Tracy McGrady Trade Already a Winner for the Knicks

McGrady's arrival has brought eyes and money to the Knicks

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Have you ever sat down to a meal after not eating for a bit too long and proceeded to stuff your face with so much abandon that you realized you never even tasted the food before making yourself sick? If so, you've got a good idea about the way Knicks fans have spent the first week of the Tracy McGrady era.

    Howard Beck of the New York Times has some eye-popping facts and figures on the feeding frenzy that ensued when the Knicks acquired McGrady from the Rockets. The team's website registered 1.5 million views in three days, the biggest 72-hour surge of traffic since 2005, and Saturday night's game with Oklahoma City drew the biggest audience since LeBron visited the Garden in February of last year. In total, the three games with McGrady have given the network a 79 percent bump in viewership.

    There's more. The team sold more than 200 McGrady t-shirts and 100 McGrady jerseys while seeing a 40 percent spike in overall merch sales during Saturday's game and has sold more than 750 new season tickets in a blitz that began on the day McGrady became a Knick. 

    Pretty nice to be James Dolan, isn't it? Imagine if they'd picked up a player with two working knees who wasn't on the wrong side of his career trajectory and was actually acquired for a reason other than the fact that his contract is up in a few months? 

    One thing we've learned over the last couple of years in this country is that hope sells like hotcakes. We've also learned that it can go bad almost as fast as milk left in the desert sun and all the buzz about McGrady's arrival raises the question of what kind of response the Knicks will get from their fan base if this summer's bold gambit falls short and the Knicks are left without the superstar they've all but promised. 

    Knicks fans are loyal, they're realistic and they're hungry, but are they stupid enough to keep swallowing promises when the team shows it can't deliver?  

    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.