|Knicks are struggling, but coach Isiah Thomas says now's not time to panic and make changes|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 23 November 2007 12:27|
GREENBURGH, N.Y. (AP) -No matter how bad things get for the New York Knicks, Isiah Thomas plans to stick it out.|
``There have been a lot of people that have failed here, and I don't want to be on that list,'' Thomas said Friday after practice.
Despite the boos, the eight consecutive losses and the rampant speculation that he'll soon be fired, Thomas doesn't expect any changes soon.
``I just don't think that this is the time to panic,'' Thomas said. ``After 11 games in the season, this is not the time to blow everything up.''
The Knicks (2-9) host the Chicago Bulls on Saturday afternoon, and they expect a sixth straight sellout.
Not that the crowd will be a comfort.
Fans started booing the Knicks seconds into their last home game, Tuesday's loss to Golden State, and chanted for the coach and team president to be fired on a number of occasions.
``Again, there's a lot of time here. I do understand the frustration, and I do understand the venom and the anger,'' Thomas said. ``Everybody wants to see us do well, and everybody wants us to do well. And the frustration thus far is that we haven't done well.
``And when you get frustrated, the first thing you think about doing is making changes, but this isn't the time to make changes. And believe me, when that time comes I'll be the first to say it, but this is not the time. And I've seen and been through a lot of situations in this NBA, and this isn't the time to abandon ship and make changes. We'll get through this.''
The Knicks fell apart after Thomas yanked Stephon Marbury from the starting lineup last week at the beginning of a four-game road trip, and New York hasn't been close to winning in its last three games.
New York lost by 32 at Denver to close the trip, fell by 26 against the Warriors, then trailed by as many as 21 in a 98-86 loss at Detroit on Wednesday night. Pistons guard Flip Murray said after the game the Knicks ``looked like they didn't want to compete.''
Thomas and his players say they're still trying, and they're confident in the team's talent. So what's the problem?
``I'm not sure that's something for me to figure out,'' forward David Lee said. ``I just know we do have the talent. I know that everybody right now is on the same page and wants to win, so it's not a matter of a lack of motivation, no matter what anybody on the other team may say. We want to win games. We're out there trying to win, doing everything in our power to win, and that's what we're going to continue to do.''
Lee said he hasn't been reading anything about Thomas' future with the Knicks. But it's almost impossible to ignore in New York, where Thomas is regularly hammered by the tabloids and talk shows, with new names thrown out every day as potential successors.
``Again, I haven't heard anything within our organization about it,'' Lee said. ``There is a lot being written about it. For me, I can't control any of that; it's a little above me.''
The ``Fire Isiah!'' chants came frequently at Madison Square Garden two years ago while the Knicks struggled and won just 23 games under Larry Brown. But the response toward Thomas changed last season, when the team always seemed to play hard for him. MSG chairman James Dolan noted the team's passion when he rewarded Thomas with a contract extension last March.
Thomas said at the time he previously had worried about failing in New York, something he still seems confident he can avoid. Dolan hasn't spoken to the media about the team since then, but Thomas said they talk regularly. Apparently, their conversations haven't given him reason to fear his time is running out.
``There's a lot of time to right the ship,'' Thomas said. ``I've been in tough situations before where I've had to roll up my sleeves and get the job done, and this is no exception.''
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