"...3. What if the Knicks hadn’t traded Patrick Ewing?He also talks about Belichick and the freak Duaner Sanchez injuries and their proverbial "what ifs." As a Mets fan, there is no doubt in my mind that the Mets would have won the World Series had Sanchez stayed healthy. As far as Ewing, it's been documented in this space, that the way he was handled was the beginning of the organization's crumbling for the last decade.
It seemed as if there was a Higher Authority at work. The Knicks initially arranged a four-team trade in August 2000, but when it fell through, Jeff Van Gundy visited Ewing to persuade him to stay. Ewing believed New York had turned on him. The Knicks were under no obligation to deal Ewing, but a few weeks later they did anyway in a complex deal that also involved the Lakers, Suns and Sonics.
So: a) If the Knicks don’t trade Ewing, they have him for the 2000-01 season, a year they won 48 games without him. With him? Do they likely beat the Raptors in the playoffs? They had the year before. And you have to believe they would have had a chance at knocking off the Sixers in the next round. And then . . . well, who knows? b) At the least, Ewing’s $16 million would have fallen off the cap and c) The never-ending spiral of bad players and bad contracts might have been broken before it ever started with the likes of Glen Rice and Luc Longley. And d) maybe Van Gundy doesn’t resign the next season, and e) maybe Isiah Thomas remains a harmless character we only know from a distance, and f) maybe the Knicks never bottom out as completely as they did..."
While we're reading the Post, Peter Vecsey gets on Mike D'Antoni for not keeping Rajon Rondo after he was drafted in Phoenix. More fodder for the anti-D'Ant-ites. Oh, and D'Antoni is the reason for Boston's push to the Finals. Not Paul Pierce or the Celts defense, it's more Nate Robinson.
Vecsey fails to mention that Rondo could have been a Knick but Isiah Thomas chose Balkman a spot before. Oh, and the player that the Suns took in 2007? Rudy Fernandez, whom the Suns got a boat load of cash for (they're small market) from the Blazers. They also got cash for Rondo. That cash was used to resign several key pieces including Steve Nash, who plays Rondo's position. Small market teams with solid cores give up mid-to-late first round picks in exchange for cash all the time and Rondo couldn't shoot a lick coming out of college. Of course, the Knicks are hoping to jump into the 1st round in June's draft.
But it's NY so it must be D'Antoni's fault.