It’s the questions most often asked around the New York Knicks saga: Why in the world would the Knicks even consider bringing Isiah Thomas back? Are they dropping acid like it’s 1968 in the Knicks offices?
Bringing him back makes no sense if you’re thinking like a basketball executive. It makes no sense if you’re thinking like a businessman (remember the $11 million sexual harassment suit he cost the franchise).
But that’s not how Knicks owner James Dolan is thinking — he is thinking like a friend.
Dolan and Thomas are tight, as Frank Isola reminds us in the New York Daily News Sunday.
“Isiah is one of Jim Dolan’s best friends,” says a person close to Thomas. “That’s good enough for him.”
That relationship, the source of frustration and tension among Knicks executives and fans, will almost certainly lead to Thomas returning to the Knicks, perhaps as early as next April when FIU, the college team Thomas currently coaches, concludes its season.
If Thomas does come back, it will be as a consultant. But what happens if by April 1 Dolan decides not to pick up the option on team president Donnie Walsh’s contracts. The Knicks have been looking to groom a successor. Maybe Allan Houston, maybe Mark Warkentien (last of Denver).
But if Thomas has his foot in the door and the ear of Dolan, and if he can help recruit someone such as Carmelo Anthony (or convince Dolan he can) it’s easy to picture a world where he gets the team president job again.
A crazy, sickening bizzaro world for Knicks fans, but a realistic world nonetheless.
The No. 28 pick, R.J. Hunter became the first first-rounder from last year’s draft to fall out of the NBA when the Celtics waived him.
He won’t be out of the league for long.
The Bulls, the only team with an open roster spot, appear close to adding him.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Hunter belongs in the league. Though he must knock down shots far more reliably than he has, Hunter has potential as an outside shooter with complementary ball skills to provide value. Boston just had more NBA-caliber players than roster spots.
He’s far from a lock to succeed in the NBA, but I value Hunter about as much as Tony Snell – whom the Bulls just traded for an upgrade at backup point guard in Michael Carter-Williams. That they could so cheaply replace Snell makes that deal look even better.
Gerald Green was drafted by the Celtics and spent two seasons with them before being traded (in the Kevin Garnett deal).
After stints with the Timberwolves, Rockets, Mavericks, Nets, Pacers, Suns and Heat, he signed with Boston this summer.
Think he’s happy to be back?
Abby Chin of CSN Mid-Atlantic:
Joel Embiid couldn’t endear himself by playing in an NBA game, because he’s been too injured to do that in two pro seasons.
He’s had to resort to witty nicknames, practice-gym dunks, fun-loving stunts, attention-seeking tweets and self-deprecating humor.
Embiid is scheduled to make his NBA debut tonight, when the 76ers play the Thunder. Soon, we’ll judge him more for what he does on the court.
But, first, Embiid went out with one last bang of a quote.
Embiid, via Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:
“You know how I learned to shoot?” Embiid says. “I watched white people. Just regular white people. They really put their elbow in and finish up top. You can find videos of them online.”
LeBron James might be the greatest athlete in NBA history.
But even he has shown signs of decline at age 31.
He has gotten multiple back injections and even took a break during the season to rehabilitate in Miami. The forward has treated the last two regular-seasons as glorified warmups for the playoffs.
Just where does LeBron stand physically?
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue gave quite the answer.
Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:
Lue said James, at 31, “had a chance to get tested this summer and they said he had a body of a 19-year old. Maybe he’s getting younger. Benjamin Button.”
It was a little perplexing because neither James, nor his personal trainer, Mike Mancias, nor general manager David Griffin had any real idea what test Lue was talking about.
This reminds me of Derrick Rose attributing the Knicks and Warriors being super teams to “They’re saying.” Who is they, and what are they smoking?
That LeBron, Mancias and Griffin won’t cop to knowing is quite revealing.
LeBron does not have the body of a 19-year-old. Years of other-worldly play and long playoff runs has taken a toll.
Because he’s declining from such a high peak, LeBron should remain elite for a while. His athleticism might even fluctuate as it trends downward overall.
But Father Time is undefeated, and LeBron didn’t just get a mid-career reset to his rookie physical form.