Today is the day that NY Knicks fans have been waiting for since the Patrick Ewing Era ended on September 20, 2000. It has been a long decade suffering through Scott Layden, Isiah Thomas and the ownership of James Dolan. Well Dolan still owns the Knicks but times have changed as Donnie Walsh was brought in to revitalize this once proud franchise. Throughout it all loyal Knicks fans stuck with their team. At times we were glutton for punishment as year after year we came into the season optimistic even though the talent to win was not there (Jerome James).
Now all signs point in the right direction for the Knicks, and the “Real” Knicks fans are ready for the ride!
Donnie Walsh came into NY with a plan; that plan was to get the Knicks under the cap by the time big-time free agents like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade were available.
Part 1 of Mission Accomplished!!
The next step for Donnie was to sign a big-time free agent; this would not be the easiest task in the world. Even though the Knicks were able to get under the cap it still was not a guarantee that the Knicks could sign a top-tier guy; the Knicks were not the most attractive team for potential FAs. Let’s face it, the Knicks needed more than the lure of the bright lights of NYC and unfortunately a roster of Eddy Curry, Billy Walker, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Andy Rautins, and Landry Fields is not that appealing.
Still the Knicks had a lot of money to offer and in this business money is high on the list for these players no matter what they say! So as free agency started on July 1st; the Knicks made their pitch to top FAs Joe Johnson, Amar’e Stoudemire, and LeBron James. Johnson would ultimately decide on returning to Atlanta and take the money and run (most Knicks fans are not mad at that). Then came the Presentation to LeBron James; without a doubt LeBron is the Grand Prize of the 2010 FAs. The Knicks reportedly offered LeBron 2 packages in signing with them:
- Sign a max deal and leave the Knicks with the ability to sign one other top-tier free agent
- Sign for less than the max deal and give the Knicks the ability to sign 2 other top tie free agents
In my opinion the Knicks did what they could do; basically telling King James sign with the Knicks and use your ability to help lure other big-time players and lets build a championship franchise in NYC. Also adding that when you win in NYC there is no other feeling; NYC is the MECCA (I am a shameless New Yorker)!!
With all the sports world focus on King James Donnie Walsh also put his work in with Amar’e Stoudemire…
Amar’e aka STAT (Stand Tall And Talented) is a player who is looking to be “The Man” and the Knicks are a team looking for a player who wants to be “The Man” and lead this franchise back to glory. Apparently that was enough for Amar’e as Donnie was able to snag STAT with a max deal (5 years approximately $100 Million). With Stoudemire now a NY Knick Donnie has made the Knicks an attractive option for FAs; when free agency started many said the Knicks had a shot at signing LeBron albeit a long shot. Once Amar’e signed with NY, the Knicks became REAL players in the King James sweepstakes. The past couple of days have been great for NYC basketball; I haven’t felt excitement like this since Larry Johnson’s 4-point play against the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. This is how it should always be in NYC.
As Knicks fans countdown to the 9pm announcement by LeBron on where he will end up (reports say LeBron is leaning towards signing with the Miami Heat and join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh); we should keep in mind that all is not lost if King James decides not to come to NY. Landing the King is not the only way to win a championship; we have a viable starting piece in Amar’e Stoudemire. Donnie Walsh has given me a reason to believe…
In Donnie I Trust!!!
Update 7/12/2010: LeBron decided to join Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade in Miami. Knicks complete Sign & Trade of David Lee with Golden State Warriors; get Ronnie Turiaf, Anthony Randolph and Kelenna Azubuike in return. Knicks trade for draft rights of Jerome Jordan (7- foot center). Knicks sign Russian 7- foot center Timofley Mozgov and agree in principle with point guard Raymond Felton.
If there is something to be said, “Its On Broadway” to step up and say it!!!