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View Full Version : Knicks trade for Stevie, now buying him out?


EricaLubarsky
01-09-2007, 04:26 PM
January 9, 2007 -- I KNOW what you're thinking: It doesn't get any more bizarre.

Here are Isiah Thomas' 15-21 Knicks returning to Madison Square Garden tomorrow from a 2-3 road trip, with Nate Robinson back on active duty following a 10-game suspension, and the first callers are the 76ers, whose newly-appointed executive VP is none other than archenemy Larry (Gurney) Brown.

Weird is today's operative theme, that's for sure.

And a case can be made the weirdest part is that Brown has exhausted his lifetime supply of original next towns to frolic hither and yon. So, the former 76ers president/coach (a six-year tour; forever and a day in his tight travel schedule) is forced to bolt to the same places all over again.

However, that argument is invalid. You want ultimate weirdness, see how this grabs you: A source claims the Knicks and Steve Francis - exiled to Houston supposedly to rehab a tender knee - are discussing a contract buyout; what remains of this season's $15 million salary and the next two, $16.44M and $17.8M.

Actually, that in itself is not all that weird, or scarcely surprising considering Maurice Taylor and Jalen Rose already have taken that route, and Francis is a duplication of Stephon Marbury. At least two columns, maybe three, were committed to condemning the acquisition of Francis the week leading up to the exchange of the expiring pact of Penny Hardaway and Trevor (eight straight double-figure scoring efforts for the Magic) Ariza.

Everybody and his rollers recognized Francis didn't qualify as a lid to the Knicks' pot. Everybody, that is, except Thomas, and by the looks of things, Brown too, which I queasily admit is news to me.

A seamless segue to the perfectly peculiar part of this latest development: According to the same source, stage two of Francis' buyout conversation, coordinated by agent Jeff Fried, is dialogue with Brown about his client joining the 76ers after he clears waivers.

Say it ain't so! For months I've maintained "Play the game the right way" Brown never would've endorsed such procurement, much less initiated it. Has Billy King seconded this motion? If so, does that mean he's back under the influence of Brown and no longer in charge? If not, is the Sixers president aware of the talk? That's just what David Stern needs, another team management matter to arbitrate.

Brown is responsible for putting the "W" in weird.

Meanwhile, back in Philadelphia, a report surfaced last week the 76ers were discussing a contract buyout ($20.72M/$22.3M) of Chris Webber.

King refused to comment on the Webber matter to the local media and failed to respond to my e-mail or an earlier phone call about something else. More evidence Brown is back wielding the weight. I figured it'd be a waste of time to contact him regarding Francis.

It's no secret Webber and Thomas are boys. When he was a free agent four years ago, Thomas' Pacers were one of the few teams C-Web seriously considered playing for; in fact, he went through a whole interview process with Indiana before re-signing with Sacramento.

When (not if) Webber's buyout agreement is finalized, I'll be shocked if he doesn't wind up a Knick for at least the remainder of the season.

Between Thomas and Brown, they're weirdin' me out.

This just in: Francis is so eager to rejoin Brown he has volunteered to make up the difference for what Larry surrendered in his settlement with James Dolan.

That brings us back to Robinson, Thomas' pet rock-head. He was quoted the other day as saying this was the first time he'd ever been suspended.

"It hurt. I'll learn from my mistakes."

Oh, really?

A Knicks source claims Brown suspended Robinson a game last season, though the team kept it on the down low. Instead, beat reporters were told he was home sick. I believe it was Dec. 17, a Pacers victory at the Garden. He was benched the next game as well, a loss to the Spurs, the Knicks' seventh straight.

Why was The Gadget banished, you ask? On the charter from Atlanta (122-111, Hawks) to New York, Robinson bombarded teammates and other team personnel with spit balls.

So, Thomas says he worked on the ingenuous "Eddy Offense" for five weeks before installing it? Five weeks! I guess the False Prophet forgot Eddy Curry averaged 16.1 points his last season for the playoff-bound Bulls. I assume Scott Skiles had concocted a way for his center to score, which must've contributed to Chicago's success to some extent.

Hardly a day goes by that Thomas fails to insult our intelligence. I've got news for him; there are fifth graders who are pretty tall. How long does he think it takes their coaches to design a game plan to "throw it in to the tall kid?"

"Imagine if it really did take him five weeks to come up with the 'Eddy Offense' " underlines Ballalot 3, an e-mail column contributor. "That'd be really sad."

Five-ofan
01-09-2007, 04:40 PM
I was right about one thing, they are better with isiah coaching them than larry brown which speaks to how utterly pitiful a job brown did last year. They are very possibly going to make the playoffs and win 38 or so games. I still say with either don or Dantoni, this team wins 45+ games if not 50 in the east.

Drbio
01-09-2007, 04:47 PM
Remember about 3-4 years ago when I said that the Knicks were going ot suck for years?

well........

Five-ofan
01-09-2007, 04:50 PM
they are a smart running coach away from being a top 6 team in the east... (now whether thats more a commentary on them or the crappiness of the east is up to you)

dude1394
01-09-2007, 05:17 PM
I think cubes had a post on his blog about how NYKnicks were the only team in that division with incentive to make the playoffs. His thinking was what if they are all under 500 and miss out on lottery balls because they won the division. Since the knicks don't have a pick, they would be the only team not being penalized.

I also think they will take that division in the end.

atrewsfan
01-09-2007, 09:12 PM
Any chance we take a flyer on him? Maybe he'll be amenable to a vet min. contract since he'll still be getting millions from being bought out. Move Johnson, and Harris-Terry-Francis would be a fantastic 3-guard rotation.

TripleDipping
01-09-2007, 09:47 PM
Any chance we take a flyer on him? Maybe he'll be amenable to a vet min. contract since he'll still be getting millions from being bought out. Move Johnson, and Harris-Terry-Francis would be a fantastic 3-guard rotation.

I still remember how "well" Francis played with Yao Ming. So, no thanks.