The Knicks may have moved on from missing out on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency, but there is still an underlying problem that the Knicks -- a once storied franchise in the league -- can no longer attract the game's biggest stars.
To make matters worse, these stars would rather play for New York's other team, the Brooklyn Nets, who do not carry as much cachet as the Knicks.
David Waldstein of the New York Times spent the week speaking with agents and other basketball executives, most of whom stayed anonymous, but confirmed what some had assumed: Players view the Knicks as a dysfunctional franchise with no stability.
Agents told Waldstein that players have taken note of the instability over the years, citing 10 coaches since 2001 and nearly as much change with top executives.
While James Dolan has shouldered much of the blame, he has appeared to back off in recent years, leaving much of the decision-making to top executive Steve Mills. Yet players have taken notice on how former Knicks player Charles Oakley was treated at a game two years ago when he was forcibly removed from Madison Square Garden.
Oakley went on WFAN earlier this week and cited his incident and the "toxic" environment among the reasons why players are avoiding the Knicks. He expanded on those thoughts with the New York Times.
"You see the fire burning, you don't drive into it," said Oakley, who has a pending lawsuit with Dolan over the incident. "It's as simple as that. They know what's going on. They have more awareness these days, and they can make up their minds on their own."
Not every agent seems to think the Knicks created this mess, though. Warren LeGarie, the agent for former Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni, believes that the Nets deserve credit for putting themselves in the right situation.
"I don't think it's so much what the Knicks did wrong," he said. "I think you have to look at all the things the Nets have done right."