The year is 2011. The New York Knicks are coming off a season that saw the team pull off a blockbuster trade to acquire then 5-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony to pair up with fellow All-Star, Amare’e Stoudemire.
Prior to acquiring Melo, the Knicks were fighting to stay alive in playoff contention with a rag-tag team of misfits that included the likes of Landry Fields, Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton (for the first time), and some other forgotten Knicks who have been lost to the sands of time, all wrapped up with a bow in the shape of a star power-forward whose injuries would inevitably catch up to him sooner than later.
But for now, things were looking up. Sure, the team was almost entirely gutted of its good role players that they would’ve been able to keep if they had just waited to sign Anthony in free agency, but that’s done now. The past is the past and Melo is here now, that’s all that matters. After starting the season 28-26 without Carmelo, the Knicks squeeze out a 42-40 record to finish the season and sneak into the playoffs as an 8th seed, barely beating out the Philadelphia 76ers to get in.
But this playoff “run” doesn’t matter. It’s what comes in the following off-season that starts this beautiful tragedy. The Knicks were dealt with swiftly in 4 games by the Pierce-Garnett Celtics and sent on their way to enjoy the summer. 1-2-3 CANCUN!