isiah-thomas
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Friday , Aug , 20 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Stoudemire on Isiah’s role during free agency: ‘I never talked to him once’

Although the Knicks credited Isiah Thomas with helping the team land Amar'e Stoudemire this summer, Stoudemire himself told the media that he never even spoke to Thomas before making his decision to sign in New York.

"No. I didn't talk to him once," said Stoudemire. "I never talked with him once." Asked if he's ever met Thomas, Stoudemire said, "A while ago, I think.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: This is exhibit 4,489 that the New York Knicks are dysfunctional.

For weeks, owner James Dolan has publicly credited Isiah Thomas - his disgraced former coach and executive - with helping the Knicks to sign free agent Amar'e Stoudemire.

Dolan then rehired Thomas as an outside consultant because of his supposed success with Stoudemire.

It didn't matter that Thomas once ran the organization into the ground. It didn't matter that Thomas was sued for sexual harassment. And it didn't matter that Thomas' consulting gig would pose a conflict of interest with his day job as coach of Florida International University.

According to Dolan, Thomas could relate to stars like Stoudemire. So he was back.

Now we discover Thomas had no role in the Stoudemire signing. Zero. Zilch. None. In fact, the All-Star four-man can't even confirm if or when he talked to Thomas.

Either Stoudemire has a sudden case of amnesia or Dolan is a liar. My money is on the latter.

Why would the Knicks' madman go to such lengths to bring Thomas back? And why would he credit Thomas for a signing he had no part in?

The answer: Dolan wants Thomas to replace Donnie Walsh as head suit.

Eventually, Walsh's health will force him to retire. Dolan and Thomas are still close, and this relationship could result in Isiah returning to the city and franchise he once terrorized.

Dolan wanted Thomas in the loop, so he could quickly transition from consultant to executive whenever Walsh calls it quits.

And if that hiring ever happens, it will be even more evidence that the Knicks are dysfunctional.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Monday , Aug , 09 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Marbury on Isiah’s return: ‘Good luck, New York’

Stephon Marbury told The Post yesterday that he is done with the NBA. He will never get a second chance with the Knicks like Isiah Thomas, whose NBA life was resuscitated by James Dolan on Friday.

"Good luck, New York," Marbury said wryly in reacting to Thomas' return to the Knicks as a part-time consultant. "Good luck, New York."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Do I detect a note of sarcasm from the one they call The Starbury?

Stephon Marbury and Isiah Thomas were once allies with the New York Knicks. Thomas traded for Marbury, a former New York high school star. And for a while, the two were connected at the hip.

Once the losing started, once the negative press began, once Thomas' sexual harassment case made national headlines, they turned on each other.

Marbury refused to support Thomas and the organization during the sexual harassment case. The problems then spilled over to the basketball court, and the two had a confrontation on the team plane. For their shenanigans, both were run out the NBA.

There is a difference between these two: Thomas is getting a second chance, Marbury is not.

Perhaps, Marbury's sarcasm is really sour grapes.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.   

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Saturday , Aug , 07 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Isiah Thomas to help NY Knicks sign Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul?

In a Friday telephone interview, Donnie Walsh said there were no plans for Isiah Thomas to resume a full-time position with the Knicks. Walsh said Thomas had initiated the discussions on returning to the team in some formal capacity.

"Isiah can help us in the areas that he’ll consult with us in," Walsh said.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Insanity is repeating the same behaviour and expecting a different result.

On the surface, it would appear reasonable to call the New York Knicks decision to re-hire Isiah Thomas insane.

Thomas, of course, decimated the franchise. He traded for Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry. He signed Jerome James for mid-level money. And he got involved in a sexual harassment case.

Why would new Knicks executive Donnie Walsh bring ‘Zeke’ back as an outside consultant? Why would Walsh and this classic franchise seek such drama?   

To be fair, Thomas has always been an astute judge of talent. For instance, he drafted sleepers like blue-collar swingman Trevor Ariza and scoring post David Lee.

Thomas can supposedly relate to today’s players better than Walsh and coach Mike D’Antoni. This apparently helped the club sign pogo-stick free agent Amar’e Stoudemire.

And the Knicks are hoping Thomas’ communication skills can land them two more free agents. Next summer, they want Carmelo Anthony. Two summers from now, they’re scheming on Chris Paul.

Perhaps, this isn’t insanity. Perhaps, this is a calculated risk.       

After all, the Knicks have Thomas on their terms. Most of the time, he’ll be coaching at Florida International University. When needed, he’s available to give his opinion on prospects or help woo free agents.

The Knicks will only be utilizing Thomas’ strengths, and not giving him an opportunity or chance to show his obvious weaknesses as an administrator.

Perhaps this isn’t insanity or even a calculated risk. Public relations aside, this type of ad hoc, casual arrangement could work for the team and Thomas.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below?

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Saturday , Jul , 17 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

‘Hail Mary’ or Anti-Christ? Knicks involved Thomas in LeBron negotiations

Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni says Isiah Thomas' involvement in the team's recruitment of LeBron James was a last-ditch effort.

D'Antoni called the move a "Hail Mary." "We were sitting around and thinking what can we do to try and get it back and Isiah had an in with someone in [LeBron's] entourage," D'Antoni told the New York Daily News.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: No wonder they lost out on LeBron James.

After all, The King - self-proclaimed or not - turned his back on the Cleveland Cavaliers and took less money to sign with the Miami Heat because he wanted to win.

Capturing championships is all that mattered to James. Not shoe deals. Not off-court adulation. And this forced him to turn his back on his home state.

So how would it have appeared to Team LeBron when Isiah Thomas - the man who destroyed the New York Knicks and virtually burned the Mecca of basketball known as Madison Square Gardens - popped up during negotiations?

The Hall of Fame point guard's trades, signings, and draft picks turned this classic franchise into a laughingstock, and brought misery to the NYC.

Worst of all, Thomas' involvement surely complicated negotiations. James and his people must have had concerns about who was really in charge. Was it Thomas, the old head of basketball operations? Or Donnie Walsh, the executive who was brought in to clean up his mess?

The Knicks must make a decision. Either they permanently cut ties with Thomas or, crazy as it sounds, re-hire him.

Currently, they're stuck in the middle, a bizarre no-man's land,  which is the worst case scenario. Thomas, again, plays the villain, appearing at the worst possible time to foil plans and scare the locals.

Common sense would rule out bringing Thomas back to New York. Clearly, common sense is still in short supply, though. And this may be the greatest reason James ignored the Knicks and signed elsewhere. 

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Jul , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Gone Mad: Knicks want Isiah Thomas to replace Donnie Walsh?

But if the job becomes available, Thomas looms as a serious contender to make an improbable return to the Knicks' front office.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perhaps it’s a cruel joke – sort of like April Fools Day in July. Perhaps the media got the story wrong, which – believe it or not – happens. Perhaps the club’s PR department are floating this thing to distract fans from the club’s failure to land some combination of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

Or, perhaps the New York Knicks really are mad - as in 100% certifiable and need a stray jacket to prevent further self mutilation, harm, and pain.

There is no easy way to explain the news that the Knicks would consider re-hiring Isiah Thomas as a replacement for Donnie Walsh. Forget easy. There’s no way to explain it.

Thomas was named MSG head honcho on December 22, 2003. What followed were five-years of boondoggles, tomfoolery, and shenanigans.

Consider his track record in the front office: fat and happy Vin Baker was signed –despite weighing close to 300 pounds; Jerome James received the full mid-level exception for five or six decent playoff games with the Seattle Super Sonics; Lenny Wilkins was hired and fired; and Steve Francis and Stephon Marbury were both brought in to save the franchise and left as scapegoats.

Of course, there was also Jarred Jeffries` ridiculous contract, the Eddy Curry saga and the Larry Brown affair. Speaking of affairs, there was that tiny issue of a sexual harassment case against a team employee.

To be fair, Thomas has his positives. He can evaluate talent, drafts well,  and builds relationships with players. But he has to have guidance.

Giving him absolute power corrupts him absolutely. When left to his own devices, when given the keys to the house, garage, and safety deposit box, Thomas fails.

In fact, the Hall of Fame point guard doesn’t just fail -he implodes, self destructs, and scorches whatever he touches.

For instance, Thomas owned and then single-handedly destroyed the CBA, which served as a quasi-minor league for the NBA. And Thomas left the Toronto Raptors in shambles, walking on his first gig as an NBA executive. 

Re-hiring Thomas would show nothing has changed since Walsh took over. This is a Pandora’s Box the Knicks can’t re-open. Not under any circumstances. And not ever.

--Oly Sandor.

--Got thoughts? Get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 
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Wednesday , Jun , 02 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Report: Kardashian and Odom expecting a baby

HoopsVibe's Quick Call: There's an oil spill causing immense damage off the Gulf Coast. The world economy is at risk because several European nations spent like Isiah Thomas when he was GM of the New York Knicks. And the Prime Minister of Japan just resigned.

Now for the news that matters: Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom, the two semi-celebs with cheeks like your kid brother's hamster, are reportedly having a baby.

Got thoughts on what Khloe and Lamar should call their love-child?