Tuesday, December 18, 2007


"We don't grind and we don't compete like we should for 48 minutes and I've never ... a lot of things that can be said about me and teams that I've coached and the way I played, but I've never been accused of not having heart or competing. Tonight was very discouraging to me because we didn't collectively play with heart and compete like I know I do."
-Isiah Thomas on the Knicks performance


These comments from Isiah immediately following the latest debacle at the Garden (full write-up to follow in the AM with links to the papers) make it seem like there is a chance that the "Fire Isiah" chants are still off the mark. Listening to these sentences spill forth in monotone it seems like Isiah might not be fired tonight (but he sure could/should be), but he just might quit tomorrow instead. Six of one half dozen of the other. I'll take it either way.

He sounds like he has finally stopped his (good) habit of accepting blame for his team's poor play. Tonight he pointed his championship ring wearing finger right at the team that he put together. Unequivocally he called them heartless and gutless. By and large he is right. Tonight was a debacle. In the search for absolute zero we have a new benchmark.

Regardless of his robotic and colorless delivery (this was no Denny Green or Jim Mora post-game talk) the words are clear and they will be indelible in the papers tomorrow. They will not be the glue for this fractured squad. And since this team clearly isn't about to be shamed into playing better (as someone who has been at the Garden a lot thus far I know this because we've tried) it would seem like Isiah might be poised to dump this team before he can be dumped.

And, I couldn't really imagine his departure going any other way. Isiah is too egomaniacal to let Dolan even get a line in edgewise during his protracted death scene. When that scene comes it will be a monologue. Arduous and delivered with a wink and smile as if it is a victory rather than defeat. Meanwhile, Dolan is too inept and spineless to turn up with any sort of definitive action. If he were a man of action he would have acted. If he were a man who built things he would not have stood as more scaffolding was erected around such a shoddy frame. But he is not a man accustomed to action or to building, rather he is just someone who oversees what has already been built and holds in trust the gains of those who have acted on his behalf and that is why it is likely that he will just sit slumped in his courtside seat and let history happen around him.

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