basketball. I watched every game I could, read everything about them and watched them win two world championships. Never in a million years did I ever think that one day I would announce that I would no longer watch, root for or follow the team.
But that day has come. I am now officially a Brooklyn Nets fan. Why? The Knicks are doing everything they can to ruin their fan base. The Nets are doing everything right.
For the Knicks, it began with the firing of Donnie Walsh, their previous GM and the man who was most responsible for giving the Knicks credibility and a future. It continued with the trade for Carmello Anthony, a man who seems to be a fine person but plays a brand of basketball that is selfish and boring. It continued further with the release of Jeremy Lin. Now, you can argue about whether he was worth the money he was asking for, but no one can deny he was a breath of fresh air for that team. He played unselfishly and he made the whole team better. Why did he go? For the same reason Walsh left—they incurred the wrath of Jim Dolan. The most insane thing about Dolan is that he still talks to Isiah Thomas, the man who may have been the worst GM in the history of the game.
So what do we have? An old, slow, boring team that has no shot at being a serious playoff contender. As long as Dolan owns the team, I can no longer call myself a fan.
The Brooklyn Nets, on the other hand, have assembled a very good team, starting with one the best backcourts in the game. Mark my words, they are going to win and be exciting at the same time. And they play in a state-of-the-art new arena in a very cool borough. They seem to be doing everything right. Smart management.