Subtraction By Addition

The thing about Thursday's 3 p.m. trade deadline, whether the Knicks acquire Stevie Disenfranchised (looking more and more as if it's going to happen, according to someone on the Magic payroll), Theo Ratliff, Theo Huxtable, Ruben Patterson, Rube Walker, Kenyon Martin, Dwane Martin, Earl Watson, Earl Scheib or any combination thereof, is it really going to make a difference?
You're right; none of the above or all of it figure to re-establish Madison Square Garden as the Mecca of Basketball in our dreams or lifetime. At the same time, Isiah Thomas and Larry Brown are no doubt thinking it's impossible that changes can make their team any worse, so why not keep rotating the tires?

You'd feel that way, too, I submit, if your outfit was going downhill faster than Bode Miller. Then again, who isn't?

"That'll teach him to sober up," Vinyard Baker said this past weekend before undergoing a two-step signing process with my Paper Clips: try out and dry out.

"Things are going so bad for the Knicks," notes column contributor Sy Preston, "the Garden's looking to move in an attempt to get away from them."

Evidently, I have greatly overestimated Thomas' instincts and insight for assembling a harmonious team. Anybody can recruit notarized talent. Forming chemistry and camaraderie by importing players who recognize their roles and willingly accept them takes savoir faire.

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