Ah, just what the New York Knicks need, Reggie Miller commenting on the state of the franchise. After finishing with a dismal 37-45 record in 2021-22, New York’s on the prowl to add an infusion of talent to its roster this offseason, but Miller isn’t so sure that’ll happen.
The Knicks have been linked to point guard Jalen Brunson, who will become an unrestricted free agent if he doesn’t sign an extension with the Dallas Mavericks, as well as Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell. Brunson’s price tag could be too high for New York and Mitchell might not request a trade this summer.
So, while the front office is deciphering what moves to make this summer, Miller is unsure that the organization is even worthy of being a destination for high-profile players.
Reggie Miller isn’t sure star players want to play for the New York Knicks.
Let’s just say that it’s a good idea to take what Miller said with a grain of salt. Being a former NBA player himself, he’s aware of the ins and outs of the league, but his history with the Knicks could be clouding his vision.
After 2021’s first-round playoff series between New York and Atlanta, Miller commented on Trae Young being labeled as the Knicks’ villain and said that it was a label that was “bestowed upon me from my clashes with the New York Knicks.
These days, Miller is a TNT analyst and is currently working the conference finals. In a conference call on Thursday, the former Indiana Pacer elaborated on what he thinks the problem with the Knicks might be. He said:
“I’m not sure guys want to play for the Knicks anymore. That’s the problem,” Miller, who is working alongside Van Gundy in the conference finals as a TNT analyst, said Thursday on the network’s media conference call. “Why go through the headache of the New York media? I hate to say that but they don’t have to do that anymore. Then on the flip side, there’s only really one way for the Knicks to go, and that’s up. So if you win in New York, you get a lot of pats on the back. But if you’re mediocre or if you’re losing, that’s a lot of headache for a superstar. I think a lot of these guys are like, I don’t need it. I can go somewhere else and get the same amount of (money) and not the headaches of the media. A lot of players don’t want that.”
What Miller said makes sense (somewhat) because the New York media can be a headache, but there has to be more that goes into star players signing elsewhere in free agency. Social media in general has made it difficult to ignore negativity, but media in general can’t be the main reason.
Julius Randle comes to mind because he signed a four-year extension with the Knicks that’s going to go into effect in 2022-23, and he went from being New York fans’ beloved star to their biggest enemy.
It’s been thought that if he were to be traded to a smaller-market team, Randle could be able to better mirror the success that he had during the 2020-21 season.
But on the other hand, RJ Barrett’s said that he’s capable of handling the bright lights and “pressure” that comes along with playing for the Knicks. He was drafted by the organization in 2019, so he didn’t have a choice on his destination, but Barrett’s presence could help to bring star talent to New York whether it be via free agency or a trade.
The Knicks need players like Barrett. Players that hold themselves accountable and possess the desire to be a leader on one of the biggest stages in the NBA.
So, yes, New York media can be a headache but does playing for a large market team at the Mecca outweigh the benefits of spending 18 seasons in… Indiana? Eh, most likely.