After two dreadful seasons and with $34 million reasons to come, it’s imperative the New York Knicks finish this summer with something. LeBron. DWade. Joe Johnson. Amar’e Stoudemire. Anyone will do, really. GM Donnie Walsh and head coach Mike D’Antoni have a lot of people.
But, Yahoo! Sports said New York could be in for a surprise:
“One prominent agent [said Sunday night]: ‘I think there’s a very good chance the Knicks will get shutout (in free agency)…Even likely…'”
CBS Sports wrote:
“Word circulating over the weekend was that Knicks president Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni faced a ‘very tough sell’ to the top free agents, according to one rival executive monitoring the free-agent buzz .. A representative for one prominent free agent, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiating period hasn’t begun, said the Knicks may have as hard a time — or even harder — persuading second-tier free agents to go to New York.”
The same things that make NYC such an attraction — endorsements, celebrities, spotlight, fan base — also create a problem. Whoever comes to the Knicks will be labeled a savior. The expectations will be incredible, almost unreachable. Who really wants that pressure?
ESPN recently reported that New York might have emerged as Johnson’s top choice. But only a few days before that, the Chicago Tribune was convinced the Atlanta All-Star was on his way to the Bulls. So who knows?
Still, the Knicks know there will be some explaining to do if they fire blanks this summer.
Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.