Last night the Knicks announced that Patrick Ewing Jr. would be cut from the team and the last man on the roster would be Shawne Williams. Predictably, many fans were ready to turn the streets red with management’s blood over the weighty topic of who would look the nicest in a suit at the end of the bench.
First, the Knicks invited Ewing Jr. to an NBA training camp two times when nobody else would even look at him. Second, they gave him guaranteed cash which is exceedingly rare for a training camp invitee.
Most importantly though with respect to this Karmic damnation argument, the goal is to win, not to satiate and realign the cosmos. In that vein, contrary to some of the basketball reasons given in response to my tweet, indications from Knicks brass and most media are that Williams simply is more talented than Jr. and outplayed him.
And despite the mostly widespread acknowledgment from the media that Williams has flat-out been better than Ewing Jr., some pundits who have met him are still nonetheless distraught. Which brings me back to the point I was trying to make last night when I tweeted that as fans, none of us really know Ewing Jr. Those who have gotten to know him undoubtedly have been charmed and legitimately like the man.
Maybe that’s an advantage of being a fan though. I can siphon out the charm and wit and ebulliance of the man. All I want – all things being equal – is the best possible depth on the bench, not only for in-game rotation purposes or to protect the team in case of injury, but also for spirited and competitive practices.
Finally, I’ll add that even if you are inclined (as some folks on Twitter were) to point to political factors in the decision for the 15th man (Williams and Amar’e share an agent), sometimes backscratching and string pulling are more important to the long-term success of the team than a marginal improvement (if Ewing Jr. indeed is an improvement over Williams), at the very end of the bench.
Anyway, please don’t take any of this the wrong way because I don’t have anything against Ewing Jr. and I hope he succeeds because he seems nice. But honestly, doesn’t this seem like we’re all wasting a lot of brain-cells on the 15th man?