New York Knicks Misspell Draft Pick's Name on Jersey
These are interesting times to be affiliated with the New York Knicks. The once-proud franchise has not sniffed the postseason since 2013, parted ways with president Phil Jackson on Wednesday, is struggling to determine what to do with star forward Carmelo Anthony and recently considered dealing center/forward Kristaps Porzingis, supposedly one of the key figures in helping it to regain legitimacy. Well, the fun (or the foolishness) does not stop there, as the club, having chosen Frank Ntilikina with the eighth pick in June 22’s draft, botched the spelling of his name on his first practice jersey.
The 18-year-old lottery pick became “Ntilinka” on the shirt, which the organization gave to him on Wednesday. He went on to suffer a bruised knee during practice, causing him to miss yesterday’s practice and prompting the New York Daily News to question his suggestion. The Knicks hope to have the knack to knock off the Dallas Mavericks in tomorrow’s summer league opener, with Ntilikina stating that if he does not suit up, nobody should worry about that which helps him to support his 6-foot-5 frame.
“Bumped knee. Sore knee. Nothing crazy," he said. "But we played a lot of games in France—more than college games—I was just pretty tired and this happened."
Considering that the Knicks have secured only five playoff berths since advancing to the 2000 Eastern Conference Finals, his proclamation will likely not calm fans who have suffered through 211 losses in the last four campaigns. The spelling gaffe dovetails nicely with yesterday’s league announcement that the team, which featured prominently in the ranking from the beginning of the season until April, ended the year outside of the top 10 in merchandise sales. Depending on what happens with the mercurial Anthony, their stock could fall even more, so if Ntilikina is to play a role in their rejuvenation, here’s hoping Nike, the league’s new official uniform supplier, double checks the lettering on his jersey.