Giants not yet ready

Rich Fyle column

From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:

The NBA is a wonderful entity for its players. When free agency arrives, it is like shoppers hitting the stores on Black Friday.

In the NBA, players announce their plans four minutes after the buzzer sounds; in MLB, players are lucky to sign four months into free agency.

While the Nets won Sunday’s sweepstakes, announcing they have signed Kevin Durant — the big prize though he will most likely miss the 2019-20 season because of a torn Achilles tendon suffered in the recent playoffs — Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan, the Knicks fell flat on their faces — again.

They got a consolation prize in former Laker and Pelican Julius Randle, who will help, but is nowhere of the stature of All-Stars Durant and Irving.

Ironically, Durant has been living in New York City since the season ended, but now the former Warrior decided to go with the rival Nets instead of the basketball mecca at Madison Square Garden.

It’s safe to say that Durant and Irving shied away from the Knicks because of James Dolan. He’s the worst owner in pro sports, inheriting the Knicks and MSG from his dad.

The Knicks’ past four seasons have been brutal — on and off the court, including four head coaches, a revolving door of mediocre players, executive Phil Jackson not working out, and an ugly Garden incident involving ex-Knick Charles Oakley.

The Knicks traded fan favorite Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks supposedly to free an unhappy budding superstar and free up cap space to sign two free-agent stars to max contracts.

But, Durant and Irving went elsewhere. The Knicks don’t have enough cap space to sign NBA Finals MVP and free agent Kawhi Leonard.

Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis and Wayne Ellington are veterans also coming to New York to form a nucleus around recent draftee RJ Barrett, and youngsters Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina.

New York has had two winning seasons since 2001 (42-40 in 2010-11 and 54-28 in 2012-13, a team of mostly thirtysomethings).

If the Knicks had signed Durant and he wasn’t ready until the 2020-21 season, the Knicks would have been a guaranteed playoff team. Instead, Durant and Irving walked over the bridge to Brooklyn, and New York will yet again miss the postseason in 2020.

Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at rfyle@wdt.net

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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