The New York Knicks just can’t seem to part with Isiah Thomas.
The New York Daily News reports that Knicks owner James Dolan has once again invited Thomas back to the Knicks organization in an official capacity, three years after leaving to become the head basketball coach at Florida International University. The Daily News cites an anonymous source that claims Thomas simply isn’t ready to return to the NBA just yet, and as such has not accepted Dolan’s offer.
Thomas has been long rumored to be an unofficial adviser to Dolan, as the two have remained good friends after Thomas’ disastrous first stint with the organization. As Head of Basketball Operations from 2003-2006, Thomas failed to upgrade the team’s roster and dealt away valuable draft picks. Thomas was then appointed Head Coach after Larry Brown was fired in 2007, and remained in the position until 2008. The Knicks compiled one of the worst records in basketball in that two-season span despite boasting one of the highest payrolls in the league.
Thomas was also subject to a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a former Madison Square Garden Executive – one that the Knicks settled out of court.
Things didn’t get much better at Florida International – Thomas went 26-65 in three seasons at the school, posting a losing record in conference games in every season in charge. Thomas attempted to take a job as a consultant to the Knicks during his tenure at Florida International, but NBA bylaws prevented him from doing so.