clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why can't the Knicks just be boring?

Knicks fans can handle mediocrity, but they can’t handle stupid drama anymore.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at New York Knicks Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Wanna know what else happened at the Knicks game Wednesday night?

The Knicks lost to the Clippers, 119-115. They played pretty well, but couldn’t keep DeAndre Jordan away from the rim down the stretch. Carmelo Anthony led New York with 28 points, and Kristaps Porzingis contributed 27 to bust out of his recent slump.

The Knicks are 22-32 now, and will almost certainly miss the playoffs. If they keep losing, perhaps they’ll luck into a good draft pick in the lottery. This season has been grim, and they’ll go into the summer paying Joakim Noah more than anyone would like, but they should have opportunities to improve through the draft, free agency, and the trade market.

That’s the basketball of it. The Knicks are bad, but there’s hope. I’ll take this basketball situation over most of the 25-odd Knicks basketball situations I’ve encountered in my life as a fan. I would love to talk to you about it.

You know what I can’t take anymore?

And of course, during that regular loss to the Clippers:

That is an incomplete list of Knicks headlines since Jan. 1. Six weeks!

Go back further and I can show you Phil Jackson publicly announcing his breakup with Lakers president Jeanie Buss, or New York trading for Derrick Rose in the middle of a civil rape suit, or Kurt Rambis getting caught liking Twitter porn accounts, or coach Derek Fisher getting jumped by Matt Barnes on a day off.

Let’s just keep going, because this is cathartic: James Dolan writing an email to a fan calling him an alcoholic. Dolan’s New York Liberty hiring disgraced former Knicks executive Isiah Thomas as their GM. Phil Jackson asking Twitter “how’s it goink”? Carmelo Anthony posting cranky memes after New York drafted Porzingis. Raymond Felton getting arrested when his wife turned his unlicensed pistol into police. Anthony calling a Twitter hater a “glazed donut face ass.” J.R. Smith getting suspended for smoking weed, fined for untying people’s shoelaces, and roasted publicly by Rihanna. I’ve taken us back to roughly 2013 — the last time the Knicks were any good — and that is nowhere near an exhaustive list of embarrassing, non-basketball Knicks stories.

No matter the personnel, no matter the year, Dolan’s franchise skews toward drama.

The irony of the Knicks’ recent drama is that the team’s primary ill has mostly receded. When Dolan hired Jackson, the owner promised to stay away from Knicks affairs, and except for that email and the Oakley incident, he has. He tours the country with his band and leaves Jackson alone.

... but Jackson himself brings a whole new flavor of drama. Presiding over an NBA team for the first time, he’s been nice and mediocre. Pretty bland, really. Operating as a boss and public figure, Phil behaves like a surly teenager. He remembers his Twitter password every few months and blesses our timelines with messages that are inscrutable at best and petty at worst. He either permits or mobilizes his good friend Charley Rosen to air out his dirty laundry and to fire unsolicited shots at people around the league. He addresses the media at rare, unpredictable intervals, and condescends to them at each turn. Of course, the one non-Isiah person to whom Dolan will cede total control is himself a constant source of humiliation.

I just want dull. I’d do anything for dull. If my team could just shut the fuck up and lose, we’d be cool. If I could wake up tomorrow and be, like, a Magic fan, I’d take that deal. Winning would be nice, sure, but I’d settle right now for a team that just sucks quietly.