Knicks Need To Bask in All-Star Break

By Jerald LeVon Hoover
Updated: February 20, 2005

NEW YORK, NY – This time last season, Knicks President and GM Isiah Thomas made a huge splash by trading away forward Keith Van Horn, who was playing some of his best basketball of his short Knicks career. The Van Horn trade brought in small forward, Tim Thomas and center Nazr Mohammed, whom Isiah called, “the key reason why we made the trade.” And the trade also happened to have happen while the Knicks were in a good stretch of winning games as their chemistry was vastly improving.

But, once the deal was done and Tim Thomas and Mohammed arrived sans Michael Doleac as well, the Knicks began to lose games that they were finally able to win. It took more than a while for Tim to fit in the way Van Horn had fit in. And this is even with respect to Isiah’s claim to want the Knicks to be more athletic.

Tim’s lack of Van Hornlike rebounding production from the small forward position was evident as it put more pressure on the other Thomas and that is, Kurt Thomas. Mohammed wasn’t nearly as good last year as he’s shown much improvement this year.

Through it all, the Knicks albeit injury riddled managed to make it to the playoffs. The four games to zero flame out to the New Jersey Nets not withstanding, they, the Knicks still made it after a 3 year absence.

This season would look like a wash had the Knicks been in any other division in the NBA. The Atlantic Division is still very much a four or five game winning streak away from supremacy. That is how close and weak it is at present.

Would the Knicks do themselves a huge favor if they stood pat and waited out the storm? Yes! I believe Knicks fans are a lot more trustworthy then they are blood-thirsty just to have ‘big names’ with albatross type contracts running up and down the court on losing teams. I believe Knicks fans (although the word, “rebuilding” can be considered negative) would be very supportive of the team if it was built the right way even if it meant losing a season or two. No, not 10-72 type losing, but having a respectable product out on the floor with all the right pieces, ala the Chicago Bulls.

When organizations and teams are structured properly but it takes a moment or two for all of the pieces (albeit the correct foundational pieces) to function the way they should, fans will give their unyielding support.

So, if Isiah has stayed away from Denver and the All-star festivities to scout college players as reported then that is a good thing. That means that the organization is starting to “get it” with regards to bringing in veterans and taking on “bad” contracts with “bad” knees or other dysfunctional body parts due to wear and tear and age.

The Knicks are starting to show something that is long overdue to life long fans and that is, ‘patience’