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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.

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