Why Derek Jeter Exemplifies What the New York Knicks Are Missing


As a die hard Yankee fan and growing up aspiring to be Derek Jeter, I cannot resist honoring my favorite player today. I know most of you come here to read about the New York Knicks, but bear with me as this does relate to the Knicks.

Last night marked the final time Derek Jeter will don the Yankee pinstripes at Yankee Stadium. It was an emotional moment for him, the franchise, and the fans whether you root for the Yankees or not. Jeter just had that kind of impact on the sport of baseball.

As the face of the franchise for 20 years, Derek Jeter was a hero to so many kids growing up. He did everything the right way; never got into trouble, tried harder than everyone else, and actually did whatever it took to win. There is no surprise that he was arguably the face of Major League Baseball for almost his entire career.

The city of New York was extremely fortunate to have Jeter represent them so perfectly. New York fans have become accustomed to having one of the most respected players represent their city and team. The question still remains as to who will replace him.

So the Yankees had it made with The Captain leading by example and being the one everyone can turn to. When was the last time the Knicks had that? Patrick Ewing back in the 90’s?

Derek Jeter exemplifies what the Knicks have been lacking for a long time: a face of the franchise.

With a franchise in such disarray over the past decade, the Knicks have never really established a face of their franchise. Technically now it is Carmelo Anthony by default since he is their best player. But should he really be the face of the franchise?

I’m a huge supporter of Melo and what he brings to the table every night. He is a phenomenal scorer and one of the top 10 players in the NBA. Anthony alone has the ability to win the Knicks basketball games by himself. Does the fact that he is the best player on your team mean he is the face of franchise? No. You want the person who represents your team the best way possible to be the one who everyone thinks of when you say ‘New York Knicks.’ A perfect example of this is Tim Duncan with the San Antonio Spurs. He is a fantastic player who plays the game the right way and is an outstanding leader.

It all starts with the draft, where management can pick a high character player that they can build around. Seeing that the Knicks trade away most of their picks, it is critical for them to capitalize on the draft next year and continue to develop young, motivated talent. Again, I’m not saying Carmelo Anthony can’t be the face of the franchise, I am simply stating that he needs to develop better leadership skills to truly earn that title. Do I think he can do it? Absolutely; he wants to win and he is working incredibly hard in the offseason.

Watching Derek Jeter all these years has allowed me to enjoy being a Yankee fan (of course the rings helped). As a Knick fan, how nice would it be to feel that same way about a player on this team? The Knicks need a leader to set the tone and make the city proud of this team once again.