Marty Burns had a great bit today at CNN/SI about Isiah Thomas going off on Greg Anthony today about Anthony’s comments regarding the Balkman pick on draft night.
Don’t get me wrong, I sympathize with Zeke in the sense that I, too, thought Anthony was way off base (I think I even mentioned it here at the time), in that, whether the Balkman pick was good or not, Anthony wasn’t giving the pick enough thought, choosing instead to just make knee-jerk comments that amounted to “I never heard of the guy, so he must be bad.”
Therefore, I was okay with him saying “This so-called former Knick, on draft night with millions of people watching, had the audacity to take me to task on a player that I’m pretty sure he had never seen before in his life, But he stands on national television and talks about a kid he has absolutely no idea about. I’m just glad that all of New York doesn’t think like Greg Anthony.”
I think it’s probably better to let sleeping dogs lie, but that comment was pretty fair, I think.
However, Isiah then followed with “Greg Anthony should never ever be in a position to question myself on anything about basketball. I do remember the kind of player he was. I’ll leave it at that.” That was way too much, highlighting a problem Isiah seems to have where he seems to personalize criticisms way too much.
Apparently, he peppered shots at Anthony throughout the press conference. Here’s Burns on it:
When asked whether he could see Balkman someday defending LeBron James or Tracy McGrady, Thomas replied, “Wait a minute, hold on now … you can run him out there but he’ll probably get stepped on a little bit … Unlike Greg Anthony, I do have respect for others.”
When asked about the Knicks’ dismal season a year ago, and what role all the injuries played, Thomas said, “We all were in a funk last year … Greg Anthony was in a funk.”
Later, when talking about Balkman’s ability to handle the ball, a reporter jokingly asked if he had a better handle than Greg Anthony. “Most definitely,” Thomas said. “Greg could only go left.”
Anthony wouldn’t comment, which is good on him!
By the by, speaking of Balkman, Marc Berman had a line in his blog the other day that I thought was a bit much, where he stated that what Thomas SHOULD have done was draft Marcus Williams at #20 and Balkman at #29. Now, clearly, we all would have liked that, but that’s taking for granted that Balkman was not going to be picked, which (while not saying he officially WOULD have been picked) is something Berman should have at least made clear he was assuming. You know, something like, “It was likely Balkman could have been available at #29, so Thomas should have drafted Williams at #20 and Balkman at #29.” Without the qualifier, it’s not giving the facts, I don’t think.