The 22 year old Eddy Curry was hospitalized and suffered an irregular heartbeat after leading his team to the playoffs. Even though he was cleared to play by the Chicago Bulls heart specialist the management required him to pass a DNA test to know if he doesn’t have a congenital heart condition. He refused to pass any DNA test and so the Bulls look for a possible trade. Nobody wanted to do anything with an overrated Center who maybe a walking time bomb in the court. No one in their right mind that would even entertain that thought. But not Isiah Thomas the newly hired New York Knicks president of basketball operations. He went for the bait as Isiah traded Mike Sweetney, Tim Thomas and Jermaine Jackson for Eddy Curry and Antonio Davis including 2 future lottery picks in the talent laden 2005 NBA draft. They could have gotten a Deron Williams or Chris Paul but fortunately they got David Lee as consolation prize drafting Lee as the 30th pick in the first round.
Isiah preached about leaving a championship legacy but nobody believes him. Not after a 33-49 (06-07 season) and 23-59 (07-08 season) record and losing thrice in the first round after taking the coaching job vacated by Larry Brown. He put the Knicks salary cap down to the limit after signing sub par players Jerome James and Jarred Jeffries to the full mid-level exception contracts with James as the worst free agent signing in NBA history. James played only two games for a total of five minutes in the 2007-08 season while earning him a salary of $5.8 million that year just only 20 percent of his total $30 million five year deal.
Isiah allegedly instigated the brawl between the Denver Nuggets by ordering his players to commit hard fouls that happened in 2006. Started with Mardy Collins giving Jr Smith a flagrant foul in the closing seconds of the game suspending Carmelo Anthony, Jr Smith, Nate Robinson, Mardy Collins, Nene and guess who? Jarred Jeffries and Jerome James. At least James showed balls considering the Knicks paid him $30 million for doing nothing.
Those years were one of the darkest years in Knicks history as the fans had enough heartache and promises demanding Isiah’s reign to stop, ending his term tied with the franchise record of 59 losses with the only remnant in the Knicks roster is Eddy Curry with an $11 million salary this year.
Amidst all the losing games and failed expectations Isiah Thomas will be returning to the Knicks this year hiring him as a team consultant assisting the team’s management and player recruitment. The Knicks for such a long time now has been considered a contender this coming season with key signing of Amare Stoudamire, Raymond Felton, Kelenna Azubuike, Ronny Turiaf and Anthony Randolph. Isiah was a good help in signing Amare and infairness to him he was good on finding talents while he was in Toronto drafting Tracy Mcgrady, Marcus Camby and Damon Stoudemire who became the rookie of the year. But those are just chump change compared to his overspending contracts, all those losing games, sexual harassment lawsuits and overdosed sleeping pills. The Knicks have already moved-on on that era and now they are signing him back like a battered wife who couldn’t seem to get over on his abusive husband.
Let’s just hope we’ve seen the last of Jerome James and Eddy Curry like contracts. It’s times like these that we miss the Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason era. Like they say good things never last.