NBA

New York Knicks Issue Statement on Boycott and It’s Very Knicks-Like

At some point, things have to turn around for the New York Knicks, right? The team hasn’t had a winning record in eight years. Their ownership is a mess. They struggle to put out accurate statements. Wednesday night, the team put out a statement regarding the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to boycott their playoff game, and it came out about as one would expect a Knicks statement to read.

What’s happened to the New York Knicks?

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The once-proud New York Knicks franchise hasn’t been relevant on the basketball court since the 2012-13 season. That was the year the Knicks had their last winning season when they went 54-28. Since then, the team has been nothing but woeful. Not including this year’s shortened season, the Knicks have had two 17-win seasons in the last eight years.

According to a 2019 Bleacher Report article, Charlie Ward, who was taken No. 24 in the 1994 NBA draft, is the last first-round pick the Knicks have extended past his rookie deal. It’s an astounding stat since the Knicks have been so bad lately and have been living in the lottery.

Last year, in a letter to season ticket holders, Knicks GM Scott Perry wrote, “We have created a tremendous amount of financial flexibility, which has put us in a position to potentially sign up to two max free agents.” The Knicks had hopes for Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Instead, the two teamed up for another New York team, the Brooklyn Nets.

New York Knicks owner James Dolan a big part of the problem

The New York Knicks are a big-market team that remains very profitable despite their lack of on-court success. Owner James Dolan is reaping the benefits but is also taking a lot of heat. Much of that heat has come from former Knicks player Charles Oakley. Oakley has been feuding with Dolan for years and said the Knicks owner isn’t overly concerned with putting out a winner.

“He wants to be what’s going on. You see him at the game with five or six models. He wants to be what’s happening,” Oakley told the New York Daily News earlier this month. “He got the money to put the show on, but at the end of the night the show is taking an L. But he doesn’t care. He’s just about having fun. He’s got his own rock group. Who wants to see him in a rock group?”

Oakley also said Dolan is the reason no marquee player wants to play in New York. “He made it a bad destination. The young guys don’t care about New York. The young guys don’t care about Mecca of basketball and this and that anymore,” Oakley said. “They all into themselves. So what he’s doing is hurting the brand more because he don’t know how to adjust. He’s not bringing the right people in when he brought in to adjust to what’s going on with the younger kids.”

The Knicks even struggle putting out statements

From George Floyd’s death to Wednesday’s boycott of three playoff games, the New York Knicks have struggled when it came to putting out statements regarding those issues. When it came to Floyd’s death back on May 25, Knicks owner James Dolan sent an email to Madison Square Garden employees to remain silent, according to a Twitter post by ESPN’s Pablo S. Torre.

A week later, the Knicks, after many sports teams had already posted on the matter, put out a statement. The statement didn’t say a whole lot. It seemed as if there wasn’t a whole lot of thought put into it. “Everyone of us has a role to play in creating a more just and equal society, where there is no racism, bigotry, violence or hate,” the statement read. “We stand with all who act for positive change.”

Wednesday night, after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play their game against the Orlando Magic, which led to two other games being postponed, the Knicks sent out another beauty. This time, it was just plain wrong. “We support the league’s decision to postpone the games and strongly reiterate our condemnation of racism and violence.” The league did not decide to postpone the games. The players did and it all started with the Bucks.