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Isiah and The State of The Knicks
By Clayton Ruley

The recent firing of Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown by the New York Knicks was unusual because it's a rare time in Brown's career he got dumped before he dumped the team (usually its unexpected). But this wasn't Brown's fault and I think his Team President and General Manager Isiah Thomas threw him in front of the bus!


When Brown took over the team he had some promising young players in Eddy Curry, Nate Robinson, Trevor Ariza, and Channing Frye among others with veterans Malik Rose and Penny Hardaway to work with a few perceived head cases in Stephon Marbury and Jamal Crawford! I don't pretend to know when Isiah decided that he needed a change (oh, maybe the beginning of the season when the Knicks started the season 7-21) but he started trading role players for stars when he had star power already! At the end of the season the Knicks had a team full of wannabe main guys and role players were scarce!


How can a team be a team and play the right way, which is Larry Brown's favorite quote when the players are all used to being the number one (or at least two) man and are now asked to change their role! Names like Jalen Rose, Steve Francis, Crawford, Quentin Richardson and Marbury sound like a summer benefit game roster not one made for the NBA which needs a good balance of individual talent guys and team guys on the floor for any chance for lasting success.


What was the final result? A horrendous 23-59 record and a trip to the lottery and the team didn't even have the pick because they traded it to the Chicago Bulls in the Curry deal! Now many assumed that they were stockpiling for Kevin Garnett if he was available but you don't go that far and to expect someone with a pedigree of Brown to do it was even more stupid especially considering you paid him 40 million dollars to coach how he's used to coaching and that's not with prima donnas but with gritty worker like players. The funny thing is the Knicks have never won anything with this type of team and this a big blow to a once proud franchise.


Brown probably felt confident with the Knicks situation coming in, after all he did coach Allen Iverson for over half a decade and lead a gritty Detroit team to an upset win over the Lakers a season before but Isiah put the meat, potatoes, wine, dessert and keg on his plate and said make a pasta salad! Sorry not Brown's style. Maybe Phil Jackson, because of his dealing with egomaniacs in the past, would have been better!   Now the Knicks said Brown breached his contract because he didn't want to coach players? BS! The coach has the right to sit whoever they want it's called coaching not casting!


Now Isiah Thomas has to cook his own food and coach this team or it's his job next and that's coming from James Dolan, the owner! I think Isiah will have a tough time but will improve the team from its dismal state of play! Isiah was a good coach with Indiana who took the blunt of the criticism for those Pacer teams not making the playoffs after their NBA Finals run in 2000 but remember that team revamped afterwards and went young and he helped develop Ron Artest and Jermaine O'Neal into stars before Larry Bird came into power and fired one of his formal rivals for a formal teammate Rick Carlisle!


Isiah is a player's coach and these guys know their job's are on the line most definitely now! I'm not say they are a lock for the playoffs by any means but I do like their draft selections for THEIR team (one with plenty of talent but little hustle and heart) and I think Isish will let the Knicks players know that it's them versus the world! I just can't believe a brilliant player like Isiah (who actually has a good draft record, see Damon Stoudamire, Channing Frye, and Marcus Camby to name a few gems) did this franchise so dirty! I hope for his sake he can pick up some of the poop with his clipboard or he won't have to worry about his legacy, New York Fans will throw it at him!   


What are the Knicks going to do this season and is this the worst general managing job ever? Let's discuss it on the GeoBoards!











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