Welcome to your nightmare, Jalen Rose. You thought giving up 81 points to Kobe Bryant was bad? Try spending the rest of the season with the Knicks, who lurch towards 20 games under .500 while finding new and creative ways to lose every night. And with a roadtrip beckoning—at Jersey, New Orleans, Houston and Dallas—things are just going to get worse for the worst team in the NBA.
Last night it was the Clippers turn. The Knicks made stringy-haired center Chris Kaman (as astutely pointed out by Nike guy Brian Faccinni, he looks a lot like Hulk Hogan without the mustache) look like an All-Star, and let Sam Cassell bury two treys in the final two minutes to bury them. Throw in (um, or don't, actually) a five-seconds inbound violation with 2.2 left down 1 since they were out of timeouts, and that's all she wrote.
Forgive me for being overly critical, but isn't that why Larry Brown was brought in to begin with? To avoid those incredibly simple lapses that result in losses? Meanwhile Eddy Curry mahaged to snare a whole two rebounds (NONE on the defensive end), David Lee played less than a minute (after getting a DNP the previous night) and Stephon Marbury once again watched from the sidelines (as did Isiah Thomas after a game's absence). Oh, and Malik Rose, who also got a DNP in the previous game, played big minutes. Showcase? On a more positive note, the Knicks didn't fall another game behind the Pistons, who lost to the Hawks.
Here's the thing that's most bothersome about the Antonio Davis trade, besides the fact that they added another year of max contract to the books: They traded the team's conscience for yet another player who doesn't seem to have one. Sure, AD has been kind of crazy this year—not wanting to report, going into the stands, being married to a lunatic. But even at 36 and on the downside, at least he had some PRIDE. He wanted wins, went after rebounds, broke scoreless streaks with emphatic dunks. He showed some emotion, some life. His flagrant foul on Kobe Bryant in the Laker game was uncalled for, but it at least was evidence that someone on the Knicks wasn't going to just stand by and watch the Kobe Show.
Now what? The Knicks are a vastly overpaid collective of untested talents, most whom have had exactly zero experience in the playoffs. Most of them don't know how to win, and evidently don't much care whether they do or not. As long as those five-figure paychecks keep clearing every two weeks, everything's great. To be sure, you don't need an entire team of obsessed winners, just one or two to keep everyone else in line. The Knicks, they had one. They don't anymore.