Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Day That Will Live in Infamy

October 1st, 2000. For most people, this date is meaningless. But for me, this was a monumental day; because this was the day that began the slow demise of the New York Knickerbockers. As you hoop fans should know (and I don't blame you if you don't), Patrick Ewing, Jr. has been traded to the Knicks. Part of me would like to share my thoughts on the idea that he's carrying on his father's legacy; but because of the most intriguing part of the deal, I have to address that instead. Son Ewing was traded from the Rockets to the Knicks for the rights to Frederic Weis. If you don't know who he is, this is Frederic Weis.* When I learned of this news, I was speechless. I don't know which is more remarkable: The Knicks still owning his rights or the Rockets requesting said rights? That can't be anything but an attempt by those two front offices to be funny...and it is.

This is just the latest in the sequence of events as the Knicks continue to spiral downward as a franchise. I wanted to find the moment in time that triggered, or at least signaled, the beginning of this state of turmoil. That is where 10/1/2000 becomes relevant. That was the day of the gold medal basketball game at the Sydney Olympics between USA and France. Team USA won 83-73, but everyone remembers what the French media called "le dunk de la mort," which means, "the dunk of death.*" Vince hurdled Weis, and Weis—whom the Knicks drafted before Ron Artest—was never heard from again. Because of this train of thought, the question that obviously formulates is: What if it didn't happen? What if Weis was able to come to the NBA and at least be serviceable? I have a theory...

If Weis, who was 22 at the time he was drafted in 1999, would have been somewhat productive as a big man, then there may not have been a need to trade lottery picks for Eddy Curry. There'd be no reason to sign Jerome James to a $30 million contract. Instead of drafting Channing Frye in 2005, that pick could've been Danny Granger; therefore, the Knicks wouldn't need to sign/trade for Jared Jeffries and Tim Thomas at the small forward position. The pick that the Knicks wouldn't have given up to Chicago would most likely have turned into either Brandon Roy or Rudy Gay. The possiblities are nearly endless.

Frederic Weis, after one embarrassing moment in which the entire world saw it happen to you, chose not to face that shame in the NBA. As a result, the Knicks, at least that's what I'll believe, were sent into a state of turmoil of which they have yet to recover. If October 1, 2000, is just a normal day for Weis, most of the Knicks' woes probably don't occur. To put it simply, the Knicks would be in better shape for their future; and my theory doesn't even address whether or not Stephon Marbury is on the team. Maybe his contagious loser aura wouldn't affect the team as much as it has now. Nah, I doubt it. He's severly allergic to winning. Not even a pep talk from Lou Holtz can help the Knicks anymore...



Peace.

*Should I link to the infamous video? Yes...yes I should.

2 comments:

Darryl said...

So I started wondering...does this mean that the Celtics can still trade the draft rights of Len Bias to acquire the veteran point guard or spot shooter that they need on their roster? One can only wonder...

SoulfulSinga32 said...

I think you've got something here Mr. Tillman....thats pretty good reseaoning. Oh well, Knicks would probably still struggle anyway.