Isiah And The Knicks: One Year Later

By Jerald LeVon Hoover
Updated: December 22, 2004

Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas

NEW YORK,NY.– – At press time, this would mark the one year anniversary of the appointment of Isiah Thomas as head of basketball operations, aka President and GM.

He’s the one that calls the shots. Too bad he’s not one of the ones on the floor that is making the shots. There’s no sense in living in the past now is it? No, so let’s move ahead with a feeling of optimism.

This time last year, the Knicks were sporting a robust 10-18 record with a lame duck in Don Chaney as the head coach. For the exceptions of Sweet, H20 and K.T. AKA, Michael Sweetney, Allan Houston and Kurt Thomas, there is no one on that dreaded roster.

This roster even with its flaws still sports a winning record, 13-11 which could and should have been somewhere around 17-7 for all its worth. And the Knicks are still in first place in the Atlantic Division.

Isiah has brought excitement back to the Garden. People come to the games now and actually stay for the duration; win or lose. The stars are back in full bloom. There is a buzz.

There hasn’t been any game this season where a major player from the worlds of entertainment, sports, media or even politics that hasn’t graced with their presence.

The culture has changed even in the locker room to where all personal, players, coaches and the like are required to where shirts, jackets and ties on team flights and to and fro their place of work, The Garden. That is a far cry from what some of the opposing teams are permitted to wear.

Sure the New Jersey Nets have landed the much coveted All-Star swingman, Vince Carter, brittle legs and all from the Toronto Raptors. And if he’s healthy he will bring a few fannies to the Meadowlands. But, as everyone in the free world knows, the Continental Arena is a far cry from Madison Square Garden.

The Knicks are a few more moves away from solid and consistent contention for a championship. Isiah is smart and man enough to admit that. But Isiah has the pedigree and temerity to where players actually want to play for him.

Carter for one is one of them. Matter of fact for all the excitement Carter is expressing about playing for the Nets and Jason Kidd (for the time being), he would have been doing CART(ER)wheels had the Raptors shipped him to his preferred destination of Gotham.

For now, Carter will have to feel the buzz wearing a navy blue away jersey. Long live the cross-town rivalry, buckle up, it should be fun.