Thursday, June 22, 2006
Isiah Thomas, coach of the New York Knicks
I used to be a serious Knicks fan, when I was in college and the Knicks had Patrick Ewing and John Starks and were perennial title contenders. But since 2000 the team has become the longest-running joke in the NBA, even more laughable than the Los Angeles Clippers (who actually won a playoff series this year!). Last year the Knicks hired Larry Brown to resurrect the franchise, but instead of a turnaround he helped drive the team further into the ground. While Brown didn't do himself many favors by alienating his players, he wasn't the right coach for this mess. This morning brought the news that we all knew was coming: Brown is out after one season and Isiah Thomas is the new head coach as well as GM and team president. Let's see what Isiah has done for the Knicks: he's brought in a bunch of me-first players, hired and fired several coaches, including a guaranteed Hall of Famer in Brown, and traded away valuable draft picks, including the 2007 first-round pick to the Chicago Bulls. It's an overpaid, underperforming team with terrible chemistry, and now the guy who singlehandedly destroyed a popular minor league in the CBA is now the only guy steering the ship. Deadspin had a post on this story, but instead of commenting themselves they just turned it over to their legion of commenters. My two favorites are here and here.