NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A source has told ESPN that Knicks owner James Dolan expects his team to win the NBA title this season.
Dolan reportedly told coaches and team executives that he expects nothing short of the Knicks delivering the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy to their long-suffering fan base.
“He told them he believes they have enough talent to win it all — and he expects it to happen this year,” one source told ESPN.”
Dolan’s sudden belief shocked those in attendance at the meeting.
“A few people were a bit surprised, taken aback. But he’s the owner. He has a right to expect it,” a source told ESPN.
The franchise’s last championship came in 1973, when Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe were manning the backcourt.
Many NBA experts have the Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers ahead in their Eastern Conference predictions. Very few have chosen the Knicks to win the Atlantic Division. as the Nets are hot favorites.
The Knicks took a step in the right direction last season. They won 54 games and finished in second place in the Eastern Conference. They won a playoff series for the first time in 13 years by defeating the Boston Celtics in six games in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Indiana Pacers knocked the Knicks out of the conference semifinals in six games.
Notable additions Andrea Bargnani and Metta World Peace have boosted hopes of a deep playoff run, but J.R. Smith’s knee issues are a concern for the Knickerbockers.
No matter how high or low the Knicks finish, one thing’s for sure — it will all come down to franchise icon Carmelo Anthony. Melo has the opportunity to opt out of his current contract and test the free-agent waters.
Anthony has stated his desire to become a free agent in the offseason.
It will certainly be a defining season for the Knicks, especially with Dolan piling on the pressure.
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