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Why Isiah Thomas Matters

It isn't that, by itself, the Knicks hiring Isiah Thomas as a consultant will destroy the team.

But it is pretty good evidence that such a destruction is near.

For now, there is ample reason for optimism, something strange for a fan base that has been tortured for a decade to feel. It will be thrilling to see Amar'e Stoudemire in uniform, while Ray Felton is promising at point guard, and any number of the new acquisitions, from the potentially great Anthony Randolph to the already pretty-good Danilo Gallinari can lend supporting roles.

But the Knicks are still owned by someone who believes Isiah Thomas is worth hiring, not someone to stay as far away from as possible. This bodes poorly for what will come next.

As a Knicks fan, it almost feels like watching a good friend relapse, be it drugs or weight gain or an abusive relationship. How can the Knicks not know to stay away? From the horrific basketball decisions. From the sexual harassment judgments. From everything that made the New York Knicks a joke- damage that Donnie Walsh has barely begun to repair.

But there go the Knicks, so desperate for that same man's counsel that they are attempting to skirt NBA rules to bring him on board, even as he heads into his second season of coaching Florida International.

The first year? FIU went 7-25.

And don't even ask what happened to the CBA. Isiah was the final commissioner.

The Daily News reported that Donnie Walsh considered resigning over this move, and the fact that he didn't is hard to imagine. The Knicks are on borrowed time with Walsh- he appears to be the only thing protecting fans from a restoration of the Isiah Thomas Era.

When Patrick Ewing was traded, I said that I thought it would be at least 50 years until the Knicks won another title. With the last one coming in 1972-73, that put 2022-2023 as the 50-year mark.

We're a decade down, around a decade to go. Looks to me like I was unduly optimistic.