The Knicks, who haven’t won a playoff game since 2001, get four chances to acquire it every time they get into the postseason.
The Kansas City Chiefs haven’t won a playoff game since the early 1990s, but they’re in, well, Kansas City. And it’s safe to say the ownership led by the Hunt family, though beloved, hasn’t made the same kind of financial commitment to winning that Knicks ownership has.
No, the best comparison for all-time professional-sports awfulness is the Chicago Cubs. The Cubbies haven’t won a World Series since 1908, and they, too, have lost in embarrassing and mind-boggling ways (Bartman . . . the 1984 collapse), and they, too, have squandered great talent, effort and, recently, investments.
The difference is this: The Lovable Losers are at least lovable. The Knicks are the Cubs minus the lovability: They’re just the losers.
There’s also the very real fact the Knicks have tried as hard as anyone in professional sports to be big-time winners, and they have been aided by advantages few others have: the allure of New York City, a thick wallet that New York City and its billionaire owners provide, the buzz and support of the world’s media center and maybe even some help here and there from David Stern, whose office, as NBA commissioner, is in the Knicks’ backyard.
I mean, let’s be honest: Legend has it that Stern handed the Knicks Patrick Ewing way back in 1985.
Harsh? Yep. Fair? Somewhat. Bottom line is the Knicks have to win tonight for the basic reasoning of getting back in THIS series. Fans know the history. They 90s were pretty great, title aside, so it’s hard to relate this team to the Cubs. In fact, the Knicks teams of the 1970s were arguably the best teams in NBA history when you think of team play. I mean, I know people love Ernie Banks, but Walt Frazier is an all-time great with rings.
The franchise has been flawed, let’s hope that changes tonight.
The Knicks lost Game 5 in 2000 at home to the Raptors and their last playoff win was Game 3. For those who remember this series and Alvin Williams, feel the pain, hold it in and let it go tonight…