HoopsHype WNBA rumors


May 15, 2015 Updates
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

Isiah Thomas, who on Tuesday was named president and part owner of the New York Liberty, says he will continue to deny culpability for his role in a 2007 sexual harassment case when addressing the issue with the WNBA Board of Governors. His ownership is pending approval by the league. "If people want to continue to believe in the falsities, I can't speak to that. I can only speak to the facts," Thomas told ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike. ESPN.com

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 23, 2015 Updates

Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner and fiancee and fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson were arrested on suspicion of assault and disorderly conduct following a fight at their home in suburban Phoenix. The two 24-year-olds were booked into jail in Phoenix following their arrests Wednesday and later released. Agents for the players did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday. Officers arrested Griner and Johnson, who plays for the Tulsa Shock, after a fight between the couple turned physical, Goodyear police spokeswoman Lisa Kutis said. No weapons were involved, and neither woman required hospital care for their minor injuries, Kutis said. Boston Herald

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