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No Starry Skies in NY

The Knicks Haven’t Had a Star Player Since Ewing in the Mid-90s

By JACOB SMITH

This article is coming at halftime of tonight’s game against the Utah Jazz. The score: 67-46, in Utah’s favor. Deron Williams has 18 points and eight assists, and Carlos Boozer has 14 points and ten rebounds. More than the typical lack of defense, this reminds me that the Knicks haven’t had an All Star in eight years, and no one that could be considered “untradeable” since Patrick Ewing in the mid-1990s.

When you think about our best players over the recent decade, the list is as disappointing as it is symbolic of our futility. David Lee and Al Harrington. Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph. Stephon Marbury. Allan Houston. Latrell Sprewell.

Do you see any names that will have an NBA team coming into town saying, “Uh oh, I’m not sure how we’re going to deal with him?” Neither do I. I want someone like that. We need someone like that.

And while other teams will doubtlessly have better sidekick options for LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, the Knicks have two assets that their competitors lack: The Big Apple, and the Garden that symbolizes its intrigue and importance.

New York has made Derek Jeter an icon. Now imagine what it could do with LeBron, the best and most marketable player in this city's favorite sport. Because that’s exactly what he is imagining, and it’s precisely the reason that the Knicks do have a legitimate chance of landing the best player in the game. The same holds true with Wade.

Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer would be the best individual players the Knicks have had in nearly fifteen years. Think about that. We’ve had good players, but no great ones. We’ve had guys that could take over a game, but not a season. And we’ve had players that have gotten better as Knicks, but not players that could make other Knicks better.

Boozer is, in fact, a free agent after this season, but after fifteen years, he’s not good enough. We have to make up for lost time. We need a superstar.

The New York media market has an unparalleled ability to fanaticize its top athletes. The
Knicks faithful are pining for the chance to root for LeBron, or Wade, or even Amare Stoudemire or Dirk Nowitzki. Of course we want to be a fixture in the playoffs again and win championships. But first we want someone who can lead us there.

Because in the words of Roger McGuinn, all you need is someone to love.

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