It hit me last night, while Stephon Marbury was driving the basket then turning away, his disinterest kicking in just in the nick of time, or while Steve Francis pounded the ball as if trying to bore a hole to China, then charged head down to nowhere and threw it away, or Maurice Taylor doing anything, or Channing Frye limping out of the season, or Isiah Thomas staring as if trapped in a burning car, or Larry Brown trying to figure out what to say after this one.
|On dysfunction scale, can Knicks match Jacksons?|
These New York Knicks are not pretty. They are barely watchable, given that you're hiding your eyes most of the time. But they are historic, perhaps. We won't see their likes again for some time, I reckon -- or at least till next year.
The question now, with less than a month until the Knicks pack up the tent
and wait for the dry ice to settle on their lottery ball: In terms of all-time dysfunctional bunches, where do they rank? The definition covers not teams that are bad or even mediocre, which are a dime a dozen. More to the point, they must be composed of mismatched parts whose dysfunction rises in direct proportion to the salaries paid and the flop in terms of results achieved.
Chris Clarke at End of the Bench has already decided, it seems:
"This is the most any collection of players on one team has made since, say, ever. They are the most overpaid team in history at this point. I can’t think of the appropriate joke, but when did any group of people get paid so much to do such a terrible job?"
From one Chris to another and on to you, it's time to find out.
The most obvious corollary from today's landscape is Real Madrid, the galacticos trophyless for the past three years despite fielding the most glittering array of star power in the game, and a payroll. The New York Rangers of recent pre-lockout vintage were particularly dysfunctional.
Dipping back way into the past in these parts, the Argos of the early 1970s consistently signed high-priced talent (from Theismann to Anthony Davis to Terry Metcalf) and failed miserably, sometimes spectacularly.
Moving outside sports, how 'bout those Jacksons? Napoleon's Grand Armee?
Even Real, those Argos and the Jacksons look good next to the Knicks, whose record of 19 and 47 is but a game ahead of bottomest, second-year Charlotte in the league standing, and whose payroll of $124 million makes Mark Cuban's Mavericks ($97 mil.) look like pikers. And that payroll actually rises next year! So perhaps they're not done yet, these dysfunctional-for-the-ages Knicks.
I do think it's going to take something to catch them. Your candidates, please, for the Most Dysfunctional Teams in History. (And to start it off, nothing like a good Googlefight.)
UPDATE: That Skeets guy, he's back.