A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Savior In The House (What Happened??)
Originally Published: January 25, 2004
‘SAVIOR’ IN THE HOUSE ( WHAT HAPPENED ?? ) FACE OF THE FUTURE RIGHT NOW
Sure it’s too soon to know if Isiah Thomas will be the Knicks, even maybe Basketball’s Great Black Hope. The real face of Basketball for the next decade in a more encompassing and all important way than LeBron James. Sure it’s too soon but who cares. It’s Fun to speculate and there’s no law against that. Good old freedom of the press.
We certainly begin with Facts. The Knicks began the season worse than hopeless. More like so embarrassing it would have been better if they just didn’t show up for most games.
The team and coach Chaney were running on less than empty just weeks into the season. Until as we know a Big Surprise arrived. The Knicks owner’s Christmas Gift to New York City, naming Isiah Thomas General Manager. The impact was instantaneous.
Even before Thomas made a single move a new Spirit engulfed the team and literally all New York felt the Energy. Almost a Christmas miracle. Thomas faced the situation head on proclaiming the team had a loser’s mentality that he would change at once and he did. And then he began rebuilding the team in front of everyone’s eye right in the midst of the season.
Not just to build for the future but something far more audacious maybe unprecedented. Thomas wants to produce a championship level team this 2003-2004 season. He made it very public that at the very least getting into the playoff was a necessary Goal. Before Thomas’ arrival the thought was preposterous. Had any one else said something like that prior they’d be getting free meals in Bellevue right now. But Thomas said it and it is Believable with a capital B.
More than reworking the roster, trading creatively here and there, even before he said a Word it was clear he was going to rid the Knicks of coach Don Chaney and he did. Replacing him with a head coach of a caliber that is as good as it gets Lenny Wilkins. Also the prefect compliment to Isiah. Their combined strengths even more than the sum of the parts. In this case 1+1 equals ten, twenty, a hundred, maybe an infinity of basketball potential. It is beyond dispute. The Knicks are a ‘new’ team since Isiah’s Arrival.
Yes this is an Ode to Isiah Thomas. And we are proving why we used the very powerful word Savior in our headline. And there is more much more about what Isiah Thomas may mean. Remember our disclaimer all this is Speculation as to the results as of now, but certainly very sound Speculation.
Isiah Thomas has the talent and the potential to turn the Knicks into a Dynasty to rival the ‘current’ ( or former ) Los Angeles Lakers success in recent years. Maybe turn the Knicks into one of the greatest and most consistent winners in NBA history. The Knicks have never reached those Heights before. Yes an occasional Championship but never year after year success and appearance after appearance in the NBA Finals.
It won’t happen in a year but it is now something that can openly be discussed. For just one reason Isiah Thomas beyond all others. Now let’s move even beyond the Knicks and Thomas as GM. There is no reason to think that no matter how great his success running the Knicks that it will be his last success. Far from it. Isiah is just 42. Here are some real possibilities. Future owner of the Knicks. How about the first Black and next NBA Commissioner.
Would it even be surprising to see Isiah back home or even in New York elected U.S. Senator or Governor. But maybe most of all Isiah Thomas just may become the very best and most widely admired African American role model in America during the early decades of the 21st century. He already puts the likes of Michael Jordan to Shame.
Isiah Thomas is that good, that multi-talented, that intelligent, that articulate, that resourceful, that courageous, that imaginative to be that and more. We covered ourselves by stating at the start we would be speculating about Isiah Thomas in the Box.
But make no mistake the speculation is about exactly what Isiah might do, specific results of what he will accomplish. That he has and will is not speculation. It is beyond dispute he is already one of the finest African American success stories in the nation. Now it’s only a matter what will he do with the next 40-50 years of his life.
Finally think about this for all the bigotry and racism we must still deal with in sports and beyond sports, Isiah Thomas proves how ridiculous they are. There is not any white man ( or woman ) that Knicks owner Dolan could have hired, include anyone you like, who would have had the same Transformation power with the Knicks and for all New York.
Isiah many be very special but there are many Isiah Thomas’ with their own distinct names and visions, and there are more with every passing year.
The Power of One. The Power of Many.
Black Power at its very Finest.
( 4 years later NOT really )
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ISIAH GAZING TOWARD TOMORROW