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3 ideas for a Knicks rebrand

New York Knicks owner James Dolan. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

The Knicks aren’t cool. 

We didn’t need Kevin Durant to tell us that, either. 

No, the un-hipness at Madison Square Garden stems from losing basketball and plenty of dysfunction to boot. 

Since the start of the 2013-14 season, the Knicks are 180-365 under six different head coaches. 

With another losing season all but confirmed, the 2019-20 season will be the 15th time in the past 19 seasons that the Knicks failed to make the playoffs. That’s a difficult feat considering half the conference makes the postseason each year. 

They lack a true star as their best hopes of future success are in the infancy of their respective careers and need proper development. Since 2012-13, the Knicks have had three All-Stars (Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Kristaps Porzingis). 

New York can’t seem to get one even when they try as they continuously miss out on marquee free agents — most notably last summer when they saw Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving sign with the crosstown Nets while Kawhi Leonard headed out to Los Angeles to join the Clippers. 

Only until James Dolan and Co. figure out how to put together a winning team will the Knicks truly become cool again, but they aren’t afraid of trying to take a shortcut or two. 

The Knicks hired brand agency Translation and media mogul, Steve Stoute, to provide a much-needed makeover for the franchise. 

So while they might not have the best playing product on the court, maybe the Knicks could start looking cooler… or sounding cooler if everything goes well. 

Here are a few ideas:

Bring back the black

If you look good, you play good. So why not hearken back the last golden age of franchise history by bringing back the uniforms of the team that made an improbable run to the 2000 NBA Finals? 

Those late 90s, early 2000s jerseys were still mostly white, blue, and orange, but they featured prominent black piping on the road uniforms while the underlay behind the “KNICKS” logo was also black. 

It’s amazing what a slight logo and jersey change can do for an organization and fan base, especially when it reminds fans of the days of Patrick Ewing, Allan Houston, and Larry Johnson. 

 

Change the floor, too

Complete the look of the last time the Knicks were cool by bringing back the floor, too. 

Walking into Madison Square Garden with a court designed featured 20 years ago will take fans into a time machine when the arena actually rocked and the Knicks were fun. 

 

A return to the blue-collar mindset

You’re not going to make Madison Square Garden “The Mecca” just by saying it. Only winning will change that notion. 

However, bringing a gritty, hard-working vibe to the organization and the Garden can help change the culture around the team. Too often is Madison Square Garden’s lower bowl featured by suits and executives who are on their phones more than watching the game. 

Do what is needed to make MSG an inhospitable environment to the opposition rather than a destination for celebrities. If that means lowering ticket prices or bringing a true New York City feel to the Knicks, do it. 

Fans gravitate to an organization and players they can relate with, not one with astronomical ticket prices who kicks people out of the arena for chanting “SELL THE TEAM.”

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