09 November 2006

The Midterm Elections of 2006: Does This Mean There's Hope For The New York Knickerbockers? (CS)

So it's been a good week for those opposed to the faulty Republican leadership. We desired change and we got it. If only it were true in all realms where we desire progress..... There is still a blight that spends frivolously and makes boneheaded policy decisions. There is still an establishment figure who will continue to do damage to our beloved institution until it is in a state of almost irredeemable disrepair. And I speak, of course, of Isiah Thomas.

I've made the comparison before and I'll do it again. His years on the Pistons aside, Isiah Thomas is the George W. Bush of basketball. Just when you thought he couldn't possibly do any more in the way of destruction to one of the marquee franchises in basketball (much less all of sports) he manages to find a way. Here I defer to the closest I have to a Keith Olbermann in this analogy, The Sportsguy:
Will there ever be a more inexplicable move than the Knicks spending $30 million on the insanely mediocre Jared Jeffries (really $60 million since they have to pay double for the luxury tax), than allowing the Spurs to steal Jackie Butler (a legitimate sleeper at center) away for $7 million because they were worried about the luxury tax ramifications? What about the illogical Jalen Rose buyout, whose $16.9 million salary could have been used for a deadline deal in a few months? ...I maintained from Day 1 that Isiah would be an unequivocal disaster in New York, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine he could cost the Knicks hundreds of millions of dollars. That's not a misprint. He has cost the Knicks hundreds of millions of dollars.
And this is to not even start on the dealing away of draft picks, the addition of out of shape players, and the installment a coach who has proven to underachieve (himself).
Of course there are differences between the political world and my sports loyalty dilemma. A major one I'll remark on here is that while the Republican accusation that liberals WANT America to lose in Iraq is obviously absurd, it might actually apply in this case. Things have gotten so bad that Knicks fans actually DO want their team to lose. From the Sportsguy's most recent NBA article:

Josh in Brooklyn, N.Y.: "For the first time in my life I'm completely rooting against my own team. Every foul, every TO, it all makes me happy. Even when the Jets were in the Bush sweepstakes last year I wanted them to play well. Now I want the Knicks to look as bad as possible. Blow leads. Play sloppy. Quit on the coach. I just want this fool out of town. I never thought this could happen."

Why does this happen? A big part of it is because we can't just vote out Isaiah Thomas. Or veto his contract decisions. Or now what will be his day to day decisions as head coach. The only way to affect change is for ticket buyers (especially season ticket holders) to vote with their wallets. If the Knicks owners haven't caught on yet that Thomas is having a monumentally adverse effect on the team by now (and really, they must be blind, completely uninterested in basketball, or morons to let things get this far), then the only option left is to hope for truly abysmal seasons to drive even more business away until the owners finally see their bottom line falling into the red.

The recent election results (and the continuing fallout, such as the situations with Rumsfeld and Bolton) are probably the closest we are going to get to a coup in this country (I hope). It gives me hope that radical change is possible and that even when things seem terribly dire, there is still hope to be had. The alternative is being like a Philadelphia sports fan and I wouldn't wish that sort of depression on anyone.

Whether it's in regards to this country or the Knicks, the damage has been done and it will realistically take some considerable time to recoup our losses and move forward into a brighter future. Of course, as far as the Knicks go at least, we still have to run the bums out.


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