Thomas: K-Mart's act is phony

Updated: April 22, 2004, 1:02 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Injured Knicks forward Tim Thomas ripped Nets forward Kenyon Martin as a phony tough guy and criticized his teammates, too, for failing to respond to the flagrant foul that sidelined him.

Thomas will not play in Game 3 Thursday night, when New Jersey will try to take a 3-0 lead over New York, but if he makes it back for Game 4, a confrontation is all but guaranteed.

"My goal is just to get back out there on the court before this series is over so I can go hit somebody. That's it. That's all I'm looking forward to," Thomas said Wednesday. "What's been done to me is going to be done to them. It's very simple."

Thomas' statements were his first public comments since he was fouled by Jason Collins in Game 1 while going up for a dunk. Thomas took a hard fall, bruising his back, hip and ankle.

Thomas said he has not yet seen a videotape of the foul, but he considered it dirty, with Collins never attempting to go for the ball as the Nets' center has claimed.

Thomas said he was more angry with Collins than with his teammates -- but only because the rest of the Knicks still have a chance to retaliate.

"When I was laying on the floor I was expecting somebody to do something, to push, to shove, anybody. But it never happened," Thomas said. "In that situation you have to respond. You have to, that's the bottom line.

"For it to go down that way and for nobody to really respond, I'm just waiting for somebody to do something."

The Knicks were more physical in Game 2 than they were in Game 1, yet it was the Nets who continued to commit the hardest fouls. Richard Jefferson clobbered Stephon Marbury on a breakaway, and Kenyon Martin responded to an elbow from Dikembe Mutombo with a vicious swipe and shove that earned him a technical foul.

Thomas saved his most caustic comments for Martin, repeatedly calling him "fugazy" -- a slang term for fake used in the mafia movie "Donnie Brasco."

"Just knowing his character, he's a fugazy guy. I read a comment that Jason Richardson said nobody wants to mess with a pit bull, but I've never seen a pit bull who picks and chooses who he wants to bite," Thomas said.

"He's fugazy as far as the whole tough guy role. You get techs and you get fines and that makes you tough? Because your game is wild and crazy, that makes you tough? When a scuffle breaks out, you have 13 guys that can protect you. When it's you and someone else, what happens then?

"Somebody call Don King and hook it up for us."

Martin was not available to respond to Thomas' comments, which were made after the Nets had finished practice.

New Jersey has defeated New York in five of their six meetings this season, the only loss coming March 19 at Madison Square Garden, the site of Game 3, on a night when Jason Kidd was injured.

Kidd's only appearance at the Garden this season came Jan. 4 when he had 35 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds in a 95-85 victory.

"In the enemy's building, it's always hostile on the road. We understand that," Kidd said. "I think the Garden brings the best out of everybody in the sense all the great games that have been played there, the history alone. It ranks up there with the Forum, the old Boston Garden. The big thing is the history when you walk into that building. You can feel the electricity."

Thanks to Thomas' comments, they'll probably feel the tension, too.

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