Elsewhere, Isiah Thomas' role as GM-as-savior lasted only until it became apparent he would not be allowed to buy the team. His departure to a career as an NBC analyst is less a blow to the NBA as it is to a bright young Toronto Raptors franchise that will now probably see its best players, Damon Stoudamire and Marcus Camby, look for greener courts in the lower 48.
ATLANTA: Pick the team that was going to stop the runaway 11-0 Atlanta Hawks, and the lackluster Knicks probably wouldn’t come to mind. And yet, for one night anyway, it was 1994 all over again, with Ewing shutting down the middle and John Starks (remember him?) lighting it up from downtown as the Knicks beat the Hawks 100-79. Of course, Atlanta was playing without top players Steve Smith and Alan Henderson. But with New York muddling along with the cast of veterans the team mortgaged its future to buy, any win is a good win.