Truth is a funny thing. Everyone says they want the truth, but no one really does. Your mom doesn't want to know the real reason you don't visit more often, your girlfriend doesn't want to know how fat she looks in that dress, and your buddy doesn't want to know that his new girlfriend is actually a transvestite hooker from Kerplakistan. But professional athletes want the truth less than any other known species of plant or animal. These people have been worshipped since the first time they slam-dunked on a Nerf hoop. They don't just want our unconditional love and admiration, they've come to expect it. And when somebody doesn't give it to them, there's going to be trouble.
So it's not too surprising that Isiah Thomas is a little sensitive about the criticism being dumped on him for his mismanagement of the Knicks. And what are people complaining about, anyway? Because he paid out $120 million a year for a roster full of misfit players? Then shelled out over $10 million a year for a coach who's a known job jumper? Gave away most of the team's draft picks for the next five years? Because the Knicks have one of the worst records in the league? Hey, he's only been the Knicks' GM for three years. Imagine what he could do in six!!
But despite his obvious mishandling of personnel and payroll decisions, Isiah doesn't want anybody talking about it. He recently appeared on ESPN radio show and said that it was okay to criticize a player's effort and ability, but you should never be critical of someone's decisions. He then said that if he ever ran into Bill Simmons on the street, he was going to beat him up.
"I must...kill...Bill Simmons..."Bill Simmons (also known as "The Sports Guy") falls into my special "Charles Barkley" category of guys who tell it like it is, even when "it" ain't pretty. I don't always agree with him, especially when he rips on Peyton Manning, but I think, for the most part, he provides on-the-money sports analysis from the standpoint of the fan. His articles are honest, funny, and sometimes scathing. And I guess he scathed Isiah one too many times.
The question is, why did Isiah single out Bill Simmons of all people? It's not like Simmons has been the only voice of discontent out there. The New York sports media has been a lot harder on Isiah than The Sports Guy has. But really, just think about it. When you're six feet tall and only 170 pounds, you pick your fights very carefully. And I don't know if you've ever seen Bill Simmons in person, or caught an interview with him on ESPN, but I'd say he definitely ranks in the Top 10 Sports Personalities My Grandma Could Take In A Fight.
So congratulations, Isiah. You've destroyed a historic and beloved franchise (or two, if you count the CBA), and now you're picking on wimpy journalists. Your mother must be proud.