The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola surveys the wreckage that is the New York Knicks following losses to Atlanta and Indy, while reviewing GM Isiah Thomas’ Friday telephone chat with Mike Francesca.
The days of blaming Scott Layden for everything from Shandon Anderson to the cost of concession-stand hot dogs are over. The roster has Thomas’ DNA all over it and now he is caught in an unfamiliar and delicate position because his coach is clearly unhappy with the personnel and isn’t afraid to say it.
Nary a loss passes without Larry Brown questioning the toughness or basketball IQ of his players. Before Friday’s debacle in Atlanta, Brown said that an unnamed player was unaware that the shot clock sits above the backboard.
Thomas is shrewd enough to know that another bad season does little to enhance his job security. That’s why he keeps saying the Knicks are rebuilding despite owning the league’s highest payroll. He’s now getting more defensive and defiant. In an interview with WFAN on Friday, Thomas said he doesn’t regret a single transaction he has made.
We’ll give Thomas the benefit of the doubt and just assume that the names Vin Baker and Jerome James escaped him at that moment.
If you gave Brown truth serum and asked him what moves he wishes Thomas could take back, be prepared for a long answer. Signing James to five-year, $30 million contract and dealing away Kurt Thomas for Quentin Richardson just to settle a feud between Kurt Thomas and Stephon Marbury would top the list.
Sadly, Marbury is convinced that the media is out to get him and that they are responsible for all of his problems. Obviously, he wasn’t reading the press clippings when he first arrived and was touted as a savior, even after Jason Kidd swept him out of the first round.
These days, Marbury sits at his locker before game-day shootarounds and makes snide comments to teammates about reporters’ fashion sense and personal hygiene. He has never sounded so cruel and small.
I’d just like to say that I think Marc Berman is doing the best he can on a NY Post salary.