Unexpectedly homeless this summer, Mike D'Antoni found a great deal on a new apartment in midtown Manhattan. The only problem with the place was that it came fully furnished, and the previous resident didn't really have a knack for interior design. Somehow, despite the musty smells and unappealing patterns, D'Antoni was able to find takers for most of the stuff, even the wildly out of style Jerome James piece that drew snickers from everyone who saw it.
So, with Stephon Marbury finally gone, it is only Eddy Curry left to remind us of the disaster that was Isiah Thomas the interior designer, er, general manager. It's amazing that D'Antoni and Donnie Walsh were able to get rid of so much dead weight so quickly, especially in a league beset by economic woes and desire to get under the cap in 2010.
Looking at the players left from the Thomas era is funny, because they represent such different shopping styles. David Lee and Nate Robinson were outlet store finds at the end of the first round. Passed up by many teams because they were irregular -- too small, too slow, too whatever -- Lee and Robinson turned out to be steals of the highest order. They go with anyone's style and fit any room, not that anyone's rushing to compliment anything about Thomas' tenure.
The other two Thomas holdovers, Jared Jeffries and Quentin Richardson, are the equivalent of kitchen appliances that came with the apartment. You might like a newer model with more features, but you can use each of them without much of a fuss. Sure, Thomas paid too much for Jeffries, but there aren't many NBA teams that don't have one player whose production is out of whack with his salary.
But Curry's like a sleeper sofa in a fifth-floor walkup. He's absolutely what you don't want cluttering up your living room, but it's impossible to find someone willing to help you lug it down to the street. Why someone would pay so much money for such a piece of junk was impossible to figure out, especially when you knew there was a defect in the construction from the get-go. Until Curry leaves New York, Thomas will always be hanging around, like a ghost haunting the franchise that he did his best to ruin.