Ever since the legend of Rucker Park, New York has been proclaimed the “Mecca of Basketball”, mostly known for its physical and competitive street ball. While that is cool and all, does it really deserve such a high prized title with the huge disparity in basketball championships? Obviously New York brings out some great basketball prospects every year, but there really is no reason why we should even consider New York being the mecca of basketball.
Now I realize that I might be getting some moans and groans by saying this from non-Chicago sports fans, but Chicago is the true mecca of basketball. For starters, Chicago is home to a plethora of NBA superstars throughout the years. Some of the most notable names include: Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Isiah Thomas, Mark Aguirre, Tim Hardaway, Kevin Garnett, George Mikan, Candice Parker, and the list goes on. In the last few years, Chicago has had the top rated high school recruit in basketball three times in 2008 number one draft pick Derrick Rose, the projected 2012 number one draft pick Anthony Davis and the 2013 number one recruit, Jabari Parker. In those six years, New York has had three in the top 20.
The next argument is one that is well known, and almost not even necessary to state, but I will just for the hell of it. New York has won two NBA Championships in the last 42 years, which does not include any of the years they had Patrick Ewing. In that same time frame, the Jordan, Pippen, Phil Jackson and the Bulls won six NBA titles. The Knicks have made it to the playoffs twice since the ’01-’02 season, losing in the first round both years.
New York clearly has not realized that basketball is a TEAM sport, but rather continue to believe that the “street ball” mentality is the best way to win. Obviously this strategy has not worked out. It’s quite comical to see how easily Knicks fans forget about Carmelo Anthony when he’s hurt on the bench when a real team player in Jeremy Lin is out there working his ass off every night to get a win for his ball club. While trading for Melo looks phenomenal on paper, teaming up with Amar’e has yet to work and they have yet to show any signs of improvement. It’s funny because since the Nuggets traded the whiny superstar to New York, Denver has had a better record, above the .500 mark while New York isn’t even close to the .500 mark since the deal went down. All Carmelo cares about is how many points he’s going to score that night. As Charlie wrote about in an earlier post, it doesn’t look like the Melo/Lin/Smith trio will be as good as they look on paper.
Chicago has the youth, talent, depth and will to win throughout all levels of basketball. It’s time for Chicago as a city to get some respect and be recognized as the true mecca of basketball.