Why the Garden Won’t Grow
James Dolan states that the reason Isaiah Thomas is once again employed by the New York Knicks is because he is a great evaluator of talent.
That sounds nice Mr. Dolan, but what good is evaluating talent if you don’t develop it?
The Knicks are known for trading away draft picks and young talent for washed-up players past their prime.
This is one of the reasons why the New York Knicks have not been successful and why the Garden won’t grow.
Isn’t it ironic that recently the Knicks were interested in signing Shannon Brown, Roger Mason Jr. and Rudy Fernandez? If you look back at past NBA drafts, you will notice that the Knicks had the opportunity to draft all these players, including Amar’e Stoudemire, whom they just gave a five year 100 million dollar contract to.
Don’t be surprised if they don’t try and make a run at Andruw Bynum when he is a free agent. They had a chance to take him as well.
Look at the 2004 and 2005 draft picks of the Knicks: Trevor Ariza, Channing Frye, Nate Robinson and David Lee respectively.
Trevor Ariza was seen as a one-dimensional, shoot first player, and quickly ended up on Larry Brown’s bench. He was even said to be delusional when asked why he wasn’t getting the playing time.
Ariza ended up being a defensive specialist, and key component on the Los Angeles Lakers team that won an NBA championship.
Nate Robinson, another player that Larry Brown disliked was traded to the Boston Celtics, and was one win away from an NBA ring also.
Channing Frye started out as a bright spot on a Knicks team that was looking for anyone to prove they had some heart. In his second season he ended up out of the rotation, and eventually on his way to Portland. He eventually landed in Phoenix where there he was part of their instant offense run by Steve Nash, and became a decent three point shooter.
David Lee, the one bright spot, quietly was the Knicks best player the last two seasons. He led the team in scoring and rebounding. To make room for the Knicks to sign Stoudemire, he was sent to the Golden State Warriors in a sign and trade.
The only players left on the Knicks from the last ten years of draft picks are Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Toney Douglas. But for how long?
It’s not a coincidence that players progress once they leave Madison Square Garden. All that is needed to is a change of scenery and it seems that former Knicks players thrive.
That’s because the Knicks don’t take the time to help these young players, instead their growth is stunted and they get choked by the weeds that are around them. Eventually they are sent to greener pastures. Give them water and fertilizer and watch them grow into players that produce on the court.
Just not on the Garden court.
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