On Feb. 10, 2006, the New York Knicks made their Oklahoma City debut.
It was totally cool.
Those regal blue uniforms with orange trim. That great name: Knickerbockers. Best team name in American sport. Walt Frazier sitting courtside for the MSG broadcasts.
We barely noticed that those Knicks stunk.
They came to the Ford Center with a 14-34 record, and a mediocre Hornets team missing Chris Paul spanked the New Yorkers 111-100.
Sunday, the Knicks are back. Same great uniforms. Same great name. Same Walt Frazier calling games.
Only thing is, this time, we absolutely know that the Knickerbockers stink.
They are 20-30 and floundering, despite a name-brand roster and more financial resources than the Northwest Division combined.
These mismatched Knicks of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith, Andrea Bargnani and Metta World Chaos, are a monument to mismanagement.
But at least the Knicks have company.
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.
You still have to pay big money to compete, but you can't buy your way to title contention. The Nets are proving that. The Lakers proved it last year. The Knicks have been proving it for decades.
The Knicks haven't won an NBA title since 1973. They've won just one playoff series since 2000.
Three years ago, the Knicks traded Carmelo Anthony for half a quality rotation (Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov and Raymond Felton).
Now New York has the superstar it craves and an old, expensive roster that is getting older and more costly by the minute.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.