Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Isiah Thomas is George Bush

There, I said it. No no, I'm not calling Isiah a dirty cocaine snorter or an evil Christain right-pandering neocon. And I'm going to stop making the "doesn't care about black people" joke already.

This idea came to me following the much-criticized trade that brought Eddy Curry and his achy breaky heart to the Knicks. John Hollinger of ESPN goes into great detail so I 'll spare you the extra 2,000 words. Now, there is a chance that this trade will be a success for the Knicks, but only if all the likely variables go the Knicks way. We're talking about needing to ace all the finals to even stay in school next semester. I'm a fan of calculated risks. Russian roulette with five bullets, I am not so comfortable with.

And then I thought, this is not unlike like Bush's handling of the Iraq War. Everything we were promised - that the Iraqi Army will be shocked and awed into submission, the people will welcome American troops with flowers, that the people will ratify an American style constitution, that Suunis and Shiites can play nice - turned out to be best case scenarios. And as it has become painfully obvious over the past 2 years, the Bush Administration never prepared for things going off-script and failed to consider anything but the best case scenario.

Think about it for a minute - they fame landed their current gigs. And the the ones before - Isiah was adequate but not spectacular as head coach of the Indiana Pacers, likewise for Bush as Governor of Texas. They have a history of failure - Isiah ran the Continental Basketball Association into the ground while Dubya stunk it up in the oil business. They have had some success - Isiah proved to be a decent judge of talent as Toronto Raptors GM while Dubya landed a publicly-financed stadium for the Texas Rangers. Isiah generally does well in drafts, picking up Marcus Camby, Damon Stoudemire and Tracy McGrady for Toronto, Nate Robinson, David Lee and Channing Frye this year for the Knicks. Bush handled the draft by avoiding it all together.

They like to surround themselves with the old guard - Dick Cheney, Larry Brown. But some don't work out so well or put up with the bullshit - Lenny Wilkens, Colin Powell. Each has a loose cannon calling the shots on the front line - Stephon Marbury, Donald Rumsfeld.

But the most important similarity is their shared tendency to sacrifice the future for mediocrity today. Bush has all but abandoned the small government schtick of the old GOP and increased federal spending like no other president before while building up massive deficit. Why balance the budget when our children will pick up the debt? Isiah should have learned from his predecessor's mistakes and taken to reducing the Knicks' salary cap burden, but has instead built a squad of underachieving multi-year contract holders. I have to concede that Isiah has makes good use of draft picks when he has them, but to give up two draft picks for Eddy Curry?

Again, I don't discounting the possibility that the Isiah Thomas Era in New York is a success. It's just a long shot dependent on the chips falling the exact right way. As for Bush, the best I can say is that he'll be out of office come January, 2009. Though it's hard to be optimistic if you believe like I do that Bush is not the cause, but a symptom of what ails this nation.

Other NBA items:
  • It's bad enough that Amare will be out until the All-Star break but Marc Stein wonders if he can actually come back that fast. Either way, NBA's going to be a little less fun to watch.

  • Luke Walton out with 'severe' hamstring strain. Yikes. That's going to bother him all season, I think, and you gotta love Walton's game whether you like the Lakers or not.

  • At least there's still Stable Ron Artest, promising to play "out of control, like a wild animal that needs to be caged in". Yep, it's going to be a fun season. And he's 260 LB? I'm definitely not throwing my beer at Ron.

  • Marcus Camby needs money for suits if the NBA implements a dress code. Shit, just give him a Men's Warehouse gift certificate.
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