Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Do you think Matt Millen is a Knicks fan?

With five hours until the NBA trade deadline at 3 p.m. EST, I'm trying to give Isiah Thomas the benefit of the doubt. My inner Little Ian is also reminding me that I loved Isiah as a kid, often risking ridicule by putting my pasty white torso in a Pistons #11 jersey whenever I played basketball. Right now, those sentiments are all that's keeping me from joining the pitchfork-and-torch mob decrying Isiah as the worst executive in professional sports. (Matt Millen, put your pitchfork down. You're still on the hook, pal.)

Isiah has to be working on something else, right? Tell me this Steve Francis deal is the precursor to bringing Kevin Garnett to New York. Because that's the only way yesterday's deal with Orlando makes any sense. Steve Francis and Stephon Marbury, two shoot-now-pass-later point guards, in the same backcourt? Francis, Marbury, and Jamal Crawford on the floor at the same time?

(Image from the New York Daily News)

I have friends in New York, so I hope they're reading this now. Mis Hooz, if you see an older, bespectacled gentleman standing along 7th or 8th Avenue outside Madison Square Garden, muttering "Joe fired me, I didn't quit... Joe fired me, I didn't quit," and staring at the oncoming traffic, hold him in your arms and don't let him go. He needs your help.

Here's the lead of Frank Isola's story from the New York Daily News, which also has a hilarious back cover today:

By early morning Larry Brown was talking about the Knicks potentially adding a player with a defensive mind-set, who is unselfish and owns a high basketball IQ.

It's on you New Yorkers to watch out for the poor guy. We can't help Larry Brown here in Detroit. Not just because of the geographical distance, but because we're too busy pointing at him and laughing the laugh of schadenfreude. We're nice people here, but you're dead to us when you'd rather go someplace else.

(Photo by G. Paul Burnett/ New York Times)

Oh, Isiah! Even your mother has to be saying that with tears in her eyes right now. And my Isiah jersey shrunk and ratted up years ago.

▪▪ Complete Sports points out that the Knicks actually have five shoot-first point guards, and has many links from the national (ESPN, etc.) perspective to browse.

▪▪ The New York Daily News' Mitch Lawrence and Father Knickerbocker both think Isiah is doing a great job... of improving the other teams in the NBA.

▪▪ Greg Eno wonders if Isiah ever had a plan in New York, and also has a very intriguing proposal for his next career move at Out of Bounds.

▪▪ The NBA Source proposes five trades that could realistically be made by the deadline today.

▪▪ In case you were thinking the Knicks were the only team being criticized, Peter Kerasotis of floridatoday.com asks what the Magic have to show for Tracy McGrady.

▪▪ Who else could be on his way out of Orlando? Grant Hill.

(Updated at 5:30 p.m.)

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  • At February 23, 2006 11:22 AM, Blogger the sports dude said…

    I agree with you on the points about Isiah, it is painful to watch him pretend to be a front office guy. Shouldn't we all be thanking our lucky stars that whatever happened behind closed doors that took Joe D's position away from him went down? Remember, Isiah had the position wrapped up until someone leaked it to the media, which pissed off Mr. D and all but booted Isiah out of town! Seriously, the Pistons could be the Knicks of the NBA right now! Maybe Isiah should call Joe and simply ask "Hey Joe, what the hell would you do here brother?"

  • At February 23, 2006 2:20 PM, Blogger Ian C. said…

    Here's a question that was brought up on the Sports Inferno message boards: If Grant Hill is cut by Orlando, should the Pistons go after him?

    How great would that bench look?

  • At February 23, 2006 2:28 PM, Blogger the sports dude said…

    I have said it in the past I would love for Hill to somehow come back here and even contribute, albeit to a minimum, to a title.

    Look, he bolted and some people may have a sour taste in their mouths because of it, but don't forget the truth to the story. He could have left as a free agent and screwed the Pistons totally, which is what he wanted to do. The leaving as a free agent part, not necessarily the screwing. It was him that agreed to the sign and trade that brought us Big Ben and, at the time, Chucky. Yes, by signing with us he got the max money, which he couldn't have gotten by just signing with Orlando, but he still agreed to it in the end TO HELP OUT THIS ORGANIZATION BEFORE HE LEFT. Besides, it was his wife that really wanted to go to Orlando anyway, anyone with a wife or seriously girlfriend knows that when the women says it then it better happen.

    Would love to see it, but I guess we wait and see.

  • At February 23, 2006 3:31 PM, Blogger Greg Eno said…

    Once again I missed the deadline to make your pumping of fellow bloggers and websites! :-)

    Anyhow, check out my take on Ike's travails:



  • At February 23, 2006 4:05 PM, Anonymous Evan said…

    Sports dude... I have to say, I doubt Grant had many altruistic motives in mind. Keep in mind that by dumping Atkins and Wallace, Orlando had more money to, wait for it, pay Hill. I forget the details, but wasn't Hill contract or bonus or something bigger as a result of the sign-and-trade?

    It would be cool if Grant came back, though, I suppose. However, it seems to me that if the Pistons need depth at any position right now, it's point guard, not small forward/swingman. I'd hate to see Delfino get cut out of the rotation AGAIN...he needs to develop more. A good raw talent that, unlike Hill, might still be here in 5 years.

    And yes, Isiah is, well, a boob. I'd take Millen over Isiah any day of the week. At least Millen seems to have SOME idea of what positions he needs to fill, even if he doesn't do it right. Isiah just likes to acquire players at the same two positions with huge salaries. "Yay, I got another one!"

  • At February 23, 2006 4:24 PM, Blogger the sports dude said…

    Evan - yes, I said that in my comment, by doing the sign and trade Hill got more money, you are right. But I remember at the time he really wanted to just leave as a free agent, it was the route he wanted. Did he get more money, yes, but if he decided to take less money and not do the sign and trade then the Pistons would have gotten nothing and the Magic still would have signed Hill. Even though it came down to dollar bills it still did the Pistons a favor.

  • At February 23, 2006 7:28 PM, Blogger Ian C. said…

    I'd prefer Hill not to come back, but for completely selfish reasons. Hill leaving Detroit is a key component of my first column for Motor City Sports Magazine. (Plug alert! On newsstands in March. Ahem.)

    At the time Hill left, I remember being impressed that he made an effort to appear on the radio and speak to local writers. He didn't just skip out of town.

    But years later, I wonder if such an effort to be liked is one of the reasons he never quite hit it off with the fans here. His sincerity seemed to often be questioned. To me, it's very similar to the negative perception toward Alex Rodriguez.

  • At February 24, 2006 2:02 AM, Blogger twins15 said…

    This would almost be sad to watch... if I wasn't a Philly fan. I think I read the Knicks are over the cap as far into the future as the 2008-2009. And realistically, with that roster, what's the top they could get to? Maybe a division win and first-round exit if Jason Kidd and Allen Iverson retire?

    Along with the 5 shoot-first PG/SG, I forgot to add Quentin Richardson into that mix as well. These 6 guys that play a combined 2 or 3 spots are about $57 million in salary, and then you consider the fact that they're still paying Allan Houston and Shandon Anderson about a combined $54 million over two years.

    I usually laugh when people say, "I could be a better GM than him," but in this case I think it's actually true! Isiah was an amazing player, but he's clueless as a GM.

  • At February 24, 2006 2:06 AM, Blogger twins15 said…

    And I forgot to mention, I love Larry Brown, but could he have picked a worse situation? He excels with gritty, veteran type players... his coaching with Philly in 2001 was excellent. Here he's with a team of overpaid younger guys that don't play defense. I can't imagine a worse situation for him.


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