New York Knicks: Anatomy of an Illness


The New York Knicks’ injury report keeps growing after it was reported that Andrea Bargnani has been experiencing back stiffness.  The injury list keeps growing and this is never a good sign so early in the season.

Let’s take a look at the Knicks infirmary report.

Oct 11, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Knicks forward Andrea Bargnani (77) drives to the basket as Toronto Raptors center

Amir Johnson

(15) defends at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

1.    Andrea Bargnani- Back

2.    Amar’e Stoudemire-Recovering from knee surgery

3.    J.R. Smith –Recovering from knee surgery

4.    Iman Shumpert-Elbow

5.    Pablo Prigioni-Elbow

6.    Kenyon Martin-Ankle, same problem as last season

7.    Raymond Felton-Hamstring

8.    Jeremy Tyler– Foot surgery

Well if only 15 bodies make the team, this is not a good sign as many are chronic and lingering injuries.  This is a Knicks team that has the symptoms of a troubled team not a championship team.

The preseason is about chemistry, it is difficult to develop chemistry with so many injuries. Trust me, this is not a good start.  Not from a team that was old and battered when the playoffs arrived last season.

Now although many of these are nagging injuries it is not a good sign as the team will not be able to develop any chemistry.  Yes, I get the plan they are not trying to burn out their older player like Martin and Stoudemire in the preseason.  However, chemistry needs to be developed and we have yet to see who the Knicks will be this year.

Last year the team was marred by age and injury, this preseason could be a sign of things to come a repeat of last year, as we can add a wealth of drama into the mix as well.

Carmelo Anthony has already declared he will opt out of his contract and explore free agency

Smith starts the season on the suspended list due to illegal substances

Glen Grunwald gets fired prior to training camp

Shumpert is in Mike Woodson’s doghouse

This is a team that is treating the preseason lightly and preparing hard for the season.  They still have a point guard who thinks he is an all-star and has yet to prove himself; no legitimate backup center; a star who is lost in the clouds of free agency and a former No. 1 overall pick trying to restart his career.

All in all, these are signs, symptoms of a troubled team.  They are acting as they were champions last year, not a team that was beaten by the Indiana Pacers and barely got by a Boston Celtics team without their starting point guard.

I am not a psychiatrist, but I do know the signs of depression.  This team needs to wake up and toughen up.  For so many injuries so early in the start of the preseason is a concern.  It makes me wonder if many players were not ready when they came to camp this preseason.

A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.” — World Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey once said.

However one man, Metta World Peace, has demonstrated a championship attitude and could be the secret weapon in the locker room the Knicks  need.

“You really can’t be more than what you are, and you really can’t be less than what you are. Just be you,” World Peace said. “Work hard, try to stay in shape. A lot of people been calling me old. I can’t help that I’m 33 because when god brings us in this world, he says you will age, and there’s nothing I can do about it. But what I can do is I continue to work hard on my body and stay in shape and I’m moving pretty well.”

This is a team that needs to get up, heal up and smarten up quickly.

Dr. Eric Kaplan is a Best Selling author