Knicks Should be Nuked

By Jerald LeVon Hoover
Updated: March 5, 2006

NEW YORK – From the owner James Dolan on down there should be a complete remake over of this team. At present, this team or organization for that matter is a complete and utter mess. Just like former Knick and now Toronto Raptor, Antonio Davis said once he cleared customs en route to Canada.

The players seem to dislike the coach and his coaching style (rotations, DNPs, bashing and juggled lineups to name just a few topics). Some players seem to not really like each other despite public declarations to the contrary. Some players seem to not care as much about winning as much as they should.

Perhaps there are some reasons for that. Not that anyone should dare make an excuse for a player especially one that gets paid very well for what he does for a few hours in a day in front of a few million at best for not playing at their very hardest if not their very best. But, if an employer doesn’t give an employee confidence or a guideline or some sort of stability or structure it’s not always easy to do what you do free and easy.

This is where coach Larry Brown is at fault. To date there has been some 35 or 36 different starting line ups. And the rotation oh well, that’s another story all in itself. With the way Brown is playing and not playing his players and with the games that the Knicks lost with respect to it one could almost think that perhaps Brown himself doesn’t care whether the team wins or loses.

Case in point, beginning this calendar season of 2006, the Knicks reeled off a season high six consecutive wins. That line up had rookie David Lee as a starter. With Lee’s all out hustle and bustle the Knicks looked like an exciting bunch. But for some strange reason, Brown lost favor in Lee and benched him. Matter of fact not only was Lee benched but he was buried on the bench in favor of the ancient Malik Rose who really should not be playing. The Knicks then went on and lost six in a row and followed that with a cumulative stretch of losing 22 out of 24 games.

There are indeed other reasons for this mess. For one the players that Isiah has brought in. For some quacked out reason Isiah seems to think that shuffling players on and off the roster whether by trade of crazy free agent signings, (see the Jerome James file…30 million for 5 years) is going to work. Whereas everybody in the free world of General Manager-ship knows that the way to build or rebuild a team is through the draft and with prudent free agent signings and trades. So the notion of trading for Minnesota’s Kevin Garnett (who by the way hasn’t’ won anything in his 10-plus seasons in the NBA) at the expense of Channing Frye is ludicrous at best.

Isiah looks as if he’s playing musical chairs with the players and he’s doing it without direction. One minute he’s trying to build with youth and the next minute he’s building with veterans that “play the right way”. But all the while he’s sabotaging the franchise with high priced low output players that cannot adapt or adopt into Brown’s system (whatever that system may be).

All said, this team should be gutted out from top to bottom and refilled with people that actually know what they’re doing. People that actually have a philosophy and a purpose on how to rebuild and run a franchise and are willing to stick with it regardless of a present day win lost record. Even if it takes two, three or even four years, it would make for better sense and thus would ease the fury of the diehard fan that is shelling out big dollars for little results.

Management has to realize fans will support if they can see progress or if they know that there really is a solid philosophy at play. It sort of makes you wonder, why the Knicks were so adamant about trading off Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway’s expiring 15 million dollar contract and the Chicago Bulls stood pat armed with Tim Thomas’s expiring 14 million contract without even a thought of trading for more long term junk which would prohibit them from making a real run at a topflight free agent in the future.

Again, Scott Layden must be somewhere smiling.