Posted November 22, 2013

Knicks owner James Dolan says bringing back Isiah Thomas would be ‘a distraction’

NBA
Knicks owner James Dolan says he expects the team to compete for championships. (Ray Amati/NBAE via Getty Images)

Knicks owner James Dolan says he expects the team to compete for a title. (Ray Amati/NBAE via Getty Images)

New York Knicks owner James Dolan said that former coach and general manager Isiah Thomas won’t return to the team in any capacity.

Dolan gave an interview to Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post and explained that while he is still friendly with Thomas, he can’t hire him back.

Thomas was the Knicks general manager from 2003 to 2008 but Dolan said Thomas returning to the team would be a “distraction” to the organization. Thomas was also the team’s head coach for two seasons, compiling a 56-108 record.

“I don’t know that he’ll ever be able to work in New York again,” Dolan said. “I just don’t know that he’ll ever get a fair shake going forward in New York.”

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In 2007, a jury awarded $11.6 million to former Knicks senior vice president of marketing and business operations Anucha Browne Sanders after determining Thomas had sexually harassed her and Madison Square Garden had improperly fired her. The jury said that Thomas made crude insults and unwanted advances towards Browne Sanders.

“Do I think he deserves another shot?” Dolan said “Yeah. It just can’t be here. And I think he’s talented. I think he’s particularly talented at finding basketball talent. But I think he’s probably dismayed at this point. But I don’t see him coming back to New York. I couldn’t do that to him, and I couldn’t do that to the organization.”

“He would probably do it as my friend, but I couldn’t do it to him or his family,” Dolan said. “And you know what the press would do here.”

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8 comments
me1
me1

56-108

That's a whopping 34% win record. A quick Google search for NBA coaches with 400 or more games and he WINS for losing-est coach 

piizzadude
piizzadude

Has someone who dislikes most NY Sports teams, I beg you to bring him back. He embodies NY and all that it stands for. 

grizzlypete
grizzlypete

Thomas had a fair shake and he ruined it. He was arrogant, misguided, short sighted, and completely inept.

dei1c3
dei1c3

Wow...is Dolan the stupidest owner in the NBA?  I mean, sure, bringing back Isiah Thomas would be a distraction.  But the main reason you don't bring him back is because he was one of the worst GMs in the last 20 years.

OhGlobo
OhGlobo

I think Dolan ought to play for the Knicks.  Forget just owning them, he can play.   He looks like he'd be a fine point guard. 

OhGlobo
OhGlobo

This Dolan guy has got to be one of the dopiest guys in NYC.  He's always saying and doing incredibly stupid things.  Hell, he is qualified to run the Atlanta Falcons back in the 70s and 80s and 90s and 00s.  The 60s too. 

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

A distraction? A DISTRACTION??? It would be a total disaster. What the devil is wrong with Dolan that he would even consider Isiah? He crippled the team. He set the team back years. Although to be fair, I'm not sure what he set them back from. They sucked before he got there, while he was there, and although they made the playoffs last year no one takes them as a serious threat now. The Knicks are completely dysfunctional and it is Dolan's fault. The rest of the east would love to Isiah back with the Knicks. They would just sink deeper into the toilet.

A distraction, indeed.

cc24ny
cc24ny

@Rickapolis I'm afraid the Knicks won't be in position to win a championship until the clown prince of Cablevision dies.   He is one of the worst owners in all of sports.  The fact that he thinks so highly of Isiah Thomas says it all.  Dolan's meddling constantly sets this franchise back, with a prime example being him stepping all over Donnie Walsh during the Carmelo trade negotiations.  Then he fires Glen Grunwald, a smart basketball man who did a solid job as GM, shortly before this season started just so he could bring back his old crony Steve Mills.  Dolan is an absolute joke of an owner and makes me wish I wasn't raised a Knicks fan.