Isiah Thomas: New York Knicks Should’ve Kept Chauncey Billups

by January 06, 2012

New York’s most infamous front-office executive, Isiah Thomas, tells a sports radio show that the cost to acquire Tyson Chandler may have been a tad too high. From the NY Post: “Isiah Thomas, FIU coach and former Knicks president, finally spoke out on the club’s acquisition of center Tyson Chandler and did not sound enthused. Conveniently appearing on the Sid Rosenberg Show on Miami radio yesterday following the Knicks’ 2-4 start, Thomas questioned Glen Grunwald’s acquisition of Chandler, which forced the team to cut Chauncey Billups to get under the salary cap. Thomas said the NBA has become a guard’s league, and the Knicks cannot win solely with a star-powered frontcourt of Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. The Chandler commitment cost them a shot at point guard Chris Paul with next summer’s salary cap space, and Paul was subsequently dealt to the Clippers. ‘The guard play right now in the NBA is off the charts,’ Thomas said. ‘Losing Chauncey, I thought he brought a veteran leadership to the team. His savviness and guard play has always been severely undervalued. Detroit found that out when they let Chauncey go. I think there was a certain amount of leadership to what he brought to [the Knicks] last year.’ Grunwald has an interim general manager tag, but Thomas is no longer considered to be in the running if Knicks owner James Dolan makes a move for a permanent GM this summer. Thomas defended Mike D’Antoni, saying it is tough to win with the guards the coach has. ‘If you don’t have great guards, it’s hard to put together a game plan,’ Thomas said. ‘You’re only as good a coach as your guards.’”