When I was a junior high schooler, Isiah Thomas was one of my favorite players. When my Dad and I hit the courts every Saturday morning, he’d encourage me by saying my skill could compensate for my small size a la Zeke. From that moment on, I always admired Thomas. Until he came to New York and ruined my Knicks. Now, I cringe anytime Thomas’s name and the Knicks are mentioned in the same sentence, or worse, Thomas gives input on the team.
Last night, the media caught up with him at the Spurs – Heat game. Of course, he was asked to weigh in on the Knicks and to share his opinion on ways to improve next season despite their salary cap constraints. According to the New York Post, here’s his response,
I think they had a great year, won the Atlantic, got eliminated by what we know now is a much greater Indiana team than anyone gave credit to. [Roy] Hibbert was the difference in the series. He became the best center in the East. Right now, if the Knicks are going to improve, it’s going to have to be through the draft, development of role players and some of their core players. I thought Carmelo Anthony was probably the most improved player on the team. I think they got to get better with their role players and use San Antonio as the model.
I don’t disagree with Thomas. He’s absolutely right. The Knicks have to make a dollar out of fifteen cents because they have no money to be active in free agency. However, there’s an unease that overcomes me whenever Thomas makes public statements about the Knicks and the New York media prints it. Because James Dolan is irrational and Thomas, Coach Mike Woodson and GM Glen Grunwald are old Hoosier cronies, there’s nothing to keep Thomas from weaseling his way back into a prominent role within the organization. No matter what, he will continue to linger like bad credit even after your debt’s been repayed (not that I know about that sorta thing…lol). No matter how much I, and other Knicks fans, want Thomas to disappear into oblivion, as long as Dolan, Thomas, Woodson, and Grunwald are attached to the organization, I know the legend of Isiah Thomas and the fear of his return will haunt us, taunt us, and never die. God help us all.