When KD and Kyrie pass you up and go to Brooklyn, it hurts. You trade Porzingis to clear cap space, go all in and then your city rival has a stronger hand. But, you can comfort yourself knowing they had a lot of other options and you (maybe) came close. But when a player says he chose retirement over playing for your team, that's not good.
Jefferson later cleared up that he was being sarcastic, but when you know everyone believed it to be a true story, you know the Knicks have a problem. David Fizdale is still their coach, but that doesn't mean he is safe in his position. It is still likely he gets fired and that will be another in a long list of irrational moves that will cement the Knicks as the worse run organization in the NBA.
All the schedule changes, in-season tournaments, and other attempts won't help wash away the bitter taste of James Dolan kicking fans out and making one mistake after another with the New York franchise. New York deserves better, but no-one said life was fair.