Hall of Famer Magic Johnson has seen several different Knicks teams during his time in the league. Magic’s era was mainly the 80’s, and the Knicks were not a dominate force during that decade. He then retires in the early 90’s after becoming a HIV, from retirement he was able to follow other teams outside of Los Angeles closely and saw the resurgence of the 90’s Knicks. Magic now believes New York has found that resurgence once again with this team that has been assembled.
Mitch Lawrence of the NYDailyNews reports:
“Number one, the biggest challenge, is how do they come together,” said Johnson, an ESPN analyst, Tuesday during a conference call. “How do they play as a team? We saw what happened to the Heat early on last year. They were not playing well together, and then they finally caught fire mid-season and into the playoffs. If you’re not in sync with one another, the Knicks are going to struggle early, so fans have got to be patient.”
Johnson, who once turned down the chance to run the Knicks, leading to his infamous recommendation of his close friend at the time, Isiah Thomas.
He sounds as if he’ll also be keeping close tabs on the Knicks, as they attempt to win the title with several new key players, including Tyson Chandler and Baron Davis.
“Tyson Chandler plays hard at both ends,” Johnson said. “He can block shots and cause so many problems. That will really free up Carmelo (Anthony) and Amar’e (Stoudemire). Amar’e had to play the best opponent up front and sometimes the center and that’s not his forte. But that is definitely Tyson Chandler’s forte. Now Amar’e can conserve his energy.”
Johnson also hailed the signing of Davis – with a big asterisk.
“If Baron Davis is in shape … the one thing the Knicks trainer and their medical staff have to do is get him in top shape and get him back to being the Baron Davis we saw with the Golden State Warriors,” said Johnson, referring to the Davis of five seasons ago. “If he can return to 85-90 percent of that Baron Davis, that team can do something.”