HoopsHype Isiah Thomas rumors

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May 8, 2015 Updates

“The spotlight is on the Liberty — that’s OK by me,’’ Laimbeer told The Post in a phone interview. “People are talking about the Liberty — now it’s detrimental. But people will pay attention — how are they doing, getting better, getting worse. I’m sure some people will want us to get worse. I never ran from that stuff.’’ New York Post

In the statement released Thursday by the Storm’s ownership group, Force 10 Hoops, which is led by the local businesswomen Dawn Trudeau, Lisa Brummel and Ginny Gilder, the team emphasized its duty to protect the league’s values in addressing “sexual harassment, domestic violence and sexual assault, all of which have been inadequately addressed for far too long.” The statement also said, “As the proud owners of the Seattle Storm, we believe there is no statute of limitations on the mandate that all W.N.B.A. owners and executives serve as exemplary role models and leaders.” New York Times

May 7, 2015 Updates

WNBA president Laurel J. Richie told The Associated Press in a phone interview Wednesday night that Thomas' hiring was "first and foremost a team decision, but there's ultimate responsibility with the league and that rests in my office." Madison Square Garden employee Anucha Browne Sanders brought a lawsuit in 2007, alleging that Thomas sexually harassed her. It cost MSG $11.5 million, but the NBA Hall of Famer maintained his innocence and was never found personally liable. ESPN.com

Thomas also was given an ownership stake in the team, but Richie said the WNBA hasn't received a completed application yet. "The announcement came out (Tuesday), we're less than 48 hours" into the process, Richie said. "I'd say both on behalf of the league and personally, I'm in the process of gathering information. Ultimately this is a decision in terms of ownership that is a board-level decision. I will participate in that discussion." The WNBA Board of Governors has to approve Thomas' ownership application. "Once we receive that application our vetting process will begin," Richie said. "We have read the reports in the news and that will be a part of our vetting process, absolutely. We have an annual meeting in December and the rest of our meetings are ad hoc meetings. This would be an ad hoc meeting." ESPN.com

The WNBA has been thrown into the national conversation about domestic violence and sports, and now is facing a decision involving sexual harassment. The league is reviewing the hiring of Isiah Thomas — once the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit — as president of the New York Liberty, an announcement that caught the WNBA president off guard. The WNBA was already immersed in a domestic dispute involving All-Stars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson, who were arrested two weeks ago after assaulting each other at their home. How the premier women's sports league handles both is drawing interest. Denver Post

May 6, 2015 Updates

When asked by ESPN.com on Wednesday afternoon if he would have any influence with the Knicks in his new role with the Liberty, Thomas stated, flatly, “No.” Thomas added that he would be completely separated from the Knicks’ operations. Thomas had been advising Dolan for several months on the Liberty but said he was not advising Dolan on the Knicks during that time period. “Just the Liberty,” Thomas said. ESPN.com

May 5, 2015 Updates

Frank Isola: WNBA President Laurel Richie says a new owner, Isiah Thomas, must be approved by WNBA Board of Governors & "this process has not yet begun." Of course, the WNBA Board of Governors cannot prevent Isiah Thomas from becoming the Liberty president...or from running the Knicks draft. Twitter @FisolaNYDN

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. New York Post

April 20, 2015 Updates

In an extraordinary NBA TV post-game show, Isiah Thomas and Rick Fox ripped the Nets point guards and by extension, their game plan, with Thomas, the Hall of Fame point guard, saying that if he was Brook Lopez, he would have started a locker room fight with his point guards, "throw them up on the floor." "Their reluctance to throw the ball inside baffles me," said an agitated Thomas. "As a big man playing for the Brooklyn Nets, I would be sooo upset with the guards. The big man should go into the locker room and there should be a fight with the little guard. He should grab that little guard and throw him up on the floor and say, 'Next time, when I'm open, throw me the call in the paint.' "Watching the game as a point guard, I am seriously frustrated that you've got bigs underneath the basket with a man sealed on their back and you are reluctant to throw them the basketball." "He had 14 points, 17 rebounds, six for seven! That ball should have been inside to him a lot more tonight. " NetsDaily

April 13, 2015 Updates

He told the assembled media Sunday that once he heard about the trade that shipped him from Phoenix to Boston, he started focusing on the postseason. "I honestly did,'' Thomas said. "When I came here, Isiah Thomas shot me a text that said, 'They are a game and a half out of the eighth spot,' so I felt like it was realistic. "These guys have been fighting each and every day. We've been fighting and fighting.'' ESPN.com

“I don’t understand that,” said Thomas, an analyst for Turner Sports. “They reward you now and clap for you when you miss. You get congratulated when you miss a free throw! Everybody comes in, and they slap your hand and say, ‘Hey,’ or whatever they say. What are you high-fiving him for?” In other words, the practice has its critics. Ed Palubinskas, 64, a former Olympic basketball player from Australia who has tutored players in free-throw shooting, said players who accepted high-fives after errant foul shots were quietly advertising their willingness to be mediocre. “You got the two guys behind him giving him a low-five,” Palubinskas said, “and the two guys in front of him saying: ‘Hey, it’s O.K. Don’t be sad. You’ll get the next one.’ I would say: ‘Don’t give me a high-five. I don’t deserve one.’ ” New York Times

April 8, 2015 Updates

In the third quarter Tuesday, in the midst of his fifth career season averaging a double-double with at least 18 points per game, Paul surpassed the 13,000 career point mark. By doing so, he became one of only four players in NBA history with at least 13,000 points and 6,500 assists in fewer than 700 career games. The only other players to achieve that feat? Oscar Robertson, Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson. “Jamal Crawford said it the other day, and I always try to make an imprint, a lasting imprint, things like that,” Paul said after the win against the Lakers. “That’s definitely a huge honor to even be mentioned among those guys.” NBA.com

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