When New York Knicks fans heard that they lost Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers, only memes could capture the futility of being a New York fan.
It’s not easy being a fan of the New York Knicks.
That’s why beating the Boston Celtics in Game 1 feels like winning the NBA Finals, and why a 5-1 record would inspire Knicks superfan Sam Morril to say the team was ready to go all the way as the No. 1 seed last November.
Perhaps the Knicks could have become the No. 1 seed if they had landed Donovan Mitchell the way NYC collectively hoped and planned to do, but alas, the Cleveland Cavaliers have promptly squashed any hope that he would make it home to New York.
The pain that New Yorkers are now forced to grapple with has made the team the laughingstock of the sports world, with the entire NBA landscape swooping in and sharing callous memes that so clearly relish eternal suffering.
It is a joke at this point that Knicks fans were so sure Mitchell was theirs only to see him slip through New York’s fingers. It is, sadly, classically, very on-brand, and the internet shows no signs of letting the Knicks ever forget it.
The internet comes together to frolic in the unending Knicks suffering caused by the Donovan Mitchell trade to Cleveland
First, this isn’t just random cosmic injustice: the Knicks just weren’t willing to pay for Mitchell in the way that the Cavs were, so they lost out on the deal.
Naturally, Stephen A. Smith has become the face and voice of expressing pent-up frustration in a way no other can.
The tragedy is something everyone reveled in. Betting companies who know all too well what upsets look like laughed at New Yorkers thinking this was a done deal. There weren’t enough memes to describe how New Yorkers must be taking the news.
Some Knicks fans are coping by completely pivoting to RJ Barrett and focusing on what he can bring to the team. The Knicks re-signed Barrett, signaling that the Mitchell trade was even more unlikely, and now the question is whether or not Barrett can generate enough pull for a fellow star himself.
Then there’s another familiar coping mechanism: complete and utter denial. See you at MSG in a couple years, Donovan.
These things happen to every fanbase, but for the NBA’s most valuable team, these catastrophes shouldn’t happen as often as they do.