Mandel’s Musings: New Era Could Become Gigantic Soap Opera For Knicks

Published on: 23rd February, 2011


Knicks Anthony Basketball
Mandel's Musings: New Era Could Become Gigantic Soap Opera For Knicks

New York newest basketball Knicks Carmelo Anthony smiles during an introductory news conference before an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) Original Filename: Knicks Anthony Basketball.JPEG-0cdc9.jpg  | read this item

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New York – Massive changes with far-reaching ramifications took place today in New York Knicks land, if not in the entire National Basketball Association. One could even go so far as to say the world’s sports landscape was also turned on its ear this afternoon. And why, you ask.

It’s simple, really. One of the most famous teams on earth, one with a long pedigree in the NBA, playing in the media capital of the world today introduced one of the biggest stars in the world to a huge media assemblage this afternoon at Madison Square Garden, aka The World’s Most Famous Arena, as its newest attraction. Are you getting this world-impact theme?

Welcome to the world, new New York Knick, Carmelo Anthony.

The 26-year old Anthony, just acquired in a multi-player, multi-team trade is expected to raise the profile of everything he touches in this town. His arrival has further energized the Knicks fan base, which already was smiling this year due to the significant improvement in their teams’ performance since the off-season free agent signing of Amar’e Stoudemire, the 6’10” superstar.

Now, with Stoudemire and Anthony in the fold, the bar has been raised again. The Knicks now have two immovable forces who can score the basketball with relative ease. These two players, along with veteran point guard, Chauncey Billups, also acquired in the trade, will be expected to team up to lead the Knicks, if not this year then in the very near future, to an NBA championship.

At the very least, there will be intense media coverage of this team and of its stars, and of it’s performance, and of its coach, and of its front office, where a different kind of soap opera has been taking place over the course of the workings of this Anthony trade.

The big questions will be:

  1. How long will it take for the Knicks chemistry on the floor to kick in?
  2. Will Anthony and Stoudemire be more like Bob MacAdoo and Spencer Haywood, an earlier Knicks attempt to play two superstars at the same time, getting in each other’s way and never developing a winning combination in the front court?
  3. Will great offense always get in the way of solid, championship defensive play on this team, leading to high-scoring losses instead of high-scoring wins.
  4. Will Mike D’Antoni, not the biggest supporter of slowed-down, defensive struggles, be able to turn this new pool of talent into a winning pool?
  5. Will D’Antoni’s somewhat veiled disagreement with how many pieces the Knicks gave up in this trade prevent him from properly coaching his new players.
  6. Will these final 28 games of the NBA season be enough time for this team to be ready to win in the upcoming playoffs?
  7. Will the Knicks, currently in sixth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference playoff race, even make the playoffs or will these drastic changes lead to a blow-up of the season of historical proportions?
  8. Will Donnie Walsh, brought in three years ago to clean up the mess left by Scott Layden and Isiah Thomas, be relieved of his duties by Knicks owner, Jim Dolan after Walsh made it very clear he was not on board with how many players the Knicks lost to acquire the high-scoring but defensively-challenged Anthony and an aging, 34-year old Billups.

This soap opera is just beginning. Strap on your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy, but highly-watched ride.

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