Commentary

LeBron's decision disastrous for Knicks

New York's prospects look bleak after missing on James sweepstakes

Updated: July 9, 2010, 2:59 AM ET
By Chris Sheridan | ESPN.com

NEW YORK -- One word: Disaster.

Check that. Let's make it two words: Utter disaster.

LeBron James isn't coming. David Lee is gone. The best player on the team, for the long term, is Danilo Gallinari. And if Eddy Curry walks (waddles?) through that door, it ain't helping much.

[+] EnlargeDanilo Gallinari
Christopher Pasatieri/US Presswire

The New York Knicks have now sewn up another half-decade of irrelevance, but there is a silver lining. Tourists will still be able to pick up a pair of ducats in the lower bowl for $20 a pop or less if they hold out long enough with the scalpers, or if they lowball sellers on Craigslist.

Did LeBron even mention the Knicks on that telecast? I don't recall him doing so. It was so bad, the Knicks got the Clippers treatment.

So here's what Knicks fans can look forward to in the next few years:

• Regular updates on the amount of knee pain Amare Stoudemire is tolerating as he eats up their cap space for a longer period of time than Stephon Marbury did.

• Andy Rautins as the new Greg Butler.

• Nate Robinson's second homecoming game.

• Public abuse and ridicule from Marbury.

• Over/under wagers on which comes first: Mike D'Antoni's firing, or Donnie Walsh's retirement.

If you think LeBron looked shaken up when he watched that video of his jersey being burned in Cleveland, wait until you see Spike Lee around Thanksgiving.

This is going to be bad, Knicks fans. Worse than the Travis Knight era.

In case you missed it, while LeBron was making his announcement, ESPN.com's Chad Ford reported that New York has reached an agreement to trade Lee to the Golden State Warriors for a package of Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf and Kelenna Azubuike.

I don't know: Is that worse than Patrick Ewing for Glen Rice and Luc Longley?

It's right in that neighborhood.

Maybe Charles Barkley was right: The Knicks should be forever cursed for trading Ewing exactly one decade ago.

They certainly seem cursed now.

The Knicks can still get some new talent into the Garden through sign-and-trade deals involving Al Harrington, Eddie House and/or Tracy McGrady, but those players' values have diminished precipitously.

As things stand now, here is your 2010-11 opening night lineup, Knicks fans (get the tissues out):

PG: Toney Douglas, TBD.
SG: Wilson Chandler, Azubuike, Rautins.
SF: Gallinari, Bill Walker, Landry Fields.
PF: Stoudemire, Randolph.
C: Turiaf, Curry, Jerome Jordan.

Right now, they have a better chance of chasing the 2009-10 Nets than they do of becoming even the slightest bit relevant in this city. Oh, and let's not forget: They have no first-round draft pick in 2012, and the Rockets have the right to swap picks with them next year. So it doesn't look as though it's getting any better anytime soon.

The one saving grace: Knicks fans don't have it as bad as Cavs fans.

New Yorkers (older ones) will at least have the memories of Clyde, Willis, Dollar Bill. Cavs fans now have a signature memory all their own: the night LeBron abandoned them.

As I said, those folks in Cleveland have it worse.

But they also might have a team -- even without James -- that's better than the Knicks.

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