Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Now Is The Time

Isiah Thomas should be fired. Now. I know it’s only 9 games into the season. And I know that this road trip was brutal. I also know that the next few games are against tough opponents: Golden State, Detroit, Chicago, and Utah. All these teams were in the second round last year. And I know the East has gotten better.

I know that Isiah is a wonderful drafter. I might even dare say he’s possibly the best drafter of all time. Damon Stoudamire, Marcus Camby, Tracy McGrady, David Lee, Nate Robinson, Mardy Collins, Trevor Ariza, and Wilson Chandler. That’s a fantastic team – and off the top of my head I can’t think of any GM that has done better with less in terms of drafting.

I know that the Knick team he inherited was a mess. The NBA’s worst salary cap, with little talent, and no young prospects. Scott Layden’s tenure was awful in New York. He took a near-championship level team, and turned them into a void. And I know this team is better than the one Isiah inherited nearly 4 years ago. I know Isiah wanted a younger and more athletic team. I can’t argue that this team isn’t younger and more athletic. That’s without a doubt.

I know that Isiah has been hit with a string of bad luck. Even Hollinger thought Marbury was a near-All Star around the time the Knicks acquired him. And who thought that a pair of Hall of Fame caliber coaches in Lenny Wilkens and Larry Brown would end up the way they did. OK I might have thought Wilkens would have ended that way, but Larry Brown?

I know all these things. Yet the bottom line remains: this team isn’t a winner. Under Isiah’s tenure, the Knicks have finished with 39, 33, 23, and 33 wins. This year they’ve started off 2-7. And things don’t look to get better. Not with their upcoming schedule.

Dolan gave Isiah his extension early on an impulse. Just when the team was doing the opposite they are now – looking really good. At the time, their win streak put them into the playoffs and seemingly showed that the team had turned the corner. However things are as bleak as they can be. The season has barely begun, and it’s nearly over for New Yorkers. Coming off the heels of an embarrassing summer, and as nearly embarrassing controversy with their point guard. Coming off a road trip where they dropped 4 straight games, the last one by 32. Coming off of 6 straight losses.

Everything is in place for an Isiah exit. Grunwald can take over as GM. Herb Williams is still around to coach. The team is better off than they were 4 years ago. There are some good young players and assets to build on. The only thing left is finding the time to do it. And the time is now.

119 comments on “Now Is The Time

  1. Paul

    I agree that Isiah should be fired. As a GM he’s one of the best going around in terms of drafting, and acquiring talent. But his coaching record isn’t up to scratch.

    He hasn’t proven himself a winner as a coach. He’s had his time, and he’s failed. Time to move on. How many years does a coach need to prove he can coach. He’s had 4yrs with the Knicks and done nothing as a coach.

  2. RKade32

    Isiah should’ve been fired about 3 years ago…unfortunately you can’t count on Dolan to do anything right, so I’m not holding my breath

  3. jon abbey

    one thing that’s awesome is that if we finish with as bad a record as it looks like we will, that we traded what will be a very high second round pick for Nichols, who Isiah didn’t even deign to make space for on the roster. whoooooooo!

  4. Stan Markiewicz

    This Knick management has run some good coaches out of town. Looking back to 1995 they refused to give Pat Riley the same power that Isiah has now and look what Riley has done manageing and coaching the Heat. We then had Don Nelson and Knick management took the advice of the players who didn’t want to conform to his style, so they fired him after a half a season and a winning record at the time. Then Dolan lets Layden set into motion the worst melt down since the ice age. An in walks Isiah, who somehow manages to hire two hall of fame coaches (Wilkens and Brown) to guide the ship, to only later somehow convince the majority of New Yokers into believing that both these coaches are losers. But the truth being is both coaches were simply great coaches that inheritted flawed teams and givin a week to make them winners with no input. All four of these coaches are winners. Riley coached the Lakers to several NBA titles and the Heat to one title. Nelson has coached many teams deep into the playoffs and the 1994 Olympic team to Gold. Wilkens is known to be one of the greatest teachers of the game. Though he never one the big one he did come within one game of a title coaching the Sonics. And Brown reached the ultimate goal in both the NCAA and the NBA. Whats said is we had all these coaches on the payrole over the last 15 years and not only do we not have a title to show for it but this team has done nothing but bury itself in the cellar. But all is not lost. The Dolans can improve this team in just two simple moves. First they must fire Isiah. Then sell the team!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. jon abbey

    the above post is unbelievably misguided in almost every aspect (until the last sentence anyway), but the one question I’ll ask is:

    if Brown and Wilkens were still such great coaches, why has no one hired them since they left NY?

  6. Peter

    Nothing good can happen till the team is owned by a non-idiot. Is there any way a fan can support the players, while putting pressure on the owner to sell? A boycott? Any ideas out there?

  7. paolodelac

    I think the Knicks should ride out the bad contracts they have now, don’t take on any new ones. Choose either zach or curry to build the team on, trade one of them, keep the young talent and let them grow until 2010 where we can get a high caliber player who can help us with the championship push

  8. gmal

    Lupica, Lawrence, and Isola all had decent articles this morning on Isiah (although I definitely think they are huge anti- Isiah guys).
    He should be fired but J. Dolan would like justification to save millions off the remaining 24 mill he owes Zeke. He’s waiting for stern to provide that with a ruling over the anucha case.
    Jon, right on the money with Nichols. I couldn’t understand that especially since Houston couldn’t cut it, Q’s health has always been a concern and crawford is inconsistant. Add to that the passing over of Marcus Williams in a previous draft, not drafting players out of Europe and unprotecting a lottery 1st rounder in the Curry deal.

  9. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “if Brown and Wilkens were still such great coaches, why has no one hired them since they left NY?”

    Is your contention that Brown somehow aged rapidly between 2005 when he won 54 games and was one game away from winning his second straight championship, and his 2006 season when he could only guide New York to 23 wins?

  10. Matthew

    I don’t want to bring this to a tangent too much, but I disagree strongly that Isiah is a great talent evaluator / drafter. Part of talent evaluation is figuring out how/if the player fits into the team’s short term and long term plans. I think Isiah completely stinks at both of these. He doesn’t have a plan for how to build a team, he assembles random parts that don’t really fit together very well. Tracy McGrady was a great pick from a talent standpoint. But he didn’t want to stick around with the Raptors, be it because of weather or his cousin hold on the spotlight, but part of talent evaluation is finding this stuff out. In practical purposes, that has to be considered a wasted pick. The Raptors got nothing out of it, except 1 decent playoff run.

    Has Isiah ever drafted a player who made the all-star team for the team he drafted them for? I can’t think of one.

  11. jon abbey

    “Is your contention that Brown somehow aged rapidly between 2005 when he won 54 games and was one game away from winning his second straight championship, and his 2006 season when he could only guide New York to 23 wins? ”

    I’ve always thought Brown was somewhat overrated, to be honest. he got a limited Sixers team to the Finals, but he did it by driving them so hard that most of those players have been a shell of themselves ever since. in Detroit, he inherited a very good team already from Carlisle. I give him credit for the championship season, but that team has basically coached themselves after that, proven mediocrity Flip Saunders has done pretty well with them since then.

    as for Brown’s “performance” in NY, he made Isiah look like John Wooden, the single worst coaching season I’ve ever seen from anyone, going beyond bad to unprofessional. as bad as Isiah has been, Brown’s year here was the low point of this Knicks era.

    and when I said “hired” above, I meant as head coach, not as the token front office positions those guys have gotten since then.

  12. Ted Nelson

    They might wait to bring someone new in until the Knicks have a soft spot in the schedule so the new Presidnent/GM looks good.

    Matthew-

    Your point that talent evaluation should be judged in the context of building a team is well taken. As the ultimate decision maker on personnel matters drafting can only really be judged in the context of how you used it to build your team.

    However, it’s hard to knock Isiah for taking an 18 year old out of high school because he didn’t want to resign with the team three seasons later and after Isiah was already gone. T-Mac was the second best player in the 1997 draft and Isiah got him at #9.
    Overall, R.C. Buford of San Antonio is the only guy whose draft record I think you can compare to Isiah’s in terms of least blemishes, at least over the last 20 years or so. As KB said he’s done about as much as you can ask with the picks he’s had.

    Jon-

    Both Brown and Wilkens are Hall-of-Fame coaches.

  13. dave crockett

    Although I wouldn’t be opposed to firing Isiah on principle, my caveat is that you absolutely must move Marbury too lest you flirt with untold disaster. Things could actually get a lot worse, as hard as that is to contemplate.

    Marbury is such a disruptive and dysfunctional force who could doubt that he would run over and/or undermine a Glen Grunwald/Herb Williams leadership team?

    As I see it, if Dolan were inclined toward radical change–and he’s not–he has four options. I list them from most to least appealing.

    1. Fire Thomas and trade/buyout Marbury – this is philosophically the best option, but also by far the most complicated (and least likely). As long as the market sees some likelihood that Marbury could be bought out even teams that might be interested would wait it out.

    2. Trade/buyout Marbury – if he weren’t insane you could potentially pedal him as cap relief for a team looking to make a splash in free agency after Marbury’s contract comes off the books. Unfortunately he is psycho ex-girlfriend insane; like the kind who turns to you one day out of the blue and says, “if you ever try to break up with me I’ll burn you with hot grease.” A buyout remains a possibility, but he would have very little incentive to take much less than full value. Why would he? Who would sign him as a free agent? Seriously?

    3. Do Nothing – At least in-season, this is the most likely option. Ironically, continuing to allow these morons to ruin our beloved Knicks may be the most prudent course of action. When you have poor decision-makers at every key decision-making point you have to limit the damage they can do, NOT create new opportunities for them to do even greater damage. When you back yourself up against the ropes and the other fighter is pummeling you, sometimes the best you can do is cover up and hope you can make it until the end of the round.

    4. Fire Thomas – Alone, this is the worst possible move as it consolidates Marbury’s influence. His childish antics will have survived Chaney, Wilkens, Brown, and Thomas. Firing Thomas alone would allow Marbury to in effect claim that he will not allow anyone to coach this team in a manner that does not meet his approval. If that happens, a sports cliche that I loathe will truly be apropos. The inmate really will be running the asylum then. If forced to choose between Marbury and Thomas, at least short term, I’d choose Thomas (followed by a really long shower with a hard-bristled brush).

  14. jon abbey

    “Both Brown and Wilkens are Hall-of-Fame coaches.”

    yeah, so was Jack Ramsay, but I wouldn’t want him coaching NY either. would you really argue that either of those guys did a Hall of Fame-caliber job when they were here?

    “Fire Thomas – Alone, this is the worst possible move as it consolidates Marbury?s influence. His childish antics will have survived Chaney, Wilkens, Brown, and Thomas. Firing Thomas alone would allow Marbury to in effect claim that he will not allow anyone to coach this team in a manner that does not meet his approval. If that happens, a sports cliche that I loathe will truly be apropos. The inmate really will be running the asylum then. If forced to choose between Marbury and Thomas, at least short term, I?d choose Thomas (followed by a really long shower with a hard-bristled brush).”

    totally agreed, I meant to say this myself but got sidetracked.

  15. Gdog

    I think the knicks should fire thomas and bring jeff van gundy back. at least hell instill defense into the younger guys, and they could have a soolid foundation to grow from there

  16. Mulligan

    I think Dave Crockett broke our options down pretty well. This team is in a crisis and any of these initial decisions looks pretty grim, but at least the first 3 options offer some semblance of hope.

    Personally, I’m all for buying out Marbury. We will never get a remotely good deal if we try to trade him, just multiple bad contracts for bad players. Plus, then the team that gets Marbury gets the benefit of future salary cap relief. If we buy him out, at least we’ll have secured the one positive in this situation. And good luck to whatever team picks him up..they’re about to screw up any semblance of chemistry their team might have.

  17. Gmal

    Mathew
    only way Isiah can hang on is if reels of a couple of 5 game winning streaks here. That being said I don’t see that happening, like you say this team has a bunch of parts that don’t fit as team but good for mid 30′s a season wins in the east.
    No leadership on the court and worse yet a divided team. So what to do with Stephanie- buyout next years contract and be done with it. Any trade for him we lose, letting him play this year almost guarantees a lottery pick and I’d rather have that than an 8th seed anyday.

  18. AJJA

    Thomas has to go for the simple fact that he’s lost the respect of his players, especially after the Marbury incident. I agree with Gdog that we should bring back Jeff Van Gundy because he knows defense. And having young players like Lee, Balkman, Collins, and Chandler, Van Gundy could really make this team a lot more defensive minded. Plus Van Gundy has coached in New York before so I don’t think we’d have to worry about how he handles the atmosphere. Of course, the question is whether Van Gundy would even come back.

    I read an interesting quote by Isiah Thomas this morning. He said : “We’ve had a lot of close games,” Thomas said. “You look at our record, it could very easily be 6-2 instead of 2-6.”

    I think this really shows how misguided Isiah Thomas is. The reason we’re 2-6 is because of how he’s coached. Letting Marbury play after what he did before the Phoenix shouldn’t have happened and clearly sent the wrong message to everyone on the team. Not benching Crawford after he travels like 20 times a game and still takes his 100 circus shots a game is clearly hurting this team. Giving playing time to Malik Rose should not happen. Keeping Chandler on the bench should not happen. Benching players who clearly don’t want to play defense should happen. The list goes on and on.

    Thomas needs to go. He’s done a good job at acquiring talent, but he doesn’t know how to coach that talent. This franchise looks so sad right now and something has got to give. Fire Thomas and let’s hope that this season won’t be such a train wreck.

  19. Ewing

    I want Isiah fired but he needs to stay awhile longer. It needs to get grim, very grim and it will…..

  20. Sly Williams

    “as bad as Isiah has been, Brown?s year here was the low point of this Knicks era.”

    The idea that Larry Brown did a horrible coaching job here and Thomas was blameless is absurd.
    1) Brown was successful in every other basketball job, Isiah failed in his other jobs: as coach, GM, and owner (CBA went bankrupt)
    2) Isiah prevented Brown from coaching well. As Isiah and everyone knows, Brown’s style was to force his methods on the team, even if he had to drive his PG to the verge of quitting. He did this many times, even going to the press to slander the player – anything he could do to get the players to play as a quality team. When he tried this with the Knicks, Isiah made it clear that he supported Marbury refusal to obey the coach – that the team did not have to listen to the coach. Isiah took away Brown’s authority to manage the players. No GM that I know has acted in such a manner, and the outcome was predictable. If he had supported Brown, this team would have become one of his standard quality teams.
    Interestingly enough, this wasn’t the first time that Isiah did something like this. (remember Brandon Malone?)
    Isiah’s Knicks resume is filled with fireable offenses.

  21. jon abbey

    I’m not saying Isiah is blameless, far from it.

    but Brown was entirely unprofessional in his year here, it was like he was coaching a rec league team. remember how he let everyone start in their home town? what the hell was that? he never picked a rotation all year, he simply did not do his job, partly because he believed his massive contract was guaranteed no matter what. well, the courts didn’t agree afterwards (or was that Stern? I’ve tried to forget as much of that year as possible.)

  22. jon abbey

    also, Brown has wanted to coach again elsewhere for the last year or so, but no one is interested, because they saw what he did in NY. what was the job this summer that he tried to start a rumor that he was a candidate, which the team promptly shot down? the Clippers, maybe? I don’t remember, sorry.

  23. Sly Williams

    It seemed natural to me that, out of desperation, Brown would ask for other players to be brought in, after he was unable to manage who he had, and shake up the lineup in hopes of sparking the team before he was fired. Too late, his authority was already removed.
    Every where else Larry won, even with large guaranteed contracts. Which is more likely, that Larry Brown suddenly forgot how to win after all those successful seasons, or Isiah acted in the same power trip selfish destructive manner as he always has? To me, it is obvious that Isiah was the problem.
    As for Brown being unprofessional, I agree. He always has been that way, breaking contracts and openly criticizing players.

  24. Ted Nelson

    Jon you’re right that Larry Brown did a bad job as Knicks coach. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. But your argument would be a lot more solid if you stuck to the facts rather than the rumors. Why are you insisting that a coach who won everywhere he coached is a bad coach?

    Larry did a bad job, Isiah did a bad job. However, Larry has proven to be a Hall-of-Fame coach for the last what 30, 40 years while Isiah has failed in every position he’s held since his playing days.

    “also it was Brown?s fault that we traded for Jalen Rose and Steve Francis. honestly, as bad as Isiah has been, Brown was decidedly worse.”

    If Larry Brown said he wanted to trade Marbury for Eric Snow and something to make the contracts match does that mean Isiah should have or would have done it? When Larry Brown constantly constantly complained about Iverson did Philly trade him for Mark Madsen?

    This is speculation and Isiah Thomas’ word you’re going on. The Rose and Francis deals were both very consistent with others Thomas has made.
    Is either Jalen Rose or Steve Francis really a Larry Brown type of player? No. Are they both Isiah Thomas type of players? Yes. While Larry Brown might have asked for personnel changes and veterans and whatever else, the responsibilty for these two deals still falls squarely on Isiah Thomas’ shoulders.

    Brown was mentioned as a candidate for the Bobcats coaching job, but that doesn’t mean he wants to coach the Bobcats. It means that some writer thought it would be a good article to write.

    Sly has a valid point that Thomas undercut his coach and shouldn’t have brought in Larry Brown if he didn’t want to play Larry Brown style basketball. It was like the Knicks bringing in Don Nelson to coach a slow defensive minded team.

  25. mastermind

    re. Isiah’s drafting prowess: The past few drafts (including the Knicks’ ones under Isiah) are still up in the air- you really can’t yet tell if they will turn out well or awfully or somewhere in between. Is Nate better than Head, Kleiza, and Maxiell? Is Balkman better than Rondo, Marcus Williams, and Kyle Lowry? You can’t judge recent picks yet for the most part.

    That said, Thomas only made four picks as a GM before the past few years: Stoudamire, Jimmy King, Camby, and McGrady. Of those, McGrady was great, Stoudamire was very good, Camby was solid and safe(though he, a non-allstar, was picked over numerous future hall of famers), and the King pick was irrelevant. As with looking at on the court stats, this sample size is way too small to call Thomas a great drafter. True, he hasn’t made any definitely terrible picks, as most GMs have, but he hasn’t had many chances to. If Channing Frye becomes a career bench player and Andrew Bynum or Danny Granger makes an allstar team, that pick will look quite bad. Same thing if Mardy Collins remains mediocre or falls out of the league and Dan Gibson and Paul Millsap continue to improve.

    Thomas has established that he’s not a bad drafter, but to call him “possibly the best drafter of all time” is absurd at this point.

  26. Ewing

    mastermind wrote:
    “Thomas has established that he?s not a bad drafter, but to call him ?possibly the best drafter of all time? is absurd at this point.”

    I agree. Also people like to call Isiah a great talent evaluator, yet the team is a mess. And Jerome James, Jared Jefferies, Balkman, Marbury. Are these the great talents? Please. He’s picked as many bad talents as good.

  27. jon abbey

    “Why are you insisting that a coach who won everywhere he coached is a bad coach?”

    I’m not, I’m saying he did an unbelievably shitty job here, but beyond that, unprofessional. as for the earlier part of his career, I thought he was overrated until he got to Detroit, I give him credit for that, but even with consecutive Finals trips, they got sick of him pretty quickly too.

    “The Rose and Francis deals were both very consistent with others Thomas has made.”

    no, they’re not. what other deals has he made solely to add old guys with huge contracts? he almost always goes for youth, athletic potential, and negative basketball IQs.

    there was a major power struggle going on, and Isiah didn’t have full power at that time. to me, it’s quite clear that those two deals are on Brown’s shoulders, but we’ve had this discussion here before.

  28. KenB

    Knicks ongoing knightmare. There are 2 major distractions on this team. Until these distractions are remedied the Knicks will continue to play poorly. Unfortunately the individuals whose job title includes being the catalysts for aspiring greatness are simultaneously the cause for distraction. How will a team ever be organized into a formidable outfit while enduring the antics of its leaders? The only thing inspiring about Isiah and Marbury was / is their talent on the floor as players.

    The off the court issues are damaging the makeup and performance of this team. Dolan needs to take a long hard look at how dysfunctional his basketball organization has become since the Ewing era because, the Knicks will most likely suffer losing seasons until the organization begins staffing quality personnel.

  29. tkfaclark

    Isiah Thomas is a low life, who takes responsibility for nothing. Hopefully, and soon, the Knicks will be rid of The Three Stooges – Isiah, James Dolan, and that brainiac Stephan Marbury. Of course, this is just “speculation” on my part. The Knicks need to bring some class and dignity back to the Garden. Showing Moe, Larry and Curley the door would be a great way to start.

  30. KD

    Add me to the list of those who were dubious about Brown’s term in Detroit.

    His first year, he allows Ben Wallace the chance to shoot a bunch, barely makes it out of the Eastern Conference (if Jamaal Tinsley is healthy, who knows?) and wins the Finals.

    But he won the Finals over a Laker team missing Karl Malone, who was damn good that year.

    And that Laker team, when healthy, took down the Spurs … probably the second or third best team in the NBA that year.

    And that Laker team, when healthy, took down a Timberwolves team that was forced to have Garnett and Fred Hoiberg back the ball over the half-court line when Darrick Martin needed a blow … because Sam Cassell was injured and not effective. A healthy Minnesota likely takes down the Lakers, much less Detroit.

    And that Minnesota team took down a Kings squad flush with the services of Brad Miller in a career year, a still-potent (though shooting too much) Webber, and Peja at his absolute peak.

    All these teams (IND, LAL, SAC, MIN, SAS) likely take down Detroit if healthy. That’s an incredible streak of luck, to say nothing of Detroit’s seven-game take down of a Heat team featuring an injured Wade and Shaq the next June.

    (And the fact that they took the Spurs to 7 in 2005? Not impressed. Re-watch Games 4, 5, and 6. That was a sleepwalking San Antonio team.)

  31. Count Zero

    Totally agree with Dave’s post. This team could elevate itself to mediocrity just by doing two things:

    1) Get rid of Thomas and Marbury in one fell swoop.
    2) Get a PG who will actually run the show properly and not worry about scoring. If this team had a proper floor general, the offense would improve dramatically.

  32. BC

    KD, I don’t know about the soundness of your reasoning. You’ve assumed Minnesota would have beaten the Lakers and therefore anyone that the Lakers beat (SAS) and Minnesota beat (SAC) could have beat Detroit. Now while I think Minnesota would have had a chance if Cassell was healthy the fact that one team beats another doesn’t mean that the other can automatically do the same.

    Then as far as 2005, to not give Detroit credit for taking the Spurs to 7 games because SAS was “sleepwalking” through games 4,5,6. That’s preposterous. It’s the NBA Finals and SAS is a veteran team that had already been there. If they were indeed sleepwalking then we should be arguing how lucky SAS was to win instead of how unimpressive DET was. And unless I remember incorrectly, Big Shot Bob’s 3 in the closing minutes is what gave them the win in game 5. IMHO DET played well enough to win that series.

  33. BC

    Mike, I appreciate the level-headedness of this blog entry. Isiah has done some positive things for this franchise and because of the magnitude of his errors, the positives are often over looked.

    Before this season started I was still on the fence with him and felt that this was his do or die season. This is his second season coaching but there can’t be more time for him because if he was a better GM he wouldn’t need to be coaching.

    I feel like the last two years were both kind of lost years. Especially 05-06 with LB. I completely agree with John in that it was the worst coaching job I’ve ever seen. And the most fustrating part to me, is that I believe if he wanted to Larry could have done better. I think that Larry just wanted all the personell to be to his liking before he put in the effort. It’s unfortunate because last year was spent trying to rebuild team moral that was totally devasted by LB’s half-hearted (maybe no-hearted)job.

    Is it time for Isiah to go? Don’t know. This is just painful as a fan to go through right now. Herb is a great guy but it’s correct that he can’t control Marbury. He couldn’t when he was interim coach and it won’t happen now. This team will be even worst without Isiah if a strong coach doesn’t replace him right away.

  34. jon abbey

    firing someone is always the easy choice. the harder thing is figuring out who can actually do a better job. I’d be OK either way, Grunwald and Herb W. can do an adequate job, I think, but none of it truly matters until 1) Dolan sells the team, 2) LeBron signs with us in a few years or 3) both of the above.

  35. Knicky

    Jesus Christ couldnt do anything with this team right now – so fireing Zeke would accomplish nothing. However there is another option that isnt being discussed. I see a blockbuster trade on the horizon-hopefully including “Snitchbury”. Grunwald has proven his worth with the Morris signing and I’m hopeful that he will come through again. Remember-getting Kobe doesnt have to be a bilateral deal, it could involve multiple teams. Right now my hope lies with Grunwald-theres a lot more season to go.

  36. James

    I don’t think Isiah Thomas should be fired right now. I think it might happen, and almost certainly will happen if we go 0-4 over the next 4 games. I think Isiah’s benching of Marbury suggests that he know’s it’s win or be fired – ie. no longer anything to lose. No first year coach benches Marbury. And I think if Isiah gets fired that’s not such a bad thing. He probably starts up a professional scouting agency, the Knicks get Herb back as coach, and hire some other GM. Is Grunwald any good?

    But I think the team really needs to sit tight and just play together for a couple of months.

    Randolph has looked good and he’ll only mesh better. If Balkman can stay out of foul trouble I think he should replace Q as a starter. Collins at 1 and Balkman at 3 is a decent defensive perimeter. If Crawford doesn’t defend hard then maybe start Fred Jones. But whatever the case, let the players mesh for a while. No knee-jerk stuff. If Isiah goes, wait till Jan-Feb or the offseason (after the draft!). We do own our pick this year right?

  37. Mel

    To me firing Isiah is just a desperate knee jerk reaction to a bad week .

    Most people thought the team was decent in the 35-45 win range before the season , do you think a team in that win range is just going to have a 1 win 1 loss , 1 win 1 loss season , thats pretty naive there are gonna be bad streaks and good streaks but ultimately mediocrioty,

    Road trips accompanied with missing probably the best player on your team for most of the week is going to usually be in a bad streak, thats just common sense, sometimes people need to step back and look at the big picture .

    starting over with some1 else midseason at coach and GM is torpedoing the season, thats all there is to it. The team would most likely be dismantled and built through the draft or a reshuffling of bad contracts would be done , send out your bad contracts for some1 else’s …with the knicks young players being sent out as incentive for other teams to do the deals.

    its just unwise unless the season is lost , and no season is lost after 2 weeks…and thats why its a desperate move…at worst the team goes further in the toilet which is almost a certainty if thomas were canned anyway , so there really isn’t much to lose if a wait and see attitude is adopted to see if this is a rough patch , or just a really bad team.

  38. Coach Patrick Ewing

    First of all, let’s be real friendly here, okay? My name is Patrick Ewing. Secondly, Isiah, your coaching days are over.

  39. Donald Trump

    I can’t friggin’ believe that a week ago I posted that the Knicks were about turn the corner. But, I really friggin’ believed it at the time. What a week.

    If the right move is to fire IT then it’ll still be the right move after the next 5-7 games. We’ll know a lot more about the team then.

    Jettisoning (is that a word?) Marbury right now has nothing but upside. Cut out the cancer immediately and the team is automatically better. Interesting post about making a choice between Zach and Curry but you can’t move Curry and Zach is the one I’d want to keep.

  40. birchnbrook

    Mr. Knickerblogger Mike – where have you been? The smiling weasel should never have been hired, and should have been fired after years 1, 2 3 and now. He never showed any respect to the people around him – see Shandon Anderson, Lenny Wilkens, on and on. He never had a plan or any organizing principles – he just made whatever deal may have looked good on paper at the time he made them.

    He overpaid for every single deal, and every single trade, and every single asset he brought in. That includes the Jamal Crawford trade, the Curry Trade, the Francis trade, the Marbury trade, the two Rose trades (Malik and Jalen), etc., etc.

    He wasted asset after asset, whether that be free agent money (Big Snacks anyone?), or even picking players too highly where he could have obtained them later (Balkman).

    His selection of coaches was obviously flawed, year after year.

    His organization skills are so clearly deficient that he loses a ridiculous sexual harrasment case (give a big assist to the Big Inheritance himself, Jimmy D, who couldn’t even wear a suit for a deposition) when it not only was a weak case, but should have been settled long before it ever got to trial.

    His PR skills are so horrendous that he undercuts everything he did in years prior – e.g. “This is the year that the best players play” – what the heck kind of quote is that? Obviously one where he DIDN’T play the best players in previous years?

    And in one of the most maddening cases, he fails to deal appropriately with his best player, and the leader of the team. Make no mistake about it, Marbury, as detestable a person as he is, is the leader of the team. Maybe Zach might be the best player at this point, but Marbury is clearly the leader and clearly the best player. The only way to have a good season is for Marbury to have a good season supporting the big men. And the smiling weasel, in a disastrous case of mis-reading his player’s mood, goes and alienates him and manufactures a disaster of epic proportion. WHERE ONE NEEDN’T HAVE BEEN CREATED! This is an Isiah created fiasco, and no other.

    There is not a single thing you can point to that Isiah did during his tenure with the Knicks that can be in any way deemed a “success.” Zeke has had his last contact with the NBA – he will not be missed.

    The only problem is that the Big Inheritance still owns and runs the team. But it looks like Daddy is going to take over and make some real decisions.

    All I can say is, wow, I hope the long, national nightmare is over.

    And if anyone wants to debate Isiah’s record – indeed, any move at all – as a success, please, post it. I would love to go head to head because I would argue that there is not one deal – not one – where Isiah did not overpay. Hopefully the king is dead.

  41. Ben R

    I do not think Isiah should be fired because I do not see an upside. I agree with Mel that we should wait and see what happens over the next couple weeks and then make a move. I would like Isiah gone but I do not see this as an oppertune time. I agree with Dave that the only way we fire Isiah is if we also part ways with Marbury.

    Either way I think we need to make a couple big roster changes. Our guard play has been horrible for a long time now and we need to make a change. First Q should not play at all until he is honestly healthy. He thinks he is doing the team a favor toughing it out but he has been horrendous, even his defense has been worse than usual. Second Marbury and Crawford both need to go. Marbury is too unstable and his defense while sometimes great is mostly pretty bad, and Crawford is infuriating on offense and terrible on defense.

    Unfortunatly unless we want to start Robinson, Jones and Balkman, which wouldn’t be that bad actually, we need to make a trade to upgrade our backcourt and wings. I think Zach is the perfect one to trade, he has fairly high value and his stats are very good right now even if his efficiency is terrible. Do you think Washington would do a Butler + Thomas for Zach and maybe a first. Or a Zach + Crawford for Butler, Thomas and Daniels.

    We also need to get rid of Marbury as soon as possible I would try to pawn him of on a struggling Miami team for Williams and Blount. If not we should just cut him. We need to get rid of our Marbury/Crawford/Q frontcourt. None them should even be playing right now much less starting.

  42. Frank O.

    I was writing a long diatribe on Isiah. I think it’s obvious he needs to be gone now.
    His presence corrupts.
    I note only the sheer irony that he refuses to commit to the product of his greatest attribute, his drafts. If he found 30 to 35 minutes for Robinson, Lee and Balkman he might lose early, but no worse than his current lineup. But by mid-season, these guys, as a group would be better.
    For me, at this point, it is that simple.

    He won’t be fired for his bigotry, which is grounds enough.
    If he commits to the young players, and benches Crawford, Marbury and Q and Malik doesn’t play at all, I would wait and see what these young guys can do. I can cheer for them.
    I don’t think he’ll do it, though.

    I simply do not know enough about the coaches available. But, personally, I’m tired of the same old names hopping from franchise to franchise. For the past 15 years, it’s been the same names.
    Maybe it is time for new blood, some outsiders to come in.
    It might be good,and for this franchise, potentially cathartic.

  43. oboogie

    on the bright side, if we keep losing at the rate we are we’ll get a high enough draft pick to acquire oj mayo, derrick rose, kevin love or michael beasley.

  44. jon abbey

    you can’t bench Crawford. as currently constituted, the duo of he and Curry are the core of the team, plus one of the few combos that actually show a bit of chemistry, since they’ve played together forever. the fact that they have zero career playoff games combined, the two longest streaks in the league, means that this might not have been the wisest way to go, but it’s where we are.

    Zach is probably about an average starter, you hope that his offense makes up for his defense, I’d say the jury’s still out there. but Jamal dropped 52 on Miami last year (in essentially a three quarter span, no less), no one else on the roster can come anywhere close to that, especially from the perimeter. we have to live with him, at least until our new PG comes in the draft. I’d like to see him start at the point, and Balkman at SG, not to mention less Q and some real minutes for Wilson Chandler.

    Curry-32
    Randolph-36
    Q-24
    Balkman-28
    Crawford-36

    Lee-32
    Marbury-20
    Nate-20
    Chandler-12

  45. Ben R

    I don’t know, Crawford after starting rather promisingly has shot 32-91 over our six game losing streak. He seems to go through long stretches of being terrible offset by short stretches of being amazing. To top it off his defense is always bad. We need consistancy from our guards. Crawford has great chemistry with Curry but Curry is still very effective without him. The amount Crawford helps Curry’s game is not worth the amount Crawford hurts the knicks with his poor efficiency and defense.

    I also think we need to move Zach as soon as possible. He is averaging 19 and 14 and would probably get alot of interest from teams like Chicago and Washington who both could use better inside play, but we need to move him because he is not even shooting 40% this season and his TS% is at 43% which is amazingly bad.

    We have our prolific scorer in Curry, everyone else needs to be at least average at offensive efficentcy or great on defense. Crawford and Zach are terrible at both.

    Marbury’s numbers are okay but he is too disruptive for team chemistry and his numbers are not even close to offset the distractions he causes. And Q is so ineffective right now it is stunning. His TS% is even lower than Zach and he is scoring less per 40 than Collins or Jones who are both better defenders and shooting a higher TS%.

    – Marbury needs to be traded or waived.
    – Zach and Crawford need to be traded to upgrade our guards, and if not traded removed from the starting lineup. Lee and Nate are better starters.
    – Q needs to deactivated until he is completly over his injury. Start Balkman, or Jeffries, or Collins all are better on both sides of the ball than Q right now.

    If these things don’t happen it does not matter who is our coach.

  46. jon abbey

    other teams don’t want most of our players with their current contracts (Lee and Balkman being the obvious exceptions). Vecsey said today that no one besides Isiah wanted Marbury when he was on Phoenix, and he was way better back then. no one besides Isiah wanted Randolph this offseason, why would they want him now?

  47. birchnbrook

    Ok, so in my last post, I indicted the smiling weasel but didn’t say what the right fix is. Here you go –

    1. Fire IT.
    2. Let Herb coach out the season.
    3. Bring in an established GM, e.g. Kiki V. or even Daddy Colangelo who may be available. Hell, throw enough at the Logo, and he might bite for a shot at rebuilding NYK.
    4. As for players – Sulk-bury may lack leadership and a positive attitude, but man – starting Nate R. or Mardy Collins? Wow, that is too serious a dropoff in talent.
    5. Other than overpaying for the players on the squad, the smiling weasel’s other indictable offense was that every player and every contract he brought in became immediately untradeable. That is, untradeable without also taking on serious drek.
    6. Trade possibilities? Not much.
    Curry has a heart problem, both literally and figuratively.
    QRich – love the guy, but he’s not healthy. And his back is uninsurable, thus he is untradeable.
    Zach R – rememeber, this is a guy who Portland almost paid Isiah to take off their hands, he is not tradeable right now.
    Crawford – have you seen the last few years of his deal? No one would take his contract on with his shot selection.
    Marbury – no market for his baggage.
    Jeffries or James – come now.
    The young guys – rookie contracts are tough to move, but they are the heart of the team, and no one wants to move them.
    7. So where are we? This year at least we have the squad we have. The trick will be to rehabilitate Marbury, sit QRich until he’s effective, let Balkman create havoc at the 3, start Lee at the 4 and Zach at the 5. Crawford is the default 2. That starting 5 should at least get you a .500 record with the guys coming off the bench. That gives you a shot at the 7 or 8 spot.

    8. But do you want that? Or, do you just blow it up, buy out the roster drek of Marbury, James and Malik Rose, and just let the young guys play? Not sure if Isiah has traded the draft pick coming up, but if he hasn’t, that is what I do. Tank the season, get the pick, bring in Kiki and let the young guys play.

    9. All NBA teams market one of two things – winning or hope. We don’t have much of a shot at winning, so we may as well market hope. Go with the young guys – it cannot start a moment too soon.

  48. KnowLedge

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
    ITZ TIMEEEEEEEEEEEE
    TO FIRE
    ZEKE.
    DO IT NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW………….
    DO IT NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW…
    FIRE HIM
    FIRE HIM
    WITH ALL THAT TALENT AN AINT DOING NADA.
    THEY GOT BLOWNOUT LASTNITE AN HE AINT EVEN PLAYED THE TALENTED ROOKIE..
    FIRE HIMM NOWWW

  49. Brian Cronin

    Isiah mentioned in the papers tonight that he was leaning towards going with Lee at the small forward spot.

    For that alone, I’d give him a couple more games!

  50. Ted Nelson

    “If Channing Frye becomes a career bench player and Andrew Bynum or Danny Granger makes an allstar team, that pick will look quite bad. Same thing if Mardy Collins remains mediocre or falls out of the league and Dan Gibson and Paul Millsap continue to improve.”

    If you take a solid player ahead of an All-Star it’s a missed opportunity, but not really “quite bad.”
    I agree that you can’t fully judge a draft only a few seasons later, but I think it’s safe to say that Ariza, Lee, and Robinson were all good picks for where they were taken, Frye was an average pick, and Balkman has the talent to be a very good defender in the NBA.

    “Thomas has established that he?s not a bad drafter, but to call him ?possibly the best drafter of all time? is absurd at this point.”

    Depends on your criteria for the “best drafter of all time.” If you judge it in terms of constructing a team, then no Isiah is clearly not the best, but in terms of only drafting good NBA players (when probably 66-75% of guys drafted don’t fall into that category) the only guys I can think of who compare to Thomas are John Paxson and R.C. Buford.

    “I?m not, I?m saying he did an unbelievably shitty job here, but beyond that, unprofessional.”

    I don’t think anyone would argue against you. However, without knowing much about the workings of the franchise other than what the papers report I think it’s pretty hard to partition the blame between Thomas and Brown. Both did bad jobs.

    “no, they?re not. what other deals has he made solely to add old guys with huge contracts? he almost always goes for youth, athletic potential, and negative basketball IQs.”

    Antonio Davis for Jalen Rose and a 1st smells a lot like Nazr for Malik Rose and 2 1sts, does it not?

    Penny and Ariza for Steve Francis smells similar to Francis and Frye for Randolph, no?

    “And that Laker team, when healthy, took down the Spurs ?”

    And the Suns could have won the championship if Amare and Diaw didn’t step off the bench… and any team could win a championship in any given year… but only so many teams win 50 games in the regular season, only 16 make the playoffs, only 8 make the second round… Basically, I agree that the Pistons’ championship isn’t exactly as convincing as a 3-peat, but that doesn’t say anything about the coaching job Larry Brown did.

    “To me firing Isiah is just a desperate knee jerk reaction to a bad week .”

    Mel, it’s been 4 years, not 1 week. The Knicks have been expected to win 40 games every year Isiah’s been here. Fire him now or in a week or a month, I don’t care just fire him.

    “If he found 30 to 35 minutes for Robinson, Lee and Balkman he might lose early, but no worse than his current lineup. But by mid-season, these guys, as a group would be better.”

    Agreed.

    “Jamal dropped 52 on Miami last year (in essentially a three quarter span, no less), no one else on the roster can come anywhere close to that, especially from the perimeter”

    And Lavor Postel had a couple 20 point games. It’s the NBA let’s judge people on their career production, not their career night.

    I don’t think Crawford and Curry should be benched, but their roles should be reduced. The Knicks should concentrate on a team concept focusing on ball movement offensively and hard nosed D. At any given time the Knicks can have 3 or 4 or even 5 guys on the court who can put the ball in the basket. Rather than isolating them they should move the ball, and themselves to get these guys open looks. This somehow doesn’t seem like rocket science to me.

  51. Alec

    Its sad that that Thomas’ coaching and GM moves make him look so bad, that people forget he was a great NBA player. Hall of Fame player.

    They should let him go and his replacement should be a someone within the organization that understands that in the next three years, we will a lot of players with tradeable contracts (expiring).

    Thomas is good at drafting players, but Pop in S.A. is better. Parker and Manu were both later 1st or 2nd round picks. Duncan is great. Fabisco (sp?) is a nice suprise, Beno now with Sac is a starter.

  52. jon abbey

    “Antonio Davis for Jalen Rose and a 1st smells a lot like Nazr for Malik Rose and 2 1sts, does it not?

    Penny and Ariza for Steve Francis smells similar to Francis and Frye for Randolph, no?”

    no, the Rose deal was to get the picks (from memory, at a time when he was taking a lot of flak for giving away too many picks) and the Zach deal was to add a 26 year old starter who was still clearly in the prime of his career.

  53. Alec

    True, Randolph is entering his prime, but will his defense ever get better? 13mil is a lot for a scorer and rebounder that isnt even an All-NBA 4th teamer. I like him, but it still was a bad move for Thomas.

  54. Ted Nelson

    Jon-

    The deals are not identical, but I think there are far more similarities than differences as far as trades in the NBA go.
    I still feel these deals are extremely consistent with Isiah’s other deals. I have no doubt that Larry Brown asked for talented veterans to be brought in, and wouldn’t be suprised if he suported or een asked for the two deals. However, I see no reason to assume that these deals wouldn’t have happened if larry Brown had never been affiliated with the Knicks because Isiah has made very similar deals before and after these. I also feel that if Larry Brown had gone to John Paxson, R.C. Buford, Joe Dumars, etc. they would have told him no way and explained to him that they had a plan for the organization that did not involve wasting tens of millions on a mediocre team.

    Nazr for M Rose/2 picks vs. AD for J Rose/1 pick

    In both cases Isiah traded away the expiring contract of a starter in the frontcourt, took on a lot of salary, acquired an overpaid veteran over 30, and draft pick(s).

    If there was any time when Isiah was taking flak for trading away picks it was when everyone knew the pick the Bulls were getting was going to be top 5 and he swung the AD-JRose/pick deal. Not that it’s a sound decision to run your team based on media approval.
    The Malik Rose deal was only for the picks, yet Malik was 3 years younger than Jalen with, what, 3 years longer left on his contract when he was brought in?

    Penny/Ariza for Francis vs Francis/Frye for Randolph

    The expiring contract of a washed up star plus a youngster who after a promsing rookie year fell out of favor and struggled as a sophmore traded for a semi-star with a few huge strengths and also a few huge weaknesses. Seems to fit for both trades.

    The Steve Francis deal was to get a 28 year old a season and a half removed from an All-Star appearence, who should have been in the prime of his career.

  55. bmj320

    Curry has to be the softest big man ever. That game in Sacremento he should have torn the rim down or at least gotten fouled. What does he do? Tries to avoid contact and lay the ball in. Everyone is saying trade Marbury but he has absolutly no market value.

    I also agree Q needs to sit until he is truly healthy. The Knicks need to bring Ron Artest home, he is truly one of the most gifted and versatile players in the league. They should give up anyone excluding Lee. Also try to trade for Warriors’ Michael Pietrus to play the two. Crawford is inconsistent and plays no defense whatsoever.

  56. jon abbey

    yeah, it’s kind of silly to keep arguing, neither of us was there. but my point is that Brown didn’t just go to his GM, that he also went to Dolan, and because of the dreadful way in which NY is run (especially that season), I believe Dolan told Isiah to try to make Brown happy.

  57. John

    “Q needs to sit until he is truly healthy”

    So you’re basically suggesting he never play again? Richardson hasn’t been healthy for the last three years.

    05/06 – 55 games played
    06/07 – 49 games played

    And he is still injured. GM’s knew he had chronic health problems, but Zeke took him on anyways.

    This guy has been one of the many busts of the IT tenure.

  58. KD

    “Then as far as 2005, to not give Detroit credit for taking the Spurs to 7 games because SAS was ?sleepwalking? through games 4,5,6. That?s preposterous. It?s the NBA Finals and SAS is a veteran team that had already been there. If they were indeed sleepwalking then we should be arguing how lucky SAS was to win instead of how unimpressive DET was. And unless I remember incorrectly, Big Shot Bob?s 3 in the closing minutes is what gave them the win in game 5. IMHO DET played well enough to win that series. ”

    It was Game 3 that Horry made a shot. The Spurs didn’t win 4, 5, or 6.

    What you said all SOUNDS right, but it didn’t actually happen. You would think that a team like the Spurs would play better, or harder, but they didn’t.

  59. KD

    “And the Suns could have won the championship if Amare and Diaw didn?t step off the bench? and any team could win a championship in any given year? but only so many teams win 50 games in the regular season, only 16 make the playoffs, only 8 make the second round? Basically, I agree that the Pistons? championship isn?t exactly as convincing as a 3-peat, but that doesn?t say anything about the coaching job Larry Brown did.”

    Great. That’s one team. Can you name another championship where the winning team got to move ahead of four or five better teams hurt by injury? Last year’s Spurs got do it against an Amare-less Suns team. Was Boozer hurt? Did Dirk sprain an ankle? Did LeBron have a busted pinkie, hurt beating a Pistons team playing without Rasheed Wallace?

    Once a playoffs, a team will lose out on what is rightfully theirs. In 2004, five teams lost out. It doesn’t mean Brown is a bad coach, or that the Pistons were no good. It means they were incredibly lucky.

  60. Frank O.

    Crawford…
    He’s hot for a few games and then utterly sucks.
    His shooting percentage over this six game stretch is abysmal, which only magnifies how utterly invisible he is on defense. If he isn’t shooting 45 percent and knocking down at least 25 a night and getting to the line a lot, he is utterly worthless.
    I once believed that his chemistry with Curry was important, but it doesn’t appear that it is a factor this year. Other Knicks have adjusted to Curry and they work well. Crawford’s rapport with Curry was noticeable in the past only because he knew Curry better than anyone else. That is no longer the case.
    The benefit was seemed circumstantially based and not substantial.

    I also think that Robinson can be an effective point. He can score when he needs to. He passes well. And he can penetrate and kick.
    Plus he has shown the ability to run an offense.

    I think given the chance, and willingness to suffer some growing pains, he will be an effective point. He’s one of the best three point shooters on the team.
    His energy also gets his teammates fired up.
    He can score more and more consistently than Marbury, too.
    I’m just tired of retreads, who have never performed exceptionally well, starting on this team in the hope that they suddenly mature.
    Crawford, Marbury and Q are terribly inefficient players, and all three are defensive liabilities to varying degrees.
    And the young guys have enthusiasm the others lack.

    I’m sure this will be roundly criticized, but I think it’s time to go young and let this group gell. And these five starters have earned the right through their effort. You never get the sense from Balkman and Lee and Robinson that they aren’t fighting tooth and nail every minute on the court. I can’t say the same for Craw, Steph and Q. And every time Chandler is on the court he impresses me, which is why I would boost his minutes.
    People who play hard and well and improve, should be rewarded.

    Curry, C – 34 minutes
    Randolph, PF – 30 minutes
    Lee, SF – 34 minutes
    Balkman, SG – 30 minutes
    Robinson, PG – 30 minutes

    Second Team

    Morris, C – 16 minutes
    Chandler, SF – 16 minutes
    Marbury, PG – 25 minutes
    Crawford, SG – 25 minutes

    Q shouldn’t play until he is well, and I don’t believe he deserves significant minutes until he actually earns his way onto the floor.
    And Collins has been utterly uninspiring.

  61. xduckshoex

    “Once a playoffs, a team will lose out on what is rightfully theirs.”

    That’s absurd. There is never any guarantee that a team will win if everyone is healthy or in the lineup.

    The title does not rightfully belong to anyone until the last game of the Finals is played.

  62. Caleb

    Two threads here…

    1) Marbury’s being nuts isn’t hurting the team; he’s just a 30+ guard who never developed court smarts or a great jump shot. As he gets older he doesn’t have the athleticism to compensate. (see Francis, Steve)

    BUT… we don’t have a backup. It’s pointless to buy him out; you’re just giving away a trade asset next year when his contract is running out. Last week’s blowup got overblown because of the NY hype. If he REALLY is freaking out the rest of the team, they can always send him home a la Francis or Tim Thomas.

    2) IT’s four-year tenure gets a C-, at best. But nothing this season is a big surprise. I’d still put my money on a 35-40 win season (assuming Marbury plays). I’d give it at LEAST a few more weeks. Will he adjust and give more PT to Lee, Balkman, Robinson? If he’s getting fired, why not wait until the offseason so you have a real pool of replacement candidates? Why add to the chaos by bringing in some interim guy?

    *The alternate route is throwing the season to try and get a top-3 pick. I’m not ready to do that, and it would probably backfire anyway, like all the teams who tanked last year. If we were going that route, summer was the time. Why now?
    If we ARE tanking, you bury Marbury (on the couch, at home – don’t give up the asset for free), let Chandler play (he’ll be good eventually, but terrible this year), let Morris get minutes, etc.

    Letting Mardy run the point full-time sounds like a guaranteed recipe for a 25-win team.

    oh yeah, giving big minutes to Lee, Balkman and Robinson would make us a lot better right away, not just in the future. I’ve already written a novel on why Robinson is a better version of Crawford, and Balkman is light-years ahead of the other small forwards. (in fairness to IT, Balkman looks like he’s playing hurt, so it might not be stupidity that he’s getting so little playing time).

  63. brian quinnett's left nipple

    the logical thing for me is to keep him here, let him run the team into the ground for the fourth consecutive season, do not allow him to make any sort of personnel moves during the season, then acquire a top draft pick, welcome oj mayo or derrick rose or eric gordon onto our team, and then dump isiah.

    this team is going nowhere.

    then again, if we get a colangelo or a west, then let’s dump isiah immediately.

  64. Frank

    OK so we’ve got a losing streak. Let’s give us some time to pull out of it. Zach is new to the team and had to leave in the middle of this losing streak for his grandma’s funeral. We’ve had some injuries. But we’re only 9 games into the season for pete’s sake! Let’s just see how it goes.

    That being said, if there are going to be any big changes made, both IT and Marbury both need to go — they are forever tied to each other on this team and to let one go without the other would poison what’s left. The rest of the players on this team are good, selfless players as far as I can tell, and I think the team has a bright future.

    By the way, I don’t want to see any more of Mardy Collins. This guy is terrible. The worst thing about him is that not only can he not shoot, he seems to love to shoot his ugly jumper.

  65. Caleb

    I remember earlier this summer Grunwald was quoted saying something interesting, along the lines of, “At some point we need a date certain for getting under the cap…”

    That was before the Randolph trade, when he was probably talking about the end of the 2010 season. Now I guess it’s 2011.

    For all the talk about dumping players and going young, no matter who takes over, there is no way in hell to have cap flexibility before then. You can’t just intentionally stink for 3 years to keep piling up good draft picks (especially since the 2010 goes to Utah)

  66. Johnny Twisto

    “I might even dare say he?s possibly the best drafter of all time. Damon Stoudamire, Marcus Camby, Tracy McGrady, David Lee, Nate Robinson, Mardy Collins, Trevor Ariza, and Wilson Chandler. That?s a fantastic team”

    That’s a fantastically insane claim. McGrady, OK. Stoudamire was a pretty good player on some horrible teams. Camby’s had a solid career. Lee looks like he could have a solid career. The rest of these guys — are you fucking nuts? Chandler, who has played like 8 minutes in his career? What fantastic team is he part of? Mardy Collins, destined for a lifetime of picking splinters? Ariza and Robinson have proven nothing.

    I won’t even begin to name better drafters, because I honestly have no idea, but I can’t see how this group could be near smelling distance of Red Auerbach’s cigar. More than half your list has been in the league for about 2 years! The most accomplished players were all on the same team for one season — a team which won 16 games! Admittedly they were all young, especially McGrady, but come on. Enough of the Thomas apologists.

  67. Capt. Merlin

    Following the recent line of hirings at head coach and gm, the logical expectation would be for them to hire Steve Gutenberg as GM and Martin Luther as coach. Luther would probably get Lee’s jumper going.

    As for Johnny Twisto–considering the positions at which Thomas drafted those players and the talent still available it is in fact a very good resume.

  68. retropkid

    Zeke has to go. The “great talent” he has brought us doesn’t add up to squat: they don’t win. Period.

    Marbury has never been a winner. Crawford has never made the playoffs. Curry is not a winner. Randolph, though talented, hasn’t won in the NBA. The rest of the “talent” — Balkman, Lee, Collins…doesn’t get you Ws either…nice complementary guys, but if your studs are impotent, who really cares about the B listers…

    Blame Layden all you want …he was here less than 3 years and had to figure out what to do with an aging Ewing…who should have been moved to Utah two years before he left NYC…he, Karl, and Stockton could’ve had their shot…but Zeke has had WAY too long to blame Layden, Larry Brown…it’s on Zeke. He’s a punk, no class, no character, with a silly chip on his shoulder…

  69. Ted Nelson

    “I won?t even begin to name better drafters, because I honestly have no idea, but I can?t see how this group could be near smelling distance of Red Auerbach?s cigar.”

    I’m far from a Thomas apologist, but honestly try to come up with someone in the last 20 years who has gotten decidedly more bang for their buck in the draft than Thomas.

    When I think of Isiah’s contemporaries, the only 2 names that come to mind are R.C. Buford of San Antonio and John Paxson of Chicago. Maybe you could say Danny Ainges since he traded a bunch of picks/former picks/and future picks for KG and Ray Allen. Jerry and Bryan Colangelo maybe?

    Otherwise even someone like Jerry West who has an excellent record has as many Troy Bells as Kobes, and Donnie Walsh has the Jonathan Benders to go with the Al Harringtons.

    Maybe it’s just a matter of a small sample size (hopeful we never get to find out), yet the only outright busts to date are second rounders Jimmy King and Demetrius Nichols (not to say anything about his prospects as an NBA player, just that Isiah cut him beofre he played a game). Mardy Collins might also prove to be a bust, but he’s already had a more successful career than your average 29th pick.

  70. Gregson

    The Knicks will start a 4-game winning streak tomorrow night. Isiah wriggles off the hot seat, at least til the next string of ugly losses.

  71. daaarn

    I say fire Dolan while we’re at it. I honestly don’t understand how a business man like Charles Dolan can let Jimmy/IT and the Knicks throw around money like that (even with their seemingly bottomless pockets). I mean, if he was running his business like he should, Charles should’ve fired both of them long ago, nepotism be damned.

  72. DS

    Our future could be easy to fix- if we land a top 3 pick this summer (Rose, Beasley, Mayo?) I say we keep it. If we fall 4 – 10, maybe we can package Steph’s contract and that pick for Kobe.

    L.A. gets a very good young talent and can make a KILLING in the 2009 free agent market (LeBron, Wade).

    We start next season with Kobe instead of Steph.

  73. Z

    “L.A. gets a very good young talent and can make a KILLING in the 2009 free agent market (LeBron, Wade)”

    That’s 2010– and why don’t you want the Knicks to make that killing?

  74. Brian Cronin

    I think Balkman is hurt. Isiah seems to really like Balkman, so an injury can really be the only reason he’s not getting any playing time.

    Interesting quote, Jon, about Grunwald being behind the Randolph trade. That trade really DIDN’T seem like a typical Isiah trade, so that explains why.

  75. Owen

    Each time I look at this thread title I think…

    Clouseau: Cato! Now is not the time!

    …………….

    Now is the Time!!!!!!!!!!! (attacks)

    Good to have you back Ted Nelson….

  76. Johnny Twisto

    I don’t know enough about who has run the different teams at different times to see who has a great draft record in the last 20 years. I could try to research it. If you all seem convinced Thomas is at or near the top of the heap, well, I’m sure most of you know more about it than I. It’s just hard for me to believe that drafting one briefly-great player and a couple good ones is an incredible resume. And there’s no question that it is way too early to judge the returns on most of the players Mike K. listed.

    I will concede perhaps Thomas has done better than expected considering where he’s picked in the draft. Of course, why does he always have such low picks? I haven’t seen him in charge of a lot of winning teams.
    —————–
    Yes Balkman’s hurt, he hurt his ankle a couple games ago. Or do people mean his PT was mysteriously low even before that?

  77. Z

    “…Grunwald being behind the Randolph trade.That trade really DIDN?T seem like a typical Isiah trade”

    It didn’t? I thought Ted Nelson did a pretty good job of explaining how it was a typical Isiah move.

    Isiah lands the best player available, regarless of salary, chemistry, positional need, and mental health of the player.

    Outside of the lateral moves that purged the roster of Layden’s regime (which simply exchanged Layden’s crap with his own) Isiah’s trades have been strikingly consistent and the Randolph trade was more of the same.

    Marbury was brought in for junk parts. He was the best player available and Isiah wanted to make a splash. Layden had turned the deal down. Isiah jumped at it. Time has told us Layden was right.

    Crawford was brought in for seemingly nothing. Why? Because the Bulls had two guards ahead of him on their depth chart and didn’t want to pay him millions to come off the bench. Never mind that that was where he was best suited. He was the best player Isiah could get so he did it.

    Curry was brought in for nothing, plus draft picks. He was the best player available. Nevermind that Isiah had already spent $30 million on a center a few months earlier. Scott Skiles certainly didn’t fight to keep Curry, and the team didn’t get worse when he left.

    Jalen Rose, Steve Francis– both the best player available at the time. Both played positions that were already taken by players that made tons of money. They were redundant. They were poisonous. Their former teams couldn’t give them away to anyone but the Knicks.

    How was the Randolph trade different? He lost out on Garnet and JO and the consolation prize was a guy that was going to make $17 million four years down the road and coulnd’t have been ushered out of Portland faster. Now he plays a position that should be taken by the teams best player, and has to share the post with the Isiah-proclaimed franchise player. The pieces have never fit and Randolph is just another example.

    In fact, this site emphasized the similarity of the Randolph deal with Isiah’s other moves the day after the trade was announced in the thread titled: Draft Day Trade Lacks Direction (KB, June 29th):

    “if you asked Knick fans what their team?s main weaknesses are, I would suspect most would say: defense, turnovers, injuries, and cap space. Unfortunately for New York, Zach Randolph doesn?t address any of these issues… In the end, I?m saddened that Isiah didn?t address New York?s most crucial needs at the power forward spot with his trade. Isiah Thomas makes the same mistakes over and over again. He sacrifices young talent (sometimes in the form of draft picks) for overpriced players who show little aptitude on the defensive end. As a friend remarked, Thomas seems to be a fantasy basketball GM, getting players who have flashy offensive per-game numbers with little thought of how they fit together. Unfortunately, New York needs an NBA GM with a cohesive plan on building a team.”

  78. Brian Cronin

    Well, I was going under the impression that the Francis and Rose trades were also also not Isiah moves.

    Those were the trades that most resembled the Randolph deal.

  79. Ted Nelson

    Brian-

    On the one hand, I think it would be a coincidence if every time Isiah steps out of the office one of his employees, his subordinates, pulls off a trade with his signature on it (literally and figuratively). So he certainly cannot excuse himself from blame.
    However, if, in fact, three different men have made such remarkably consistent trades then maybe we have to look higher than Isiah. Hoopshype had something about Steve Mills being a possible fall guy… I somehow doubt he’s the root of the problem.

    Owen-
    “If Grunwald was behind the Randolph trade that is not a reason for optimism.”

    Agreed.

  80. jon abbey

    there aren’t that many ways to make deals in the NBA, you have to match salaries (which you all know, but still).

    anyway, the death spiral continues:

    “Entire Knicks Team Kicked Out Of Practice

    Posted: 11/20/2007 3:37:00 AM
    Source: New York Daily News

    A desperate Isiah Thomas kicked his entire team out of practice Monday. The Knicks’ embattled coach was unhappy with their work habits.

    The move comes on the heels of a six-game losing streak and amid increasing speculation that Thomas is on the verge of being fired. According to a source close to the team, Thomas tossed his players off the court at their practice facility in Greenburgh after he became frustrated with their lack of hustle and focus.

    The players eventually returned but not until Thomas had made his point. It is unclear if the assistant coaches ran the workout, but the players were in a somber mood when practice ended.

    “It is a three-ring circus,” said the source. “It’s getting worse.””

  81. Frank O.

    Robinson said they held a team meeting and decided that they should stick together…

    The fact that team meetings are being called does not bode well for this team.
    Isiah asked Crawford to poll the team to see if Marbury should play after he left the team. The team said bench him.
    Marbury played 33 minutes.
    The team understandably was unhappy that Isiah pampered the malcontent again.

    This all falls squarely on Dolan and Mills, whos seem utterly disconnected and permit chaos to go on way too long.

    The Knicks have Golden State, Detroit, Chicago, Utah and Boston.
    As Z and others might point out, I’m a pessimist, so take this with a grain of salt, but I see only two possible wins out of those five games.
    Putting the Knicks at 4-10.
    Then they play Milwaukee, Phoenix, NJ, 76ers twice, Dallas, Seattle, Chicago and

  82. Marc R

    I thought this quote from Eddy Curry on espn.com was more telling:

    Said Eddy Curry: “I haven’t talked to anybody individually in a ‘What do you think of Isiah?’ type of thing. So I’m still in the same place — trying to win a game. It’s still early, but the media’s going crazy, which is making us go crazy. You just have to block everything out and get one game.”

    This is all typical NY media overreaction. The writers all hate Isiah and Dolan because: (1) that’s the majority opinion and they’re a bunch of sheep and, more importantly, (2) the tight lid that the Knicks keep on media access makes them actually have to work for a change. If it was up to the beat reporters, they would show up and the players would ramble on and on and all they would have to do is write down what they said. That’s now writing, that’s transcription. And it’s sure not analysis. Have you ever seen the beat reporters at a game? They’re not watching, they have their heads down typing. Plus, have you ever watched the press conferences for the team? The questions are barely intelligible or coherent and they’re almost always in the form of “tell us about _______.” That’s why writers revere voluble, friendly guys like Doc Rivers and Charles Barkley, no matter their faults. It’s easy to “write” a column when all you have to do is type what they said.

    If you want actual analysis of the team and creative thinking, you’re not going find it from the beat reporters. You need to find it on blogs like this one.

    The bigger point is that, of course, the writers do not care about the team. Nor should they, I suppose. But the media circus they create around the team unquestionably makes the players’ and coaches’ jobs harder. (And, yes, it is them who create the circus; is it really necessary to stakeout Marbury’s house? do real fans care more about Isiah’s job status or Dolan’s current thinking than the actual games on the court?) Isiah’s attempts to focus the team and the media on the play on the floor is to the benefit of the team.

  83. Frank O.

    …Robinson said they held a team meeting and decided that they should stick together…

    The fact that team meetings are being called does not bode well for this team.
    Isiah asked Crawford to poll the team to see if Marbury should play after he left the team. The team said bench him.
    Marbury played 33 minutes.
    The team understandably was unhappy that Isiah pampered the malcontent again.

    This all falls squarely on Dolan and Mills, who seem utterly disconnected and permit chaos to go on way too long.

    The Knicks have Golden State, Detroit, Chicago, Utah and Boston.
    As Z and others might point out, I’m a pessimist, so take this with a grain of salt, but I see only two possible wins out of those five games.
    Putting the Knicks at 4-10.
    Then they play Milwaukee, Phoenix, NJ, 76ers twice, Dallas, Seattle, Chicago, NJ, Indiana, Cleveland, Charlotte, LA, Orlando and Chicago.
    By the end of December the Knicks easily could be 8-21. I assumed the Knicks would split with Chicago and the 76ers, but probably lose both to NJ. I gave them the Bucks and Seattle, also.
    8-21 is downright ugly.
    Now Chicago and Philly are pretty bad, and so are the Nets. Cleveland is struggling and Indiana is no world-beater.
    If the Knicks pull their shit together, and Lee, Curry and Randolph gel and Robinson and Balkman get fully healthy, they could just as easily be 14-15 by the end of December and legitimately considering a playoff run.

    But here is what bothers me: a lot must go right for the Knicks to get to 14-15 by the end of December, and the team seems to lack the morale, mojo, and leadership to get them there.

    But I think it’s possible if Zeke commits to the young guys and reduces the minutes of Marbury and Crawford and Q.

    Now, if Zeke is fired, a new coach would face a tall order rallying the team. I suspect firing the coach could very well mean this year is shot completely. And I’m still not clear about the talent pool out there. And the first thing you would need to do is get a GM, who would then get a coach.

  84. Frank O.

    Marc R:
    Look, the NY media is crazy, but you sound like a guy that arrives at a 10 car pile-up and starts screaming the reporters there because they are asking why it happened and how it happened. Or like those who blame the poorly conducted Iraq war on the media…

    The Knicks are the pile up and the press is covering it.
    Let me recap this summer:
    - Marbury announces new line of inexpensive basketball shoes to great fanfare.
    - Marbury announces he’s born again, appears on several TV shows and appears to be barely lucid and more likely stoned, and then announces he plans to play in Italy when his contract is up.
    - MSG, Dolan and Isiah go to trial on a sex harassment charge.
    - During the trial, born-again, married with child Marbury utters the famous words “get in the truck,” and has sex with a drunk MSG intern, who apparently in the past also did his cousin, after an apparent company excursion to a strip club.
    - Isiah in his deposition says he is less offended by black men calling black women bitches than he is white men calling black women bitches, which is being discussed because he apparently routinely called Anucha Brown a bitch.
    - The trial also reveals that apparently Isiah doesn’t care much about white ticket holders at the Garden.
    - Isiah is denounced by several key black public figures, two of whom retract their condemnation after Isiah “explains” what he meant in the edited transcript.
    - The Knicks lose the case, and Dolan must pay $11.6 million.
    - The season starts.
    - Marbury and Isiah have some kind of confrontation on an airplane flying west, in which Marbruy goes ballistic over being benched for poor leadership and defense, threatens to expose what “he knows” about Isiah, and then gets on another plan and flies home, missing a game and getting fined 1/110 of his salary, or more money than the average Knick fan earns in a year for leaving.
    - Marbury flies back out west to play the next day.
    - Isiah polls the team on whether to bench Marbury, and the team votes unanimously to not permit him to play.
    - Marbury plays 33 minutes and appears to fade badly in the loss, mostly because he had taken three cross country flights in 36 hours and was probably exhausted.
    - The Knicks drop five of their first seven games, a span which saw at least three key players go down with injuries.
    - Monday, Isiah throws his entire team out of the gym for allegedly lackluster play.

    And the team’s disarray is the media’s fault?
    Please.

  85. Marc R

    Frank O-

    I’m just going by what Eddy Curry himself says.

    He says that the media going crazy is making the team go crazy. Is that really that hard to believe?

    How would the trial, etc., even affect the players (though Isiah did have to miss a day of practice) but for the media’s obsession with it?

    My point is that the media and it’s obsessions with rumor and non-basketball issues makes it harder for the team to succeed on the court, where it matters.

  86. AJJA

    I just read on ESPN.com that Marbury is going to be in the starting line-up tonight against the Warriors. The only way this makes sense is if Collins and Robinson are both injured. Otherwise I completely disagree with this decision. Robinson is very good offensively and, more importantly, is willing to play defense.

  87. Mr. Black

    Breaking up with the Knicks
    ________________________________________

    Knicks, we need to talk. Please sit down. This isnt easy for me to say. Afterall, you and I have been together since 1987. I remember drafting Mark Jackson. I remember when Rick Patino let Wilkens, Jackson, and Tucker don leather jackets and be known as the “Mad Bombers”. Those were good times. Kenny “Sky” Walker. Bill Cartright. Eddie Lee Wilkins. Even Jerrod Mustaf was memorable in his own sucky way.

    The 90s were the best. Those playoff runs were just great. Ewing’s put back dunk against Indiana, John Starks going mad against Houston in game six. But nothing beats “The Dunk.” You know the one I’m talking about. And that amazing Spring back in 1999 when you went all the way to the finals with the 8th seed. Houston’s running jumper, LJ’s 4 point play, Sprewell’s scoring duel against Tim Duncan. Boy those sure were good times.

    I loved you so much back then. You were never perfect but you tried so hard. Even when you struggled, like you did in 96, enduring the likes of J.R. Reid and Willie Anderson, you picked yourself up and tried again. You got knocked down but you always got up and tried again.

    Well Knicks, I have come to realize that you arent the same team I fell in love with. Things have changed. You have been down and you dont seem able or even willing to get pick yourself up. I cant keep making excuses for you when my friends ask about you. I cant say “maybe next year” to myslef one more time. I’m not happy Knicks and I havent been happy for the last 7 years.

    This is so hard for me to say, but I think I should see another team. Its not you, its me. I have changed. I need more than a bottemless bank account. I need a team that will be there for me in May and June. I need a team that won’t tease me with promises of effort and defense only to lay down like dogs night after night. I need to be happy Knicks.

    No, this isnt about rings, the rings never mattered to me, this is about effort. You just don’t try anymore. It breaks my heart to see the team I love in this condition. I cant watch this anymore. I have done all I can, its up to you now. You know I will always love you, but until you can show the type of energy and effort I came to love we cant be together.

    I wish you all the best. I love you. Goodbye.

  88. Capt. Merlin

    apparently zeke kicked all the players out of practice the other day because he was disgusted with them and their effort, which raises the question why he has yet to be kicked out of practice.

    also, according to newsday, donnie walsh may have significant interest in taking over next year. something just seems a little uncouth about that, as anything associated with reggie miller and those pacer teams is just a little evil

  89. Ted Nelson

    Marc R

    To me it is pretty hard to believe that the media is the reason the Knicks orgnaization is such a mess, that the Knicks haven’t had a winning team for the past 6 seasons.

    The trial would affect the team because their coach is guilty of sexual harassment (the man you’re supposed to follow was publically exposed as a moral midget and less than desirable individual) and was in court instead of at training camp. How would what it says in the paper/on tv/the questions reporters ask affect them any more than the trial itself?

    I agree that the NYC media is probably a lot more stressful on players than that in most other cities, but do you really think they’re unfairly painting the Knicks’ organization as incompetent? Even with all the evidence that the organization is, in fact, incompetent?

    If nothing else this controversy should help Isiah pull another “us against the world” motivation thing like last season. I would guess that the problem is he no longer has much credibility amongst his players. Spending a record amount on a mediocre team, sexually harassing coworkers, treating everyone who’s no longer valuable to you like dirt, and then pulling a “Hey what do you guys think about this… oh, really, well up yours I’m doing the opposite” isn’t exactly how you win friends and influence people.

  90. tastycakes

    The Knicks need a new owner, a new coach, and a new starting point guard.

    This much should be obvious to any objective, thinking human being who breathes and follows basketball.

    The time for excuses for these chumps is long gone. Unfortunately, the change that would certainly lead to the other two (getting a new owner) isn’t going to happen, because when you inherit Daddy’s fortune, you can do whatever you want for as long as you want.

    New Yorkers should band together and demand trade. But we’re all so damn loyal to the team that we can’t just boycott Dolan out of business. I know I keep watching hoping they miraculously gel and turn into something greater… every year that hope gets renewed… but at some point, you just have to accept that they will never be anything more than a first round playoff victim with the current administration in charge. NEVER.

  91. Owen

    Don’t do it Mr. Black.

    Someday the Knicks will rise again. And there is no better place in the world to watch a winning basketball team than here in New York at the Garden. When it happens, it will be worth the wait.

  92. Frank O.

    I’m pretty stunned that Marbury is going to start tonight. It’s not like he’s earned his way back into it. I guess, now that Dolan is saying he won’t fire Isiah this month, Zeke can revert to form…

    Marc R:
    Ted Nelson seems to have it right. There is an example set. The mere fact that this organization let this go to trial shows just how poorly run they are. As Stern said, they are clearly an organization in crisis.
    And because Curry lacks the sophistication to understand that the press is merely a by-product of a poorly run organization that charges ungodly amounts for tickets, TV contracts, etc., despite years of outright failure, doesn’t mean fans have to parrot it.
    I mean, essentially what Curry is saying is comparable to complaining of a skin rash when in fact he’s got skin cancer.

  93. Frank O.

    I love the nest-to-last sentence of this story in the Daily News was fantastic!
    So Isiah foolishly gives Marbury the job back and Starbury basically flips him off in return.
    Marbury…it’s HARD WORK being that big an asshole…

    NY Daily News
    Stephon Marbury has regained his starting job, Isiah Thomas announced today, one week after Marbury went AWOL after learning he was going to be a backup.

    Marbury had come off the bench in the Knicks’ previous three games and Thomas felt he had played well enough to warrant being a starter again.

    Marbury, however, is still upset about the demotion and when asked about the entire episode, said, “To be honest, not a whole lot of good has come out of this.”

    Thomas was taken aback when told of Marbury’s comments.

    Marbury will start tonight, but he could miss tomorrow’s game at Detroit because of the death of his aunt, Sebastian Telfair’s grandmother.

  94. Mr. Black

    Owen,

    Dont worry I’m not leaving. I’m a glutton for punishment.

    The “break up letter” is a near word for word parody of my college girlfriend’s letter to me. I thought it was funny.

    But the really funny thing is, like a bad relationship, the Knicks have no incentive to improve because they know we arent leaving.

    Owen I hope you are right. I hope this turns around.

  95. Frank O.

    You all should go over to ESPN.com and catch Bill Simmons podcast with Gus Johnson.
    They talk a lot about the Knicks.
    Gus notes how he?s a fan of Marbury and tries to explain that Marbury?s background is so difficult that he has trouble fitting in with others.
    He also spends some time talking about how the Knicks don?t really have a leader, a guy that everyone revolves around. Then he spoke about how David Lee is his favorite guy on the Knicks and that they team is simply better when he is on the court. He explained how Lee knows how to make Eddy better and others better on the team. But he also notes that Lee doesn?t seem to have a good friend on the team and that Lee is the only white guy on the team and that that is tough on him.
    He said Lee told him how he thinks he understands what it is like to be the only black guy in an office.

    It?s sad because was Gus seem to be saying is that Lee could be a leader but for two things: he doesn?t get the minutes and he?s white.

    So it goes.

    But I would recommend listening in. It?s pretty cool.

  96. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger) Post author

    “I?m just going by what Eddy Curry himself says.

    He says that the media going crazy is making the team go crazy. Is that really that hard to believe?”

    What would be hard to believe would be for Eddy to say:

    “You know this team sucks, because they foolishly thought I would become a franchise center. Unfortunately I cough up the ball like it’s the cat’s yarn, I don’t really pass good, my rebounding sucks on the defensive end, and I can’t block a shot to save my life. Same thing with Zach. And my buddy Jamal misses like 10 shots a game.”

    Now that would be hard to believe.

  97. Mr. Black

    Gus Johnson is a fool.

    Why would it be hard for David Lee to be the only white guy on the Knicks?

    Why would his race have any bearing on his leadership?

    I dont see Lee as a “white” player. I see a smart, hard working, rebounder that needs to polish his offense.

    Am I missing something? Why does race even matter? Think about this website. We all share our thoughts on the team and we agree or disagree based on the content, not the color. I dont know Frank O.’s, or Owen’s national origin, I just think they have interesting posts.

    As far as I am concerened, every player, fan, and coach is Orange and Blue.

  98. Z

    “he also notes that Lee doesn?t seem to have a good friend on the team and that Lee is the only white guy on the team and that that is tough on him.”

    Lee had a best friend on the team. That guy was traded for Zach Randolph. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lee never bonds to Randolph the way he bonded to Frye…

  99. Marc R

    Mike K-

    Actually, that wouldn’t be that hard to believe. Curry admitted to Vecsey recently that he wasn’t inserted into late-game situations because of his defensive deficiencies.

    By the way, Curry has a huge PER so far and his TO rate really isn’t that bad either this year. (His rebounding rate is poor, true, but it doesn’t seem to hurt the team since the team still is performing nicely in that department as well.) If the team sucks, it doesn’t look like it’s because of Curry.

  100. Ewing

    Back to Larry Brown, if Brown was so awful, it was Isiah who hired him. It was Isiah who hired Wilkens. For being a “great talent evaluator” he sure does screw up a lot of things that he evaluates.

  101. jon abbey

    “Why would it be hard for David Lee to be the only white guy on the Knicks?

    Why would his race have any bearing on his leadership?

    I dont see Lee as a ?white? player. I see a smart, hard working, rebounder that needs to polish his offense.

    Am I missing something? Why does race even matter? Think about this website. We all share our thoughts on the team and we agree or disagree based on the content, not the color. I dont know Frank O.?s, or Owen?s national origin, I just think they have interesting posts.

    As far as I am concerened, every player, fan, and coach is Orange and Blue. ”

    you’ve got to be kidding with this, right? if this is the way you see it, more power to you (although it’s a bit goofy), but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world operates that way. recognizing how race affects things doesn’t make you a racist, there’s about a billion shades of grey in there (pun intended).

  102. Johnny Twisto

    Jon, if you just ignore the concept of race, it will go away. Don’t you know that?

    Mr. Black obviously isn’t.

  103. retropkid

    By the way, Curry has a huge PER so far and his TO rate really isn?t that bad either this year. (His rebounding rate is poor, true, but it doesn?t seem to hurt the team since the team still is performing nicely in that department as well.) If the team sucks, it doesn?t look like it?s because of Curry.

    Rebounding stats are distorted by woeful shooting…Knicks have some O board padding with all the misses…

    Curry turns it over and misses foul shots, doesn’t contribute O boards, block shots, or play great internal D…the team doesn’t suck only because of him, but he’s not lifting them up either…

  104. Mr. Black

    John Abbey- Point taken. I’m fine with being a bit goofy. MLK said that we should judge a man by the content of his character, not the color of his skin. It is goofy and unrealistic, but I think it is the right way to go.
    —-
    I never used the word racist. I never accused Gus Johnson of that. I understand that you can see race without being a racist.

    I understand that race is an issue, but I also understand that the issue of race is ignored in many other areas of the game. for example:

    The predominantly African-American (AA) Knicks dont seem to have a problem with a white owner. I cant think of a team that does have that problem. There is only one AA owner in the NBA, and it only took 58 years to get there. Predominantly AA teams have been, and continue to be, lead by white coaches and owners. No one questions whether an AA team can be lead by a white coach or owner.

    The Knicks did’nt tank under Larry Brown because he is white. They seem to be doing the same under Thomas, he is AA right?

    Steve Nash seems to lead the predominantly AA Suns. SO does their white coach. If Steve Nash, a Canadian, can do it so can Lee. (Yes Steve has a couple of MVP’s to back up his leadership and David Lee is no Steve Nash, so dont waste your time pointing that out to me.)

    If Gus Johnson can ignore race in these areas, he can do it here. If the Knicks were predominantly white, and they had a single AA player, there is no way Gus could say that single player could not lead the Knicks. Do you realize how quickly Al Sharpton would hit the streets with megaphone in hand?

    We all ignore race. We only discuss that which catches our eye. My point is this: as long as we are content to ignore race in other areas of the NBA, we can ignore it here too.

    I see issue of race everyday. I choose not to let it dominate my view of a person or organization. I choose not to let it become a reason to limit a person’s ability to achieve in any given arena.

    I know that David Lee is white. But I would never say or think that his race can prevent him from doing anything he sets his mind to do. I would hate to think that his team would limit him because he is white.

    That is just my goofy view. Now lets all join hands. John Abbey, get your guitar. Its time to sing Knicks Kum Ba Ya!

    David Lee is white,

    Kum Ba Ya.

    But that is alright.

    Kum Ba Ya.

    Eddy Curry is brown,

    Kum Ba Ya.

    But he cant rebound,

    Kum Ba Ya.

    Since I like boards and D.

    Kum Ba ya.

    I love David Lee.

    Kum Ba Ya.

    Oh Lord, Kum Ba Ya.

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