Isiah Thomas Rumors
Thomas was living in Miami, where he had become the men’s basketball coach at Florida International University in 2009 after leaving the Knicks. I told him of the competing offers, and that the Knicks might lose Anthony to the Nets unless they included Mozgov. He listened and then said, bluntly, that he wanted no part of the negotiations. I had called him in belief that he would want to know the status of the trade talks, on behalf of his ongoing friendship with Dolan. Thomas and I had been sharing information for years, he had provided me with insight on the new generation of AAU players who were seizing control of the NBA, and I believed he would be interested in hearing about Anthony.
It was during the second quarter that my phone buzzed with the call from Isiah Thomas. “Well, I passed on the information,” he said, without saying to whom it had been passed. “Now we’ll see what happens.” The next morning, the news broke that Timofey Mozgov had been included in the Knicks’ offer to Denver.
Appearing on the “Bernie and Sid’’ WABC radio show Friday morning, Thomas gave endorsements for both former Knicks point guards. Kidd, who coached for Brooklyn and Milwaukee, played one season here when the Knicks staged their most successful season since the Jeff Van Gundy years, at 54-28 in 2012-13. They haven’t made the playoffs since Kidd abruptly retired. “When you talk about Jason and Mark Jackson, I‘m big fans and know both those guys personally,’’ said Thomas, who has maintained his friendship with Knicks owner James Dolan. “They’ve both been exceptional players. They are extremely bright. They know the game. They both have won in this league at a very high level and have coached at a high level. When you talk about those two, knowing the game and knowledge of the game and understanding today’s players, you couldn’t go wrong with either one of those choices.’’
Pippen joined ESPN’s “The Jump” on Friday to respond to Isiah Thomas saying last month on NBA TV that he’d pick James over Jordan. After calling out Thomas for “hating” on Jordan, Pippen explained why he doesn’t like comparing James to his former teammate. “Michael Jordan is the greatest player to ever put on shoes and play in our game. No doubt about it,” Pippen said. “I’m always asked questions to compare him to LeBron. I try to make the best of it, but really, the comparison shouldn’t ever be made. They both play two different positions.
“The way LeBron James play – Michael Jordan was never asked to play that way, because I took that away from him. I was the point forward. I was the facilitator. Michael Jordan was a scorer. He was a defender. He played the game as complete as LeBron James did when he needed to, but he was asked to score the basketball and that’s what he was great at.” But if he had to choose between them, Pippen would go for Jordan every time. “There’s no game that I would ever play in and pick LeBron James over Michael Jordan,” he said. “Not if I’m trying to win.”
Six-time All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire talked about the wine baths he took during his NBA career while on TNT’s show Players Only on Tuesday night. With Chris Webber, Isiah Thomas and Baron Davis on set, the questions went from “How did the wine baths help you?” to “How about the recovery in the morning, you ain’t have no hangover in the morning?” to “Do you drink your own bath water (from the wine bath)?”
With the league taking all the proper steps, what is Isiah Thomas still doing on NBATV, the channel managed by the league and Turner Sports? In 2006, when Thomas was president of basketball operations for the New York Knicks, a former team vice president sued Madison Square Garden, Knicks owner James Dolan, and Thomas for sex discrimination and retaliation, and a jury found Thomas liable for aiding and abetting a hostile work environment based on sex.