Things in sports I’ll never understand, Part One: Isiah Thomas and the Knicks

There are certain things in life I guess I will never understand.  Women just happen to be one of them.  The constant rumors of Isiah Thomas returning to the Knicks is most definitely another.

It happens every few months.  You wake up, surf the internet to check the box score of your favorite team and there you see it, like clockwork.  Inexplicably and quite illogically, the Isiah Thomas-New York Knicks rumors resurface.  It’s like that annoying case of emphysema that keeps coming back no matter how many times you’ve applied the cortisone.

Just to be crystal clear, let’s review exactly what happened here.  This is a divorce that goes beyond reconciliation, or so one would think.

As we all know, Isiah Thomas was one of the greatest NBA players of all-time.  That much is indisputable.  It’s what happened AFTER he traded in his uniform for a three-piece suit that is in question.  After relatively unsuccessful tours of duty in Toronto, Indiana and the Continental Basketball Association, Thomas landed a gig with the New York Knicks as their President of Basketball Operations, a title I SO want on my business cards.

Not only did Thomas make poor financial and roster-based decisions on behalf of the franchise, he was dismissed in the wake of a multi-million dollar, sexual harassment scandal.

I’m no expert on the matter but I’m pretty sure if I was fired by an employer for sexually harassing someone I worked with, and that grab-assing resulted in an embarrassing lawsuit, no matter how good a job I did for them, which in this case Isiah did not, I probably wouldn’t be invited back inside the building ever again, nor would there even be any discussion of such matters.

Yet for some reason, this isn’t the case with Isiah and the Knicks as the rumors have once again surfaced.  Isiah did such a poor job in the Big Apple and left under such scrutiny that it’s absolutely inconceivable that anyone in their right mind, Isiah’s agent, his family, the press, anyone within the organization, a bum sleeping in a cardboard box outside Madison Square Garden, could ever logically link Isiah back to the Knicks.  It’s not even funny by accident.

So who is it that’s spreading these rumors and how is it that they could still bear any weight?  Is it coming from Isiah’s camp, feelers whispering into the right person’s ears, their intention to litter the internet as he looks for his next job?  Maybe it’s just the Knicks fucking with him.  Or maybe it’s like that old game of operator where one person tells another  “Hey, did you hear there’s absolutely no way in hell the Knicks would ever rehire Isiah Thomas” and the “no way in hell” part gets lost in translation.

Since the 21st century is all about technological advancement, perhaps there is a way we can block these rumors from ever again reaching the World Wide Web.  Like a spam-blocker, but way better.

Unless, of course, these rumors are actually true.  If that’s the case, the Knicks are in far worse shape than I thought.

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30 Replies to “Things in sports I’ll never understand, Part One: Isiah Thomas and the Knicks”

  1. Pingback: Things in sports I’ll never understand, Part One: Isiah Thomas and the Knicks - BallHyped Blog Network, NBA | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Chris

    With all of the Knicks’ regular season and off-season issues of last year , why would this franchise seek to rehire Isiah “Zeke” Thomas ? Bear in mind as a front office executive with club , he was a defendant in a sexual harassment lawsuit that cost the Knicks in excess $2.5 million in damages and a further $750,000 legal fees , The judge rendered the guilty verdict after the jury’s unanimous decision .

    So explain to me how this s##t benefits the front office and organization as a whole ?

    And idiots are trying to suggest that the Knicks are ready to turn the corner and become a legitimate contender ? That’s like suggesting NASCAR will change the rules for the Sprint Cup races and allow the cars to turn both left and right . ,

    Left you responses on my two most recent pieces .

    You can’t handle the truth

    NFL , acronym for the No Fun League

    Are those crocodile tears with the Bulls’ Derek Rose ? I know he’s coming off an injury and with the social issues (teachers’ strike & 675 homicides in the past 18 months [majority of the victims , young teens adults demographics between 13 -25 though victims as young as age 5 have been killed in drive by’s ]) within the city of Chicago it’s a goddamn mess , But let’s not forget > his payday with the Bulls far exceeds the average salary of a North or Southside resident of that city . He was appearing at a local mall to publicize his new sneaker line (priced $225 ) .

    Tophatal ………..

  3. Al…

    The Knicks move made absolutely no sense to me which is why, when I first heard of it, it inspired me to knock out this piece. I have no idea why they’d even consider such a thing considering the circumstances under which he left but then again, we are talking about the Knicks.

    Most of the comments on the message boards thought Zeke must have some explicit photos of James Dolan which is a far more logical explanation than Zeke being hired back on his own merit.

    Re: Rose, Al, I think he was probably genuine about the support he’d received, considering himself blessed for his skill set, and as you suggest, his lucrative contract as well.

    Personally, I’m hoping for a full recovery. He’s just too damn exciting to watch.

  4. There may be some incriminating pix in Isaiah’s possession, but another theory is that Dolan is just some megarich dumb fuck who’s having a bromance with a bro.

  5. I think a more fitting job for Mr.Thomas would be Condoleezza Rice’s new ball washer. On second thought he would probably get thrown out of Augusta for molesting the beverage cart girl.
    Happy weekend Rev.

  6. I will begin to have greater respect for the Knicks the moment they start to have greater respect for their fans . As of now it hasn’t been happening with the owner James Dolan and how they treat the fans . Look , anyone who subscribes to his company Cablevision will know exactly what I mean !

    What is it with the Rays ? They take you up with an enormous high and then just drop you back down to earth with a thud ! Last night was a bewildering game to watch . Damn it !

    So Och/ Chad Johnson won’t sign his divorce papers because he still professes his love and undying devotion towards his wife Evelyn Lozado . He should’ve thought about that before he head butted her . What a dumb ##s !

    I’d like to thank Jay Cutler for his performance last night . I haven’t seen someone be hit and repeatedly fall to the ground like that , since the last drunken bachelor party I attended ! LOL,LOL,LOL . Sacked 7 times , with four forced fumbles . Someone should remind Cutler that “talk is cheap action speaks louder than words ” .

    Brandon Weeden with his 5.1 QB rating was heard to have said “is that how the game is meant to be played by a quarterback in the NFL ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!!!

    Tophatal …………..

  7. If that’s the case, Al, the Commissioner Stern has his wish, as those teams are all currently contenders. However, one of three teams will win a title this year: Miami, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City. If I were to give you those three or the field, which would you take? So much for competitive balance.

    I do agree that the league is better when the Knicks are relevant, and they’re close, but still not serious contenders as of yet. At least they consistently have the league leader in shot attempts.

  8. I really think Isiah probably ended up taking a few bullets for a lot of things in NYC. A lot of the time when we see really bad GM’s the reality is they are covering for really bad owners who force bad things to happen. That’s what factually went down with Kevin McHale in Minny. MJ in Washington and likely what happened to Colangelo/D’Antoni/Kerr in Phoenix. People also forget that the team Isiah built in NYC actually started playing very well and Zach Randolph was a year or two away from being totally great. Eddy Curry was even playing quite well before his heart condition ruined it. It’s not all Zeke’s fault. Just keep him away from announcing and all will be well.

  9. Snake…

    I’m not sure that either of those are valid.

    But there has to be someone out there more qualified to take that job than Zeke, wouldn’t you think?

    And what makes Dolan think Isiah can get Carmelo to shoot the ball any less than he already does.

  10. Al…

    The Rays’ clock is ticking. They have 19 games left to play, starting with a three-game stint in Yankee Stadium this weekend.

    They just lost three in heart-breaking fashion to the hot O’s and only managed to score six runs over that stretch.

    They’re four games off both the division and wild card lead so all is not lost just yet, but they better fare well in the Bronx this weekend or it will be. They can ill afford to be back seven games at this juncture.

  11. Personally, Pest, I’ve always felt Zeke got a bad rap.

    That being said, he was dismissed because of that sexual harassment suit.

    Now, if he had nothing to do with it, why would he take one for the team? So as not to soil his reputation? To protect someone within the organization? Now THAT’D be a cover up for the ages.

    Looking forward to the Made-for-TV movie.

  12. Here’s the deal…I-Thom and the Knicks are that bad relationship we’ve all had. You know she’s bad news, but there’s just something that makes you keep coming back. You buddies all try to tell you that you are digging your own grave, but you don’t listen until it is too late…

  13. Chris

    How can Zeke have got a bad rap ? In the sexual harassment case it was proven beyond a doubt that he and the Knicks were guilty and that he actually called upon subordinates to lie when the allegations first came out . Are you kidding me ?

    The Knicks won’t be relevant unless they can start to play defense and I mean defense with a purpose !

    Let’s hear it for the NHL , a sport that is no longer relevant anywhere . Ran by a#sholes and now being ruined by as#holes .

    Tophatal ………………….

  14. Al…

    I don’t see what it is that Dolan and the Knicks think bringing Thomas back will do for the team. What, he’s going to say “Play defense” and all of a sudden, that’s going to magically happen?!?

    And the NHL, the essence of sports mismanagement. They just cancelled their entire season less than ten years ago and now they want to do it again?

  15. Chris

    Pats’ kicker Stephen Gostkowski is now persona-non-grata ! Any mention of him from hereon in , will have me go into a shock therapy and treatment . How the hell can he miss when he’s normally so reliable from that distance ? I’m petitioning Belichick to trade for Adam Vinateri !

    The loss for the Patriots was inexplicably bad !

    Speaking of bad do you think chappy will now abandon the Raiders after their 35-13 loss to the Dolphins ?

    The NHL , a fourth stoppage in two decades ? I think that Lightning owner Jeff Vinnick might want to sell that team on the cheap and cut his losses . NHLPA Exec Director (Players’ Union) Donald Fehr held the same position within baseball when they had their last stoppage . Coincidence ?

    Zeke back with Knicks ? Let me pose this question , would you get back together with a woman where the relationship was so bad that even the intimate moments were just as bad as any other so-called event during your time together ?

    The Bucs and Schiano showed a real lack of class as the game ended against the Giants . What the hell was that about as Manning took the knee to end the game ? Greg Schiano’s explanation was gutless and classless ! What goes around comes around and the Bucs’ coach should remember that .

    Did you catch the Julio Chavez Jr vs Sergio Martinez bout ? Tremendous fight !

    Tophatal ……………….

  16. Al…

    The only difference between that Raider loss in Miami yesterday and the Dolphin loss the last time they went out to Oakland, other than the outcome, was that no fans got peed on this time around.

    The NHL strike? Who cares? Not me. I don’t watch that sport anyway, although I was interested in seeing a Lightning team that probably would have been pretty competitive after a disappointing season.

    Regarding your Zeke comparison, yes, I have, he he. Many times.

    And yeah, Coughlin let Schiano have it after he rushed the kneel down.

  17. There is no intelligence to be found in the Knicks’ front office .

    Schiano should offer an apology, rather than suggesting that’s the way his team plays . Had Manning been seriously injured . I wonder what he might be saying in the aftermath of such an incident ? Isn’t it enough the NFL still maintains a black eye after the mess concerning the Saints ? Now we have Greg Schiano trying to explain his dumb @ss !

    All you need to know concerning the ineptitude of the NHL can be used in three words ……….. Bettman and Fehr ! Bettman remains as clueless as ever in spite of having worked alongside David Stern. Fehr was Executive Director of the MLBPA (Players’ Union) , when baseball had its last labor stoppage .

    Tophatal ……………

  18. The fact that Thomas coached an under-performing Pacers club to a first-round play-off exit in 2003 wasn’t enough of a warning sign for the Knicks. Later that year, New York brought in Thomas as President of Basketball Operations which ultimately led to his performing the coach and general manager duties. The pinnacle of the Thomas regime was his taking the Knicks to the highest payroll in the league while having the second-worst record and his dooming the future of the franchise by trading for Eddy Curry with what turned out to be seven future draft picks, including two lottery picks in talent-rich drafts. As far as the coaching was concerned, Thomas went 56-108 while at the helm of the Knicks.

    What’s not to understand?

  19. Some folks in business just sell out and fall back on a familiar face rather than “take the risk” on someone new. For better or worse, they know what they have with a person they’ve hired or worked under before. But in truth…common sense and the New York Knicks can’t really be mentioned in the same sentence…can they? This relationship does have a weird, icky vibe to it.

  20. Al…

    I’m not sure there would be if they hired Isiah back. That’s the problem.

    I’ve heard both sides to the Schiano story, man, and am not sure which way to side.

    One school of thought says that, in a kneel down, you don’t crash the line for fear of anyone getting hurt. That’s why Coughlin was so offended.

    The other school of thought is that, with seconds left, anything can happen, a fumbled snap, anything. They were only down one score and the Giants O-line could have seen that rush coming they way the Bucs D was set.

    I acknowledge that it made him look like the rookie coach he is but he’s also trying to win ball games and establish a culture of never giving up.

    There may be a ‘code’ in sports but since when is Tom Coughlin the arbiter on all things right and wrong in the game?

  21. SA…

    Good word. Icky.

    If you were a female working within the organization and heard Isiah Thomas was coming back, wouldn’t you either a) feel pretty squeamish about the potential or some strange hand suddenly landing on your ass or b) simply consider suing them for sexual harassment and saying they did something inappropriate when in fact they did not but at least you’d get a nice out-of-court settlement out of the deal?

  22. think a more fitting job for Mr.Thomas would be Condoleezza Rice’s new ball washer. On second thought he would probably get thrown out of Augusta for molesting the beverage cart girl.
    Happy weekend Rev.

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