Thursday, December 20, 2007

To Get Back To Glory, The Knicks need To Throw Isiah To The Curb

What happened to the New York Knicks? Once a great organization has fell into hole of mediocrity that they can't seem to get out of. It seems like ever since Isiah Thomas, a former Hall of Fame point guard for the Detroit Pistons, took over in the front office things have slowly declined. Before Thomas, the Knicks were playing in the playoffs every single year. They were the cream of the crop along with Jordan and the Bulls. Now the Knicks are way below .500, and are searching for answers. Thomas thinks it is time for a change and he is right. However, he thinks it is time to switch up the line up because his players aren't giving 100%. While I agree that statement, I also think it's time for Thomas to hit the road.

Thomas has built a monster.
One thing that Thomas has never learned from is he extremely overpays mediocre talent. He has built himself a team from the ground up that was destined to fail. He has a point guard who is a proven loser in Stephon Marbury, who is probably the teams best scorer and is being paid over 20 million dollars a year for him to wear a Knick's jersey. He traded high valued draft picks to get Eddy Curry from the Bulls. He is paying over 5 million dollars a year for players like Malik Rose, Jerome James, and Jared Jeffries. All of those players, I might add, are averaging less than 3 points a game. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. This team has close to a 89 million dollar payroll this season. Just to give you a glance at how outrageous the Knicks payroll is, here are some of the playoff contenders 2007/2008 payrolls. The Detroit Pistons have a payroll of just over 65 million dollars. The Boston Celtics, despite having three super stars on their team, have a payroll of just under 75 million dollars. Finally the San Antoino Spurs, the NBA dynasty of this decade and last years NBA Champions, have a payroll of just under 70 million dollars. This Knicks team reminds me of a bad version of the New York Yankees. George Steinbrenner is about winning at all costs. Steinbrenner, like Thomas, has overpaid players during his time with the Yankees. At least Steinbrenner's gets his team to the playoffs consistently. The Knicks haven't been to the playoffs since 2003, and they way things look they won't be back for a very long time. In order for this problem of overpaying players to stop, the Knicks need to cut ties with Thomas.

How to fix the problem
Besides canning Thomas, the first thing I would do is let go of Maurbury. He has a problem being a team player, and that is not someone I would like on my team. Second, let the outrageous contracts on these players expire. It is projected that in the 2009/2010 season, the Knicks will no longer have Maurbury and Rose under contract, and a handful of players have options to opt out of their contract. If I am the Knicks, I let the players walk. It would free up some cap room, so you can go get a proven veteran player in free agency. Finally, I would build through the draft. Next years draft has a bounty of talented young players, many of which who are NBA ready, that can step in and produce. This team needs to get younger. If the Knicks do those three things, it isn't a stretch to think this team can compete again after the 2010 season. Knick fans just have to be patient. It all has to start with the release of Isiah Thomas. If that doesn't happen, professional basketball as we know it in New York will continue to slowly die.

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