How the Knicks’ terrible leadership turned a contender into 20 years of misery

Two important things happened to the mighty New York Knicks in 1999: First, after years of contending and one very strange regular season, the 8th-seeded Knicks made an incredible run to the NBA Finals. Second, noted rich person James Dolan inherited control of the team. What seemed like the dawn of another prosperous era was very much not that. After failing to match their ’99 run the following season, the Knicks made a foolish, desperate trade to rid themselves of superstar Patrick Ewing. Thus began a pattern of horrid leadership on Dolan’s dime: 20 years of patching holes, refusing to rebuild, falling short of expectations, courting scandal, and losing. So much losing. This is the tale of how THE KNICKS became … the Knicks. This is a collapse.

Written and produced by Seth Rosenthal

Shot and edited by Jiazhen Zhang

Motion graphics by Michael Das and Phil Pasternak

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