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I've already had to live through the horrible moves and decisions made by Isiah Thomas. His moves did nothing to raise the level of play on this team, but it did raise my blood pressure and tightened the salary cap. The signing of Jerome James to a 3 year, 30 million dollar contract, the subsequent signing of Jared Jeffries to the same overloaded contract. I was also tickled with his experiment of signing Steve Francis so that he can be in the starting backcourt with Stephon Marbury. I was under the impression that with the removal of Isiah Thomas as head coach to whatever secret desk they have him employing under would come the end of ill-advised and subpar decisions by the front office.
But I forgot, these are the New York Knicks!!!
The Knicks are getting ready to defy logic and reason once again like they have always done. This is the franchise at the bottom of the totem pole with nowhere to go but up. Even the most casual basketball analyst can say without fail that the cornerstone that must be established for any rebuilding team is..... DEFENSE!!! And yet the Knicks are pinning the resurgence of a franchise on Mike Antoni. Yeah, I took the D out and anyone that watched the Spurs/Suns series in the first round or at any time they have met in the playoffs gets why.
The Suns were so embarassingly porous on defense that it irked GM Steve Kerr to no end. Antoni and Kerr clashed on their conflicting philosphies and apparently Kerr had seen enough. And yet the Knicks, who need defense like Soujah Boy needs lyrics are looking to Antoni for their eventual renaissance??
Now there are those that might say that well...this isn't too bad a hiring because at least the Knicks will be more potent on offense. I will debunk that theory as well. As currently constructed, the Knicks have a hard time with a relatively simplistic half court offense. Now they are going to be expected to learn this complex offensive system that requires actual teamwork, selflessness and the maximum effort in all of their offensive possessions. They'll need a real point guard to run this offense, not to mention a star. Eddy Curry won't survive for 2 seconds in this system. They would need even more of a roster overhaul then previously thought and with their salary cap as tight as it is, it would be a miracle at this rate.
Why can't the Knicks just exercise the virtue of patience and wait till the playoffs are over so that they can interview Tom Thibedeau of Boston??!!?? Thibedeau is the defensive mastermind behind the Celtics current shutdown of Lebron James in the series. He was an assistant under Jeff Van Gundy when the Knicks went to the finals in 99 mainly because of DEFENSE. Even Avery Johnson would be a better choice. But the Knicks need a fresh voice such as Thibedeau or Mark Jackson, they would be given more time and patience by the front office to turn things around. Antoni would not be given the same window and he will have heightened expectations as a result. You could give him a ten year contract, but you can rest assured if there isn't significant improvement within this team in 2-3 years, he'll be out.
Everything in me hopes the Bulls hire him and that the Knicks back off on this deal immediately. He is simply not a good fit. The Bulls are a much more appropriate team for the offense he runs. But yet it has been reported that if the Knicks hire Antoni, then the Bulls would make a serious run for...yeah you guessed it, TOM THIBEDEAU!
I hope Donnie Walsh wakes up and realizes that while offense wins games, DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS.
Ask the New York Football Giants.