Entering the NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers were expected to be the worst. The Detroit Pistons, bad. The Minnesota Timberwolves too.
But, the team stinking up the joint more than any other this season is the New York Knicks.
Phil Jackson is there. Carmelo Anthony made his triumphant return in free agency. And Amare Stoudemire is there too.
None of that has helped. Because the Knicks are bad, and on Thursday they were bad in front of a London crowd the NBA was hoping to impress with the game.
It was the Knicks' franchise-record 16th straight loss, a 95-79 loss to a Milwaukee Bucks team playing the remainder of the season without star rookie Jabari Parker.
Injuries have certainly played a role, but they also aren't everything.
Both Anthony and Stoudemire returned from knee injuries on Thursday. Anthony scored 25 and left incredibly frustrated with a team that has now lost 26 of 27 games to be 5-36.
''It's just a recurring act,” Anthony told AP. “It's the same thing happening over and over again,'' Anthony said. ''We're the only people that can control that.''
Anthony played plenty of minutes, but Stoudemire was limited in his return.
''I'm back. I'm back playing,'' Anthony said. ''I really think these two weeks really helped.''
Knicks coach Derek Fisher said that Stoudemire could have played more minutes if the game was closer.
Will Stoudemire return?
The Knicks intend to keep Stoudemire the rest of the season until he becomes a free agent. After that, it's uncertain where he will play.
“It’s a very difficult situation at this point," Stoudemire said on Wednesday. “It’s a hard decision for me to make. My loyalty has always been with New York and the Knicks.
“So it will be tough right now to make a decision as far as going somewhere else at this point. It’s something I have to think about. I’m sure over time I’ll sit and think about the best scenario for myself.
“For now, I know I’ve been through injuries throughout my career. I have to make sure I’m able to be strong enough and prepared to play for a team contending for a championship. New York is trying to rebuild. Hopefully that will be sooner than later.”