Spreading holiday cheer to all 30 clubs -- even Isiah's
Posted: Thursday December 20, 2007 11:43AM; Updated: Thursday December 20, 2007 2:23PM
'Tis the season of giving, even in New York, where everyone, it seems, has been giving it to Isiah Thomas. That includes Isiah himself, who called out the coach of pro sports' most depressing team and gave him two weeks to turn around his team before agreeing that, yes, talk of firing would be fair. He's a tad late on that.
But, look, in the holiday spirit, I have a present for every team. We're going to line up in reverse order of success so far this season. Note that these are not Marty Burns' official SI.com power rankings, though they may approximate them.
Minnesota Timberwolves -- A boxed set titled "The Best of Kevin Garnett." It's four CDs, and, heck, it only includes his five months as a Celtic.
New York Knicks -- A recording of the Rick Nelson classic (only thing he ever did that could be considered classic) Garden Party. You know the chorus, everybody: "But it's all right now/I learned my lesson well/You see, ya can't please everyone/So ya got to please yourself."
Wait a minute, that's what these guys are doing right now.
Seattle SuperSonics -- A caffeine-ingesting, fish-market-loving sugar daddy to keep them in Seattle. I don't care how many times Clay Bennett says that Oklahoma City is a great place; it ain't Seattle.
Charlotte Bobcats -- Cardboard cut-outs of Michael Jordan so he can be placed at the arena even when he's not really there. Also a less cumbersome and more revealing executive title for His Airness than the one he currently holds: Managing Member of Basketball Operations.
Memphis Grizzlies -- A reincarnated Elvis. That's about the only thing that would generate civic interest in a team that might be good in a couple years.
Miami Heat -- Continued soul-searching by Shaquille O'Neal, who has at last taken some blame for his team's slow start instead of putting it on everyone else. And peace of mind for Alonzo Mourning, whose career could be over after he suffered a knee injury Wednesday.
Los Angeles Clippers -- A miracle cure for Elton Brand, who is hoping to return from an Achilles tendon injury in February. The Clips are slipping dangerously close to the who-cares-about-them? territory they inhabited for many years.
New Jersey Nets -- A better 2008 for the Big Three. We speak, of course, of Josh Boone, Sean Williams and Darrell Armstrong.
Chicago Bulls -- A short trip backward in a time machine. One year. No, they weren't a title contender then, but they won a playoff series, appeared to be a team on the rise and seemed to be having fun. That's better than this.
Philadelphia 76ers -- A giant 25th anniversary celebration of the memorable 1982-83 championship team. Maybe that would put some interest back in Wachovia Center for a team that has been playing over its head.
Milwaukee Bucks -- A giant infusion of nastiness. They've had the same starting lineup for every game. They're all good players. They're in the Eastern Conference. So why aren't they a .500 team?
Sacramento Kings -- An answer to this question: What happens when Mike Bibby comes back from his thumb injury? Are they his team? Ron Artest's? Kevin Martin's? John Salmons'? Reggie Theus'?
Cleveland Cavaliers -- Let them horn in on that Bulls' backward-time trip; that's the only thing that will get them back to the Finals.
Atlanta Hawks -- Shh. Don't give them anything. Don't say anything about them. Don't pay any attention to them. They're getting better, and the one thing that can derail them is if opponents start taking them seriously.