HoopsHype Isiah Thomas rumors

October 16, 2012 Updates

Isiah Thomas was briefly in the picture to take Van Gundy’s spot, but a source says Bill Simmons favored Rose over the former Pistons point guard. A source said Simmons thought the Isiah-Magic pair might skew old with viewers, and he favored Rose, the former Fab 5 star. The Big Lead

October 5, 2012 Updates

“Jim Dolan and I had lunch as we often do, and we are very good friends, and we talk from time to time,” Thomas said. “I have great relationships with the organization, so I guess there was some speculation as there's always been about me going back there. And that's where it's at.” New York Post

September 28, 2012 Updates

Isiah Thomas , who had an undistinguished run as an NBA in-game analyst with NBC — and as a Knicks’ exec was successfully sued for sexual harassment — is a candidate for a studio position with ESPN. Kelly Tripucka, a Pistons’ teammate of Thomas’s and a reasonable, credible MSG/Knicks’ studio man and backup in-game analyst the last four seasons, apparently won’t be re-hired. New York Post

September 12, 2012 Updates

As for Isiah, those close to him are downplaying a recent meeting with Dolan in the wake of O'Neil's departure. "They meet all the time," one Thomas confidant said. In truth, it seems awfully farfetched that Thomas -- though free of restrictions on involvement with an NBA team now that he's no longer a college coach -- would assume his previous perch as MSG executive when he already has all the influence he wants at the Garden with none of the accountability or responsibility. A more likely scenario is for Thomas to remain in the shadows a while longer, only to resurface in an official capacity sometime, somewhere at an arena near you. CBSSports.com

Scott O'Neil's sudden resignation as president of Madison Square Garden Sports was hardly surprising to industry insiders familiar with a) the pitfalls of working at the World's Most Famous Arena and b) O'Neil's autonomous management style and lofty career ambitions. You can fumble personnel moves for years and drag the entire company into the gutter of an embarrassing sexual harassment lawsuit and remain in MSG chairman James Dolan's good graces in perpetuity. (We're looking at you, Isiah Thomas.) But if you have your own ideas about how things should be done and want more responsibility, as O'Neil did, you can forget about having your proverbial number retired in the Garden's famous rafters. CBSSports.com

Contrary to the sensationalized version of events, it was likely not a specific clash but rather philosophical differences about his role that led to O'Neil's mutually agreed upon departure, industry sources said. Also, O'Neil had reached the finish line in one of his most important assignments, that being the successful management and sales work associated with the approximately $800 million transformation of the Garden. CBSSports.com

So don't be surprised if O'Neil's name surfaces with regard to a role in which he could wield enormous financial and personnel influence in the NBA -- with the talent and representation firm that has as much power as anyone other than Dolan at MSG: Creative Artists Agency. Just a thought. CBSSports.com

September 10, 2012 Updates
September 9, 2012 Updates

The one person standing in the way of Isiah Thomas officially returning to the Knicks is Isiah Thomas. According to a source close to the former Knicks president, Thomas and Garden chairman James Dolan have had numerous discussions about a position in the organization, but Thomas has been reluctant to accept the job offer. New York Daily News

“Isiah is very close with Jim Dolan but he’s told me that he’s not ready to jump back into the NBA just yet,” said the source, who was with Thomas on Friday at the Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Springfield, Mass. “There’s this perception out there that Isiah is desperate to get back, but that’s false. I think it will eventually happen but just not now.” New York Daily News

Knicks owner James Dolan called Friday morning’s meeting with Isiah Thomas at the Mandarin Hotel in Midtown, though Thomas already was headed up to Springfield, Mass., for the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, according to a person close to Thomas. Though Dolan has no desire to have Thomas fill Scott O’Neil’s job as Madison Square Garden sports president because it is a marketing position, the Knicks owner summoned Thomas on short notice. O’Neil was a staunch opponent of rehiring Thomas, feeling it was not good for the Knicks brand. New York Post

September 8, 2012 Updates
August 12, 2012 Updates
August 5, 2012 Updates

Former NBA star Isiah Thomas took part in a ceremony dedicating a West Chicago street to his mother on Saturday. Thomas says he was touched by the tribute to his late mother, Mary Thomas. The former basketball standout says his mother taught him an important life lesson. "If you can help someone else, help them," Thomas said. "And that's what's it's really all about. It's about loving, forgiving, being kind, and helping other people." abc.com

July 10, 2012 Updates

I spoke with McCallum about the book, his experiences covering the Dream Team for Sports Illustrated, and some of the greatest basketball players who ever lived: ROB MAHONEY: Isiah Thomas’ non-selection still strikes a chord with so many people and so many basketball fans – it’s kind of amazing how linked he is with the Dream Team lore despite not actually being on the team. What is it about that dimension of this story that makes for such compelling theater? JACK MCCALLUM: Well, one of the factors is that there wasn’t an amazing amount of controversy once [the Dream Team] got together. There weren’t complaints about playing time. There weren’t issues during the games. Chuck Daly did a fantastic job of managing the egos. We are a society — and certainly I’m part of it — that looks for controversy, and this is one of the few things you have to latch on to. The second thing is that Isiah has always been a lightning rod; it doesn’t matter whether he’s in the league or whether he’s out of the league, he’s always been a guy to whom attention has flown. I understand it, because Isiah was a great player. But James Worthy, he was a member of four championship teams or five championship teams, and there was never that [controversy] over him. NBCSports.com

June 15, 2012 Updates

The most egregious is committee members with sway giving Jordan the right to banish Thomas from the team. The two had a long-standing beef that covered a multitude of real and imagined transgressions. So, when Jordan let it be known through agent David Falk he refused to be teammates with Thomas, the powers that be folded along the dotted lines. New York Post

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.