We are now 1/4 way through the 2006-2007 NBA season and I need to make a confession.
I haven’t watched the Knicks play in 575 days.
Despite still following the team and considering myself a Knicks fan, I stopped rooting for them approximately a year and a half ago. Please understand. I know as of this writing the Knicks are 8-14 and only a 1/2 game out of first place. I also know Eddy Curry has been on a tear lately and Renaldo Balkman is a pleasant surprise in the making. I just could not in good faith pledge my alligence to the New York Knicks anymore.
So what has caused me to boycott my favorite team? Do you even have to ask? Oh, dear reader, the pain of saying his name. Isiah Thomas. The name grinds through my Knicks memories like fingernails on a chalkboard. Slowly images such as John Starks dunking on Jordan and the Bulls are being wiped from my mind’s eye and replaced by Zeke’s dazzling array of has-beens or never-will-bes.
To think he once gave me hope. In late December 2003, nearly three years ago, former Knick general manager Scott Layden was fired, replaced by Mr. Isiah Thomas. Layden had destroyed the team I once rooted so fanatically for. Gone were Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Charles Oakley, and Anthony Mason. In were Luc Longley, Glen Rice, Felton Spencer, Howard Eisley, Shandon Anderson, Antonio McDyess’s injured knees, and Allan Houston’s 100 million dollar contract. With the arrival of Isiah, glory days were supposed to be back again.
After two weeks on the job, Isiah struck, trading Charlie Ward, my last remaining favorite Knick, as part of a deal to the Phoenix Suns for Stephon Marbury. Although it meant losing Ward, the Knicks got “Starbury” and I couldn’t be happier. I was even thinking about buying a Marbury jersey, my first jersey purchase since my Starks jersey.
Even though Isiah changed nearly the entire roster during the season, the Knicks made the 2003-2004 playoffs, albeit losing to the NJ Nets in three games. But Isiah had a plan. And I was all in.
Quickly I came to realize the emperor had no clothes. Ridiculous deals for Steve Francis, Jerome Williams, Malik Rose, etc., made me realize Isiah’s plan was no plan at all. My favorite team was a haphazard mess to be tinkered with at any time. I was heartbroken, depressed, and all those other feelings that make a man find an accoustic guitar and a bottle of whiskey and sing to the moonlit sky.
For all his mismanagement, I will give Isiah Thomas credit, he does draft well. The same guy that found Marcus Camby and Tracy McGrady for the Toronto Raptors has drafted David Lee, Channing Frye, the aforementioned Balkman, and Nate Robinson, all of which I believe will have good NBA careers. But aside from being a decent judge of talent, Isiah has not improved the Knicks one iota.
So now the boycott is at approximately 575 days and counting. I don’t care if the Knicks win a championship under Isiah Thomas. It’s the principle. Until he goes, I am not watching. I’ll tune in to the O.C., Deal or No Deal, Survivor, or some other mindless drivel. The boycott will continue.