The 12-48 Knicks beat the playoff-chasing Spurs on Sunday night, much to Spike Lee’s delight (or chagrin, since he’s rooting for them to tank). They’re having so bad of a season that any victory is magnified by 1,000.
But this win was special, not because it was their third win since Jan. 1 or second win since losing 18 in a row in a skid that started on Jan. 7. New York’s win was special because it ended one of the worst home losing streaks in pro sports history.
See, the Knicks hadn’t won a game at Madison Square Garden since they defeated Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Bucks in overtime, 136-134. That was on Dec. 1, 18 home games ago. The year changed, then the month changed, before the Knicks saw another win in front of their home fans.
The Knicks broke a streak that tied for the third-longest home losing skid in the four major professional sports.
The Knicks win a home game for the first time since December 1.
Their 18-game home losing streak was tied for the third-longest all-time in MLB./NHL/NFL/NBA history. pic.twitter.com/CuqfdNU2bi
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 25, 2019
So many days have passed since that victory that superstars aren’t on the same teams. New York’s own superstar isn’t even its superstar anymore. Here are a few key things that happened — on and off the court — since New York’s last home win.
1. Carmelo Anthony was playing minutes in Houston
I couldn’t help it. I lied: Melo hasn’t played any minutes in a game since early November. Sorry.
2. Zion Williamson made a shoe explode
3. The federal government shut down
This is not funny. The government is still partially shut down and it needs to end asap.
Internal documents obtained by The New York Times show that the Coast Guard lost about 28.5 years’ worth of workdays as a direct result of the partial U.S. government shutdown https://t.co/rJhrRSfAuQ
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 23, 2019
4. Paul George became an MVP candidate
Looks like an MVP to me.
5. LeBron got hurt, missed a ton of games, then returned
LeBron strained his groin on Christmas and missed 18 games recovering from injury. He returned consistently on Feb. 5, and the Knicks still had not won a game at home.
Sidebar: Are the Lakers gonna make the playoffs? Los Angeles went 6-12 in the 18 games James missed, and in the Western Conference, you can’t miss a beat. Now, Los Angeles is below .500 and three games below the West’s eighth seed.
Well, yeah. The Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Trey Burke to the Mavericks for Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews (bought-out, signed with Indiana), DeAndre Jordan, and two future first-round picks.
In doing so, they created room for two max free agents. KD and Kyrie to NYC, confirmed.
7. These players changed teams
8. Joe Harris became the best shooter in the world
Steph Curry let a Starbucks barista beat him in the 3-point shootout. Couldn’t be my MVP.
Davis informed the Pelicans he would not be signing a contract extension with them and requested to be traded — preferably to the Lakers, Bucks, Knicks, or Clippers. It started a whole saga between the Lakers and Pelicans, whose trade discussions were being aired out on social media.
The Lakers are still glad to engage with the Pelicans on an Anthony Davis trade, but no longer want to bid against themselves, league sources tell ESPN. Lakers are waiting for Pelicans to make a counter-proposal.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 5, 2019
The Pelicans opted not to trade Davis to the Lakers at the deadline, even though Los Angeles reportedly offered everything imaginable: Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Michael Beasley, Rajon Rondo, Lance Stephenson, future first- and second-round picks. They even would have taken back Solomon Hill’s awful contract.
New Orleans didn’t bite, then fired general manager Dell Demps. Will they ever see a deal that good for Davis, again? Only Boston will tell.
10. Oh yeah, and the Knicks won again
Smith also almost obliterated Davis Bertans:
The streak is over, Knicks fans. To the ping pong balls you go.