I’m legit hurting in my soul right now.
I though I was done with caring for the Knicks, but last night proved I was only kidding myself.
In case you haven’t heard (or don’t care, it’s ok) the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery Order was determined last night. Each year, the leagues worst teams get to find out in what order they will be selecting players from June’s upcoming draft. This is significant because NY’s last great player (sorry Carmelo) was selected 30 years ago. Patrick Ewing was the #1 overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft. Knick fans were hoping to strike gold again in this year’s lottery, and they deserved to. The New York Knicks had the worst record in the NBA for almost the entire season. They were “tanking” or deliberately loosing games to improve their draft position. The worst record in the NBA guarantees that a team will have the greatest number of ping pong balls, which equates to the greatest probability of earning the right to choose first in the draft. All projections had the Knicks earning the #1 pick for their efforts, with even the most extreme models showing them no lower than #2.
But the Knicks had to go ahead an Knick. For no reason whatsoever, they went on an uncalled for streak to end the season, winning 3 out of their final 6. Because of this Minnesota (who wasn’t tanking as obviously as the Knicks were) ended the season with the worst record by a single game, and thus the greatest chance for that coveted #1.
So what did the Knicks earn for their untimely righting of the ship at the end of the season?
The 2nd pick? Nope.
The 3rd pick? Wrong again.
The 4th pick? Bingo.
4th. This may not seem like a big deal but it is. This year’s draft features 3 virtual can’t miss rookie NBA draft prospects. New York went from having their pick of the best, to potentially missing out on all of them. That’s why Knicks General Manager Steve Mills has his MJ cry head on. He knows his organization just blew a golden opportunity to start over fresh.
But these are the Knicks we’re talking about here.