“I don't feel (like an outsider),” he says. He pauses, decides to qualify. “From the players? Management? Coaches? I'm well received and have a lot of friends, talk to a lot of people. I've helped a lot of people.”
Which brings us to whether Isiah, on behalf of his good friend, Knicks owner James Dolan, was instrumental in helping New York land 'Melo and Amare'.
So I ask him: Was that you?
He takes a long time to answer.
“I do have a lot of friends,” he says carefully. “And I am asked to advise in a lot of different scenarios. Players, coaches, and … ” A very long pause. “I won't comment on the Knicks situation, but I do like helping the Knicks, and I do want them to do well.”
Never mind that a college coach's involvement with an NBA team is beyond wrong. Zeke just can't resist forcing the NBA's hand to either justify this relationship or crack down on it. And if that wasn't enough… he had to take shots at all the other greats of his era.
Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson — all of these men remain intricately involved in the league, respectively, as owner, general manager, color commentator.
In Miami, Magic sits next to Pat Riley at games in full view. Isiah, when he goes, does so in the anonymity of a luxury box. Unseen.
So, when asked about his place compared to such men, this is the response:
“I have no problem saying this at all,” he says. “They're all 6-(feet)-9 and Jordan was 6-6 and a half. If they were all 6-1, it wouldn't even be a question. They wouldn't even f—ing rate. If they were all my size, s—, they wouldn't even be talked about.
“I beat the s— out of them when they were that big. If we were all the same size, f—.” He stops to laugh good-naturedly. “Make them 6-1 and let's go on the court.”
Easy there Napoleon. If you think what made those guys great was that they were tall, you're a bigger idiot than we all thought. If they were all 6'1", they would have figure out a way to get the job done because they're all among the most unnaturally driven people ever to walk this earth.
Listen, Zeke… you were a great player. One of the best ever. There's never a doubt about that. But you're just as good at being a dick. And if you're wondering why you're being frozen out of the league, then you're also really good at being a blind. You turned the Knicks into a laughingstock and hamstrung the franchise for years. You're terrible at running a team. You're horrible at that side of the NBA. One of the worst.
It's one thing to be bad at something… but it's MUCH worse when you think you're awesome and you suck at it. Then you become a joke. And you, Isiah Thomas, are a joke.