NEW YORK — While teams like the Nets and Pacers have beefed up their rosters in the competitive NBA Eastern Conference to challenge the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat, Knicks owner James Dolan has decided to wait until the Knicks are free of most of their overpriced contracts in 2015 to make a serious attempt at a championship. “Knicks have already waited so long for a title,” Dolan explained, referencing the forty years since the Knicks’ last championship in 1973. “What’s a couple more years?”
The salaries of Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and new acquisition Andrea Bargnani come off the books after the 2014-15 season, when the players enter free agency, allowing the Knicks to finally retool their team, and Dolan has promised to give Anthony, the Knicks’ best player, an opportunity to reshape the team how he sees fit. Until then, though, Dolan is content to help the Knicks stand pat, allowing them to, hopefully, win one playoff series each of the next two years before falling to superior foes. “With all the bloated contracts we’ve acquired,” Dolan said in his defense, “what could I really do anyway, even if I wanted them to improve?”
The Knicks, who finished second in the Eastern Conference in the 2012-13 season, have already exceeded Dolan’s modest expectations. “I didn’t expect anything above fourth or fifth. With Lebron in the same conference, what’s even the point in trying?,” he opined.
This offseason, however, while the Nets made a huge trade that landed them all-stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Knicks decided to remain mostly inactive with the exception of acquiring frequently injured former first overall pick Italian Andrea Bargnani from the Raptors. Dolan candidly admitted that new acquisition Bargnani was not made with basketball purposes in mind. “Honestly,” Dolan added, “we don’t really have any chance at the moment; I just always wanted to learn Italian.”