To me, the start of the Knicks Summer League in Las Vegas against, of course, Zion and the Pelicans, should be considered a a true fresh start for the franchise.
No more big game hunting that fans (including myself) get so sucked into. No more bad, desperate contracts that try to accelerate a timeline that was never feasible or realistic. No more tanking; there’s too much evidence that support that being the wrong route. The new Knicks vision NEEDS to revolve around the kids – plain and simple.
Being patient with Frank Ntilikina (hopefully), Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, Mitchell Robinson and RJ Barrett is crucial in finally turning the tide of the Knicks fortunes. The veteran pieces brought in, on one plus one deals that ensure flexibility moving forward, and the addition of Julius Randle, should help let the kids grow organically.
There will be growing pains; that is expected with so much youth on roster. We need to coach David Fizdale earn his keep and get these dudes playing competitive ball on a night in, night out basis. Last year felt like a pass, and it should, but there is no more excuses for him this year. Just compete, man. A winning culture, done right (with results) can send tremendous signals to the rest of the league (see: Nets).
The reward for seeing this group developing into a competent could be limitless. We need to see answers to so many questions: can RJ become a star? Can Knox improve his consistency and efficiency? Can Mitch and Trier build on unexpected solid rookie campaigns? Can Frank gain confidence to warrant this regime keeping him in the fold? Is Fizdale the right guy for this task?
We need to ride with the guys we got. Here’s to hoping the arrow starts trending up for our boys in blue and orange…