Clyde Frazier once said these words that are proudly presented outside the Garden: “Basketball is a city game and Madison Square Garden is the Mecca.’’
That has not been true for a long, long time, and may never ring true again.
The Garden is the Mecca of Mess. Plain and simple. The 4-14 Knicks are a dysfunctional wasteland.
The day after firing David Fizdale, Knicks president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry were still in hiding. They did not address the media before the Knicks played the Pacers at the Garden Saturday night.
Instead they sent out interim coach Mike Miller to address the media. Really.
Clueless and gutless is no way to go through life, but that is what we have with the Knicks.
Can you think of any other team that made a coaching change and didn’t address the change in any way?
Already the next phase of savior is being thrust upon us in Raptors president Masai Ujiri. Just like all the great free agents that wanted to sign with the Knicks, James Dolan can wave a magic wand and suddenly the Raptors president with join the Knicks and turn the franchise into a championship team.
That is the dream now.
Frazier’s jersey hangs from the rafters with other Knicks legends. That is all fans have to look at these days at the Garden, retired jerseys hanging from the rafters.
It has become the saddest sports venue in New York and New Jersey, and that is saying something considering the despicable football that is played around here by the Jets and Giants.
Fizdale was fired Friday in amateur fashion, becoming another failed experiment at the Mecca. Fizdale knew what he was getting into and walks away with a monster payday.
Fizdale was set up to fail by Mills and Perry and now Mills may be next to disappear.
Whomever Dolan hires as the next president — or if he keeps Mills around and keeps him in hiding — Dolan needs to follow that up with a statement that he essentially will have nothing to do with the team except watch games from his seat and get in an occasional disagreement with Knicks fans and former Knicks players.
Enough is enough. Spend the money. Own the team and enjoy the courtside view, but get the hell out of the way and stay out of the way. The Knicks are the laughingstock of the NBA. In so many ways, the City Game no longer belongs to them.
Knicks fans also play a role in this debacle because they still come to the Garden. Why?
They still spend crazy amounts of money to see a G-League team who are now coached by a G-League interim coach, Miller, who was one of Fizdale’s assistants and is liked by the braintrust. Maybe Miller can coach, but look at what he is coaching. The land of misfit players.
Look, fans can spend their money any way they want. That is their prerogative, but they continue to feed the beast of ineptitude by coming to see the Knicks play. If you really want to make a statement of dissatisfaction, stop paying to see these Knicks lose games, lose coaches, lose the pride of the City Game.
The Knicks players quit on Fizdale, but they were really quitting on the dysfunction created by s management. The Knicks had their doors blown off in Milwaukee, 132-88, and then followed that up with a 129-92 wipeout at the Garden at the hands of the Nuggets.
That was the end for Fizdale, but the Knicks gifted him one last practice and did not tell him he was fired until that practice was complete.
Nice move. Real class. The City Game.
The Knicks leave on a West Coast trip and will be out of sight, out of mind. Hopefully young players like RJ Barrett are not too beaten down by this pitiful franchise. Hopefully his spirit is not destroyed before he really gets around to playing the City Game.
The cycle of pathetic losing continues. The cycle of dysfunction continues.
The rest of the NBA continues to laugh at the Knicks ineptitude.
The Mecca of Mess.
For more on the Knicks, listen to the latest episode of the “Big Apple Buckets” podcast: