December 27, 2007
Baby steps, cats and kittens. Baby steps.
With his status - even after years of losing, a massive payroll, and a sexual harassment lawsuit that would have seen damn near every other executive in American rightfully sacked - seemingly assured, somehow, Isiah Thomas is starting to come around. And it might take one player at a time, but the man has at least started with the right player, and the questionable player in question is Eddy Curry.
Curry started last night against the Magic, but he lasted just two minutes into the opening quarter, and didn't see the court again until the outset of the fourth quarter. After whiffing on a pair of rebounds and making one of two shots, Curry took to the bench again. The one-time gymnast who never really appeared to have enjoyed the game of basketball may have finally lost the support of the only man who had at least recently given the appearance of being in his corner.
If you're Eddy Curry, Isiah Thomas was a good guy to have in your corner. He could trade for you and set you up with an uninsured contract that pays you an average of eight figures a year, make copious amounts of excuses for your lackadaisical play and limited contributions, while still handing you minutes as the head coach for 109 of the 181 games you've played as a New York Knick. Alas, for now at least, this honeymoon appears to have met its inevitable end.
This doesn't mean it will stick, or that a re-working of vows isn't in the offing, or that this in any way excuses the lack of professionalism, tact, basketball know-how, humility, or games counted as "won" in Isiah's time in New York. Expecting anything of any substance from Isiah Thomas will always be an exercise in futility.
But for an executive and coach who has spent so long flying in the face of what
seems obvious to anyone with half a basketball brain, the mere idea that Thomas
would follow through on something that at least approximates what any sound
basketball mind would encourage is shocking enough. Not promising, or encouraging. Just shocking.