RIP New York Knicks
The beauty of sports is you never know what you’re going to get when you show up to the arena. What we saw last night at the Garden was nothing short of a burial for the exquisitely-awful tenure of Isiah Thomas as frontman of the New York Knicks. You could see it in the first few minutes. While the Celtics scrambled on defense and worked the ball on offense, the Knicks stared at the ground, refused to call out screens, and completely disengaged from their “coach.”
In all my years of watching basketball (and I have probably covered well over a thousand games) I have never seen a more pathetic performance at any level, ever. It was great.
The only disappointment was the obviously sated Garden crowd didn’t break into chants of, “Keep Isiah,” to counteract the “Fire Isiah” chants that will surely rain down on the Knicks tonight at MSG. There is no love in this town for Isiah, thanks to his days as the ringleader of Detroit’s Bad Boys, the group that sent NBA basketball into a 10-year aesthetic tailspin, but the crowd last night had mercy.
While our guy Big Baby was diving his 289-pound frame onto the floor for a loose ball and James Posey was hurtling the scorers’ table to earn a possession, Stephon Marbury was glued to the bench, towel draped over his face. The defining moment may have come late, when Eddie House fouled out rather than concede a lay-up in a 50-point game.
The best part about last night was the TNT crew. Fired Knick broadcaster Marv Albert eviscerated the franchise in a 2-minute breakdown of their troubles that was so unique in its candor, sidekick Mike Fratello was moved to ask, “Are you done?”
But at halftime, when Charles Barkley suggested the very-much-alive 1980’s short-shorts icon Pat Cummings was spinning in his grave and Kenny Smith offered that Marvin “The Human Eraser” Webster was doing the same, that was the coup de grace.
From the Celtics perspective, they got great contributions from Davis (13 points and 6 boards) and House (15 points), while ever-improving Rajon Rondo destroyed Marbury at the point, but it was the 48-minute, have-no mercy effort that was awesome to behold.
Speaking of Big Baby, Boston Daily’s Official Celtic got the Steve Bulpett column treatment in the Herald, and it appears he is beginning to figure it out. However, the TNT crew mentioned Doc Rivers has a new nickname for Big Baby and it’s “Country Con,” for his ability to talk himself out of drills.
Not good, young fella. Nothing is guaranteed in this league, especially for a second-round pick on a team of future Hall of Famers. Just ask Oliver Miller, Mel Turpin, and John Williams. Or you could go ask the Knicks.
UPDATE: If you missed Kevin Garmett’s post-game interview with the great Craig Sager, you should check it out here on YouTube. KG gets in a subtle jab at Marbury, knocks Quentin Richardson for saying the Celtics have no depth, and then absolutely crushes Sager on his usual sartorial splendor. No one rocks a green and blue checked ensemble like Sages.