Jackson and Derek Fisher, the Knicks' new coach, might make that claim part of their final pitch once Anthony is through with his free-agent tour. They shouldn't bother trying to stuff the 41-year drought in the closet; they should use it as a selling point. Graves might not be a bad Garden employee to have in the room when they do.
"When we won," he said, "we won for generations of people, from grandchildren to grandparents. We were fortunate enough to celebrate it with the city as a much bigger family than just the organization and the players, and there's no bigger stage to experience that than New York and the Garden.
"I'm still a big fan of the Knicks, and I'd love to see Carmelo stay. He's definitely a more skilled player than I was. I was more of a grinder, more of a product of playing with [Leetch] and Messier. Carmelo is a much more talented man."
Despite those talents, Melo might end up as Patrick Ewing, a Knicks great with no parade to call his own. But then again, he might not.
In the end, Anthony would leave behind a lot if he signs in Chicago or elsewhere -- the money, Phil, the Garden, the comforts of home. But he'd also leave behind the drought, and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to end it in the city of cities the way the Rangers did in 1994.