The big sports news this past weekend in the Greater New York area did not involve football games, but basketball. For many New Yorkers, neither the Packers versus the Seahawks game nor the Patriots versus the Colts match were as exciting and meaningful as the Knicks win over the Pelicans on Monday night.
The Knicks won a basketball game. Finally.
After a sixteen-game losing streak the New York Knicks beat the New Orleans Pelicans by the score of 99-92. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 24 points. Veteran Jose Calderon had an important three-point shot, and Langston Galloway put up 21 points as well.
So the answer to the oft-asked gripe, “Will the Knicks ever win again in 2015?” has been answered with the wry “Knicks can’t lose ’em all,” as the Daily News put it. Not exactly an ego boosting rally cry.
New York hoops fans are not smiling much these days. The Knicks have a 6-36 record right now; they are currently the worst team in the league behind Minnesota which has 7 wins, and Philadelphia which has 8 wins. The other hometown team, the Brooklyn Nets, are mediocre at 17-24. Meanwhile, the Knicks have an $83 million payroll this year. That is not chump change. The Knicks are one of the oldest and most storied teams in the National Basketball Association, and are located in one of the biggest markets of the United States. So when they have a miserable record, they cannot hide. Their shame is broadcast loud and clear, and their pricey payroll seems even more of a shame.
I explored the Knicks saga earlier this season and at that point, they had lost 14 games. Would it have been more entertaining, or aggravating, to fans if they had extended their losing streak for even longer than 16 games? Will they now begin to win more games, or was this victory over the Pelicans an anomaly? Will they start a new losing streak that grows even longer? In a perverse twist, will fans come to see the Knicks lose, and lose in increasingly more embarrassing ways? Will fans be entertained more by losses than wins? We shall see. Tune in.