(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
For months, New York Knicks fans have been waiting to go to the NBA Store on 5th Avenue and buy their new #15 jersey. Now, there's only one problem. Despite Carmelo Anthony traded to the Knicks from Denver last night, #15 is a retired jersey number. The great Dick McGuire and later Earl "The Pearl" Monroe made #15 famous, and it currently hangs in the rafters at Madison Square Garden. That's why the fan that specially boughts his Carmelo #15 Knicks jersey (pictured) will still be the only one wearing that name and number.
As far as last night's trade, it bothered me at first. I've been a Knicks fan for more than 30 years (Dr. J was my first hero as a New York Net), and was thrilled to finally see them manage the salary cap in an intelligent way. All of that credit can go to Donnie Walsh, the Knicks General Manager and PHD in capology. However, the Knicks mortgaged most of their young talent to get Melo, and will pay him $65 over the next 3 years to star on Broadway. They are better with this deal, but are still another superstar away from an NBA Title. Maybe Chris Paul or Deron Williams signs with the Knicks in two years. I hated to see Danilo Gallinari go, but every one of the players dealt are replaceable. What's not replaceable is losing out on a chance to get the team's second bonafide superstar.
The Knicks are suddenly relevant again, even though the Anthony trade could force Walsh into leaving the organization and going into early retirement. Knicks owner Jim Dolan had to get his man, especially when rival owner and Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov was in heavy pursuit. My only big concern is whether Isiah Thomas returns to the Garden to take over for Walsh (assuming the split is already severed). I've loathe Zeke both as a player with the Pistons and the man responsible for ruining the Knicks franchise a few years ago. He turned them into a team with huge salaries, bigger egos, and helped give them a regular spot in the NBA Draft lottery. Thomas and Dolan have remained close and the Knicks boss is just itching to bring his pal back into the Garden to run this team. I hope for the sake of Red Holzman, that day never comes.