The New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers are two of, if not the biggest marquee teams in all of basketball. We’re talking Madison Square Garden, which has been donned the “Mecca” of basketball, and Staples Center, the birthplace of Showtime. For years, these two teams have been the ‘gods’ of organizations that all other teams have been trying to emulate.
Whether it’s been profiting and reeling in the revenue or just being great teams on the court that people want to watch, it’s no doubt that these two teams are at the helm of organizations. But why can’t they land any marquee names in free agency? What has changed?
Both of these teams struggled last season, tremendously. The Lakers were the second worst team in the Western Conference and the Knicks were second to last in the entire NBA. Their recent struggles have a lot to do with their inability to sign guys in the offseason. No one wants to lose and enter a losing situation, which is quite understandable. We’ve seen in this new era that guys are doing whatever it takes to win championships. Whether it’s taking drastic pay cuts or joining forces with other star players and taking lesser roles, players these days are all about winning. New York Knicks free agent prospect Greg Monroe agreed to sign with the Milwaukee Bucks and a big part of that decision was because they are ‘more playoff ready‘.
Monroe met with 4 teams: Bucks, Knicks, Lakers, Blazers. All offered the max, I’m told. Chose Bucks because they’re the most playoff ready.
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) July 2, 2015
What ever happened to wanting to be the face of a franchise? Joining a team and helping them make their way to the top? I always say that these days, convenience means everything, and what’s more convenient than going to a team that’s built to win now instead of going somewhere where you can help build and be the face of it.
What this free agent period is proving is players are smarter than given credit for. Not just about big market. Fit, organization matter.
— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) July 2, 2015
We’re in a new generation where you have to win now, there’s no win next year or the year after. Big market teams are taking a back seat. The status and worth of the big market teams don’t matter as much when it comes to free agents making a decision these days. If you’re not winning, then they aren’t signing… Simple as that.