I am Kurt Thomas
' biggest fan. I loved the 90's Knicks
, and I loved the 90's Knicks' big men. Ewing, Oakley, Camby, Thomas, Mason, LJ... They were all superior to the average namby-pampy lightweights that ply their trade in the NBA these days.
I remember when I heard that the Knicks had plucked Thomas' out of the Miami Heat's
greasy little fingers. Here was a guy that had led the nation in scoring AND rebounding in college, who had suffered a pretty bad ankle injury, but was on his way back.
I thought, hey, that's a shrewd move right there.
And Kurt didn't disappoint. He was tough, he could hit a shot, he could foul, and he could rebound. He was decent.
Then, one day, Ewing was gone, and Camby was gone, and that left only Kurt to patrol the middle, playing as an undersized center alongside the likes of Howard Eisley
and Stephon Marbury
... and he thrived, punishing bigger, slower guys with his 15 footers and general Kurtthomasness.
One day, his dignity was spared via trade to the Suns
for ... jeez I don't want to think about it.
Then, suddenly, as a bizzare side-effect of the whole bizzare Lin/Felton exchange, Kurt was back, still scowling, still rebounding, still being tough. And he did his freakin' job. But if you ask me, Kurt looks tired. He's lost a bit of his joie d'vivre, if you will. And you could even read Woody's lips as he took Kurt out in the 1st quarter mouthing "Insufficient Joie D'Vivre". But he came to work.
Then, in the team's bleakest moment, riding a 4 game losing streak and staring the lower playoff seed in the face, Kurt reached deep down, all the way down to his broken foot, and decided that he was going to will his 40 year old body and 48 year old foot and Knicks team to one more victory if it killed him. And it almost did except that KURT THOMAS CANNOT DIE. Except for his foot. That shit was pretty much dead after that.
Anyway, everyone knows, and eventually, I think that Kurt himself began to realize, that his performance against the Jazz
, lifting the Knicks to a 13 game winning streak, was kind of like that scene in that movie 'Volcano' where the hero jumps into lava and throws that lady to safety. KURT SEIZED THE MOMENT AND DID HIS PART. It was the penultimate moment of an awesome career.
Meanwhile, a young guy named James Singleton
toils away in China or wherever after putting up some nice, efficient, reboundy numbers in the NBA. Singleton's 6'8", which is one inch less than an power forward's supposed to be and 3 inches less than a center is supposed to be. That's not very many inches, but it's enough for a guy to be ignored by 99 percent of GM's. Either that, or pushed to be a small forward, a development which will cause a guy's shooting percentage to go all upty-downy.
We have a few games left in the regular season. We don't need a guy to perform at an all-star level. We need a big who can eat up some minutes while we try to hang onto the two seed. We need a guy who can play the 4 or 5 in garbage time. We need a guy who's hungry and might be able to help us next year.
Singleton's 31, but compared to the rest of the Knicks' bigs he's merely a child, the very picture of youthful exuberance and springtime hope!
WELCOME TO THE KNICKS, JAMES SINGLETON!
KURT THOMAS, GODSPEED, YOUR NAME SHALL LIVE FOREVER IN THE ANNALS OF KNICK AWESOMENESS!!!!!