News? Not Really
Isiah Thomas Gets Three-Year Extension Following Smart Time Out
Posted: Wednesday April 4, 2007 12:36PM; Updated: Wednesday April 4, 2007 2:03PM
This story is not real. All names are made up, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. All quotes are fictional and any similarity to actual quotes is coincidental.
NEW YORK--Knicks owner James Dolan tacked an additional three years on to Isiah Thomas' contract extension Monday after Thomas called a smart, well placed time out in a game against the Orlando Magic. Thomas is now expected to be coach of the team until at least 2013.
"Isiah showed a lot of savvy on that play, and that's the kind of person I want running my team," said Dolan, who signed Thomas to an extension two weeks ago. "The Magic were on a run, our guys seemed tired, Eddy Curry had that look on his face, and the crowd was going nuts. A lot of coaches might have held onto that time out and just let the game get out of hand, but Isiah really took control of things. I knew right then I had to lock him up for a few more years, just to be on the safe side."
The play in question took place in the third quarter with the Knicks down by eight. The Magic were in the middle of a 10-0 run when Dwight Howard hammered home a dunk, sending the crowd into a frenzy. With his team demoralized, Thomas got the attention of referee Steve Lavin and made the universal signal for "time out." At that point, play stopped and the Knicks were able to get a breather.
"When things are going that way, one thing you want to do for your team is call a time out," Thomas said after the game. "I don't want to take too much credit for it. The guys deserve the most credit just for heeding the call and coming over to the sidelines. Last year, when Larry would call a time out, the players would just freeze and stare at him while the opposing team went on fast break after fast break. That's why we had so many lopsided losses."
Thomas' first season as Knicks' head coach has been wildly successful compared to the tumultuous one-year reign of Larry Brown, which saw the team win just 23 games. This year they have 31 wins and an outside chance at a playoff berth, something the players attribute directly to the installation of Thomas as head coach.
"What a difference a year makes," said guard Stephon Marbury. "Last year we had to listen to Larry Brown yell everyday, this year we get to be taught by an actual teacher. And our teacher likes us and thinks we're cool guys and wants to hang out with us. It's like night and day. It's just too bad we've had so many injuries lately. It's really put a damper on our relentless assault on .500."
But Thomas' contributions have amounted to more than just a few dazzling time outs and decently-timed substitutions. They have also helped instill a sense of confidence in the players.
"Even when we lose, it's better than it was last year," said guard Nate Robinson, who recorded an assist in a game against the Raptors last month. "We're not tripping over ourselves or running around in circles or banging into each other. And we don't have some crazy old man standing on the sidelines calling us retards. The only thing that kind of sucks is that we're still probably not going to make the playoffs. But who cares, right? At least we're happy now. I think the fans care more about that than wins and losses."
Dave Saraiva is the author of thebrushback.com. Click here to buy his book, The Brushback Report: All the Sports News That's Unfit to Print.