After months of debating who the New York Knicks should select with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, fans of the franchise can now table that discussion for another player after the team fell to the fourth overall pick during the NBA Draft Lottery. That’s right, Knicks fans, after months of debating whether to select Duke University product Jahlil Okafor or Kentucky University baller Karl-Anthony Towns, the Knicks are stuck with the No. 4 pick. From KnicksTape, to KnicksTank, and now, MisTanked. Here are five reasons the New York Knicks screwed up the NBA Draft lottery.
- Carmelo Anthony should have stopped playing sooner. Melo wanted to play in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden in front of the Knicks fans, and that’s understandable, but if he knew, and it seems very likely that he did, that he was going to shut it down after the game and have knee surgery, then he should have stayed on the bench, instead of leading the Knicks to victories when they were 20 games under .500 30 games into the season at 5-25.
- The Knicks three-game winning streak in January. At 5-36, the season for the New York Knicks was obviously over, but clearly, no one alerted the team to this fact, as they went on their longest winning streak of the season, three, by defeating the New Orleans Pelicans, Philadelphia 76ers, and Orlando Magic. This is anti-tanking, and ultimately, it cost the Knicks the No. 1 pick.
- Home win over the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs won the 2014 NBA Championship, embarrassing LeBron James and the Miami Heat in five games, ultimately sending King James back to the Cleveland Cavaliers. With a record of 13-53, there is absolutely no shame in losing to the 41-24 defending NBA Champions, but the Knicks refused to go down, overcoming a double-digit third quarter deficit to force overtime, then defeat the Spurs. The loss prompted five-time NBA champion head coach Gregg Popovich to say “we didn’t respect the game,” referring to his team. No, Gregg Popovich, the Knicks didn’t respect the tank!
- In their third to last game of the season, the New York Knicks defeated the Orlando Magic in an offensive struggle 80-79. Tanking is bad and is frowned upon by the NBA, but other teams do it, why not the Knicks to ensure the best chance at landing the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft? But surely the Knicks wouldn’t beat the Atlanta Hawks two nights later with a chance of tying Minnesota for the worst record in the league, right?
- Defeating the Atlanta Hawks in the next to last game of the season. No New York Knicks fan in their right mind was paying attention to game 81 of an 82-game disastrous season. The Knicks, the worst team in the Eastern Conference, and tied for the worst record in the entire NBA, were playing the Atlanta Hawks, the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference. Even the savviest of oddsmakers would have said this was a no-brainer for a Hawks win. But the Knicks competed and defeated the Hawks 112-108, and ultimately, that win cost the team the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, and a chance at either Okafor or Towns.