The New York Knicks were seeing red last night. Every time 5'7 Nate Robinson looked up (isn't he always) before leaving the game with a strained groin, there they were-- Lebron James' hidoues new sneakers, a pair of bright reds that he debuted last night for his trip to the Big Apple.
Unfortunately for the Knicks, however, King James' "Brian Scalabrine red" kicks weren't the ugliest thing on the court last night. Nope, not even close. Take Lebron's sneakers, throw in Drew Gooden's haircut, Shawn Marrion's jump shot and Joakim Noah's face-- then you might have something that borders on the attractiveness, or lack there of, of the Knicks' embarrassing performance last night( embarrassing is an understatement. Like saying Hillary Clinton is a handsome woman).
Last night's game against the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers was the first time the new-look Knicks took the court together. New look quickly turned into no-look, as I found myself unable to watch the massacre that was the 119-101 loss at home last night (Down 32 in the first half, the score did not justify the magnitude of the Cavs' victory).
When Knick fans learned of Jamal Crawford's exile last week, it was like opening a Warhead (remember the candy that gets sour before turning sweet). After suffering through six seasons of unwatachable basketball-- basketball that Knicks fans keep watching nonetheless-- it became clear that the Garden faithful would have to suffer through AT LEAST two more before things can POTENTIALLY get great. Despite a promising 7-6 start (the Knicks' best start since President Ewing owned the paint), New York took a step back last night, reminding Crawford-trade proponents, spoiled by the promising start, just how bad things have been and how bad they are going to be.
While my reaction to the Crawford trade was slightly negative (see below: Knicks' General Manager had too many dogs), I, like many Knick fans, was numb to the move that sent Zach Randolph to the Clippers for perpetual under-achievers Tim Thomas (sending him to Chicago in 2005 was addition by subtraction-- like trans-gender surgery) and Cuttino Mobley (hasn't been relevant since Stevie Franchise could dunk).
What many Knick fans didn't consider at the time of Walsh's second move: shipping Crawford to Golden State formally annouced that New York basketball will be in a state of hibernation until the summer of 2010. So Randolph's presence would be about as pointless and ironic as a Michael Jackson Save the Children Benefit concert. Alone, Zach would never be enough to keep the Knicks respectable, so keeping him around would be a mute point (would an extra five or six victories be worth his three-year/ $37 million contract).
Perhaps last night, however, was a necessary reminder for all who supported Walsh's recent moves. Not to say that the new direction is the wrong one for the New York Knicks, but it is important for New York fans to remember just how painful that direction has been since the post-Ewing era.
Awaiting the 2010 free agency of notable players like King James, Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki, Yao Ming, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Richard Jefferson, Michael Redd, Steve Nash, Kevin Durant, Amare Stoudemire, Tony Parker, Chris Bosh and Greg Oden, Knicks fans will have to continue cutting out early and heading to the bar, the way I did last night and the way a 67-38 halftime score will often make you do.
Viva la 2010 Knicks fans. Until then, see you in AA-- I'll be the guy in the bright red sneakers.