Sportsman's Daily


Knicks Player Who Carried Out Coach’s Order for Hit Prepares for Next Assignment


Special "assistants" to Knicks Coach Isiah Thomas strike pose before making quick getaway after brawl at the Garden.

NEW YORK, NY (The Sportsman's Daily Wire Service) — The ugly brawl that took place during the waning seconds of Saturday's Nuggets 23-point blowout of the Knicks resulted in ten ejections and another black eye for the NBA. Today, league officials are investigating allegations that Knicks Coach Isiah Thomas ordered the hard foul that precipitated the melee that spilled into the Garden’s first row.

Rookie Mardy Collins who committed the hard foul showed the steely resolve of a hired assassin when questioned about the incident following the game.

“Coach put me in and I took care of business,” said Collins. “The NBA ain’t always a nice place. People in the way can get hurt.”

With that Collins brushed past reporters and huddled with a quartet of sullen-looking men in sun glasses and dark suits -- although no one would mistake them for Connie Kay, Milt Jackson, John Lewis and Ray Brown on bass. We caught up with a veteran Knicks reserve as he was heading toward his car.

“I don’t know nothing about those guys,” he said in hushed tones, looking over his shoulder. “Rumor is they’re out of Jersey with connections to Detroit muscle Isiah knows from back in the day. We’ve seen them at practice working with Mardy on technique – from take down tactics to discarding evidence. I don’t know how Stern’s gonna react when he sees Collins sticking a gat in the ribs of an opposing player trying to embarrass us in another blowout on our home floor.”

“I love Isiah like a little brother,” said Magic Johnson, who attended a recent Knicks game. “But everyone knows that beneath his million dollar smile is the heart of a killer. Don’t be surprised to see a high body count by All-Star break. Whether that translates into wins I don’t know.”

One Knicks official speaking off-the-record relished a high body count if some of the bodies included current Knicks players. "Let's put it this way: I wouldn't stand in the way if Isiah had Mardy train his sights on some of our pricier so-called talent."

Former Knicks coach Larry Brown who has a reputation for being hard on rookies, was reportedly in favor of Isiah’s use of Collins as the team’s designated “hit man.”

“Larry kicked himself – literally – for not thinking of it first,” said a Brown confidante. “You have a low first round pick who’ll do anything for minutes. On top of which he’s a complete empty vessel – the Manchurian Rookie if you like. He can be programmed for anything Isiah wants him to do. A hard foul? Done. Take the guy's legs out from under him? Done. A flying elbow to the head coupled with a kick to the crotch? Done. A poison blow dart to the neck of an opposing coach? Done. And what Larry particularly liked is that the kid did the hit in the flow of the game.”

A Denver Nuggets player who was not involved in Saturday’s melee said the incident was something many around the league feared might happen since rumors of Isiah’s thuggish “special” assistants began to spread. “I can’t blame Mardy Collins, he’s a rookie who’s being groomed to take guys out. At some point someone’s going to have to step in. I mean, when hanging out in the parking lot of a strip club with Stephen Jackson at 3 in the morning is safer than going out on the floor, that’s some fucked up shit.”

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