Never is there something involving Isiah Thomas that clarifies anything. It just gets more confusing, and difficult to understand. Every time.
So, remember when Isiah Thomas was apparently the guy who helped lure free agents to the Knicks? Donnie Walsh even said it about a month and a half ago. Here, look:
“Isiah helped us a lot in getting Amare,” Walsh said Saturday. “And he tried to help us get Joe Johnson and LeBron. He knew some of the people that were connected with some of the players, and he has a good reputation with the players and with the people that represent them. He was great.”
It’s why the Knicks almost signed him as a consultant. But today, Will Leitch over at New York Magazine spoke to Amare Stoudemire, and pretty much found out that Isiah had no role whatsoever in bringing Stoudemire to the Knicks. Here, look:
So, to be clear, you didn’t talk to him at ALL during this negotiating process with the Knicks?
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.
Thomas’ statement for the press also included his admission that the Knicks’ sub-par play while he was the President of Basketball Operations, General Manager, and, of course, coach, remains “one of the biggest regrets of my life."
Ken Berger of CBSSports can’t blame Knicks fans for being upset with their team re-hiring Isiah Thomas—whose tenure as coach and GM set the franchise back years, if not a decade—as a consultant, but ultimately says that their concerns won’t matter, as the NBA likely will not approve the move. He explains:
The NBA Constitution and By-Laws include very strict prohibitions against team employees having contact with draft-ineligible players –- i.e., high school prospects and college or international players not yet eligible to be drafted. NBA team officials aren’t even permitted to utter the names of such players, much less coach them, scout them, or comment about them in press conferences.
Berger goes deeper in depth to explain why certain league rules prohibit the Knicks’ supposed agreement with Thomas, “plain as day.” Maybe Knicks fans have nothing to fear after all.
When the New York Post and New York Daily News agree on something, you know something’s up. And both stories ran articles today on how mad Donnie Walsh is with his organization that they rehired Isiah Thomas.
Via Marc Berman:
According to a Knicks source, Walsh told Thomas in a face-to-face meeting two weeks ago he did not want him working for the organization. Dolan and Thomas had agreed that Thomas could fill the team’s general manager vacancy if Walsh was OK with it.
When Walsh told Thomas he objected, Thomas went back to Dolan, who still has a love affair with the Hall of Famer and seemingly is on a mission to rehab Thomas’ image.
The Daily News has learned that Donnie Walsh considered resigning after Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan made the controversial move to hire Thomas, but Walsh decided to continue running the team despite his objections to Thomas having a role in the front office.
The Knicks’ addition of Isiah Thomas as a team consultant came with a wrinkle: he will remain the head coach of Florida International University. Now, as Art Garcia of NBA.com reports, the league has said it will look into the move to make sure it’s legal:
“We are reviewing the agreement, in consultation with the Knicks, for compliance with league rules,” league spokesman Tim Frank said via email.
NBA teams hiring college coaches could open doors the league and the NCAA don’t want open. Let’s say the Lakers wanted to bring on Mike Krzyzewski as a consultant. What would that mean for the Lakers’ knowledge of current Duke players? Would it help “recruit” former players in free agency?
Something tells this deal doesn’t hold.
Letting Thomas work both the NCAA and NBA would set too many iffy precedents. Based on Garcia’s report, I’d say he can have either the FIU job or the New York gig, but not both.
Alan Hahn, who covers the Knicks for New York Newsday, isn’t on board with New York’s decision to hire former head coach and GM Isiah Thomas as a consultant. Check this message from Hahn’s Twitter account:
…It’s no secret the Garden has wanted to help Isiah rehab his name in the NBA. He desperately wants back in. This is a dangerous move.
Few journalists, if any, know the Knicks better than Hahn does, so it’s got to alarm some Knicks fans that he doesn’t offer any optimism, either.
Isiah Thomas is back in the New York Knicks organization as a consultant, two years after he was fired as coach and team president.
The Knicks announced Thomas' role Friday, saying he would "assist the team's senior management in various capacities, including player recruitment."
Thomas will remain head coach at Florida International University while engaging in this part-time role. I'm still confused as to why you'd rehire the man whose actions Donnie Walsh just spent two years trying to completely undo, and still came up slightly short, but, I am not James Dolan. Obviously, the various parts of internet are laughing at New York right now, but I think the winner thus far is Russ Bengston of Slam Magazine, via Twitter.
"Hey Isiah, should we sign this guy?" "Yes, absolutely." *covers phone* "DON'T F*CKING SIGN HIM!" *uncovers phone* "Thanks a lot, Zeke!"
On the plus side, this would seem to remove Thomas from the running currently vacant General Manager position.