Thomas, also a former Knicks president who had a similarly inept stint, has resurfaced as Liberty president. The Garden’s WNBA tenant clinched their third straight playoff berth this week under Thomas. “There’ve been a lot of us who have come through New York that want to do well,’’ Thomas said in Las Vegas for the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor bout and appearing on The MMA Hour radio show. “For whatever reason we didn’t do well. I look at Phil before he got to New York – how he was respected in the game. And that’s the Phil Jackson I choose to remember. That’s on the real.”
Thomas has told confidants across the years his goal is to one day run the Knicks again. Asked if he still wants to be an NBA executive, Thomas said, “I don’t know. I’m having a good time with the Liberty. I’d never say never.’’
Thomas was asked if he still gives Dolan advice on the Knicks. Though Mills and Thomas famously worked together once, their relationship deteriorated in the wake of the Anucha Browne Sanders sexual harassment suit. “I’m involved with the Liberty,’’ said Thomas, in Vegas promoting his new champagne. “I talk to him about the Liberty. I don’t talk to him about the Knicks. I respect authority and lines of authority. It would be inappropriate of me and not respectful of me to whoever’s in that job to voice my opinion about the Knicks – froma personnel or strategic standing. That’s’s not my place. I have to respect those lines of authority.’’
Isiah Thomas: I'm not interested in joining @nyknicks. I'm happy with the @nyliberty & NBATV. I wish the best for the Knicks and @PhilJackson11
There were the familiar Knicks faces who will always have a voice, too, no one moreso than Isiah Thomas. In the wake of the Jackson departure, the rumblings grew quickly that the former Knicks executive who has always been so close with Dolan could have a chance of returning here. It would be a predictable about-face for Dolan, whose five-year, $60 million hiring of Jackson in March of 2014 was widely seen as a change from his dysfunctional ways.
September 17, 2021 | 2:04 pm EDT Update
Mark Medina: I asked Clippers owner Steve Ballmer for his outlook on team winning an NBA title before leaving Staples Center in 2024: “I want to win a championship. I think we’ll be able to compete for a championship.”
Caleb Martin is going from a standard NBA contract with the Charlotte Hornets to a two-way deal with the Miami Heat, but he doesn’t view it as a demotion. Martin, who turns 26 on Sept. 28, sees it as an opportunity to “show everybody that I belong” after he was waived by the Hornets in August.
“The culture and the reputation were the big things that caught my eye,” Martin said to the Miami Herald of what intrigued him about the Heat. “Obviously, the coaching staff and just everybody that’s involved over here. One of the things they said was they’re big on development. They’re going to work with me and do the best they can to make me the best player I can be. They think this is a great spot for me in terms of my playing style and I agree with that.”