As the Knicks host the Nets in their first preseason game of the 2017-18 NBA season, the bright lights of Madison Square Garden will be shining. Fans will be beaming with hope from inside as the new campaign allows a fresh start. There could be optimism in the air, but it remains to be seen if the Knicks can become the toast of the town once again.
All will be good from inside The Garden. Should the team start to venture out across the city, however, they’ll quickly come to realize the love isn’t so widely spread.
Some wounds take longer to heal than others. Fox Sports 1 released a new ad campaign across New York City subways that go on to disparage the team. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Joakim Noah (who each received a contract worth $70+ million in the summers of 2016 and 2017, respectively) are featured together on a car with a “Hopeless” banner alongside them. Whereas Hardaway Jr. still holds promise as a 25 year old rising stud, Noah’s first season in New York lived up to such a negative connotation. His Knickerbocker tenure has so far been filled with injuries, inefficiency, poor choices, unproductive minutes, and a frustrating suspension. Whatever comes next for him appears hopeless, indeed.
Once inside the train, fans can choose to “sit” in respective seats that associate blame for the Knicks’ struggles to Carmelo Anthony, Phil Jackson, or James Dolan. “Can you fire an owner,” one chair reads, while another simply states, “Should’ve Traded For Kyrie [Irving].” Hot takes, galore.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. The other side of the train car drapes Kristaps Porzingis with a “Hopeful” banner and once inside, fans can read seat captions that praise Frank Ntilikina and others.
As a new season gets underway, it’ll be interesting to see which side (quite literally, in this case) prevails when examining the Knicks’ season. Will the hope stay alive, or will the team write another chapter of their same old sad story? Time will tell.