The Loop

There is no more hopeless franchise in sports than the New York Knicks

February 04, 2019
Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks

Nathaniel S. Butler

I won't go into the mechanics of the Kristaps Porzingis trade, because that's been done to death by smarter people than me and the conclusion is very simple: Basically, the best you can say about the Knicks is that they freed up some cap space and can now chase a superstar like Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving—maybe both?—this offseason. If they can add a great player like Zion Williams through the draft, oh my, what a team they'll have!

But, one small problem: Who on earth would want to come play for the Knicks? Carmelo Anthony made that mistake, and wasted the prime of his career on a hopeless franchise. Porzingis had to be here, and it got so bad that he asked to be traded and the team immediately acquiesced just before he burned them on the way out. It doesn't take a weatherman to see which way the wind blows: James Dolan, the Knicks' failson owner, is fundamentally and eternally tainted with the stench of losing, and as long as he owns this franchise, bad decision will follow bad decision, bad hire will follow bad hire, and the Knicks will always stink. Even the allure of the team's history, or the appeal of New York City itself, can't overcome the systemic failure inherent to the organization.

There are a lot of hopeless teams out there, and far be it from me to shortchange any of them on the scale of ineptitude. But in a league like the NBA, defined by superstars, there is absolutely no reason for a team based in Manhattan to be this bad for this long. The fact that they are, and that the situation is basically unchangeable, speaks to a hopelessness that transcends the usual ebbs and flows of professional sports. It transcends bad luck. It's endemic, and it's not changing. If Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving decide to come to the Knicks, they are making a stupid choice, and you can bet that they and all their advisors know it.

Maybe they'll come anyway—who knows?—and maybe the Knicks will make the playoffs again. That would be a stroke of dumb luck they don't deserve, but hopeless entities don't get dumb luck. They get injured, unhappy superstars, they get 10-42 records, and they get a series of indefensible personnel decisions that stem from top-down incompetence that begins and ends with an owner who has no prayer of righting the ship. If you're a Knicks fan and you can't stomach enjoying the NBA from a neutral perspective, it's time to Rip Van Winkle this shit, wake up in 30 years, and hope James Dolan has decided to go full time into music and let somebody else take over his team.

The King of Dunks of the Week/Month/Year: Zion Williamson, Duke

Just watch this, and remember that it's all from one game:

Please, basketball gods, ignore Dickie V. Don't let this man end up playing for the New York Knicks. This is basketball purity, and must not be corrupted by the toxic bumbling ghouls of the NBA.

The Dumb Patriots Story of the Week: The Dumb Sleep Tanks

By the time you read this, you'll know whether or not the extremely horrible and bad New England Patriots have won another Super Bowl, but I submit that even if the nightmare transpires again and they celebrate their 90th Super Bowl of the past 95 years (or whatever), that will not be the dumbest story of the week. Nope—it'll be the stupid sleep tanks they use. From SI:

"As James Ramsey, CEO of Superior Float Tanks, tells it, Bill Belichick was visiting with the United States Special Forces back in 2014 to check out some of their latest technology and was led into a sensory deprivation floatation tank said to help everything from post traumatic stress disorder to sleep deprivation to, yes, learning foreign languages faster...Ramsey says the Patriots coach emerged a believer in the egg-shaped pod’s ability to provide a restful sleep and soon after, his company was hired to install a few at Gillette Stadium. Ramsey said he and his brother, Steven, a former marine and contractor helped personally construct a tank in a room across from owner Robert Kraft’s office."

Of course the Patriots would so something like this, and of course a ton of of other NFL teams have followed suit in the meantime. Who else but Bill Belichick would devote time and money to figuring out a way that he and his assistants could sleep on a bed of Epsom Salt and water for 30 minutes every day and pretend it was a full night's sleep so they could obsessively coach their way into pissing off ordinary Americans for the other 23.5 hours? Who else but Tom Brady would pay $30,000 to have one built in his home?

Look, I know the two things aren't necessarily connected, but this only heightens my suspicion that Belichick and his staff have actually committed ritualistic murder because someone told them that bathing in the blood of the innocent makes you more focused on game days, or something. (Note: As a journalist, ethics demand that I tell you I CANNOT confirm this.) Anyway, go Rams.

Stupidly Intense, Personal, Soul-Killing Dunk of the Week: Boogie Cousins

Devastating Staredown Following Soul-Killing Dunk of the Week: Boogie Cousins

Badass Mean Mug Following Devastating Staredown Following Soul-Killing Dunk of the Week: Boogie Cousins