Despite residing in the biggest market in North American sports, the New York Knicks have struggled to attract top-tier free agents.
Whether due to mismanagement or the loom-and-gloom reputation of the franchise, the Knicks have been a rather irrelevant bunch since winning their last Championship in the early 70s.
But after an inspiring campaign this past season, where they made a run to the NBA playoffs, there is renewed hope that things might finally start turning around.
In an appearance on Key Jay & Z, Lakers legend Magic Johnson declared the Knicks to be a hot free-agent attraction once again.
“Superstars are gonna want to play here now (in New York),” Johnson said. “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.
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,” Magic added. “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.”
It's not just the Knicks record that improved this season, it was their culture.
They played hard, together, and with a certain intensity that really made them a joy to watch. And although they got bounced in the first round, they played admirably for a team with a roster of their caliber.
Whether or not it will be enough to bring in a superstar, however, remains to be seen.