It appears Knick haters have received a consolation gift in exchange for the effective end of the Isiah Thomas Era in New York.
The lost point guard disaster has returned -- or it least it appears that way. Not only is his opinion on the Knicks' coaching search being solicited from reporters as though it's relevant, but word from the Knicks' brain trust is that he'll be returning to start at the point.
As reported by the New York Post's Marc Berman:
The hiring of Jackson likely would be better for Stephon Marbury, whom Walsh plans as the Knicks starting point guard for next season. Nevertheless, Marbury is in the last year of his contract and, barring a career year, it's unlikely he will be re-signed.
Jackson and Marbury are New York City homegrown point guards - and born-again Christians. They have a good relationship, and D'Antoni's breakneck offense didn't suit Marbury and soon after he got promoted as head coach during the 2003-2004 season, he was traded to the Knicks to clear cap space. D'Antoni is not known as a big Marbury fan.
Contacted yesterday, Marbury, rehabbing in Los Angeles, did not give an endorsement of either coaching candidate.
"I like whoever Donnie sees fit for this team," Marbury told The Post. "I think he has a great feel for what we need, and to go where all of New York wants us to go. There is a new process of how things are going to be so I'm going to follow his lead and allow his expertise to come into play."
Again, it's not having Isiah back. But it's a nice treat.
While there may be something of a new era starting in New York under Walsh, it seems worth remembering that we're talking about a guy here who completely alienated nearly every one of his teammates and an entire fan base last season. His teammates -- terrible as they are, the roster can't be changed yet, and there's no guarantee that Walsh will be able to move too many disastrous contracts -- made it clear that they didn't want him back. The coach didn't listen, and he completely lost the rest of the players.
The point guard in question played terrible basketball when he was on the floor last season, and his conduct could at best be described as 'mercurial.'
At least at the outset, it sure sounds like a new era in the Big Apple could feature much of the dopiness of the old one.