The Knicks Aiming For the Senior Market

Why are the Knicks pursuing broken-down players?

By Josh Alper
|  Friday, Aug 7, 2009  |  Updated 4:00 PM EDT
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The Knicks Aiming For the Senior Market

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Stackhouse in '99? Good move. Stackhouse in '09? Bad move.

Seeing as how it's summer and there's been a few rain-free days to shake things up around New York City, you probably haven't been spending too much time wondering about what the Knicks are up to. To that we say, well done and keep up the good work! And please don't start paying attention to them, because it's only going to ruin the remaining days of summer.

This week the Knicks kicked the tires on two potential acquisitions. If you've just woken up from a coma that started in 2002, you'll be excited about the two guys. For those of us who have kept an eye on the NBA in recent years, however, the news that Jerry Stackhouse or Jason Williams could be playing in Madison Square Garden this season was met with snorts of derision.

There's not much point in discussing why these guys won't help the Knicks win games, but there is some point in discussing what in the world Donnie Walsh is really up to with this team. Knicks fans have already gritted their teeth and accepted that the Knicks won't try to contend for anything other than pity this season because of a promise of a brighter day. Why does that have to mean warmed-over veterans hanging on for another paycheck, though?

Why not load the roster with young players and try to find a diamond in the rough? Given the need to develop a supporting cast for whatever superstar you bring onto the team, you'd think that you'd be trying anything possible to uncover those kinds of players instead of employing guys who are just tacking onto their pensions. Remember John Starks and Anthony Mason? The Knicks don't land either one if they spent losing seasons going out of their way to hand money to players of no value.

In light of that suggestion, it's funny that the one legitimate player the Knicks are currently pursuing is Ramon Sessions. The Bucks selected Sessions near the end of the second round and spent time in the Development League before getting a chance to show his stuff. Now the Knicks and others are fighting to throw money at him, when they could just as easily be working to develop their own cheaper versions.

It's impossible to figure out why the Knicks prefer the way they're currently doing things. Maybe they think it is what fans want, but fans aren't stupid enough to think that Stackhouse or Williams or some other guy who entered the league in the Clinton years is a step forward.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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