Full disclosure: I haven't played a video game of any kind in 15 years.
College included many a late night spent getting whooped in Super Smash Bro's and occasionally winning a race in Mario Kart. That I stayed far, far away from any of the more serious gaming that went on in my dorm should let you know everything about my aptitude in the area. For me, third place was "not the worst loser."
So when I was called upon to participate in an NBA2K All-Time Knicks Fantasy Draft, I was more than a bit dubious. I imagined that even with no physical controller in my hands, being at the metaphorical controls of a video game team was enough to get me in trouble.
Lucky for me, the gaming gods shone down upon my wretched soul and gifted me with a series of picks that even I couldn't screw up.
With the third pick, I had arguably the easiest choice in the entire draft. There are three players in contention for greatest Knick ever, so picking whichever one fell to me wasn't rocket science.
Did I want Clyde over Reed, thanks mostly to the dearth of quality point guards throughout Knicks history? Sure. But beggars shalt not be choosy.
The black part of my basketball soul that's had to spend nearly its entire existence rooting for a team without a proper floor general did indeed rear its head with my second pick. Jeremy Lin had the highest rating of any choice left, and the only player close - Tyson Chandler - played the one position I didn't need.
Reed and Lin? Hey, what the hell...it's a video game.
With my second pick made, I was immediately rooting for one of three players to drop to me in round three: Oak (don't hate me), KP (please don't hate me) or Spree (somehow grabbing his crotch several times while yelling profanities at James Dolan in his first post-trade return to the Garden only further endeared him to fans. Shocker.)
Anyway, once KP and Oakley went off the board, I was thrilled to grab the man I once had the in-person pleasure of seeing almost force the Spurs to a Game 6 in '99. I also had the core of my team: a floor general, a two-way scoring wing, and a big.
Next up was the toughest decision of the draft. My team was desperate for some floor spacing, but the best ones on the board for my fourth pick were Hubert Davis and Bobby Portis.
So I did what I never do at fantasy drafts and took the guy I normally spend the rest of the night asking myself "why didn't I just take the guy I wanted?" and drafted Taj Gibson.
Spacing shmasing. Other than Lin, my team had the defensive chops to hang with anyone, and sure enough, my current favorite Knick was available in the last round - the one who would ensure plenty of 57-55 outcomes in my favor: Frank Ntilikina.
At the very least, this was a team I'd have all kinds of fun playing with in the video game world and rooting for in the real one. Does it have enough offense to hang with the best?
If I can draft '05 Mike D'Antoni and '11 Tom Thibodeau to co-coach this motley crew, it just might.