New York Knicks lead pack of floundering blue-blood NBA franchises

Don't look now, but the NBA's blue bloods are out of breath. The Lakers have gotten old and bad. The Celtics have started over. The Bulls' future has been compromised by injury and finances. More and more, the NBA has become a league defined by quality decision-making as much as money.
by Berry Tramel Published: February 8, 2014
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photo - New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, left, and Tyson Chandler, center, react to a call by referee James Williams (60) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in New York. The Trail Blazers on the game 94-90.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, left, and Tyson Chandler, center, react to a call by referee James Williams (60) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in New York. The Trail Blazers on the game 94-90.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Knicks are on the hook for at least $91 million in payroll next season, provided Anthony exercises his option to return.

Carmelo engineered the trade to New York, making the ghastly decision to seek a bright glare instead of bright management.

Unlike, say, LeBron James. When LeBron said he was taking his talents to South Beach, we thought that's what he meant. But no. LeBron really was taking his talents to Pat Riley, who knows how to put together a basketball team.

That's the antidote for big-spending franchises with literally more money than they know what to do with.

Spend, but spend wisely. Don't sign players because you know their names. Sign players because they fit your plan.

Heck, have a plan. The Spurs have had a plan for 15 years. The Thunder has a plan. The Pacers have a plan. The Heat had a plan that went far beyond the free agent signings of the summer of LeBron.

The Knicks have no plan. They've got a meddling chairman in James Dolan. Since Carmelo's arrival, the Knicks have had three presidents and two coaches, provided Mike Woodson is still coaching the Knicks by noon Sunday.

The Knicks are trying to crawl into the playoffs of the hideous Eastern Conference, because the draft lottery does New York no good. The Knicks have traded their first-round picks for both 2014 and 2015.

The Knicks are like their roster. Great name. Little substance.

Makes you wish the Trail Blazers were in town instead.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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