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Just two years from the bench? Seemed like a decade, and in a sense it was, as that's nearly how long Isiah Thomas' stranglehold on the fate of the Knicks had been in effect.
From the get-go in 2003, he blew up the payroll as President of Basketball Operations, signing questionable talent for questionable amounts of money.
From The New York Times:
"He never made cap room a priority, or exhibited a long-term strategy, or showed much regard for team chemistry as he added one expensive player after another: Stephon Marbury, Penny Hardaway, Jalen Rose, Steve Francis, Maurice Taylor, Zach Randolph, [Eddy] Curry and [Jamal] Crawford."
He brought Curry from the Chicago Bulls to the New York Injured and Out of Shape List in exchange for, amongst other pieces, four draft picks, including the one used to select center Joakim Noah.
No cap room and meek talent and fewer draft picks. Oh my. And we haven't gotten to the coaching yet.
After Lenny Wilkens didn't pan out in two half-seasons, Thomas brought in Larry Brown to coach.
Or at least we thought so.
But Thomas "blames the hiring of Brown on Dolan." And Larry Brown blames Thomas for everything that was bad about the Knicks:
"I didn't like working for him," Brown said yesterday [May 11, 2011]. "People beat him up. I don't want to beat him up. I just didn't enjoy working for him. He thought what he did was right. I'm going to leave it at that."
And so, here was the new Knicks coach, Isiah Thomas, with "the job of coaching the overpriced, underachieving roster he created."
Thomas coached two full seasons, winning 33 and then 23 games with no playoff appearances, all along preposterously predicting a title or "titles" actually.
In the end, he was booted from the hardwood (and sight) "thanks" to a sexual harassment suit.
Whew. That's exhausting. Any Isiah Thomas slide is taxing.
But he's not the worst coach in Knicks history.