- (Photo: Reuters/Adam Hunger)
The New York Knicks surprised many when they bested the San Antonio Spurs in Texas on Thursday night, causing some of the team's previous naysayers to change their tune about the team.
Charles Barkley, NBA Hall of Fame player turned TNT basketball analyst on "Inside The NBA", made it clear that he didn't believe in the team's ability to succeed during the 2012-2013 season after their acquisition of veteran players Jason Kidd, 39, and Marcus Camby, 38.
"What year is this? It's 2012," Barkley said, poking fun of the Knicks at Bill Russell's Mentor's Champions Golf Challenge last September. "They went out and got 92-year-old Jason Kidd and 92-year-old Marcus Camby."
However, Barkley seemed to change his tune when he witnessed the Knicks beat the Spurs 104-100 which resulted in the New York team remaining as the only undefeated team left in the league.
"I'm on the Knicks bandwagon," Barkley said on "Inside The NBA" after witnessing the undefeated team's effort on Thursday night. "This year, they're going to have a good team."
Although Barkley later changed his mind to say that the Brooklyn Nets would have a better record than the Knicks at the end of the season, he did recognize that the team who he publicly chastised in the past had shown vast improvements. However, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, another Hall-of-Famer turned ESPN analyst, was not afraid to point out that the Knicks were an impressive team.
"I'm here to tell everybody the Knicks are for real. Keys to their success are great defense, outstanding passing & playing as a team," Johnson tweeted after the Knicks' sixth straight win on Thursday.
Stephen A. Smith, sports journalist and commentator on ESPN's "First Take", is a New York native who made it clear that he doubted the Knicks' abilities.
"We know what pieces the Knicks have. And history alone should tell us the picture isn't that pretty at 33rd Street and Seventh Avenue," Smith wrote in an ESPN report last summer.
However, after the team's win against San Antonio, Smith became another NBA insider to change his tune.
"Big-time win by the Knicks. I'm impressed. Good night for Knicks' fans," Smith tweeted. "Go NY, Go NY, Goooooooooo!!!"