(who is this mysterious man wearing Stephon Marbury’s jersey?)

The New York Knicks headed into last night’s home tilt with Charlotte — an encounter the hosts would win, 109-107, behind 18 points from Jamal Crawford — having won both of their previous games. But if you think that would entitle Isiah Thomas to talk tough, the Daily News’ Frank Isola suggests “after reading Thomas’ bizarre and arrogant comments about his job performance and the history of the franchise, Donnie Walsh may bar him from Madison Square Garden for life.”

“I have extreme confidence that we’ll get it done here,” Thomas said. “You can mock and laugh along the way because that’s how it goes when you’re on the bottom and you’re trying to get to the top, but I’m extremely confident that we will get to the top as a Knick organization. We will deliver something that one day everyone will be proud of. Again, you haven’t been proud here since ’73, 1973 that would be.

“So we’ve got our work cut out and I intend to stick it through and stick it out. It’s a tough place and you deliver tough blows, but my job is to take it, and to keep moving, and to move through it. I’ve won in this league several times, and I intend to win more times than that. Say what you want and do what you want, but one day you’ll be asking me how’d it feel when I was sitting here, and I’ll tell you how I felt, then I’ll talk to you about the championships hopefully we’ll deliver for you.”

The Knicks reached the NBA Finals in 1994 and ’99 and were one of the league’s best teams that decade. When asked if he is saying that fans have had nothing to be proud of without a championship, Thomas said: “That’s the way I look at it.”