Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Every New York sports fan has their one favorite player or coach, past or present, that they absolutely love. They've given years of service to help your favorite team win, and they've done so while playing or managing at the highest level.
But not every marriage has come to a happy ending in the Big Apple.
While this city has had its fair share of legends on every team, there have also been some pretty bad breakups throughout each league. And, as agents of chaos in this case, we're here to remind you of some of the ugliest divorces that your favorite teams have seen in recent years.
Why exactly are we bringing this up now? Well, the Knicks are in Dallas to face the Mavericks on Friday night, and that brings us to our first breakup: Kristaps Porzingis.
On Thursday, Porzingis discussed his time with the Knicks, and how it certainly didn't end the way both sides wanted it to. He was traded to the Mavs just before the deadline after he reportedly didn't like the direction the team was going.
SNY's Ian Begley reported earlier on Thursday that he was game to stay in New York, but wasn't sure what exactly changed his mind enough to tell the Knicks, along with his brother/agent Janis, he wanted a trade.
The Knicks gave in and made a blockbuster trade just before the deadline to move Porzingis, who was still rehabbing from a torn ACL, to Dallas.
"It definitely wasn't the way I wanted it to happen," he told The Post's Greg Joyce after practice. "But there wasn't really other way how to do it. Then with all the emotions going on in that moment when I got traded, I put out some stupid Instagram stories, just laying in my bed late at night."
Porzingis added it simply "wasn't ideal" and "it is what it is." But this isn't the only broken relationship between a star and his team in this city.
Here are some other tough breakups the city had to endure:
Odell Beckham Jr. & Giants
This was the most recent breakup in the city, with the Giants trading away arguably their most gifted playmaker in franchise history back in March.
When the Giants drafted Beckham in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the LSU product was said to be someone the fanbase would fall in love with as he had a flare for the highlight-reel play while being an absolute nightmare to cover. Go watch "The Catch" real quick, then come back to this article.
But every star wide receiver comes with his "diva" problems, right? Beckham was afraid to speak his mind and participate in antics on the field as well. From trying to take Josh Norman's head off at MetLife Stadium to proposing to a kick net, Beckham also had a flare for being in the New York spotlight, no matter if it was good or bad.
Well, it reached its peak in March when GM Dave Gettleman pulled the trigger on a blockbuster trade with the Browns to send Beckham over to Cleveland. And this came after signing him to a massive extension that made him the NFL's highest-paid receiver. Does that make any sense? That's another matter or discussion, but you'll definitely still see Beckham jerseys at Giants games.
Bill Belichick & Jets
For Jets fans, that name alone gets either a large, exaggerated eye roll, menacing sneer, or "*insert expletive* that guy!"
But that isn't just because Belichick has been torturing the Jets in the AFC East for years with Tom Brady at the helm. No, it's also due to the fact that Belichick could easily be doing that to the Patriots right now along the Jets sideline.
Back in 1999, Bill Parcells was stepping down as head coach of the Jets, but already set things up so Belichick -- his assistant coach since 1997 -- could take over. However, Belichick pulled the most Belichick move ever by resigning from his new position just one day after accepting it. And he did so by writing, "I resign as HC of the NYJ," on a napkin...
He, then, took over as the Pats head coach and the rest is history -- history Jets fans can't forget about because it's been going on since 2000.
Matt Harvey & Mets
When your first full season in the Bigs ends with a 2.27 ERA over 26 starts with 191 strikeouts and an All-Star appearance, you deserve to be called "The Dark Knight." But, oh, how that didn't last forever.
In his prime, Harvey was one of the best pitchers in baseball. After coming back in 2015 following a full season rehabbing in 2014, he was a key cog in leading the National League-champion Mets to the World Series with a 2.71 ERA over 29 starts.
But Harvey also had his tribulations over his Mets career. When they happened off the field, many would brush that off because he was so good. When your play regresses, though...that doesn't fly.
Harvey began faltering in the 2016 season and it would only continue to fall until the Mets let him go in 2018. The Dark Knight never returned, and after a 7.09 ERA with the Angels this season, he may not return to MLB at all.
Mark Messier & Rangers
Some Rangers fans might be shaking their heads right now. How could Messier, a golden child in this organization, be on the list? Well, there was a very rocky moment in this relationship.
Following the 1996-97 season, a 36-year-old Messier had just helped the Rangers get to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they fell to the Flyers. However, with Messier's contract up, he and the Rangers couldn't find any common ground. A deal couldn't be reached between both sides, and though he wanted to remain a Ranger for the rest of his career, Messier would sign with the Canucks and play three full seasons up in Vancouver.
But, of course, we have a second marriage in this love story where Messier came back to his lovely Rangers and retired on their ice. Today, he's one of the franchise's most celebrated players.
John Tavares & Islanders
Let's stick with hockey here, and highlight a once-beloved star on the ice turn into public enemy No. 1 on Long Island (and Brooklyn?).
Tavares was "The Captain," the anchor of the Islanders franchise since he was the No. 1 overall pick to them in 2009. He played nine seasons with the blue and orange, collecting 621 points over 669 games played. But, when his rookie deal came to a close after the 2017-18 season, Islanders fans couldn't bear seeing him hit the free agent market.
That's exactly what happened, and the Islanders prepared for it. They hired Lou Lamoriello to run their hockey operations and serve as the team's president and brought in new head coach Barry Trotz, who was fresh off a Stanley Cup with the Capitals. But Tavares didn't care for those bells and whistle -- he wanted to go home.
Tavares signed with the Maple Leafs to return to Toronto, and now you'll hear a roar of boos throughout the Tri-State when he comes to the Coliseum or Barclays Center. And that will continue when the Isles new arena is finished building at Belmont.
Keyshawn Johnson & Jets
The Jets owned the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 Draft after going a dreadful 1-15 the season prior. But there was no doubt they would fix that with USC's Keyshawn Johnson joining their team.
The 6-foot-4 wideout was a highlight reel in pads, and the Jets and head coach Bill Parcells got to work with him first in the NFL. Johnson was a main reason why the team turned things around immediately in 1997 with a 9-7 record and they would win the AFC East at 12-4 in 1998.
By the end of his rookie deal, though, Johnson just didn't want to be in New York anymore after falling short of a Super Bowl. While he wanted to return home to San Diego to play with the Chargers, he ended up going to the Bucs. There, he would win a Super Bowl in 2002 with Jon Gruden at the helm.
Joe Torre & Yankees
It's hard to think of a Yankee player for this list, as many of the fan favorite either left amicably or rode off into the sunset wearing pinstripes. However, a legendary manager in Torre left with a sour taste in his mouth.
Torre was a four-time World Series champion while serving as the Yankee skipper, leading one of the greatest dynasties in all of sports from 1996-2000. But, following the 2007 season where the Yanks fell short of the World Series again, everyone knew Torre's future in pinstripes was in jeopardy.
But Hal Steinbrenner, running the team at this point for his father George Steinbrenner, served an interesting offer to bring Torre back in 2008. It was a $5 million deal with $1 million in bonuses that would come if the Yankees won the ALDS, AlCS and World Series.
For a manager of his stature, that was a slap in the face for the media, fans, and everyone else paying attention to the situation. Torre scoffed at the deal and left for the sunny West Coast to manage the Dodgers. To have led the Yanks from 1996 to 2007, and have the success he had, it was an ending you really hate to see.