The Knicks aren’t the worst team in the NBA.
That title belongs to the Warriors, the great dynasty until this season and now the equivalent of a G League affiliate.
New York, coming into Chase Center from Portland on the second night of a back-to-back, snapped their 10-game losing streak by beating the Warriors in overtime, 124-120, despite blowing a 22-point lead.
D’Angelo Russell hit a tying 3-pointer for Warriors with 5.5 seconds left in regulation, burying it over Mitchell Robinson. But the Knicks (5-20) rallied in OT for their first win in a month. They moved a half-game ahead of Golden State at the bottom of the standings.
Marcus Morris stuffed the box score with 36 points on 10-of-18 shooting. Easily, he’s been the Knicks’ MVP thus far. Russell had 32 points for the Warriors.
Regardless of Wednesday’s result, the Warriors are in a much more enviable position. They have the five consecutive Finals appearances to soften the terribleness, and their two Hall of Famers — Steph Curry and Klay Thompson — preparing to return next season from injuries (Stephen Curry could come back this season).
The Knicks have been the NBA’s worst team for two decades with and interim coach and a mismatched roster. Steve Kerr, who played for the Bulls in the 90s, remembers a different franchise and yearns for its comeback.
“I’ve got great memories, particularly when I was with Chicago and playing in the Garden, hearing the ‘Go NY Go NY Go’ song. And I didn’t really like it at the time,” Kerr said. “Looking back it was a fantastic rivalry. Those teams were tough, physical. They had an identity. Fans fell in love with those teams and the Garden was just electric. So I think people recognize that New York is a basketball town, it’s a basketball city. I think most people in the league want the Knicks to be good. I know I do. I think it’s something that’s missing from the league. We need them to have success. They’re a marquee franchise.”
Kerr turned down an offer to coach the Knicks in 2014. It was the best move of his career. He was gifted a dynasty in Golden State and New York has cycled through four different coaches. After David Fizdale was canned, Kerr said he would’ve suffered the same fate “three years ago” if he accepted the Knicks position. Kerr stood by that comment before Wednesday’s game.
“It was sincere,” Kerr said. “These jobs are really, really difficult, these head coaching jobs, they’re hard to find, they’re hard to get and once you’re in them you’re really dependent on your player’s talent level and the support of your organization and the strength of your organization. So my comments the other night were sincere. I’ll let them speak for themselves.”
Kerr is a great example of a coach being only as good as his players. With Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Andre Igoudala and Shaun Livingston, he captured three titles and won more games in a season than any coach in history. Now all those players are gone — or injured — and the Warriors stink.
“I think the point of this season for us is to develop our young players,” Kerr said. We’ve got a lot of interesting young prospects, so we’re trying to teach them every day and give them every opportunity to play and figure out which ones are going to be part of our future and help each of them progress and make the most of their own circumstances and their own careers. in the meantime, get healthy and look to the future, try to bounce back. Obviously with Steph and Klay out the focus has shifted more to the development of the young guys.”
(c)2019 New York Daily News
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.