The Knicks have the most famous team they’ve had in ages. Even the last really consistently good Knicks teams — and you have to go back two decades — didn’t have so many basketball brand names on the roster. Charlie Ward? Chris Childs? (Okay well football fans knew Ward.) But this year the Knicks have names on the backs of the jerseys that basketball fans around the globe know. Derrick Rose is a former MVP. Kristaps Porzingis is an indescribable combination of Ralph Sampson, Dirk Nowitzki and take-your-pick. Joakim Noah is hustle personified, his dreads and his dad known the world over. Even the backup point guard Brandon Jennings has been a star in the NBA, once believed to be the future of the Detroit Pistons and still just 27.
Then there is Carmelo Anthony, the hard-to-guard Knicks forward for whom the playoffs are an exotic locale, dreamed on but rarely visited. Melo says he’s excited about the famous new-look Knicks, despite that it’s “kind of the unknown.” Anthony sounds wary of putting high expectations on his new team despite the famous names. He’s been fooled before. But Knicks fans were disheartened to hear Anthony say: “The first month of the season we kinda knock some kinks out. But I believe once we get it rolling it’s going to be a good thing to watch.” Knicks fans thought the last five years have been for knocking the kinks out. Why can’t they just start out playing well, like other good teams? Then again, once we get rolling doesn’t quite sound like a guy ready to get after it, you know?