Report: NBA May Void Isiah Deal
NEW YORK (AP/WFAN) – The NBA is reviewing Isiah Thomas’ consulting deal with the Knicks, according to the New York Post. The report states that the league could reach a decision, possibly voiding the arrangement, as early as Wednesday.
There is growing concern over the NBA bylaws, and whether such an arrangement between a professional franchise and an NCAA employee is allowed. Thomas is currently head coach of the men’s basketball squad at Florida International University in Miami, Florida.
“We are reviewing the agreement, in consultation with the Knicks, for compliance with league rules,” NBA spokesman Tim Frank said.
The Knicks said Thomas would “assist the team’s senior management in various capacities, including player recruitment.”
Thomas helped the team during free agency, when the Knicks landed Amare Stoudemire. He also was sent to Ohio to talk to representatives from LeBron James, who eventually signed with the Miami Heat.
Thomas, a Hall of Famer with the Detroit Pistons, had a dismal run as team president from December 2003-April 2008, with the Knicks never winning a postseason game despite often having the NBA’s highest payroll. He was also the coach the final two seasons, getting dismissed after a 23-59 season in 2007-08.
Despite all that, plus that lawsuit brought by former team employee Anucha Browne Sanders that cost MSG $11.6 million, Thomas has remained close to Dolan and Walsh, even while coaching Florida International University, a job he may not be able to keep.
Before his failures in New York, largely a result on overspending for big names that didn’t work out, Thomas was known as a good evaluator of talent. He drafted Tracy McGrady, Marcus Camby and eventual Rookie of the Year Damon Stoudamire in Toronto. Walsh has used him to scout in New York, sending him to Europe to see current Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari.