Knicks assistant coach Dick Helm has either resigned or was fired, depending on who you believe. Personnel director Brendan Suhr has taken Helm’s place, which according to the Post’s Peter Vescey, is not a move designed to make Lenny Wilkens comfortable.
The Knicks’ official position is Helm ” Wilkens’ only non force-fed assistant ” has pressing personal matters to address. Those in the know maintain he was fired, same as he was in Atlanta and Toronto when it finally dawned on the dead that Helm had less than Lenny to contribute.
Believe what you want, but I suggest you go with your gut and rely on good old-fashioned intuition if interested in putting a trace on the truth. Better yet, trust your eyes. Instincts may not be an exact science but seeing is believing. From this game forward, until Wilkens is waxed and permanently reassigned to a museum, he’ll have Suhr coaching alongside him and Tex Winter, er, Mark Aguirre behind him; how bad must he feel not to get upgraded to first class?
Both assistants are beholden to Isiah Thomas. Neither would be in the NBA if it weren’t for him (naturally, that also goes for Wilkens, as well as the majority of the staff). Not that being indebted to him assures a pledge of allegiance. Not that it even matters. In Suhr’s case, it’s definitely to the contrary.
Suhr, I can speak from first hand knowledge, has made a career out of subverting coaches and people who’ve given him jobs, chances and support. Hubie Brown was the first to experience his unfaithfulness. Despite the fact Brown gave Brendan entrÃ©e into the league as his Hawks assistant, Suhr constantly badmouthed Hubie behind his back; Brown stopped talking to him years ago.
Suhr’s back-stabbing and betrayal has shadowed him almost everywhere he’s gone, the lone exception being his tours under Chuck Daly with the Pistons, Nets, and Magic. His last pit stop in Detroit lasted only a matter of months in 2000 before Joe Dumars, who never utters a disparaging word about anybody, severed their relationship when Suhr allegedly undercut head coach George Irvine.
Thomas hired Suhr as his right hand man when he bought the CBA. They were supposed to link up again when Thomas got the Pacers’ coaching job. That’s when Suhr accepted the player personnel job under Dumars. Thomas found out he’d been deserted during a ceremonial visit to the Palace when he accidentally ran into Suhr in the press room.
Clearly, Thomas is just as likely to reward a friend or an associate regardless of fidelity. His motto must be: “How are you gonna undermine me if you’re not working for me?”
At any rate, the bottom line is, as of yesterday, Don Chaney has more job security than Wilkens. That’d make anybody trying to hold on solder themselves into their seat.