From Frank Isola of the News, I mean can anybody believe this ****?
Isiah Thomas was greeted in Utah by [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] detailing how the Jazz may receive the Knicks’ protected lottery pick, which Thomas originally traded to Phoenix in the Stephon Marbury deal.
It’s complicated, but the pick — later traded from Phoenix to Utah as part of a deal for Tom Gugliotta — has been protected since 2006. But in 2010 it is not protected, so if the Knicks fail to reach the playoffs that season, Utah gets a lottery pick.
According to the Tribune, the pick was protected through the 25th pick in 2006. Last year it was protected through the 24th pick, this year it is protected through the 23rd pick and next year the 22nd pick.
Thomas was in no mood to discuss the details of that pick, saying “I’m not into that space right now. We’ll see where we are in 2010.”
Of course, it is unlikely that Thomas will be around in three years which is why he doesn’t care about what happens to the Knicks in 2010. Instead, he is desperate to make the playoffs in the watered-down Eastern Conference, even though the Knicks do own their lottery pick this year.
Again, does making the playoffs with 38, 37 or 36 wins represent progress? It has been suggested that maybe these Knicks are following a similar path that the 1999 Knicks took. That team, you may remember, managed to earn the No. 8 seed and reach the NBA Finals.
Comparing the two teams is almost comical. The 1999 Knicks had 50 games in the lockout-shortened season to get their act together. They had three new key players on the team as well (Latrell Sprewell, Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas).
Thomas’ team has had four years to mesh as a unit and after 45 games they have just 14 wins. So the next time someone tries to compare the two, ask them, who is the Ewing on this team? Who is the Sprewell, the Larry Johnson, the Allan Houston and the Jeff Van Gundy?
The only common traits the two teams share is that they play their home games at Madison Square Garden and that James Dolan in the owner. But in 1999, Dolan was a great owner; willing to spend money and careful not to interfere. But once Dolan removed Dave Checketts he foolishly took on a greater role and now you’re left with a team that believes it would be a successful season to win 35 games and get hammered by Boston in the first round.
I’d rather have the lottery pick, especially since Utah gets it in 2010.
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