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New Knicks GM Mills says he won’t be bringing back Isiah Thomas

Oct 2, 2013, 9:46 PM EDT

Isaih Thomas Introduced as New Knicks GM Getty Images

The conventional thinking surrounding the Knicks surprising front office shakeup just days before the start of training camp was that it was done to ensure the proper person was in place who could make the moves necessary to make sure Carmelo Anthony doesn’t choose to leave in free agency next summer.

Whether or not new GM Steve Mills is up to the task remains to be seen, but what is odd about the situation is his return to power in the organization considering the way his messy separation from the Knicks occurred five years ago.

Frank Isola of the New York Post gave us some of the details:

It really wasn’t that long ago when Steve Mills returned from vacation and suddenly had the sinking feeling that his job as the president of Madison Square Garden was in jeopardy.

There were two not-so-subtle signs that Mills’ days were numbered; Hank Ratner, his immediate superior, had moved into his office at 2 Penn Plaza, and Mills’ parking spot had been taken away.

The ugly divorce, which began when the Garden was found liable in a highly publicized sexual harassment case, was near its completion.

That harassment case also involved Isiah Thomas, who had an unsuccessful run with the team (to put it mildly) from 2003-2008 as president of basketball operations.

Thomas remains close with Knicks owner James Dolan, and is viewed by many as having a role of an unpaid adviser. The return of Mills sparked speculation that Thomas might be brought back in a more official capacity, but Mills said in a radio interview this week that he has no intention of doing so.

From Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News:

Though conspiracy theorists abound, new Knicks president and GM Steve Mills did his best to quell speculation that he will be bringing back Isiah Thomas to the Knicks, suggesting that Thomas would make a fine executive director of the NBA Players’ Association instead.

“No, Isiah will not be coming back to the Knicks,” Mills said. “I’ve known Isiah for a long time. I think he has a lot of good things going on in his life. . . . He’s probably an excellent candidate for the executive director’s job at the NBA players’ association.”

That sound you heard was the team’s fan base breathing a collective sigh of relief.

The internal workings of the Knicks are a mystery to many, but even an organization that’s had more than its share of issues couldn’t possibly bring back Thomas, given the damage he did to the brand during his brief stint in charge.

  1. dysraw1 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    Trevor Areza, Zach Randolf,Jamal Crawford Nate Robinson, Wilson Chandler that’s just a few of players that Zeke brought in to our fair city of course things never went according plan. people blame and point fingers at Zeke, but just go back and look at rosters that Scott Layden was putting on floor that my friends was the worst time in Knicks history if you ask me. sry screwed up your last name Trevor

    • skinsfanwill - Oct 3, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      screwed up Zach Randolph’s name too.

      • dysraw1 - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:08 PM

        my bad

  2. midnite2020 - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    look im so tired of people talking about the job Isaiah thomas did please take a detailed look at the roster Scott Laden left this man and look who isaiah left the Knicks with please tell me any gm could make a championship team out of that roster you think pat riley can sign the big three if he was replacing Scott Laden and already in the luxury tax?

  3. csbanter - Oct 2, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Isaiah on his way to coning someone else into hiring him. what a country. NBA on NBC,Toronto raptors,CBA,pacers,Knicks, FIU,NBA TV.. Seriously

  4. adamsjohn714 - Oct 3, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    I hope this isn’t like those moments when the GM gives a public vote of confidence to the coach, and then fires him 4 days later.

  5. Kevin S. - Oct 3, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    Scott Layden might have been an excuse for why the team didn’t do well initially, but Zeke had six years to remake the team, left it in worse shape than he found it, and crippled it going forward by capping it out and trading away it’s future picks. It didn’t take Donnie Walsh six years to return the team to respectability.

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