Tracy McGrady and the Continuing Audacity of Knicks Hope

A trade to break a losing cycle

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    T-Mac could be just what the Knicks need, by being exactly what they don't need.

    There are a lot of arguments to be made for why Tracy McGrady would be a good acquisition for the Knicks.

    He'd force Chris Duhon into a lesser role, the deal would rid the team of several players who are creating behind the scenes issues that are making life miserable at Madison Square Garden, and those departures would also give the team no excuse to keep young players on the bench in a season that's going nowhere fast.

    All good reasons, but none of them are the best reason for the Knicks to find a way to bring the erstwhile star guard to New York.

    The best reason why is because it will be a fitting end to the era of futility that the team has promised will come to an end after this year. One more faded giant with a contract beyond his contributions added to a team full of mismatched parts would put a pretty little bow on the past decade.

    The decade of pain and suffering started when the Knicks dealt Patrick Ewing and his bloated contract to Seattle instead of letting it expire, so what better way to usher it out than by taking on such a contract and reaping the benefits.

    If you still have hope for the Knicks, that's got to be a nice thought to hold dear on a cold night. They've screwed up on such a cosmic level that a move like this might, however slightly, balance the scales in their favor. McGrady represents the old way of doing business and that way should die on the same court that it infested for so long.

    There's no need to point out that playing out the string with McGrady isn't any different than playing it out with Al Harrington and Larry Hughes from a financial standpoint. The trappings of the move matter more than the particulars. There's also no need to point out that there are no guarantees that a golden era will begin when this season finally draws to a close. 

    No one talks about it, of course, but that's in the back of everyone's mind. What if all the player complaints about Mike D'Antoni aren't just the rantings of mediocre players making too much money, but accurate assessments of a coach who benefited more from Steve Nash than we were led to believe? What if Donnie Walsh's personnel failings were actually failings rather than deals designed to build cap space? 

    Scary thoughts that have nothing to do McGrady and everything to do with hope. That's the only thing sustaining this franchise, because there's no faith in the organization nor any rational reason to believe that a miracle is right around the corner.     

    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.