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Isiah Thomas will not take Knicks job. We all shed a single tear.

Aug 11, 2010, 7:19 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for iThomas-FIU.jpgKnicks fans can put away pitchforks and torches, no reason to storm the castle anymore.

Isiah Thomas will not be part of the New York Knicks front office, walking away from the role offered as a consultant while maintaining his job as head coach of Florida International University.

NBA Commissioner David Stern made the official announcement.

“We have been informed by the Knicks that Isiah Thomas has rescinded his consulting agreement with the team. As a result, it is not necessary for the league to take any formal action on the proposed arrangement. However, we have reminded the Knicks of NBA rules that prohibit team personnel, including consultants, from having contact with players not eligible for
the draft.”

Thomas also released a statement.

“After speaking with Commissioner Stern and Knicks executives, it has become apparent that my new agreement violates certain NBA bylaws. Because of this, I have decided to rescind my
contract with the team. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Jim Dolan, Donnie Walsh, Mike D’Antoni and the entire Knicks organization, and I want to thank them for affording me this opportunity.

“One of the biggest regrets of my life is that the Knicks didn’t perform up to the standards the fans had every right to expect while I was in charge. I take full responsibility for that. I was very much looking forward to this unique opportunity to help the organization do what I do best: find basketball talent. I wish the team nothing but success in the future.”

Reports are that the Knicks, their lawyers and the NBA sat down and looked at the contract for three days before deciding there was no way around the NBA’s ban on talking to college undergrads who have not declared for the draft and being a college coach at the same time. My only question: It really took three days to reach that conclusion?

This particular episode may be over, but it points to a more serious issue with the Knicks — the interference of ownership. Thomas was team president and left the Knicks with the highest payroll by far in the league yet unable to even make the playoffs. It has taken his successor Donnie Walsh two years just to undo many of the problems Thomas created on the roster and start to turn the team around.

Then Dolan turned around and tried to bring Thomas back in an official capacity. It angered Walsh who almost walked out, according to reports. It seemed to undermine the good steps the franchise has taken in recent years, to undermine the stability Walsh brought.

Next time it may not be Thomas, but the question remains — will ownership continue to trip up the franchise and sabotage any real chance of success?

As for Thomas, while the official ties are gone, the unofficial ones remain. Thomas helped the Knicks with the failed recruitment of LeBron James and the successful recruitment of Amare Stoudemire. Thomas is still a man that Dolan trusts.

Nothing prevents the two from speaking on the phone. And you can bet when it comes time to recruit Carmelo Anthony next summer, Dolan and Thomas will be speaking again. And when Walsh steps down in a couple years…

  1. sheed - Aug 12, 2010 at 2:28 AM

    It was for a mere talent recruiting job. I personally am not an Isiah fan either just like the rest, sure he failed as a head coach, yes he is horrible for any sort of managing position, but as a talent recruiter and with his ability to connect with the young players of the game he has shown to be very proficient and sound – perhaps even competent. That’s all they were hiring him for – not as a guy to call the shots or even help to run the team!
    Even if the poor guy got hired at a McD’s he’d be told to stay away. What’s next, Isiah can’t tie his shoes correctly?

  2. sheed - Aug 12, 2010 at 2:29 AM

    It was for a mere talent recruiting job. I personally am not an Isiah fan either just like the rest, sure he failed as a head coach, yes he is horrible for any sort of managing position, but as a talent recruiter and with his ability to connect with the young players of the game he has shown to be very proficient and sound – perhaps even competent. That’s all they were hiring him for – not as a guy to call the shots or even help to run the team!
    Even if the poor guy got hired at a McD’s he’d be told to stay away. What’s next, Isiah can’t tie his shoes correctly? Leave the guy alone already.

  3. Robert - Aug 12, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    sheed,
    I belivee he does not where shoes that have laces for just that reason.

  4. Mike - Aug 12, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    If I had any say, I would gather all of the companies that have season tickets and tell them to cancel them if Dolan hires Isaiah in any capacity. If a company has any sexual abuse policy in place, and I’m sure that most do, then they should take offense to this rehiring. He is a low life slob who cares about no one but himself. How Dolan doesn’t see this is incredible. Dolan is making a mockery of what once was a proud organization, and with that is showing that he could care less about the woman in the work force. Maybe one rat deserves another, I don’t know, but if I owned a company and was a season ticket holder, I would consider dropping that privilege, and I would let the people at the garden know why.

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