(“‘Hoosiers’, great film. Next question.”)
While Isiah Thomas insists to the Daily News’ Mitch Lawrence he’s not worried about being fired, one of the names most often mentioned in connection with a Knicks vacancy, former coach Jeff Van Gundy, took umbrage with the Pistons’ Flip Murray during an WFAN interview with Patrick McEnroe, described by Newsday’s Ken Berger.
Van Gundy, now an NBA analyst for ESPN, criticized Thomas for poorly handling Stephon Marbury™s benching. But he also said something I agree wholeheartedly with: Thomas isn™t getting the public support he should be getting from his boss, James Dolan.œWhen I was in New York, what I really liked was that my bosses were Dave Checketts and Ernie Grunfeld, Van Gundy said. œThey made changes. They traded players and they fired coaches. But you always had their wholehearted support until they were ready to make a change.
œRight now, I think it™s important that whoever™s in that position gets the same support, he said. œIt™s Isiah now. Before that it was Lenny Wilkens, Don Chaney, Larry Brown. And I just think at times that support for that position has not been as strong as it needs to be, to let everyone know who™s in charge and that we™re riding along with that coach.
Great point. Where was Dolan today when Thomas stood in front of the media horde again and expressed his opinion that he doesn™t expect to be fired this season? Why would Dolan leave Thomas by himself to make the case that he shouldn™t be fired; isn™t that Dolan™s job?
Another interesting point from the Van Gundy interview. I loved how he took Pistons reserve Flip Murray to task for piling on the Knicks with his quote the other night that they œlooked like they didn™t want to compete.
œLet me start with Flip Murray, Van Gundy said. œHow about this? Don™t hide behind Tayshaun Prince, Chauncey Billups and those guys that led them to a blowout and then you come out and kill the Knicks. Now if Chauncey Billups wants to kill the Knicks, if Tayshaun Prince, if Rasheed Wallace, Rip Hamilton, if they want to kill the Knicks, that™s one thing, But for Flip Murray to take that pot shot at other NBA players, I think is uncalled for.
Incredibly, there’s another Eastern Conference franchise with a worse record than the Knicks, despite no shortage of available talent. And sadly for Isiah Thomas, the Bulls don’t visit the Garden nearly often enough.