New York Knicks' Self-Inflicted Issues This Season Stem From Major Distractions

By Brian Anderson
Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports

With great pizza, endless fun and amazing sightseeing, New York City is home to plenty of wonderful things. Still, one major blemish on the greatest city in America is the dwindling New York Knicks who continue to slide in the ranks of the NBA. What was once a respectable franchise full of talented players is slowly becoming the laughingstock of the league. Their fall has been hard to watch for fans all across the world, not just in NYC, because it does not feel right if the Knicks are not entertaining and competitive. The mystic of Madison Square Garden is also in jeopardy, and it is without a doubt the most historic and significant venues in not only the NBA but in all of sports.

The blame surrounding the trouble with NYC basketball has been widespread and fingers are being pointed in all directions. Personally, I believe the issues within the organization are self-inflicted. I understand that playing in New York makes it extremely difficult to avoid the blinding spotlight, but the Knicks have been bringing most of the negative publicity onto themselves. It seemed to me like they found themselves going in the wrong direction and purposely keep moving along. They did not stop to attempt to fix things; instead, they let everyone and anyone into their clubhouse to get an up close and personal view on their internal issues.

Players like JR Smith play such a huge role in this team’s slide as they remain trapped in their own ruse. He has been such a huge distraction this season that it is almost impossible to keep up with the imprudence. No one can forget the shoelace foolishness where he untied several players’ sneakers during games. He has also been involved in a few Twitter wars since the start of the season — the most popular being his battle with Brandon Jennings after Smith’s brother Chris was cut by the Knicks. Jennings took to Twitter and let the world know that he was not aware that Chris Smith even played in the NBA at any point, let alone that he had been cut. JR took issue with that, creating a load unwanted attention for the Knicks. Just a day after the Twitter war on Nov. 13, the Knicks would lose their first of eight straight games.

Since then, the Knicks have cleaned up their record a little bit, but the distractions continue to impair their plan for success. Before the season started, we were all aware that there would be a media circus surrounding Carmelo Anthony‘s contract situation. The noise has been quieter than expected, but that could have a lot to do with all of the undesirable interruptions. The silence was recently broken after Anthony’s wife LaLa Vazquez spoke out about Melo’s desire to remain a Knick. She stated that she truly believes he wants to remain with the team, but if need be she would be ready to follow him anywhere. She is his wife, but I doubt if Melo appreciated her speaking out on the situation, especially since he has avoided being harassed about the matter in recent months. Her statement will surely warrant more attention and create even more problems for the Knicks.

The last thing this team will be able to focus on is winning, and that may eventually drive Anthony out of town to somewhere far away from the spotlight. It may be a good time to close the curtain on the Knicks’ show and exit stage right before the flames of this fire get any hotter. Stephen King could probably write the most horrific tale of disappointments with all of the bad news tied to this organization. As a fan of the NBA, I truly hope things will change for the better in New York, but it has to start from within the minds of their players and the positivity may eventually spark something that has been lost in the deep within the dark distractions underneath the bright lights of New York City.

Brian Anderson is an NBA writer for Follow him on Twitter @MrAnderson035 “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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