Saving ‘Zeke’: How Isiah Thomas survives overdose fallout and New York fiasco
Out of love for that person, the jitterbug table-setter who inspired me to first head to the playground and love basketball, I offer the following advice. Come clean. Make a statement about last week’s overdose. I’m not trying to get all TMZ, but with differing police reports it’s a must. If you shifted blame to your daughter, own it, apologize, and get help …
Long ago, before quitting Toronto, wrecking the Continental Basketball League, and shaming New York, I loved Isiah Thomas. After all, he was the original Chris Paul; arguably, the greatestest little man ever to play in the NBA.
Every grade school team, number eleven was mine. No ifs and buts, I was Isiah. Didn’t matter the sport, either. In fact, I still rock the double-ones for my men’s league teams. Probably always will, too.
See ‘Zeke’ had his own distinct style. A smooth grace combined with south Chicago toughness. Think Miles Davis meets the playground. For hours, I used to practice his silky lay-ins, knees up and out.
Out of love for that player, the jitterbug table-setter who inspired me to first head to the blacktop, I offer the following advice.
Come clean. Make a public statement about last week’s overdose. It’s a must considering the police reports. If you blamed your daughter, own it, apologize, and get help.
Then get out of New York. This is not an excommunication, but a necessity. The Big Apple considers you reality television and will never offer the privacy to get right. Living in the NYC will remind you of failing with the Knicks.
And disappear. Make yourself available to James Dolan and Donnie Walsh and collect the remaining 18 million dollars on your contract. See the world. Travel. Whatever. Chances are, the current Knick administration won’t seek your help.
Accept that there will be no Napoleonic return to the NBA. You have few friends. And New York ruined what was left of your reputation as an executive. No owner could sell you to his ticket-buying fan base before this incident. The recent headlines made it impossible.
You could still have a future in basketball, though. After time away and some positive press, seek a coaching gig with a small division one college. Some remember your work on the sideline with an up-and-coming Pacer squad.
Evaluating draft eligible talent as an independent scout is also an option. Others will listen considering you selected Damon Stoudamire, T-Mac, Marcus Camby, David Lee, Nate Robinson and Renaldo Balkman.
Of course, you should be finished. Your oldest fans, myself included, stopped defending you years ago. I’m only speaking up out of love for your playing days. That’s all you have left.