Saturday, September 8, 2012
Report: James Dolan, Isiah Thomas meet
By Ian Begley
According to a report in the New York Post, Knicks owner James Dolan and Isiah Thomas met at a Manhattan hotel on Friday.
Dolan and Thomas, the Knicks' ex-GM and coach, remain close friends, so the meeting shouldn't come as a huge surprise. But the timing is curious. MSG president Scott O'Neil announced he was stepping down from his post on Wednesday.
It's unlikely that Thomas would be in the running for the president position, which is a job that includes marketing and sponsorship responsibilities. It's possible that this was just a lunch between friends. Or that Dolan was seeking Thomas' views on something Knicks-related.
Again, this should come as no surprise. Dolan has remained close to Thomas since he left the Garden.
In August 2010, Dolan tried to hire Thomas as a consultant. The hiring was essentially nixed by the NBA because of Thomas' position as head coach of Florida International, which created a conflict of interest.
That conflict of interest no longer exists, of course; Thomas was fired by FIU in April.
There has been speculation that Dolan could bring back Thomas in an official capacity. But, regardless of whether Thomas ever gets another official title with the organization, he will always have Dolan's ear.
Dolan himself admitted as much when his attempt to hire Thomas fell through in 2010. "Although I'm disappointed that Isiah will not be working with the Knicks as a consultant, I continue to believe in his basketball knowledge, including his ability to judge talent," the Knicks' owner said in a statement released after Thomas rescinded his contract with the team. "He's a good friend of mine and of the organization and I will continue to solicit his views. He will always have strong ties to me and the team."
Thomas was involved in the Knicks' pursuit of LeBron James, and was given credit by then-president/GM Donnie Walsh when the team introduced Amare Stoudemire at a news conference in August 2010.
Thomas later told ESPNNewYork.com's Ian O'Connor in November 2010 that he thought about running the Knicks again, "every day of the week."
It's worth noting that Dolan isn't Thomas' only tie to the current organization. Knicks interim GM Glen Grunwald is close to Thomas, as is Knicks coach Mike Woodson. All three were teammates at Indiana University.
Question: Do you think Isiah will end up back with the Knicks in an official capacity?