Monday, December 18, 2006

Did Isiah Thomas Want To Break a Neck or Foot? Dueling Quotes In The New York Times

Either Way, Bruce Bowen Won't Be Getting Any Christmas Cards From the Knicks
The underachieving New York Times sports section has kicked into gear with its coverage of the latest incarnation of Saturday Night Fights at Madison Square Garden.

Of course, the Mecca of boxing was not expecting Denver Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony and New York Knicks Coach Isiah Thomas to be on the main card.

Lots being written about what Thomas supposedly telling Anthony late in the game "Hey, don't go to the basket" as the Nuggets were finishing up a blowout of the woeful Knicks.

That led to a flagrant foul, 10 players ejected, a sucker punch by Anthony and Thomas at a loss of words trying to explain himself. We should find out later today who will be punished and how badly, but it's instructive to step back in time for another incident in November when Thomas didn't like the aggressive defense being played by Bruce Bowen (left) of the San Antonio Spurs.

"Break his neck," that's what Bowen said he heard, writes Selena Roberts in her column in today's Times.

But Knicks beat writer Howard Beck, in a front-page story on the incident, says "Thomas was also heard shouting to his players to "Break his feet."

Feet, neck, what's a broken body part between friends?

Of course, getting a quote right is far from an exact science, as the media consistently demonstrates.

To wit, Alan Hahn in Newsday says the quote was 'Next time he does that, break his -- foot!', though in a Nov. 14 article, he said Thomas called for Bowen's neck to be snapped in pieces, though I doubt Thomas used an ellipsis.

The Daily News' Frank Isola also said it was the foot, a version echoed by Mike Finger from the San Antonio Express-News.

Confused? You should be. But we are happy to report that Bowen has all limbs and body parts intact, at least for now.

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