Agreeing or disagreeing, as my dad would say, "is what makes a horse race."
Information aside, I'd also like to think that we give you some insight to help you create your own thoughts, thus staying away from the trap many young sports minds fall into. That major outlets reputation for sports supremacy overrides one's very own common sense.
Here are a few examples. I've been around this team for a while now, and haven't seen one journalist, outside the NY market, there working on a "season preview." Now, I'm not there every day, but my point is that the beat writers who are really have this group of Knicks covered and understand the team much more than an outsider looking in. Obviously, it's impossible for magazine people to be there day in and day out, but I'm baffled at how many outlets can say that a team, who is playing much better defense and has a more structured and selfless roster, can possibly lose more games than they did last year. This team is better and will win more games against the average NBA teams, and there are plenty, this season.
Now, contrary to some belief, I am not waving the blue and orange pom poms. I am merely stating that it is in no way out of the realm of possibility that this team can win 36-40 games.
With that said here are a few pieces of "news" that I found pretty interesting today. One about the Knicks and one about the season, just to give you an example of how, as a fan first, the national media can make me shake my head.
Bill Simmons, who is a pioneer in this space and whose Atrocious GM Summit, to this day, is still one of the funniest pieces of sports ficton I have ever read.
That said, Bill's take on the Patrick Ewing Era is well-thought, and another excerpt has come out because Sports Guy is promoting a book. As smart as his take is, like most of Bill's reads, he is a gung ho Boston fan and here in lies the problem.
"...Knicks fans did their damnedest to talk themselves into the Patrick Ewing era. Everyone believed Ewing was the Evolutionary Russell, a destructive defensive force who would own the league someday. Only it didn't happen … and it didn't happen … and then it seemed like it was happening, only it turned out to be a tease … and it didn't happen … and at some point everyone except for the delusional Knicks fans realized that it was never going to happen..."Now as a Knick fan, I remember the Ewing comparisons to Bill Russell were made, but for those who know me know I hate comparisons for this very reason. Knick fans aren't upset at Patrick for not winning 100 championships like Russell, they just wanted one. So when a player comes out and they are compared to a Hall of Famer what chance do they really have based on this example?
If you asked ANY Clipper fan would you take a hall of fame career from Blake Griffin, they would say yes, but to say you wouldn't take a Karl Malone career because he didn't win a ring makes you a moron. Malone isn't ring-less because of his lack of greatness, but that doesn't mean he should be carrying Kevin McHale's bag to the gym.
Essentially, what Simmons has done is take Ewing and make him fuel for why the New York and national media should never have compared him to a Bostonian legend.
I say, let's stop comparing period. Ewing was a great player whose only disappointment was that he didn't win a ring. If Walt and Willis concede he is the greatest Knick, that should be fine with a Celtic fan.
"...You know those movie scenes where a male character dies in a hospital bed and his wife stands over him talking like he didn't die, and everyone else in the room feels awkward, and then finally someone comes over and says, "Honey, he's gone" and tries to pull her away, so she starts screaming, "Nooooooo! Nooooo, he's fine! He's gonna wake up!" and then she collapses and has a crying seizure? That was every Knicks fan from 1995 to 1999. When Hakeem turned Ewing into ground beef in the '94 Finals, Ewing dropped dead in a "This guy's carrying us to a title someday" sense. But the Knicks fans kept standing there over the hospital bed waiting for him to wake up..."The irony here is that Ewing played like Russell defensively during this series he had 30, count em' 30 blocks and 8 in game 5, and if Sports Guy were a true, knowledgeable source on this subject, knowing what I know about his wit and ire, he would have sent someone to whack referee Jake O'Donnell. It was Jake who called a ridiculous moving screen on Ewing down the stretch of game 3 leading to Cassell's 3. Remember a All-Star who didn't get a call in the 4th quarter of a close, HOME playoff game? Me either.
Anyway, the moral of the story is that comparisons are dangerous and the simple fact remains that Ewing never won the big one. But put a 33-year-old Ewing on this roster now and you'll see what a Hall of Famer is all about.
After calling my hoops therapist and neatly putting the past away, I decided to take a look at this season where I caught a glimpse of SI's take. They have the team 15th in the conference :
"...God bless long-suffering Knicks fans, whose sojourn in the hoops wilderness has compelled them to think the likes of forward David Lee and swingman Wilson Chandler are pillars instead of glue... Chandler is a solid defender, but 43.2 percent from the field for a guy who can slash to the hoop is problematic..."Problematic? Really? Vince Carter shot 43% last year, and is 44% for his career but SI interestingly thinks Carter is an upgrade over Hedu Turkoglu and made the point that Carter:
"enjoyed equally razor-thin advantages in steals, blocks, rebounds, field-goal percentage and three-point percentage, and outscored Turkoglu 20.8 to 16.8."Obviously the idea is not to compare Chandler to Carter, the idea is to understand what you are reading. The only reason it can be "problematic" is because the Knicks don't have Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson. Substitute Chandler FOR Carter and the team is probably still on top in the Southeast.
Like we said, just trying to give you a little perspective on perception vs. reality in the media world.
Keep your eyes peeled.