As training camp begins and the season is right around the corner, many of the weathered Knicks fans have begun to come out of the woodwork. As a fan myself, I have no doubt let my feelings show to the world (or for all my Facebook friends), in order to keep my sanity during the dark ages of this organization’s fandom.
Now that a new era has begun, fans have continued to express their opinions on various topics, including front office moves. None more so than this past offseason, one that had no shortage of drama, beginning with Lin’s departure and running right up to the signing of ex-retiree, Rasheed Wallace. A friend of mine recently made this post:
“I don’t know if the Knicks are trying to be the oldest team to lace them up by signing Sheed???!! We already have J.Kidd, Camby, & Kurt..”
To which my response was:
“The core of the team is built to win now, so trading in young guys like Lin, Douglas, Jorts, Jerome Jordan, for veterans that already know how to win is the only move to make, in my opinion.”
Needless to say, even though he “still thinks we are too old,” he did not have a counter argument. One can make the case that the Knicks ARE too old, but recent facts prove otherwise. More than half of the Knicks’ rotation, when healthy, will be in the prime of their career (ages 25-32), including the core of Amare, Melo and Tyson. What my friend fails to realize is that all the free agents we brought in this offseason, even though they were recruited by many other teams, are not here to play meaningful minutes. They are here for cerebral purposes, to mentor and provide the mental toughness that last years’ team lacked. Tyson Chandler recently spoke about the inconsistency with last years’ team, particularly due to their lack of experience. It’s no coincidence that when he was with the Dallas Mavericks they won their rings in 2011, with an average team age of 30.9.
To further prove this point, take a look at some of the offseason acquisitions of the past 10 NBA champions the summer before they won (excluding the dynasty years for the Lakers 2009 team and the Spurs 2007 team).
2012 – Miami Heat – Shane Battier
2011 – Dallas Mavericks – Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd, Peja Stojakovic
2010 – Los Angeles Lakers – The player formerly known as Ron Artest
2008 – Boston Celtics – Ray Allen, KG, PJ Brown, Eddie House, James Posey
2006 – Miami Heat – James Posey, Gary Payton, Antoine Walker, Jason Williams
2005 – San Antonio Spurs – Brent Barry, Glen Robinson
2004 – Detroit Pistons – Lindsey Hunter, Rasheed Wallace
2003 – San Antonio Spurs – Steve Kerr, Kevin Willis
(You will notice that every player on this list is a seasoned veteran that had already been around the block)
Routinely, the bad teams in any sport are normally the youngest ones. It’s no fluke that the five worst teams in the NBA last year had an average age of 25. Oklahoma City winning the Western Conference Championship with an average age of 25.8 was an anomaly.
I couldn’t be happier with the off-season moves the Knicks made this summer. They realized who on the team had the best chance of winning a championship, and they built around those players. They’re in camp and in shape. No more excuses.