Sorry fans, but the Knicks aren't listening to any tanking talks. They are still trying to win.
With 12 games left in the regular season, Knicks fans are hoping their team continues to lose to set themselves up for the NBA Draft in June. New York currently owns the ninth-worst record in the league, which gives them a 6.1 percent chance to be picked in the Top Three during the NBA Draft Lottery.
The Knicks also just so happen to be playing the team with the eighth-worst record in the league on Monday night -- the Chicago Bulls. They are in full tank mode with three of their key players in Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen, and Zach LaVine all not making the trip to Madison Square Garden. A loss for the Knicks would make both teams swap spots, and in turn, their chance to land in the Top Three would increase to 10 percent.
But the Knicks don't want to lose. Trey Burke understands why fans may want to lose out the rest of the season, but he says that don't understand things from a player's standpoint.
"It bothers me, but I understand," Burke told Newsday's Al Iannazzone. "From a fan's standpoint, I understand. But from a player's standpoint, they have to understand as well. That's all I ask of them. I ask the fans to understand our standpoint, too. Do you all want us to go out there and to look bad, to look like bums? They might say we already look like bums. Whatever they say."
Players like Burke who are looking for contracts next season are playing for their futures as well.
"That's not in my DNA to go out there and lose," Burke said. "I don't know how to play like that. I've never been taught how to play like that. We go out there, we got families. We're not only playing for the organization, playing for the city, we're playing for our families as well. I just don't know how to do that."
The Knicks already started winning as they took down the Hornets on Saturday, snapping their nine-game losing streak. Winning is the team's only mindset, and Enes Kanter reiterated that point.
"We're going to go out and try to win," Kanter said. "We're going to go out there and do the same thing we did [Saturday] -- offensively, defensively, make each other better and go out and fight every possession. The Knicks pay me to win games and I'm going to try to go out there and win every game."