Isiah's Knicks - Worst Sports Team Ever?

For the one other guy who follows sports -

A wild read, even if you don’t follow sports

Marbury got wind that Thomas planned to bench him—and responded with a threat. “Isiah has to start me,” Marbury was heard to say, according to the News. “I’ve got so much shit on Isiah and he knows it. He thinks he can fuck me, but I’ll fuck him first. You have no idea what I know.”

I used to bleed Knicks orange & blue. I’m inching towards 40 years old, and the Knicks have been the biggest heart break in my life as a fan. Seeing Mattingly narrowly miss the Yankees success doesn’t hold a candle to the wringer the Knicks have put me through.

The team has been pretty much dead to me since Charles Smith didn’t dunk the ball in game 5 against the Jordan Bulls in the ‘93 playoffs. 10 years later that delicate 7’ bastard still causes the occasional twitch. I was walking down the street in Brooklyn 6 years ago, that’s 9 frickin’ years after the '93 playoffs, and as I passed some sporting good store, some random guy also passing by just looks at a Knicks jacket in the window, looks at me and spits out “Why the hell didn’t he dunk the goddam ball?!?” No doubt who he was talking about. We exchanged a bizarre fist pound and went on our way. It was nuts, but any NY hoops fan knows the pain.

As a result, the Isiah Thomas years haven’t had a big effect on me, but I recognize that it’s the most contemptible run in professional sports maybe ever. I’m glad the era is over, but the Knicks still need to earn respect before they’ll get any.

Hopefully Walsh realizes they need to blow things up, but the reality of the screwed up NBA system is that it will be hard to do. They will only be able to get rid of some of the dead weight each year and some of it will have to be sat on until the contracts run out.

Is Thomas a disaster? Sure, but what would you have the Knicks do? Neither Brown or Thomas could make something out of this mess, and just hiring another guy isn’t going to solve anything for the reasons I mentioned above. If you’re gonna be paying these ex-coaches for the next several years, they might as well be the ones forced to deal with the crap they’ve saddled the organization with. At least Thomas will pay the price for this disaster, and never coach again.

Sports Fandom is a bitch, I can’t watch Dikembe Mutumbo enter a game without seeing him rolling around on the court clutching the basketball, sinking my '94 Sonics.
And I like Dikembe.

Edit: oh yeah and LaPhonso Ellis, at least he isn’t still playing.

The temptation in these moments is to gloss over the faults of the deceased—to remember through a lens, brightly. But Isiah’s tenure was so contemptible—so bereft of redeeming value, on court or off—that such tenderness is hard to muster.

Good stuff. Isiah was truly a horrendous GM.

I’m from New Jersey, so I like the Nets, but I am much more a general NBA fan. It sucks for the league to have a horrible and irrelevant Knicks team. I am hopeful new management can do something to make them respectable, as long as Isiah is no where near the team in any way.

It’s odd to see him now, he used to be defiant and would claim they could turn things around, or whatever. Now he seems dejected and totally resigned to his fate.

Yeah, in this case, I actually welcome intervention by Stern. (Unlike the blatant “we want a Lakers-Celtics rematch” machinations by the league’s puppet masters: getting Gasol traded to the Lakers for the proverbial bucket of baseballs…)

The Knicks at this point are just sad.

The Knicks have been in decline since the awful Scott Layden replaced Ernie Grunfeld, the last decent Knicks GM. I used to think Layden was one of the worst GMs in Knicks history until Isiah Washington showed me how much worse it could get.

And just to balance out the non-dunk anecdote: John Starks. The Dunk. If you’re a Knicks fan, you know what I’m talking about.

Well, to put it in perspective, as a Bulls fan I thought the 90s Knicks were basically thugs who fouled on every play, but they got away with it.

I was sorry to see Isiah running the show, not because I loved the Knicks, but because he made such awful deals that I thought he was bad for basketball. He acted as though he didn’t even know when he was being fleeced.

I loved the successful, thuggish Knicks. Ewing, Oakley, Mason (or Larry Johnson), John Starks, maybe Derek Harper or Greg Anthony. Oak and Mace were especially scary, and no one could inflame a rivalry quite like Starks (especially against the Pacers).

Unfortunately, I turned in my Knicks fan card around the time Layden paid Allen Houston something like $100+ million when NO OTHER TEAM WAS EVEN INTERESTED OR COMPETING FOR HIM.

Getting Kidd to the Nets was a brilliant move, though, and sparked some interest in that team until I realized how anemic the Jersey fanbase was for the Nets. I hope the Nets find the popularity they deserve in Brooklyn.

Alas, that was in game 2 of the same series, so it’s just an irrelevant footnote. Sure felt good at the time though.

This is one of those awesome stats you simply cannot make up and makes you just sit there, mouth agape, at the sheer futility of Knicks’ basketball…

averaged the fewest blocked shots in the stat’s 35-year history

Curry’s a stiff and Zach…I don’t know if he could play defense if he wanted to (he doesn’t). He can’t jump, has boobs and no neck, given that its amazing that he can average 20 points on the offensive end. Granted, he is a black hole that is guarenteed to kill any team he is on.

Of course Isiah does have Jerome James sitting at the end of the bench, making 40 million (30 maybe) dollars…for a career 4/3 guy. He’s averaging 2.5 minutes this season.

I suppose I should be grateful, Isiah took Jerome James off the Sonic’s hands and Zach off off the Blazers (and gave the gift of future all-star LaMarcus Aldridge). Thanks Zeke!

Like Bill Simmons was saying in a column awhile back, the Knicks should just come out and say something vague about how they are clearing cap room for 2010. They can’t specifically say why they would try to do that but everyone would know that is for the inevitable run they take at Lebron who, lets face it Cavs fans, is going to go to either the newly minted Brooklyn Nets or the Knicks in 2010.

As for the Knicks right now, they have a few players who are worth keeping around (Lee, Robinson, Balkman, Chandler) and Walsh knows a thing or two about building a team (even if the Pacers were slowly being ground down into the ground, with or without that brawl). But damn, sometimes you just sit back and marvel at a team that could somehow gather Marbury, Richardson, Crawford, Curry, Randolph, Jerome James, etc. on the same team. Hell… they even had Steve Francis for awhile! I mean, that is incredible.

Has anyone in the NBA hurt their reputation more (by non-criminal means) than Isiah Thomas? This guy killed the Raptors, ran the CBA into the ground, wasted talented Pacers teams, and now destroyed the Knicks and I am guaranting that he gets another job after this somehow. What a world.

I hear ya. Isiah will always be revered in these parts by Pistons fans, but his legacy as a great basketball player is being destroyed by his post-playing career (destroying the CBA, mediocre work in Indiana, and the Knicks debacle). He did get a very warm welcome at the Palace the other night as part of the Pistons 50 year anniversary.

Larry Bird has successfully dismantled the good Indiana team Isaiah built into the pile of shit it is now, and Kevin McHale wasted Kevin Garnett’s career.

The latter is worse than anything Isaiah could ever do.

I was a very casual fan at one point, but the team has been dead to me since the network cut away from the Knicks to go to the goddam Simpson chase. So they lost of course. It’s been a long time…

But back then I liked the way Oakley as a Knick would throw himself all over the court, and also liked his ridiculous full court passes that no one ever caught.

Isiah coached that good Indiana team and didn’t win, so much for Reggie Miller’s career eh? Bird wasn’t responsible for sending Steve Jackson and Ron Artest into the stands, that team should have been in the Eastern Finals, if not the Championship. Everything at NY is Isiah’s fault…he is the coach and (was) the GM. And, if you read the article, was responsible for setting the terrible tone in NY.

McHale is awful, but he did the right thing by Garnett eventually. At least he got Al Jefferson, an exciting young power forward for him to not build around, out of the deal.

But here is the great irony: It was Donnie Walsh who was in charge that entire time with Isiah and Bird. While Bird can’t escape some of the blame, it was Walsh that set that team up for such an amazing collapse (to be fair, the Artest brawl didn’t help).

As for McHale wasting Garnett’s career, again, a lot of blame has to go to Glen Taylor who pissed Garnett off and getting him to demand a trade. Like BlueJackalope said, at least they got Jefferson out of the deal.

Hell, they traded Garnett to Danny Ainge, another famous Celtic who, up until this year, had gone about completely destroying the Celtics in every way imaginable. So I guess success on the court doesn’t always completely turn into sucess in the front office.

At least this story isn’t the most important one in the NBA right now. The on-court action has been great. The playoffs have a ton of promise and young players are becoming big time stars right in front of our eyes while “old” talent like Duncan and Bryant tries to keep them down.

I can’t wait for the playoffs to start.