The days are gone that superstars would avoid New York Knicks like a plague.
That’s how Magic Johnson views the current Knicks situation following a surprising turnaround this season.
Appearing as a guest on Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin radio show, Johnson said the Knicks have become a viable destination.
“Superstars are gonna want to play here now (in New York),” Johnson said.
The former Lakers executive explained how players think — a scenario that is not far-fetched given the Knicks’ new-found culture and flexibility with their large cap space.
“I think because they made the run and got to the playoffs. And the city is alive about the Knicks, right? I think guys are now looking at and say, ‘Hey man, if I put myself in that lineup with Julius (Randle), (Immanuel) Quickley, (RJ) Barrett and on, and on. Hey, man, we could do something special.’ Because that’s what guys wanna see,” Johnson said.
“If I put my talent with those guys, can we make a run for the championship? And that guy will talk to another guy and that’s how it’s gonna get started. And Julius Randle, I think guys would want to play with him because he plays hard, he’s a team player. He’s tough and rough,” he added.
Johnson said he’s glad that he had a hand in Randle’s early developments with the Lakers.
Randle’s hard work paid off with his first All-Star appearance, a spot in the All-NBA Second Team, and the Most Improved Player award on top of leading the Knicks to the first round of the playoffs.
While the Knicks, under former super-agent turned league executive Leon Rose, have finally found stability, the rest of the league is in a state of flux.
Some of the league’s stars enter the summer with their future in question.
Damian Lillard openly aired his frustrations in Portland following another first-round exit. Bradley Beal has one year left in his extension with a new coach coming in. Luka Doncic just lost the executive who handed him the keys to the Mavericks’ franchise. The Philadelphia 76ers are reeling from a second-round upset with Ben Simmon’s broken jumper.
Seven teams are searching for a new coach. Established superstars fell one by one in the first two rounds, failing to survive the pandemic-condensed season. There will be a new champion this season.
The Summer Olympics in Tokyo could be another breeding ground of a future super team.
For the first time in decades, the Knicks have a culture and a young playoff core to pair with their large cap space of more than $50 million.
Magic Johnson always tweets the obvious as a reaction to what’s happening around the league. This time, he’s manifesting the obvious direction of the Knicks’ franchise.
Can the Knicks capitalize?
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