Even for the James Dolan/Isiah Thomas Knicks five games is mighty quick to flush your entire season down the toilet. I'd been holding off on writing about them because I wasn't quite sure what to make of them after an impressive win against Denver and then the brutal losses to the two Florida clubs. Turns out there's nothing new to write about since the season's already in the gutter.
That's what happened today, though, when Stephon Marbury fled Phoenix and the team on the heels of reports that the team was looking to reduce his role with the team and/or eliminate him from the roster entirely. At first it seemed like Marbury left the team with no warning or explanation, something about Thomas saying he had no idea where Marbury was gave that impression, but the Post is now reporting that Marbury says he got the OK from Thomas before splitting.
I don't think Marbury is right to bolt the team just because they want him to come off the bench. Clearly that's selfish BS. I do think that a Marbury-less Knick squad, however, has about as much chance to go to the playoffs as the Washington Generals. Who's going to run the point? Mardy Collins? The loathsome little gnat named Nate? Those dogs just ain't gonna hunt. I suppose you could try Jamal Crawford and Quentin Richardson in the backcourt with Renaldo Balkman starting at the three. You could also try ramming your head into a brick wall repeatedly. Both will leave you worse for the wear.
Moreover, this latest fracas is indicative of the complete mess that Dolan has made of the organization. To get rid of Marbury, and you have to now that he's skipped out on the team, you're going to have to buy out what's left of his contract. He's untradeable, because of his contract and because of his me-first attitude. Well, that's not quite true. You might be able to dump him for awful contracts, Larry Hughes come on down!, but nothing that's going to help this team win. That leaves Dolan to spend Anucha Browne Sanders money which when you think about it is a fair penalty for that dip to have to pay.
You could have trade him this offseason, though, when he'll have just one year to go on his deal. Maybe they can patch things up enough for him to come back and play until then but, as I've said already, I think you have to get rid of a player who walks out on the team. What I don't get is why they waited until now to do something about him.
There's something so surprising about Marbury's issues playing defense and running the offense? These problems are nothing new, except to Thomas, I guess. And I guess Thomas also forgot that Marbury sabotaged Larry Brown and that he balked at Thomas when things went badly to start last season. Knowing all of this, why didn't the Knicks go out and try to improve the point guard position instead of flirting with Allan Houston and drafting their umpteenth forward who can't score? Because they're idiots, always have been and always will be idiots.
The Knicks are in Phoenix tonight and the Suns may well put up 200 against the Marbury and Zach Randolph-less 'Bockers. Good times never end at the Garden.