The Knicks were one of the NBA's oldest teams in 2012-13. They are still pretty old, but dropped ancients Jason Kidd, Rasheed Wallace and Kurt Thomas. Kidd and Wallace retired -- Wallace had actually retired before the Knicks pulled him in for a few hundred minutes of action -- and Thomas, then 40, was waived before the 2013 playoffs. He's probably done for good, too.
"That makeup of the team was different [last year]," said Anthony, who lost another homecoming game in Denver. "With J-Kidd, he was a leader in his own right. He wasn't a vocal leader like a Rasheed [Wallace] or Kurt Thomas. He was leader by example on the court. His hard work, his play, everyone fed off that. And everyone led in their own way. Now we do miss that - J-Kidd, Kurt, Kurt and Rasheed. Last year as a team we were more synchronized than right now due to chemistry, due to having fun, due to just having one another's back."
My initial reaction is that this is Melo grasping at straws. Wallace and Thomas barely played, and Kidd wasn't too effective, leading to his retirement. Kidd was the second least efficient shooter from deep in the rotation, and the Knicks were slightly better when he was on the bench. He had more turnovers (13) than points (11) in 247 playoff minutes. That's not really something you'd expect to miss.
But the Knicks look uptight and tentative, so who knows? Maybe Sheed's catcalls and Kurt Thomas' ... uh, stoic visage really are the missing special sauce. Maybe the Knicks' currently oldies -- that'd be Kenyon Martin and Amare Stoudemire's knees -- need to step up.