Phil & Wlady:
I don’t follow the NBA enough to know where to come down in your debate, but I do know enough about Isiah Thomas, the Knick coach whose impact on the franchise has been utterly ruinous since the moment he arrived. Whatever his role in instigating the brawl was or wasn’t, it’s pretty lame to hear him justifying it with what amounts to a bruised sense of fair play.
“We had surrendered,” he said of his team at the moment in the game when the fight started, and then, referring to the Nuggets regulars, “those guys shouldn’t have been in the game at that time. They were sticking it to us pretty good. They were having their way with us pretty good.”
Isiah was upset that the Nuggets were showing up his squad. This from one of the worst sportsman the game has ever seen, exemplified in his leading his Detroit Piston regulars off the court in the 1991 conference finals, refusing to shake the hands of their conquerors, the Chicago Bulls of Michael Jordan. That is right up there with the most graceless moments I’ve ever seen in sports. Another came after one of Larry Bird’s greatest games, when an opposition player told the press that if Bird were black, he’d be just another player. Who said that? Isiah Thomas, of course.