he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: Nichols and Jordan Cut By Isiahh

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nichols and Jordan Cut By Isiah

When Isiah Thomas traded for Demetris Nichols on draft night I became excited. As a Syracuse fan I was able to see Nichols' shooting a couple of nights a week, and I knew right away that trading a second rounder for him was an instant steal. Next I watched the 6-8 small forward score 15. 6 points a game in the summer league, while shooting at a 53% clip. There isn't much else for Nichols to do. He played solid defense, scored, and scored at an efficient pace to boot. Then the Knicks signed Allan Houston as a pre-season invitee, and I did not feel confident in Nichol's chances of making the team.

Then, Houston requests to be cut from the Knicks, and suddenly my hopes of Nichols making the team might come true. Rumors came out that Nichols requested to be cut by the Knicks if he wasn't going to be given a fair chance to make the roster. However, those rumors were shot down by the team. Nichols was right to be skeptical of his chances of making the team, as Isiah rarely, if ever, played Nichols. Although, in last night's win against the Sixers Nichols played 9 minutes (a couple of minutes over his average minutes). Nichols scored 10 points in those 9 minutes, including shooting 2-2 behind the arc. After the game I thought maybe Isiah will start playing him more, especially considering how effective he was in only 10 minutes. Then this afternoon the Knicks announced that Nichols, Jared Jordan, and Walker Russel have all been cut from the pre-season roster. The roster is now finalized at 15.
"Jerome James remains," I kept repeating those words to myself when I heard the news. The same Jerome James who has yet to play this pre-season. James is so bad, Isiah can't even bench him, James has benched himself. The 7-1 behemoth has knee tendinitis and he may need surgery that would end his season, although James said he wants to fight through the pain. If not playing is fighting through the pain I don't want to see what the alternative option was. On top of James not playing, when he does play he is very ineffective. James makes 6 million dollars a year, and last season he averaged a stunningly bad 1.9 ppg and 1.6 rpg. James was, in my opinion, the biggest obstacle for Nichols to overcome to make the Knicks, and I didn't feel that it was that large of an obstacle. Obviously, Isiah Thomas chose money over youth, and talent.

James is under contract for three more years (including this year), and if he has yet another lackluster season I pray that Isiah finally comes to his senses and buys James out. I have long been an Isiah supporter. As a coach, and at times as a GM, he shows a lot of potential. The decision to cut Nichols, while keeping Jerome "Big Snacks" James was not one of his brighter decisions.


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