Much like the foliage and the NY Jets underachieving, nothing ushers in the Autumn quite like the resumption of Peter Vescey’s “Hoops Du Jour” in Friday’s NY Post. Today, with Isiah Thomas’ acquisition of Eddy Curry (above, center) riding on the results of a stress test, Vescey reviews Zeke’s habit of putting what we’ll charitably call “problem children” in Knicks uniforms.
As long as you flaunt talent being branded an untouchable, incorrigible or reasonably incurable seems to help rather than hurt you with Thomas. If you don’t have some form of disability or rap sheet, it seems, you can almost forget about getting an offer sheet.
Check it out:
* Stephon Marbury held the Timberwolves hostage until they traded him to the Nets, where he was a royal pain in the posterior. Before coming to the Knicks from Phoenix, he was arrested for drunk driving and served time.
* Jamal Crawford corrupted the Bulls with his selfishness before Thomas rewarded him with a $46 million, six-year contract.
* Quentin Richardson’s back is uninsurable on account of a disc injury suffered while a Clipper two seasons ago.
* Maurice Taylor arrived in New York by way of Houston following several seasons of substance abuse and fat attacks.
* Jerome James earned a $30M, six-year contract from Thomas because he played relatively well (when not benched due to foul trouble) against Tim Duncan in the playoffs. A year ago, his Sonics teammates were clamoring to have him traded or released because of a toxic attitude.
* Tim Thomas gained a reputation as selfish and arrogant as a rookie with the 76ers and bolstered it in Milwaukee before Isiah acquired him.
* Penny Hardaway, injury riddled and uncoachable in Orlando, where he championed a player revolt against Brian Hill, has lived down to his image in Phoenix and New York.
* Vin Baker’s demons with drugs and alcohol were well documented before Thomas reached out for him. Despite a heart condition that required surgery and nearly a complete disintegration of skills, he got a new two-year guarantee worth $3.5M and $3.85M, an apparent gift to Aaron Goodwin as thanks for providing Crawford. Or were they both down payments on ultimately securing LeBron James, no longer a client of the agent?
* Eddie Griffin’s crime spree apparently mesmerized Isiah Thomas, who went all out to sign the screwy forward before losing him to the Rockets.
* Eddie Robinson outworked no one in Chicago before being waived just past mid contract. His notorious bad habits turned off everyone but Thomas. Only a failed physical saved the Knicks from experiencing yet another terror alert.
In all fairness to Thomas, it’s not as if he’s stagnating in the job. He’s gone from simply taking on unhealthy contracts to taking on unhealthy players and giving them unhealthy contracts.