Isiah Thomas’ Top 10 Worst Moments on the Knicks
Another basketball season… more negative press for everyone’s least favorite former superstar, Isiah Thomas. If this offseason’s sexual harassment trial wasn’t enough, Zeke was all over the media again this week, his latest episode a public feud with PG Stephon Marbury. It’s absolutely astonishing that Thomas still has a job in the NBA at this point. This guy has to be the most incompetent GM in the history of professional sports, possibly in the history of all business.
Today, I am going to break down Isiah’s ten worst trades, signings, lawsuits, feuds, etc. over his almost four year reign of terror as GM of the Knicks. Since I don’t have all day, we will not be discussing his previous mistakes and failures, which include: the jealous “freezeout” of then-rookie Michael Jordan in 1985 all-star game; remarking that “If Larry Bird were black, he’d be just another good guy”; the classless walkoff after being swept in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals; his ineptitude at both Toronto and Indiana; his running the CBA into bankruptcy causing the league to fold; and the embarrassment that was his short-lived career as an NBA broadcaster.
Anyway, on to the list…
10. Oct. 31, 2006 – Jalen Rose Waived
Isiah trades for a washed up Jalen Rose and his monster contract only to cut Rose eight months later to save a mere $3 million of Jalen’s $16.9 salary. Rose’s expiring contract would have been an attractive trade chip if Isiah just held onto him for three more months. Just a totally illogical sequence of events.
9. Oct. 4, 2005 – Eddy Curry Trade
Isiah trades for Eddy Curry, a one dimensional overweight player with a heart condition, and gives up 2006 first round pick and the right to switch picks in the loaded 2007 draft. Chicago ends up with the #2 pick in the 2006 draft and the #9 pick in 2007.
8. Jun. 23, 2006 – Larry Brown Fired
Hall of Fame head coach Brown reached rock bottom in New York under Isiah Thomas. In typical Isiah fashion, the Knicks disastrous season played out like a soap opera in the media, culminating in Brown’s firing. The Knicks, with the highest payroll in the history of the NBA, finished with 24 wins and the second worst record in the league.
7. Aug. 6, 2004 – Jamal Crawford Trade
Isiah trades four expiring contracts for Jamal Crawford and Jerome Williams. Crawford and Williams had a combined $81 million remaining on their contracts while the four expiring contracts provided the Bulls with over $18 million in cap relief.
6. Jan. 6, 2004 – Stephon Marbury/Penny Hardaway Trade
In what would set the tone for his tenure, Isiah trades Antonio McDyess, 2 first round picks, cash and some players (to make the trade work under the cap) to the Suns for Stephon Marbury, Penny Hardaway and their bloated contracts. Phoenix becomes the third team to trade Starbury and the third team to make a dramatic improvement in the year after he leaves the team. Of course, with Isiah in control, Starbury is still in NY and he is still an albatross around the neck of the Knicks organization.
5. Feb. 22, 2006 – Steve Francis Trade
Two years after trading for Penny Hardaway, Isiah decided to trade his (now valuable) expiring contract for another past his prime oft-injured guard with a HUGE contract in Steve Francis. Isiah takes on another bloated contract and provides major cap relief for another franchise, this time the Magic. Isiah’s laughable backcourt now includes three shoot-first PGs in Francis, Marbury and Nate Robinson, in addition to SG Jamal Crawford. At time of the trade, the Knicks had the following salaries on their books for 2006-2007: Allen Houston (retired): $20M, Marbury: $18M, Jalen Rose: $16M, Francis: $15M and Crawford: $7M. Wow, that is an expensive backcourt for 33 wins!
4. Dec. 16, 2006 – Knicks-Nuggets Brawl
What now seems forgotten about last seasons’ Nuggets-Knicks brawl that got numerous players suspended, including Carmelo Anthony for 15 games, is that Isiah Thomas threatened Anthony just prior to the fight. Isiah warned ‘Melo “not to go near the basket” right before Knick Mardy Collins clotheslined JR Smith, setting off the fight.
3. Jul. 14, 2005 – Jerome James Signs
After two weeks of spirited play in the 04-05 playoffs for Seattle, Jerome James signed a 5-year, $30 million contract with Isiah and the Knicks. James has averaged 3.0 points and 1.9 points over the past two years, respectively.
2. Oct. 2, 2007 – Anucha Browne Sanders Trial
A jury found that Isiah had sexually harassed Browne Sanders, “Subjecting her to unwanted advances and a barrage of verbal insults”. Due to Isiah’s inappropriate actions, the Knicks and owner James Dolan were forced to pay Browne-Sanders $11.6 million in damages. Anyone who followed the trial got a glimpse at just what kind of guy Isiah is. One minute he is professing his love for her and inappropriately touching her, the next he is calling her a ‘Bitch’ and a ‘Ho’ and threatening to start rumors of an affair if she doesn’t keep her mouth shut.
1. Jun. 23, 2006 – Hiring Himself as Coach
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