posted: Feb. 23, 2006  |  Feedback

You knew it was coming … that's right, it's a special edition of the "I Can't Believe Isiah Traded For Steve Freakin' Francis!" reader rants!

Without further ado …

"Oh happy day! Isiah just made one of the worst trades in NBA history and I couldn't be more excited. The prospect of Marbury and Francis in the same backcourt could be its own reality TV series. I can't wait for Marbury to bring up the ball and The Franchise to start jawing at him, followed by Steph hurling the rock at Francis' head and a brawl ensuing. This is too exciting for words. LONG LIVE ZEKE!!!"
Nathaniel, New York

"I've gotta say, I'm totally in favor of the Knicks' trade for Francis. Larry Brown is a master motivator and a great coach, so if anyone can make the tandem of Francis, Marbury and Rose work, it's him. It's like the Fab Five at Michigan … all that talent in one place is destined to win. What? The Fab Five didn't win any titles? Oh.
Jeff, Seymour, Ind.

"Steve Francis to the Knicks -- unbelievable. I've been trying to think of an analogy that equates to what Isiah is doing to the woeful Knicks and I've got it. The Knicks are his scab and he keeps picking at it. He looks at it, knows it's not healed, picks it … and it bleeds again. Unfortunately, now it's infected, beyond repair, and it's time to amputate."
JCA, Richmond, Va.

"Isiah just brought Stevie Franchise to the Knicks. Has Isiah reached the point where we can't make fun of him anymore because it is too easy? I think he has joined two-man luge, Tori Spelling, Dr. Scholl's Gellin' commercials and Tom Cruise in an elitely pathetic group. Should there be a hall of fame for such people?"
Phil, Richmond, Va.

"Is there any team in the NBA who would take $120 million (roughly the Knicks' payroll) and the Knicks' first-round pick every year from now until Stephon Marbury retires to trade GMs with the Knicks? Would anyone really want Isiah running their team?"
Jared Dubin, Coral Gables, Fla.

"I think you should give an annual award for the biggest idiot in sports. The only problem is that Isiah Thomas would win every year. Seriously, does that guy even understand what a salary cap is? I'd like to thank Isiah and all NBA GMs for being ridiculously stupid and making me feel better at night. It's nice to watch the NBA and realize I could do a better job than at least half of the GMs in the league."
Andy, Milwaukee, Wis.

"I'm not a Knicks fan, so this is REALLY funny to me. Isiah takes on ANOTHER huge contract that has years left on it and trades away one that comes off the books at the end of the season. Not only that, he's traded for one of the top five selfish players in the league! It's incredible. You just gotta love this."
Mike, Long Beach, Calif.

"After witnessing Isiah's actions over the past three years with the Knicks, I demand that the SEC carry out some sort of investigation to figure out what the hell is going on. Do the Knicks' luxury tax payments go to an Isiah Thomas offshore account? There is no logical explanation for what he is doing. Is Stern just sitting in his office laughing his head off every time he sees a Knicks trade, or is he somehow involved with Isiah in a plot to destroy the game of basketball in New York City? MC Hammer, even in his prime, was more fiscally conservative than Isiah, yet he is currently unemployed. I demand a reality show involving Robert Downey Jr, Tom Sizemore, Kate Moss and Gary Busey, among others, just to prove that no matter how many drugs you consume, you are still capable of outperforming Isiah as a GM. In no other industry are you allowed to fail beyond comprehension so many times (CBA, Raptors, Knicks … God only knows what's next) and still be employed, nonetheless in a position of such authority. I need answers soon and I feel nobody could do a better job providing them to me than you. Please help me Sports Guy! This has to be a sign of the apocalypse."
Seth Collins, Dallas

"How can Isiah top trading for Steve Francis? He is like Jason and Michael Myers rolled together -- just when you think the carnage is over, he does something even more spectacular."
Kirk, Saskatoon, Canada

"My friend Ryan and I were talking about the Stevie Francis trade and we're pretty sure that some day we are going to find out how Isiah Thomas and the team owners are profiting from this, and it's going to retroactively become the great sports scandal in history. Our current theory is that it all comes back to MJ somehow. It all stems from the gambling ring Gretsky and Jordan started when they were doing voices for the "Superstars" cartoon show in the '80s. Miffed at the physical beating he would take in the playoffs from the Knicks, MJ set a diabolical plan in motion which has spanned decades. Each of his retirements somehow furthered this plan, but we're not sure how. Although the conspiracy was originally formulated for revenge the ring now has one ultimate result: the return of Bo Jackson. I mean, it sounds crazy, but not as crazy as actually wanting the most expensive worst team in the league. Bo knows conspiracies. Do you have any theories?"
Patrick McGuire, Washington, D.C.

"Is it possible that what Isiah Thomas is doing to the Knicks right now is really some kind of sick revenge that goes back to his playing days with the Pistons? I don't know, maybe the Knicks wronged him so badly that he has been scheming for the day when he can land the GM job and destroy any chance of them ever being competitive again. This Francis deal definitely has me thinking that he is just trying to do as much damage as possible before the ownership gets wind of his plot and fires him. This really is the only theory that makes any sense anymore."
Joseph McGowan, California

"So, here's the reason that Steve Francis will never succeed in New York: Stephon Marbury has his number. That means that the moment he gets to New York, ol' Franchise is going to have to wear a different number. Can't you just see the drama here? He'll be stealing shots from Marbury to prove that HE'S the real #3 in New York. Has there ever been an on-court brawl between two teammates over a number? It could happen. I'm going to TiVo all the Knicks' games now, just to see if this happens. Can we make this happen? It would make this whole trade worth it."
Cory, Raleigh, N.C.

"Hahahahaha! I think Isiah should trade for Jason Williams and Damon Jones so that the Knicks can become the first-ever team to start five despicable shoot-first point guards. Also, then New York could play their all-point-guard team against Atlanta's all-small-forward team and we could finally see which position is better."
Petey, Chicago

"At what point do you feel some random fan can waltz onto the court at Madison Square Garden, blow Isaiah Thomas' brains out, and there wouldn't be a jury in New York that would convict him. And how are they going to decide who is the Alpha dog on this team? Is Marbury and Francis going to have a cage death match before every game? And when, exactly, does Larry Brown snap? And how will that snap manifest himself? Will he start wetting himself and pretending he has bladder problems again? I really need to know these things. (Well, not so much the last one.)" Tom Fina, New York

"(Surely this is 1 of 10,000 e-mails on this subject, but ...) The Steve Francis trade: thoughts? Where does it rank in the pantheon of Isiah's Campaign to Kill the New York Knicks? First? Second? Is there some part of you that thinks IT pulled this trade specifically to lure you out into the open to criticize him so he can make good on his Stephen A. Smith show threat?"
Matt, New York

"A few weeks ago, you wrote about how Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis should be traded for each other every few months, since they both wear out their welcomes with new teams so quickly. Do you think Isiah Thomas read this and totally misunderstood it to mean that he should put them both in the same backcourt? I can't think of any other explanation as to why he would make this move. To that end, what do you think Isiah has to do to finally get fired? Can you imagine the ridiculous trade he will have to make to finally get the Knicks' front office to realize they have the worst GM in the history of sports? Because they seem to be the only people unaware of this."
Dave Sugarman, Brooklyn, N.Y.

"Does traffic in New York slow down as it passes Madison Square Garden so people can get a better look at the car wreck?"
Chad Watson, Prince Albert, Canada

"Sadly, I am an ex-New Yorker who is still a huge Yanks and Knicks fan. How long before Stephon is throwing bullet passes at Stevie's head for taking 15 shots in a row, followed by Stephon taking 16 shots in a row, followed by Eddy Curry walking off the court to grab some slices of pizza followed by Jerome James just laughing hysterically at the far end of the bench as he realizes for the umpteenth time he is making $8 million a year for the next 4 years. Dude, this might be "Lost" on a basketball court. There is something deeper behind this madness."
Jermaine, Eugene, Ore.

"Does the Steve Francis trade put Isiah Thomas in a class by himself in terms of all-time front office incompetence? Can Isiah possibly trade any more picks and expiring contracts for any more me-first, undersized, no-defense, ball-hog guards with atrocious contracts? Is he just trying to give Larry Brown a coronary? If so, is the next trade going to be Mo Taylor, Channing Frye and a (sure to be lottery) first-rounder in 2010 for Baron Davis? If you were Isiah, wouldn't you beef up security when you're planning to be anywhere near Larry? Does the whole sports world owe a debt of gratitude to Isiah and Kobe Bryant for destroying the most hated basketball teams in the nation for a decade?"
Matt Ivaliotes, Chicago

"Please just be honest … is Isiah Thomas just trying to sabotage the Knicks and make things easier for his Pistons? He is looking pretty suspicious … taking away their biggest distraction, Larry Brown; trading for the highest-paid, most overrated backcourt in the WORLD … what else can he do?"
Matt Gordon, Chicago

"Remember your old column in which you renounced your allegiance to the Boston Bruins? Well, I want to thank you for inspiring me and helping me miss the agony of the Isiah Thomas Era. You see, I was once a Knicks fan -- and not just any Knicks fan. I had the California license plate NY KNIKS. I lived and died with that team. But, after living through the nightmare that was the Scott Layden Era, I nearly toppled over when I found out that Isiah Thomas would be replacing him. On that fateful day, I officially suspended my allegiance to the Knicks. Three years later, I think it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. My question is this, what is the movie-world equivalent of just walking away from something you love and feeling great about it for the next three years? I literally have not watched a single Knicks game since Isiah became GM."
Jonathan, Hollywood, Calif.

"Is Isiah Thomas now making ridiculous trades just to mess with you or what? It seems that every move he makes is to provide you with fodder for your next NBA column. Perhaps he's a closet SG fan and is paying you the ultimate tribute -- he's deliberately demolishing the Knicks so that you might write more hilariously scathing columns. Either that or you've totally gotten in his head now and he is totally incapable of making a sensible NBA GM move. Way to go, Simmons. You've turned Isiah into a head case."
Nitin Sharma, Raleigh, N.C.

"I was driving, listening to the radio, when the disc jockey was talking about the Steve Francis trade. The DJ is a Knicks fan and was on a rant about what a debacle the Knicks have become under your dear friend Isiah Thomas. He compared the Knicks under Thomas' reign to your first high school party. Parents are out for the night and you haven't figured out how to buy beer yet, so you raid your parents' bar. You think you are in heaven drinking some high quality alcohol, but in the end everyone is throwing up all over your house. I would say he is dead-on with the Knicks getting Marbury, Francis and so on."
Rob Findlay, Berkeley Heights, N.J.

"On behalf of all Knicks fans, and perhaps fans of the NBA, I would like to file a professional malpractice lawsuit against Isiah Thomas. Can anybody argue with the fact that he has committed errors in judgment that have no precedent when the entire pattern is considered? If the Knicks had a stock, I guarantee you that shareholders would do this by now … so why can't ticket-holders? Or anyone who pays for cable to watch them? Help me spread the word Sports Guy."
Paul, Brooklyn, N.Y.

"Why, for the loved of god, WHY???!!!"
Knicks Fan, Rochester, N.Y.

"Watching the Knicks is like watching your friend poke a sleeping animal with a stick to wake it up, only you know that it's actually dead. It's like Brown and Isiah are playing No-Limit Hold 'em and Thomas keeps going all-in on every hand and LB folds every time. I think Zeke has accidentally mixed his fantasy basketball account with his Knicks GM account."
Kevin Botti, Brookyn, N.Y.

"You have to write something about Steve Francis to the Knicks. I'm absolutely dumbfounded. I've got nothing. The stupidity of this is just mind-blowing. I'm not a big conspiracy guy, but something is just not right about this. No legitimate GM thinks, 'My team is crap, and my only hope is to shed these albatross contracts that have been killing us for the better part of a decade. I know, I'll trade an expiring contract so I can lock up a total head case WHO PLAYS THE SAME POSITION AS ANOTHER HEAD CASE WHO'S ALREADY ON MY TEAM.' And by the way, we're locked into Stevie Cancer's contract for four years. How does some person in the organization not drug this guy and stuff him in a broom closet in MSG until the trading deadline passes?"
Joel T., San Diego

"I know that you couldn't possibly explain the Francis/Hardaway and Ariza trade from the point of view of the Knicks. Isiah is clearly suffering from some sort of degenerative disorder that is affecting his reasoning. Perhaps the Knicks should have given him a physical before signing him?
Tony, Durham, N.C.

"Isn't the Knicks' acquisition of Steve Francis a little bit like what adding Jackie Chan and Steven Seagal to the cast of 'Walker, Texas Ranger' would have been like for viewers? The Knicks now have three guards who should probably never be on the court together because they need constant attention. Chuck Norris and the other two need the camera on them at all times as well, or else they'd probably pound the crap out of each other. Though judging by the faces Larry Brown was making at the press conference yesterday, maybe those three on the court at the same time will happen sooner rather than later. He realizes he took the Knicks home from the bar, slept with them, and now that it's morning, he doesn't want to cook them breakfast."
Joe, East Lansing, Mich.

"I know you mentioned this in your conversation with David Stern, but what more is required for the commish to apply the Ted Stepien Rule and seize control of the Knicks organization away from Isiah Thomas? Will he have to kill someone? No mentally competent executive would trade Penny Hardaway and his "I-can't-believe-it's-finally-expiring" contract for Stevie Francis! Apparently when Isiah said he wanted Larry Brown to help him with roster moves, he didn't mean this one. After about a week of working with the nightmarish tandem of Marbury and Francis, Brown will undoubtedly be feeling nostalgic about those stress-free days with Allen Iverson."
John M., San Diego

"Let me start off by saying that I am not a big pro basketball fan. I have never had any allegiance to a particular team. However, I have decided to become a New York Knicks fan for the sole purpose of hating Isiah Thomas. All week long sportswriters have been joking that Isiah is such a bad GM that he would trade for Steve Francis … and he did. What the [expletive]! I know nothing about how to run a professional sports team, or about how a salary cap works, but this is a completely brain-dead move. Is he trying to incite a riot in New York? Is he working for Bin Laden? There is no logical explanation. I honestly fear for Isiah Thomas' life. The entire city of New York should show up to every game out of pure protest and I'll be there as a new Knicks fan."
Justin Mattingly, Frederick, Md.

"Are you going to apologize to Isiah Thomas now that he has put together possibly the first backcourt in league history to regularly put up 50 shots and scream at each other on court every night?"
John, Atlanta, Ga.

"Can you please write a eulogy for all Knicks fans? I think after today's debacle of a trade, we are all going to commit a mass suicide by jumping off of the team's payroll stacked up in the air in all single dollar bills. Isiah has to be the worst GM in the history of sports. You couldn't pick two less compatible players in the league than Marbury and Francis. (Other than anyone and Kobe.) I feel like this is worse than not winning a World Series for 86 years, because at least the Red Sox had hope some years. Us Knicks fans know it's over. I have lost the will to watch, follow, and root for this team. If Isiah is still running this team when you're running ESPN6 I hope you refuse to play Knicks games on that channel because of his personal bias against you and his complete stupidity."
Jared Dubin, Coral Gables, Fla.

"Oh god, oh god, oh god, Isiah, oh my god, why? Why? Why? Why? Why? I can't even type anymore. I want to like my Knicks, I really do, but oh god, Steve Francis for three years and we still are stuck with Crawford? Oh god oh god … Bill help me!
Justin Touretz, Jericho, N.Y.

"OK, I'm officially on suicide watch at this point. I'm e-mailing you because I have no one else to turn to. I'm a lifelong Knicks fan. I remember being thrilled that we got Rory Sparrow to significantly upgrade the point guard position! Where, exactly, would you say Isiah falls on the list of incompetent sports executives? Should he get the Ted Stepien Award? And what would that award look like? Would they actually give you an Oscar or a Heisman trophy and offer to trade you a People's Choice Award, an Arena League MVP trophy and the rights to Bode Miller's next ESPY, knowing that you could never turn it down?"
Fred, New York

"Bill, Isiah Thomas acquiring Stevie Franchise is another in a long line of baffling moves. He continues to make trades that boggle the minds of any knowledgeable NBA fan. My only conclusion at this point is that he is involved in some secretive plot similar to the '80s late-night cable classic 'Brewster's Millions.' He is acting as a modern-day Montgomery Brewster as he continues to shed the expiring contracts of Penny and Antonio Davis, and take on the huge financial burden of the likes of Jalen Rose and Stevie Franchise, in an effort to bankrupt the team in exchange for some much larger prize. At this point, it is the only possible explanation. Your thoughts?
Derek Cuff, Baltimore

"Please tell me that Isiah Thomas has plans to trade for Antoine Walker. Please, for the sake of my amusement …
Chris Juvinall, Sacramento, Calif.

"I just read about the Knicks acquiring Steve Francis. Admit it: You are funnelling money to Isiah Thomas. You are giving him part of your salary (or, knowing Isiah, maybe your NFL picks) in exchange for him making incredibly dumb moves, which provides you with lots of material. His apparent beef with you is simply a cover for this arrangement. He gets cash, and you get the easiest columns money can buy. It's time to come clean."
Matt B., Alexandria, Va.

"I just read that the Knicks acquired Steve Francis from the Orlando Magic. Is it just me or do you wish that Isiah Thomas was the GM of all New York franchises? I think New Yorkers would be just a little more outraged if he was throwing unnecessary millions away to make the Yankees the highest paid 60-102 team ever. Imagine him running the Jets … trading away all their 2007 and 2008 draft picks, trading for Daunte Culpepper, signing Jamal Lewis to a ludicrous multi-year deal, then hiring Pete Carroll as the head coach. The possibilities are endless."
Josh H., Hamilton, Mass.

"My name is Josh and I'm 29 years old. I was a Knicks fan. Tell my parents that I love them and please make sure my cat finds a good home."
Josh R., Jersey City, N.J.

"Hey, I was just looking at the front page of with Isiah, Stevie Franchise, and Larry Brown as the picture for the front page story. It is really funny if you look at the facial expressions of each guy. Isiah is the only one talking, trying to explain having the two biggest shoot-first point guards in the NBA in the same backcourt on a 15-win team. Stevie's thinking, 'What am I doing here? Isn't Stephon on this team? Damn it.' And then there's Larry, who looks like he is borderline suicidal and he's got to be thinking, 'These two are both almost as bad as Iverson … but there's two of them. I hate myself.' Anyway, I just thought you would like that picture."
Patrick Forquer, Durham, N.C.

"My conspiracy theory is that Isiah Thomas made the Francis trade just so you could write another column about his complete ineptitude. It's almost like he's baiting you to take a shot at him so that he has a reason to kick your ass. Please don't fall for it, as it would suck if you were dead."
Drewby, Pittsburgh

February 2006