HoopsHype Isiah Thomas rumors

March 1, 2014 Updates

Dumars has been on borrowed time for a long time, partly because of his penchant for firing coaches — eight since 2000 — and partly because of his drafting of Darko Milicic in 2003. He could have selected any one of Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh with the No. 2 overall pick, after Cleveland drafted LeBron James. The Milicic pick is on his permanent record, as are the four straight lottery seasons in which his team never won as many as 30 games. His tenure is expected to end when his contract runs out this spring. “Gores is definitely looking at Isiah to replace Joe,” one league source said. New York Daily News

February 18, 2014 Updates

Members of the 1989 NBA champion “Bad Boys” Pistons are reuniting next month to celebrate the 25th anniversary year of the first title in franchise history. Team members will first gather at “Bad Boys Unite,” a charity event, at the Westin Book Cadillac hotel in Detroit on March 27. The team will also be honored at halftime of the Pistons-Heat game the following night. Attendees have not been confirmed, but players on the 1989 team include Isiah Thomas, current Pistons president Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer, John Salley, Mark Aguirre, Dennis Rodman, Vinnie Johnson, James Edwards, Rick Mahorn, John Long, Fennis Dembo and Micheal Williams. Detroit News

February 11, 2014 Updates
January 29, 2014 Updates
January 5, 2014 Updates

You think there’s no gay visibility in sports? Well, the out, proud Zeke Thomas—son of NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas—happens to be the official DJ for the annual NBA All-Star game, which will be held in New Orleans in February. That’s music to a lot of sports fans’ ears—and it’s hardly Zeke’s only high profile credit either. He also DJs club bashes in New York, Las Vegas, Miami, and his hometown of Detroit, plus he’s a recording artist/producer who’s coming out with a song called “Regret,” about the horror of waking up after a not really necessary night of too much partying. Our recent chat was intoxicating—a real slam dunk, if you will (with no dribbling). Out Magazine

December 27, 2013 Updates

“When you evaluate the job he’s doing, I look at the total body of work,’’ Thomas said on WFAN radio Friday morning with Sid Rosenberg and Kim Jones. “Since he’s been here his record is [81-53]. When you look at the season he’s having, fortunately they’re in the Atlantic and nobody is running away with the division. I know Mike personally. I know what kind of competitor he is and what kind of coach he’s been. When he has all the pieces and the team is playing well, they’re as good as anybody. Coming out of training camp they had injuries and were hit with the injury bug more than most teams.” New York Post

“Absolutely,’’ Thomas said when asked whether he wanted another GM job. “If the game called me back and I got the opportunity, I would love to. It warms my heart to see all players we had here whom I drafted with the Knicks, they’re doing quite well. I do know if I was able to stick with the plan and let those young players develop, they’d be a pretty good basketball team in the East.’’ Thomas reiterated his comments that he left New York with two future All-Stars (Zach Randolph, David Lee) and a Sixth Man of the Year winner (Jamal Crawford), all of whom were under 29. New York Post

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

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