Thursday, June 22, 2006

Dumb and Dumber


Isiah Thomas and James Dolan have just completed the worst year in the history of franchise ownership. First they hired Larry Brown, which on the face of it seemed like a very good move. Unfortunately they proceeded to provide Brown with players who were unable or unwilling to follow his direction on the basketball court. Mind you, this was a coach who was coming off back to back appearances in the NBA finals. That apparently meant nothing to collection of malcontents, has beens and never beens that the Knicks shamefully called a team last year. Then they fired Larry Brown while still owing him the 80% of his contract. That 80% translates in $40 million. It must be nice to just throw away $40 million. It's like Dolan had $40 million burning a hole in his pocket and decided to throw it away to avoid clutter. This may be the first time that a franchise has had too much money.

The NBA supposedly has a salary cap. It's not a hard cap, however. The cap only prevents you from signing free agents if you're team has already exceeded the cap. It doesn't affect trades that you might make. Thomas has added about $40 million dollars to the Knicks payroll which was already $20 million over the cap when he arrived. In doing so, he hasn't made the team any better. In fact they may just be the worst team in the league. The fact that Thomas was a guard seems to have made him believe that answer to every problem is to bring in another guard. The knicks have at least six guards on their roster. On any given night last year, half the active roster was made of guards and the most amazing thing is that there wasn't a true point guard among the bunch.

Well Thomas is now the coach and GM. He can no longer point fingers at anyone else but himself at this point. He still has a sexual harassment charge looming over him and I give him until about mid season to be fired. This may be the best thing that could have happened to the Knicks. Thomas' failure as a coach will perhaps finally break whatever spell he has cast over James Dolan. This may be the move which gets Dolan to realize what a mess Thomas has made of this once proud franchise. Thomas has been a wrecking ball wherever he has been in the past. I'm sure there are more than a few owners of former CBA franchises that are dreaming up cruel and unusual ways to torture him. Thomas left the CBA in shambles and he's doing the same thing to the Knicks.

Of course he may end up doing a better job than Larry Brown did this year. That wouldn't be very hard because the Knicks played like an expansion team this year. But an improvement of a couple of games does not signify a turnaround. Given the current make up of the team and the untradeable contracts that the Knicks currently have in abundance, I can't imagine them being in a position to make the playoffs. Hopefully another losing year will signal the end of this great basketball experiment. Perhaps Dolan will turn the team over to someone who actually knows something about winning basketball and stay the hell away. Oh that's right, he had someone who knew something about winning basketball and he just gave him $40 million to go away.

You know what? Never mind. It's hopeless.

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