There is something strangely familiar about the Los Angeles Laker situation for those here in the New York City area. While the similarities are not quite there, as one would not describe Mitch Kupchak or Mike D’Antoni as a diva-esque oil snake charmer on the level of Isiah Thomas, but things do seem to have taken a turn out West that can almost be described as Dolan-esque. Heck, it might even be considered Vintage Steinbrenner-esque as well!
How else can you describe what has been transpiring in recent months? All the way to negotiations breaking down with Hall of Famer Phil Jackson to return to the sidelines, and being replaced by the guy who failed here in New York, to help clean up Thomas’ mess.
It is an odd turn of events for the struggling franchise. Sure they are off to a rocky start, but this move, and bringing in D’Antoni from either outside of “the family” or, most likely as well, at the level of a coach befitting the roster of Kobe Bryan, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Howard, has angered Laker legends such as Magic Johnson.
And sure, the season is still young, barely half way through November. And a solid run through the winter would cause this controversy of firing Mike Brown after 4 games and a conflict between Jim Buss and Phil Jackson causing the inevitable not to occur could be long forgotten.
But, Knick fans do know from how crazy hiring’s made by bullheaded men in charge, who just might not be the person you’d like in charge of your basketball operations can turn out. Of course that being said, while Thomas’ direct influence is no longer at The Garden, looming over Glen Grunwald and Mike Woodson, (though off-season scuttlebutt seem to point to him perhaps returning in some capacity), but James Dolan (even though still courting Thomas as an unofficial team adviser) is still there. Meaning that perhaps after chaos a learning process comes for over-their-head VPs of basketball operations. After all, it took some time for even George Steinbrenner to become cool headed about hiring and firing and trading and releasing players at a whim. Of course it only took a few decades!