The Journey To Rebuild The New York Knicks In NBA 2K17’s MyGM Mode

You will not know the stress of paying luxury taxes like real NBA owners until you NBA 2K17's myGM mode.
You will not know the stress of paying luxury taxes like real NBA owners until you NBA 2K17's myGM mode. 2K

The New York Knicks are currently one of the biggest laughingstocks in professional sports, let alone the NBA. Their ridiculously expensive signings over the years ( Tim Hardaway Jr., Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and the list goes on and on) has done nothing to push the team back to relevance. New York Knick fans like myself have been on heart attack watch during Knick seasons and there is no relief. So what do you do?

You become the general manager of the New York Knicks in NBA 2K17.

In MyGM mode, team owners give their GM’s goals that they must achieve at certain points of the season. Now the Knicks owner (which began to feel like real-life general manager James Dolan) commanded that I create $25 million in salary cap space for free agency after the season and somehow acquire a second first-round draft pick in the NBA Draft. Now obviously, these were the two biggest goals assigned to me, and by far the most difficult. Other team targets including not letting the team chemistry go below 60% for the season, win 20 home games and trade one of two bench players.

The season began and I felt confident. I released fourth-string center Mason Plumlee and signed backup point guard Tony Wroten to alleviate pressure from starting guard Derrick Rose, whom I assumed would get hurt at some point. The season began with tough early losses to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics. As the season moved on, it was good and bad as I sat in eighth playoff spot towards the beginning of February.

Around midseason is when I began my steps to clear cap space. I traded one of the players that my owner requested I send away and then came the big moves. I looked at the Knicks’ payroll and realized that I had to trade most of my entire starting lineup to create the cap space my owner wanted. The first move was to trade Joakim Noah to the Lakers for Jordan Clarkson, a combo guard that will be my point guard of the future once Rose’s contract is up after this season.

Then came the heavy lifting. Right after I traded Noah, Carmelo Anthony, probably my best player, requested that I trade him. His unhappiness dropped the team’s chemistry to below 60 percent, which meant I failed one of my owner’s goals. At that point, the search was on.

The trade I made (and the only trade that I was offered) was Anthony and Courtney Lee’s bad contract to the Atlanta Hawks for Dwight Howard’s bad contract and Paul Millsap. Millsap was an excellent addition. However, his deal has a player option for the following season for north of $20 million which could kill my payroll the next season.

These deals have created a team that while very big defensively, cannot score a point from outside for their life. I either shut teams down in a knockdown, drag out contest or get blown out by better teams who can score in bunches. I did defeat the Cavaliers, but that was because of a bad shooting game by Kyrie Irving and LeBron James. The second half of the season featured a two-game winning streak, followed by a three-game losing streak, followed by a four-game winning streak.

I now sit in the ninth spot in the Eastern Conference, a game and a half of out the playoffs. What happens in the last month and a half of the 2017-2018 season? What moves will I make in the off-season, and will they mirror the moves the real-life Knicks made this off-season?

Stay tuned in the week ahead as I’ll share a part-two to this story, detailing how I will continue rebuilding the New York Knicks into a contender. I can’t do any worse than the real Knicks’ front office, right?

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