Isiah Thomas is back at Madison Square Garden. Thomas has been hired to be president of the New York Liberty of the WNBA. Thomas also will have an ownership stake in the team. Garden CEO James Dolan, who owns the Knicks and Liberty and is an unflinchingly loyal Thomas supporter, said he began discussing the role with Thomas in the fall and he has been pleased with the results. “Now, we’ve agreed that it is time for him to take a lead role with the team as president, and through his ownership interest. He’s an excellent judge of talent, and I’m confident that he will put all of his energy and experience into making the Liberty a perennially competitive and successful team,” Dolan said in a statement.
October 19, 2017 | 5:30 am EDT Update
As Celtics coach Brad Stevens looks to replace what were expected to be 35 minutes a night out of the All-Star and eight-year veteran, he looks to a bench that includes six rookies and one second-year player. Stevens also looks to Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge to get some help from the outside. “I think that we will at least actively be looking [to fill] that [open] roster spot,” the coach said prior to Wednesday night’s home opener against the Milwaukee Bucks. “Just because, obviously from the standpoint of the youth, but also because you lose one of your better shooters, your more versatile players, a guy who can put the ball in the basket for you.”
Ben Simmons finally made his long-awaited NBA regular-season debut against the Wizards in Washington on Wednesday night. And after his extended wait to wear the Philadelphia 76ers jersey in a meaningful game, he said he felt initially like he was in a video game. “It felt like I was playing 2K, honestly,” Simmons said postgame. “Just looking at Joel Embiid out there with the lights on his jersey. I was like, ‘man, I’m actually here.'”
For a Pistons team that spent almost three decades playing at the Palace of Auburn Hills and before that at the suburban Pontiac Silverdome and got used to playing in front of lighter crowds the past few years, the jolt and energy in the sparkling building were unmistakable — both in the way the team played and in the way the events of the night unfolded. “It was hype, man,” Pistons swingman Tobias Harris said of the atmosphere, led by Eminem’s opening remarks. “It was crazy. I ain’t going to say I thought I was at 8 mile, but I kind of thought I was at 8 mile.”