Thursday, February 23, 2006


Steve Francis?

In sending the Chicago Bulls Michael Sweetney, Tim Thomas, the signed and traded contract of Jermaine Jackson, their '07 AND '09 2nd round picks AND their 2006 1st rounder for Eddy Curry and Antonio Davis, the Knicks neglected to include one small but significant provision; they neglected to protect the 1st round selection! They could've stipulated that the Bulls get the pick UNLESS it's a top 3-4 selection, but NY's brain trust of Mills and Dolan weren't bright enough, or savvy enough, to make that a deal-breaker.

The Knicks are collecting Guards (and prior to the run on Guards, the team was assembling a small army of Forwards) like others collect stamps. Worse still, these Guards can't play a lick of defense, the team will be firmly entrenched in Salary Cap hell for the forseeable future, and aside from Larry Brown whose (team) life expectancy is generally about 3 seasons... if brains were gunpowder the Knick brass wouldn't be able to blow a nose.

The problem, as I see it, is a lack of leadership...on every level. This era's Knicks have no Willis Reed, Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier, Bernard King, Charles Oakley, or Patrick Ewing. So there's no true "floor general" as Stephon Marbury is really a 2-Guard and, unlike a Steve Nash or even Andre Miller, Marbury doesn't elevate the play of those around him. Further, this very troubling lack of direction seems to stem from the top of the Knick pyramid. Coach Larry Brown certainly has power and influence with regard to whom Isaiah chooses to acquire and deal, but LB can do only so much with the ingredients at hand.

The acquisition of "Stevie Franchise" is merely the latest in a string of poorly informed decisions. There's no disputing Francis's talent, but just like Jamal Crawford, Quentin Richardson, and Jalen Rose... NY is trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. When ESPN Radio's Michael Kaye asked Isaiah Thomas how the Knicks clearly curious backcourt will work, the bealeagured GM responded "you know Michael, it's crazy enough that it just might work." I don't know about you, but to me... that response smacks of ignorance. It doesn't matter how many Guards and 1-dimensional hoopsters the team trots out, until the talent above the COACH improves, what is arguably the most pivotal franchise in the NBA will be left looking up in the standings.

Thomas did a terrible job coacing the Pacers, he served no better as the Toronto Raptors' GM, and the guy absolutely ran the "Continental Basketball Association" into the ground and out of business. Thomas then slunk away from the CBA like a kid with his hand caught in the cookie jar. Now, Thomas and has no draft picks to work with and he's managed to send the Knick payroll into the stratosphere.

Thomas was one of the greatest Basketball players of this or any generation. Thomas's former on-court skills do NOT, however, translate to the current Front Office. And now- that's all that really matters.


At 1:20 AM, Anonymous jjk said...

Amen. That's all I can think to say.


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