By John Schmeelk
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In the ’80s, the Knicks’ greatest enemy was Larry Bird and the Celtics. In the ’90s it was Michael Jordan and the Bulls, and then Reggie Miller with the Pacers. The Miami Heat would eventually come along with Pat Riley. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and the entire city of Boston enjoyed torturing the Knicks in the 2000s. When LeBron James joined forces with Dwyane Wade in Miami, the Heat became the Knicks’ new (old) foe.

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But today, the Knicks have an enemy they will never be able to defeat: the Knee.

At first glance, the Knee may not seem to be a threat. It often sits there minding its own business. It connects the femur to the tibia, and the patella to the femur. It has capsules, bursae, ligaments, menisci and cartilage.  It’s one of the most important joints of the human body, and without it one couldn’t play a sport like basketball. The Knee serves a purpose and would appear to be any human’s greatest friend.

But it’s not. The Knee is an evil, vile fiend that will destroy its hosts with impunity and pleasure. It has no conscience. It has no soul. It strikes without warning, hesitation or mercy. It destroys players, teams, seasons and franchises. No one can stop it. The Knee is pure evil.

Somewhere along the way, the Knicks crossed the Knee. They made an enemy of something they cannot hope to defeat. Perhaps it’s all the torture Ewing’s knees went through in the 90s. All the other knees are now seeking vengeance for Patrick’s creaky pair. Perhaps Bernard King’s knee is upset the Knicks traded him after it got hurt. Maybe Willis Reed’s knee is still upset about that whole Game 7 thing, and it couldn’t handle the fame and fortune that came with the publicity. Worst of all, Alan Houston’s bad knee that cost him his basketball career now works in the Knicks front office. Perhaps it is the inside man in all of this? Perhaps it is the mastermind. Whatever happened, the Knicks now have the most devious of foes, and unforgiving of enemies.

Only one thing could have stopped Linsanity: the Knee tearing the meniscus. Baron Davis had his knee literally explode on a simple drive to the rim in the playoffs. Iman Shumpert’s knee turned on him in the postseason too, robbing the defensive whiz of much of his athleticism in 2013. Even the Knicks’ former head coach, Mike D’Antoni, was felled by a bad knee, missing games with the Lakers this season. New York’s $100 million power forward Amar’e Stoudemire had offseason surgery on one of his balky knees. The Knee wasn’t done with him, so the other one took its turn in March. Even Carmelo Anthony isn’t immune, his knee so stiff he can’t even jump.

And then on Wednesday night, the Knee went for the kill. The one Knicks player that is truly irreplaceable, Tyson Chandler, went writhing to the floor holding his left knee. He was indestructible no more. Unable to put weight on the victimized leg, Chandler’s game was over. The same could be said of the Knicks’ season.

The Knee also apparently has some impressive mind-altering powers. It not only tears ligaments, destroys cartilage and bruises bones, but it also prevents the Knicks’ medical staff from treating it properly. It convinced Anthony and the Knicks’ doctors not to drain his knee under the guise of Melo’s fear of needles. Chandler isn’t scheduled to receive an MRI on his knee. The Knee will not allow it, even though Chandler was in serious pain and couldn’t put any pressure on his leg. It convinced the Knicks’ doctors that an MRI would be foolish since after all, his knee is merely sore and Chandler is just day to day. It convinced Lin last year to tell the media that his knee was 85 percent healthy, helping to destroy his credibility with Knicks fans.

The Knee is a puppet master, bending the Knicks to its will.

Michael Jordan? Step aside. Reggie Miller? Please! LeBron? A chump in comparison to the Knee.

It’s the villain the Knicks cannot beat. It may have ended New York’s season in the second week of March. It sits in the pantheon of greatest foes. It has decimated the Knicks relentlessly, and they have submitted.

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The game is over.

Knee, you win. Please, please, leave the Knicks alone.

They’ve had enough.

Mercy, please.


Schmeelk’s Snippets

– In all seriousness, the Knicks just can’t catch a break with all these injuries. Stoudemire’s knees are one thing considering his past. But Carmelo and Chandler? C’mon now. This is one of the most unlucky organizations I have ever seen.

– If Carmelo Anthony has his knee drained and misses games, it tells me one thing: It was more important for Melo to play the Nuggets in Denver than to get healthy and help the team long-term. It might not be fact, but that’s what it seems like. It’s just more and more cannon fodder for Melo haters to cling onto. It does show that the Knicks don’t really have anyone in charge. The decision on Melo’s knee should have been out of his hands. The doctors should tell him what to do, and he should do it with no questions asked.

– How is Tyson Chandler not getting an MRI? How on God’s green earth is that possible? I’m not a doctor, but wouldn’t that be the prudent and safe thing to do? Worst case scenario, it comes back negative. The Knicks have no one to blame but themselves for all this doubt, however. If they were more honest with the media and fans about injuries, there wouldn’t be all these questions.

You can follow me on Twitter @Schmeelk for everything Knicks, Giants, Yankees and New York sports.

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Worse than Reggie? Worse than MJ? Air your grievances with the Almighty Knee in the comments…