View Full Version : OT - Isiah Article (by a fan writer)

11-10-2004, 05:08 PM
This is from a Knicks site I hang out at but since it's mostly about Zeke I figured I'd share - the author's ALWAYS writing stuff like this:

You Can Come Off the Ledge Now!
By John Maloney
November 10, 2004

You know how hard it is to play in New York City? The New York Knicks faced a must-win situation going into the third game of the season. The third game. After playing all of two games out of an 82-game schedule. 96 minutes in. 2/100th into the campaign.

Wow. This is going to be a fun season, boys and girls.

An 0-2 start and fans were immediately scanning waiver wires and trade rumors, trying to convince themselves that adding Eddie Robinson, released by a woeful Bulls team, or Alonzo Mourningís kidney would stop the bleeding. Tim Thomas was to be shot. And the New York media, like kids who couldnít wait until Christmas to open their presents, trampled over themselves to start the Lenny Wilkens deathwatch. Under these circumstances, how could you not have watched the game against the Sixers? If the Knicks tanked so much as the first quarter, heck, five minutes, you wouldnít have been surprised to see the guards haul Wilkens off the court as Isiah Thomas took over while the game was still going on. I wonder if Isiah would wear one of those third world dictator military outfits for the occasion. You know, the white ones with the huge bandoliers that they wear for the annual ďWe Let You Live Another YearĒ celebration speeches in the city square.

The news that came out the morning of the game certainly didnít help plug the dam. It was announced that Dick Helm, Lenny Wilkensís right-hand man for 20 years, was being replaced as assistant coach by Brendan Suhr, who just so happens to be Isiah Thomasís right-hand man. Anyone who follows sports knows that a move like that is usually the beginning of the end for a head coach. Knicks spokespeople and Lenny Wilkens tried to make it clear that Mr. Helm resigned for personal reasons. Which means that this is either an unfortunate and badly timed event or the organization is trying to handle a firing with class, as opposed to last year, where the Knicks did everything but frame Don Chaney by planting a dead Knick City Dancer in his office.

So with everyone in a tizzy, Isiah Thomas called a press conference before the game. This was obviously where Zeke was going to calm the masses, explain the circumstances of Mr. Helm having to be removed and replaced by Isiahís confidant as an unfortunate and badly timed event out of everyoneís control, emphatically state that Lenny Wilkens isnít going anywhere, and sternly remind everyone that the season is still young, so please, put down the knife, New York. Chill out. Good move by Isiah, I thought.

I thought. Instead he issued this self-centered, cryptic statement:

ďI think in other cities you may be able to pull off GM-coach, but I don't think in this city you can do it,Ē Thomas said. ďAs long as I'm the president of basketball operations in New York, I don't see myself coaching the New York Knicks. That's not going to happen while I'm here.Ē

Well gee thanks, Mr. Drama Queen, but it isnít always about you. The question that everyone has isnít whether or not youíre going to coach (oh god, please no) but whether your current coach is going make it through Thanksgiving, much less the rest of the season. Just because you donít become coach doesnít mean someone else wonít. Like the guy you just had replace the assistant coach that you threw into oncoming traffic, for instance. Granted, from what Iíve read, NBA executives think very, very, very highly of Mr. Suhr. Of course, NBA execs also run the Golden State Warriors and give Zach Randolph $86 million dollars, so take it for what itís worth, I guess.

After not defending Lenny Wilkensís hold on the head coach job, Isiah then finished the job of dousing the fire with napalm by acknowledging that he played a role in Helmís departure and that the move was a response to the Knicksí steamer of a home opener on Saturday night. Good job calming everyone down, sir. Is it time for your appearance on Letterman yet?

And you wonder why sports in New York can be a zoo? Instead of diffusing the situation, Isiah made it worse. Obviously, Wilkens is a goner and chaos will ensue. All hell seems to be breaking loose and, to reiterate, we are only three games into the season. Wow.

So quieting the masses would have to come down to the players, who were under the gun to put forth the type of effort and result against a mediocre division rival that was expected in the home opener against a mediocre division rival. So for all intents and purposes, this was a do-over. But considering the circumstances, the Knicks didnít just need to win this do-over, they needed to win convincingly.

And they did just that, taking a very important game against the Sixers, 96-88. The score was closer than the actual game as the Knicks led handily throughout. Jamal Crawford led Knick scoring. Nazr Mohammed actually showed up by contributing 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals. The defense showed a pulse. Tim Thomas...still sucked. But they won.

As the past 24 hours have shown, the Knicks will be fighting to avoid chaos the whole season and one win certainly wonít save the day. But it was a much-needed win and hopefully, it will calm everything down a bit and delay the chaos for now. New York fans and media can come off the ledge on focus on other things, like panicking about Kurt Warner and wanting him buried with Jimmy Hoffa.

Until the next game, of course.