Well, this is fun. According to Chris Broussard, former New York Knicks President Isiah Thomas has been hired by his old boss James Dolan to the same position for the New York Liberty of the WNBA, with an added ownership stake to boot. (Dolan’s Madison Square Garden company owns both teams.)
Thomas has recently been a studio analyst for NBA TV. He had this job, and not a front office position in the NBA, because he was one of the most spectacular, public failures as an executive in the history of the NBA.
Oh sure, other GMs may have done worse, but Thomas’ tenure was so notable because of the universal hatred he earned from Knicks fans while still having James Dolan’s full confidence through years of mistakes. Despite the ease with which it could do so, this will not turn into an Isiah hate-sticle. But just so you know this hate has not become overblown in hindsight: the man traded the picks that would become LaMarcus Aldridge and Joakim Noah for Eddy Curry. There were other moving parts, but none of them make the trade look any better.
Dolan’s inexplicable loyalty to Thomas is the story here. Zeke’s questionable basketball acumen aside, he sexually harassed a female executive while he was on the Knicks, an incident which forced Dolan and his company to pay millions in civil damages. One would think that Dolan losing eight million dollars because of Thomas’ chauvinism would be enough to sour their relationship, but it appears that all it did was convince Dolan that Thomas is better served presiding over a team of female players.
The WNBA has now come out and said that it’s not a done deal:
Maybe Dolan just wanted to do his friend a favor and put him in a position with much less public scrutiny than his post with the Knicks? Whatever Thomas does as president of the Liberty will surely draw less media attention, but that doesn’t mean he’s qualified for the job. And it certainly doesn’t mean it’s in the best interests of the Liberty or the WNBA.