iman shumpert

Originally published in SLAM 175

It’s possible that the only thing more frustrating than being a Knicks fan is being a Knicks player. This dates back to the Patrick Ewing trade, or maybe even further back to the Larry Johnson four-point play, the most (and perhaps only) thrilling Knicks MSG moment of this generation. Jim Dolan has sought a return to that moment ever since he took control, yet nearly every move he’s made has run counter to that goal.

Hence the frustrations. The Knicks don’t want to be in rebuilding mode, so they’re always rebuilding. Quick fixes, promising talents sent off for proven ones (or at least familiar names), LIN and GALLINARI jerseys worn by fans long after the players are gone.

So we come to Iman Shumpert, the 17th pick in the 2011 Draft and likely the next participant in the Knicks’ ongoing game of musical roster. 
Remember Wilson Chandler? From unknown to phenom to traded, this is the well-worn path that Knicks first-round Draft picks travel, leaving only replica jerseys and the occasional highlight in their wake. In fact, they may as well trade all their first-round—whoops, too late.

Russ Bengtson