The MSG chairman and the dude running the New York Knicks says that Isiah Thomas has one year to turn this team around.
"I'm saying this right with Isiah here. This is his team. He made this bed. There's nobody better than him to make this thing go forward. But he has to do that and he has one year, one season to do that. At this time next year, Isiah will be with us if we can all sit here and say that this team has made significant progress towards its goal of eventually becoming an NBA championship team. If we can't say that, then Isiah will not be here."
No offense....but he's an idiot. You cannot run a sports franchise like this. You just gave Larry Brown one year to try to revitalize this team....and he couldn't do it. Then you show him the door....and try to stiff him his money you owe him. And Isiah won't be able to either.
True, Isiah made this bed. I have been very critical of Isiah Thomas over a lot of things....especially this team. It is a horrible mix of players with very bad contracts. But even if Red Auerbach, Phil Jackson and Lenny Wilkens were all coaching this team....it would be bad. And asking a coach....any coach...to fix the worst team in the Eastern Conference in one year is ridiculous. And to publically place this kind of pressure on a guy like this is unreasonable as well.
And what is improvement?? Making the playoffs?? Well, the Knicks could actually do that if they play well enough. When assessing the Eastern Conference...to make the playoffs you just have to be the 8th worst team [or 8th best]. Charlotte is still an expansion franchise that is building slowly. Atlanta, though they have some pieces, is still a season or two away. Toronto was so bad early in the season....but were respectably average the rest of the way. The Celtics are a bit of a mess too. There are four teams they can be better than.
Philadelphia has Iverson...well, maybe they will....and he can keep them relevant. If he goes, then they could be had as well. Well, that makes five teams.
After that, it is tough. Orlando is improving and could be a player away from being a playoff team. Milwaukee has a nice young nucleus of Michael Redd, Andrew Bogut, Bobby Simmons, etc. I mean, how'd they make the playoffs last year? Indiana still has a decent squad....but they could be moving Jermaine O'Neal which would make them vunerable. Chicago had an off year last season...but is still primed for a playoff push. Same deal with Washington. And there is no way that New York could pass Detroit, Miami, New Jersey or Cleveland.
The Knicks could shoot for a 2nd place finish in the Atlantic Division...which is entirely possible [given the C's, Raps and Sixers all aren't great].
Still...the "significant" improvement Dolan wants can't be reached. Not when the team sucks. Sure, this may be Dolan's way of getting rid of Thomas...but why not just fire him. Publically demanding the coach bring his team to improvement rarely ever works and Dolan has as much to blame as anyone.