HoopsHype Isiah Thomas rumors

November 23, 2013 Updates

Former Knicks president Isiah Thomas, fresh off teaching a class at Harvard University on Thursday, said he has “moved on’’ from a strong desire to rejoin the Knicks. While not ruling out returning to the NBA as a general manager, Thomas said the Knicks job wouldn’t be one he covets under the current structure. New York Post

According to a confidant of Thomas, he would not even want to return under the strict media-policy rules that forbid the general manager from talking to the media regularly. “The only way he would want to go back to the Knicks is if it didn’t have a media policy,’’ the confidant said. “He would need the full authority to speak freely and free reign to operate as a general manager. He worked under the old conditions and look what happened to him?’’ New York Post

James Dolan doesn’t believe Isiah Thomas can return to the Knicks because he could become a “distraction,” but the team’s former president and head coach says he’s too distracted right now to make a comeback. “I think it’s important that we are not a distraction to each other,” Thomas told the Daily News on Friday. “I have a lot of things going on in my life, I am running a business, I am deeply involved in my philanthropic work in Chicago and around the country.” New York Daily News

On Friday, Dolan reiterated in a published report that he still consults with Thomas but expressed doubt that he’d ever rehire his long-time friend. “For Isiah, I don’t know that he’ll ever be able to work in New York,” Dolan said. “I just don’t know that he’ll ever get a fair shake, going forward in New York. New York Daily News

November 22, 2013 Updates

And you surely know the panic that ensues when a Glen Grunwald gets fired and people wonder, “Is Isiah coming back?” James Dolan: I can’t control what’s in other people’s minds. I can tell you that he’s a friend of mine. We speak, but not as often as we used to because he’s really involved in other things now. We’ll message back and forth once in a while. We used to talk a lot more often. He seems to be moving into another phase of his life, he’s not as basketball-centric, he’s doing a lot of charity work, he got his masters [in education, from Cal-Berkeley], he actually uses me to bounce business ideas off of … MV: Do you still consult him, too, about basketball ideas? James Dolan: Not really. For Isiah, I don’t know that he’ll ever be able to work in New York. I just don’t know that he’ll ever get a fair shake, going forward in New York? New York Post

November 3, 2013 Updates

Ask NBA legend Isiah Thomas, who signed Crawford as a free agent in 2004 and later coached him with the New York Knicks, if there has ever been a ballhandler this good at 6 feet 5. Thomas laughs. “No,” he says quickly. “You’ve seen people who have street game, so to speak. But they can’t bring that game into an NBA game. Jamal can do anything against real, live NBA players in front of 20,000 fans.” Crawford and King led Rainier Beach to its first state title of the Bethea era. Bethea has six now, the most in state history. “Jamal opened the floodgates for Rainier Beach,” Bethea said. Seattle Times

October 29, 2013 Updates
October 27, 2013 Updates

There is brutal honesty in Thomas’s voice and a perception that nearly 20 years after playing in his final NBA game, he is underappreciated because of his clashes with Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and most recently, Magic Johnson. Thomas is not a man who swims in disdain and regret. “I live my life and do my work and not necessarily look for any kind of glory or anything,” the Hall of Famer said last week. “I love the game. I love helping people and that’s what I’ve always done. But I really haven’t thought about how people perceive me.” Boston Globe

October 12, 2013 Updates
October 3, 2013 Updates

Isiah didn’t hold back during shooting for the premiere of the critically acclaimed show’s third season (it will air on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. ET on NBA TV) . In fact, he made sure “Open Court” will get off to an explosive start when he identified his former rival and fellow Hall of Famer Karl Malone as the man who cost the Utah Jazz a title. “I thought Utah, going back to that team, I thought they had everything it took to win a championship,” he said. “They had the system, the players, the toughness, they were defensive-minded and everything. I always thought like Malone was the weakest link because he wasn’t a good foul shooter. Had he been a good foul shooter they would have beat Chicago.” NBA.com

When pressed by Johnson about using the term “weak link” in regards to Malone, Thomas didn’t flinch. “That’s a weak link, because at the end of a game when you are playing at that level, you come down to the last 30 seconds or the last minute of the game, if that guy can’t make fouls shots then he’s the weak link. He’s the guy that you are fouling, the guy you want to put on the line. You’re not fouling [John] Stockton. You’re not putting him on the line, you’re not letting him take the shot. Everything is going to Malone. I thought Malone’s inability to hit free throws is what stopped them from winning a championship.” NBA.com

October 2, 2013 Updates
October 1, 2013 Updates

Steve Mills, the newly installed president and general manager of the Knicks, finally addressed his recent hiring and demotion of Glen Grunwald on Monday. While Mills revealed little of the back-room dealings involving the Garden that led to his hire, he did disclose plans to hire more people to work under him, immediately sparking speculation that he might find a position for Isiah Thomas. It was Mills, after all, who suggested that Jim Dolan hire Thomas as president of basketball operations, leading to one of the most tumultuous periods in Garden history. “I’ll definitely take an entire look at the organization, think about where there are holes and where I need to add people,” Mills said. “I would anticipate bringing additional people in.” New York Daily News

September 27, 2013 Updates

Thomas has since been dismissed by F.I.U., so that conflict no longer exists. A person with ties to Madison Square Garden and with knowledge of the Knicks’ situation maintained that the hiring of Mills would not set the stage for Thomas to have an influential role with the team. “This is not an Isiah story,” said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. New York Times

September 11, 2013 Updates
August 27, 2013 Updates
July 29, 2013 Updates

In an effort to lift itself from the dysfunction and ineffectiveness of the Billy Hunter-Derek Fisher regime, the NBA players association has spent the past month identifying four candidates to succeed Hunter as executive director. Led by 18-year veteran Jerry Stackhouse, the NBPA has narrowed its options to former NBA coach and league executive Stu Jackson, Pistons legend and former NBA coach Isiah Thomas, former Madison Square Garden executive Steve Mills and Charlotte Bobcats president Fred Whitfield, FOXSports.com has learned. Sports attorney David Cornwell is said to be a longshot candidate. “I’m totally denying we are down to those four prospects,” Stackhouse told me Sunday afternoon. “Those are just four well-known guys, guys who know our business, guys who have ideas we wanted to hear from. They are not the only guys we want the search firm to vet. I haven’t even had a chance to talk with Fred Whitfield yet. I was planning to do that on Monday.” FOXSports.com

July 14, 2013 Updates

If the Knicks are doing background checks on Metta World Peace, all James Dolan has to do is pick up the phone and call his unofficial consultant, Isiah Thomas. Thomas, the former Knicks president and head coach, coached World Peace for two seasons with the Indiana Pacers when the Metta still went by the name on his birth certificate, Ron Artest. Thomas, according to a source, enjoyed his brief time with Artest, who was named to the All-Defense second team in 2003. New York Daily News

June 19, 2013 Updates

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