While the Knicks season tragically came to an end Wednesday, let’s take a look at 5 good takeaways from their best season of the last decade. There it is.
As Quickley (see what i did there, totally original, no one has thought of that joke yet) as the first playoff series since the 2012-2013 season came, it went by even faster. I know fans can have a recency bias and after what they saw in the playoffs they can be left with a bad impression of the season due to the bad taste raging in their mouth right now. But make no mistake, this season was a resounding success. It was one of the most unexpected and satisfying Knicks’ seasons the fan base has had in many many years.
So while the mood may be down for the moment, let’s bring the mood up and look at why this season was an enormous success.
New York Knicks: an established culture
The Knicks have been a laughingstock for a very long time. Free agents wouldn’t come here unless they were signing short-term, prove-it deals to leverage into bigger future deals like how Marcus Morris and Bobby Portis did last year. James Dolan (god bless him for not talking this season) decided to do the correct thing and take a step back from the media and drama that he’s become so famous for. He did this by hiring super-agent Leon Rose to become the president of basketball operations of the Knicks.
When this originally happened, it was met with a high level of skepticism. He’s one of the most well-known agents in the NBA world with clients such as Chris Paul and our beloved Carmelo having him as their agent since entering the league. The main concern was that he had no front office experience and it seemed like another Phil Jackson type hire where the name value was prioritized over the actual experience.
It ends up it was the best hire the Knicks have done in the last 20 years. Leon has done such a good job turning this team into a form of itself that we could’ve never imagined before the season started. He’s hustled draft picks, hired Tom Thibodeau, and overall has set a prescience that this team is competent and has changed their whole perception around the league. Leon turned this team from dumpster fire into a potential free agent destination which is not something many executives could do, much less doing it in just one year.