Although it’s easier said than done, winning will fix many of the New York Knicks’ problems, including “sell the team” chants.
NEW YORK, NY—There’s one simple solution to ending the “sell the team” chants that surface in Madison Square Garden from time to time.
That’s it. Winning will solve so many of the New York Knicks‘ problems. There were no “sell the team” chants aimed at owner James Dolan on Monday night when RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, and Frank Ntilikina were leading the Knicks to a stunning victory over the Houston Rockets.
In the waning seconds of a lackluster loss to the Utah Jazz, a small group of fans located below the press box began chanting those three infamous words—“sell the team.”
The young men began heading for the exit and were met by security guards who spoke to them about the fan code of conduct.
More "sell the team" chants led to fans being escorted out of MSG 😬
(via IG/tom_rochh) pic.twitter.com/QuvzZ2XGpn
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) March 5, 2020
No one was banned from the building, or arrested, or anything like that. Nonetheless, the incident comes at a bad time for the Knicks, who were just moving past a feud with filmmaker and Knicks superfan, Spike Lee.
These nights won’t happen if the Knicks can build a consistent winner. They don’t even need to be a playoff team, but trotting out a team that can consistently compete for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference will go a long way with the fans.
Sure, these recent incidents can turn some fans away and damage the Knicks’ perception around the league. How much is debatable.
With that said, the fans aren’t going anywhere. Spike Lee said he’ll be back next year. The Garden is still a packed house almost every game. And perhaps the best indication of the loyalty the fans have for the team is the fact that MSG rocks anytime the Knicks win.
Monday’s win over Houston had all the feel of a playoff game despite the fact that it was just New York’s 19th win of the season.
The only thing fans really want is a winning product on the floor.
Enter Leon Rose, the Knicks’ new president of basketball operations. The former CAA super-agent is taking the reins of a franchise for the first time in his career and despite the obvious complexities of his new role, his main goal is simple: win.
That’s it. That’s all that really matters to the fans. They don’t care who signs the checks or keeps the lights on in the building.
So long as Rose is drafting talented players, developing said talent, and giving the fans a good, competitive basketball team, everything else will fall into place.
In the immediate future, the Knicks have a chance to take control of the narrative this weekend. The Oklahoma City Thunder and Detroit Pistons are coming to MSG on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Although the loss to the Jazz was deflating, a pair of weekend wins could give the Knicks a 4-1 record on their homestand. However small it may be, that’s a legitimate sign of progress and it would go a long way towards changing the narrative on this season.