Friday, February 25, 2005

Knicks Sidebar

Living in NYC, and without any recent basketball legacy in Kansas City, I have become a fan of the New York Knicks, a curse on par with being a fan of the Royals. Yesterday's self mutiliation at the hands of Isiah Thomas deserve some comment.

I don't recall an executive in all of professional sports who makes trades simply because he needs to be in the news. Thomas' behavior as GM has passed the point of "debatable" or "controversial"; it is verifiably pathological. New York City has become the place where bad NBA contracts come to die. There is no justification for either of these moves other than Thomas' inquenchable thirst for media attention. Trades in the NBA these days are about two things:
  1. Making your team better now;
  2. Giving yourself salary cap flexibility later.
These deals don't make the Knicks better now NOR do they give them any flexibility for the future. The Knicks have traded away their only legitimate center. Malik Rose and Maurice Taylor are backup forwards on a roster full of 'em - and they add $32 million in salary over the next four seasons between them. Thomas claims that the acquired draft picks will help the Knicks build for the future, but remember, he's pathologically crazy. The Spurs' draft pick has as good a chance to produce a solid NBA player as I have making the Knicks' roster next season. The Rockets' first round draft pick COULD be useful if the Rockets don't make the playoffs, but I'm 95% confident that they will.

Jim Dolan certainly deserves plenty of blame for this debacle; hiring Thomas was like handing a pyromaniac a flamethrower and gallon of gasoline.

But Thomas is simply a terrible manager. His need to be in the headlines severely clouds his judgment and has lead to countless terrible decisions.

Ah, to be a Royals AND Knicks fan. Fantastic!


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