New York Knicks: Isiah Thomas

Isiah Thomas ranked best draft GM

April, 8, 2014
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Say what you want about Isiah Thomas’ tenure with the New York Knicks. The team made the playoffs just once and whiffed on several big-money free agents during Thomas’ time with the team.

But the man had an eye for talent.

There’s no denying that.

Just look at four of the guys he drafted with the Knicks: Trevor Ariza, David Lee, Wilson Chandler, Nate Robinson (technically drafted by the Phoenix Suns but acquired by the Knicks on a draft-day deal). All solid rotation players in the NBA.

So how does Thomas’ draft record stack up against other GMs?

One metric, put together by ESPN.com’s Tom Haberstroh, rates Thomas as the best draft-day GM in the NBA.

The evaluation is based on where Thomas selected in the draft and the value of each player he selected.

For instance, if two players add the same value to a team, but one is drafted lower than the other, the GM who drafted the player with the lower pick would get more credit.

So Thomas’ picks of Lee (No. 30 in 2005), Ariza (No. 43 in 2004), Chandler (No. 23 in 2007) and Robinson (No. 21 in 2005) boosted his resume.

Here’s Haberstroh on Thomas:

“Thomas put up an outstanding hit rate in the draft, no matter where he picked. His run of lottery picks in Toronto should be the stuff of lore. He started off by getting Damon Stoudamire with the No. 7 pick in 1995. Then with the No. 2 pick in 1996, he grabbed Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Camby. The following year in 1997, he nabbed some high schooler named Tracy McGrady at No. 9.

“... Thomas' average pick was the 23rd slot, but the talent he found was more like picking at sixth every year. That's an absurdly good return. The irony is that Thomas never quite grasped the value of draft picks; he couldn't wait to get rid of them, despite his overwhelming success on draft day.”
You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Reports: Mills reiterates -- no Isiah job

October, 12, 2013
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Steve MillsAP Photo/Bill KostrounSteve Mills said -- again -- he has no plans to hire Isiah Thomas.
Knicks executive vice president and general manager Steve Mills still has no plans to re-hire Isiah Thomas.

Echoing comments he first made on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's "The Michael Kay Show," Mills said in an interview that Thomas will not have an official role in the organization.

“He doesn’t have any role with the team,” Mills told reporters in Toronto.

In his previous 10-year term with the Knicks, Mills worked for a time as president of MSG Sports. He hired Thomas as coach and general manager. Thomas and Mills presided over the team during one of its least successful stretches, with the Knicks missing the playoffs in six of their seven seasons on Thomas' watch.

Mills added that he hopes Thomas can secure the job as executive director of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) via a vote or can work as a television analyst.

Thomas, though, will continue to have Knicks owner and MSG chairman James Dolan’s ear as an adviser.

NOVAK NOT HAPPY ABOUT PLAYOFF USE: According to published reports, Steve Novak said in Toronto he misses being around his ex-teammates on the Knicks. But he said he was confused over his use in the Knicks’ second-round loss to the Pacers.

Novak, who led the NBA in 3-point field goal percentage in 2011-12, played just nine minutes in the Indiana series.

“It wasn’t like a rift [with Knicks coach Mike Woodson],” Novak said. “Obviously, he knew the whole time that I wanted to play. I told him when I got healthy -- don’t not play me because I’m hurt. I’m ready. And he went another way.”

Woodson, according to published reports, called benching Novak a “coach’s decision.”

LINEUP SHIFT: With the Knicks playing the second game of a back-to-back in New Hampshire on Saturday, Woodson plans to rest Carmelo Anthony, Metta World Peace and Raymond Felton. He hinted that Pablo Prigioni, Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. will be in the starting lineup. Saturday’s game will likely feature many of the younger Knicks, including training-camp invitee Toure Murry. Murry had a solid Knicks debut on Friday in Toronto, with two points, two rebounds, an assist and a steal in nine minutes. He misfired on all three of his 3-point attempts, though.

Analysis: What Mills means for the Knicks

September, 26, 2013
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Isiah Thomas and Steve MillsREUTERS/Mike SegarSome see these guys as an unholy trinity. Will they be reunited? Or is two out of three not so bad?
NEW YORK -- The Knicks announced Thursday that former team executive Steve Mills will be back in the fold, replacing GM Glen Grunwald. Here's what the move may mean for the organization going forward:

BIGGER ROLE FOR ALLAN HOUSTON: Houston, the Knicks' assistant general manager, will likely see his profile and responsibilities grow now that Grunwald is out. Mills is a top-notch executive with solid connections around the league, but he is not known as a talent evaluator. It's fair to assume that Houston, a longtime Knicks player with close ties to team owner and MSG chairman James Dolan, will play a bigger role in talent evaluation and personnel decisions. Houston will likely be aided by fellow Knicks veteran personnel men Mark Warkentien and John Gabriel along the way.

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WILL ISIAH THOMAS BE BACK? Probably not in any official capacity. Mills previously worked with the Knicks for 10 years as president of MSG Sports (Dolan oversees MSG as its executive chairman) and hired Thomas to run the Knicks. But Thomas and Mills reportedly had a falling out over how things unfolded during the Anucha Browne Sanders sexual harassment lawsuit. Browne Sanders, the Knicks' former senior vice president of marketing and business operations, successfully sued MSG; a jury in October 2007 ordered the Knicks to pay her $11.6 million after finding she endured crude insults and unwanted advances from then-coach Thomas.

Don't forget, though: Thomas will always have Dolan's ear as an unofficial adviser. Dolan admitted as much when his attempt to hire Thomas fell through in 2010.

WHY NOW? It's certainly strange to shake up the front office with training camp practice set to start Tuesday. One thing is clear: Dolan was not comfortable with Grunwald running the team heading into what could be its next overhaul in 2015. The contracts of Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Andrea Bargnani and Carmelo Anthony will come off the books going into the 2015-16 season, so the Knicks will have a chance to overhaul the roster in the summer of 2015. The team hopes that Anthony, who can opt out of his contract after this season, can be a part of that overhaul.

Dolan could have been upset over the Nets winning the battle of the headlines this summer from the Knicks. That would be a petty reason to get rid of Grunwald, who did a solid job in the offseason, given the Knicks' cap situation.

There's also a theory among those familiar with the Knicks' politics that Thursday's move paved the way for Houston to take over as president and GM in the future. Elevating Houston to president and GM now would make him culpable for Grunwald losing his title. Grunwald will remain with the Knicks as an adviser.

TROUBLE FOR MIKE WOODSON? The reassignment of Grunwald may mean less job security for the Knicks' head coach. Woodson's contract has a team option for next season. With Grunwald out, there is one less voice in the room to support the coach when the front office and Dolan discuss Woodson's future. Woodson and Grunwald are close. The pair, along with Thomas, played college basketball together at Indiana University.

BRINGS BACK BAD MEMORIES: Mills presided over the Knicks during a troubling period both on the court and in the courthouse. As mentioned, he served as the president of MSG Sports during the Browne Sanders sexual harassment suit. He also ran the team during a period of poor on-court results. After Mills hired Thomas in 2003, New York missed the playoffs in six of the next seven seasons.

QUESTION: What do you make of the Knicks' decision to bring in Mills and demote Grunwald?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Top 10 Knicks topics that won't go away

September, 11, 2012
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Just like the team's slogan, "Once a Knick, Always a Knick," its fans and media have their own: "Once it Happens, We'll Always Remember." As Marcus Camby told ESPNNewYork.com earlier this year, "The Knicks' community knows their basketball."

While that applies to many great moments in Knicks history, the past 10 years or so have offered something different: more recurring negatively themed storylines, such as James Dolan consulting Isiah Thomas, which reportedly happened again Friday. Frustration, mounted on top of extreme expectations, tortured Knicks fans over several seasons of futility under Thomas.

Even while the Knicks continue to re-establish themselves, negativity these days, no matter how small, runs deep in New York as if it's an emotional scar after a personal tragedy. You can't stop thinking about it. On top of that, the only thing competitive New Yorkers care about is a championship -- and that hasn't happened in a while.

[+] EnlargeJohn Starks
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty ImagesJohn Starks. Game 7 of the '94 Finals. 'Nuff said.
On that note, ESPNNewYork.com brought you on Monday the Top 10 Knicks Storylines That Won't Go Away with the upcoming season (and possibly beyond), starting with 10 through six.

Here is the final part of the countdown:

5. If only the Knicks drafted ... For every Iman Shumpert, there has been two Michael Sweetneys. With about a dozen first-round draft picks throughout the past 10 years or so, the Knicks missed the boat several times, like in 2009 overlooking point guards Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson and Darren Collison. To make matters worse, Stephen Curry was selected right before the Knicks that year -- and he still hears about it from fans.

4. The championship that got away. Perhaps the real root of Knicks fans' frustration comes from John Starks, based on the final two games of the 1994 Finals. With the Knicks up 3-2, Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon blocked Starks' last-second title-winning shot attempt in Game 6 to force the clincher. Then in Game 7, the Knicks starting two guard shot 2-for-18 in a losing effort. "If only if" will always be brought up until things change in June.

3. Stephon Marbury ripping the Knicks. It's safe to say Starbury wasn't celebrated in New York. He publicly feuded with Larry Brown, then Isiah Thomas and finally Mike D'Antoni. Since then, he's publicly blasted the team. For example, earlier this year when D'Antoni resigned, he tweeted, "Coward's Step down men knock walls down that men like him post up ... #DANPHONY." When Marbury talks Knicks again, expect a back-page story.

2. Charles Barkley ripping the Knicks. The way the Chuckster feels about the Knicks is the same way Bane feels about Batman. Take just Monday, for example, when Barkley compared the Nets to the Knicks. "I think they [Brooklyn] probably have got the best team in New York," Barkley told Newsday. But the blue and orange? "They must think it's 1995. It's 2012. They went out and got 92-year-old Jason Kidd and 92-year-old Marcus Camby."

1. James Dolan and Isiah Thomas back together again? Some fans believe the Knicks are horribly managed, starting with Mr. Dolan, and now they're bracing for a Thomas return with Scott O'Neil suddenly stepping down. Dolan and Thomas reportedly met Friday in New York City, and speculation of their return together -- which couldn't happen earlier this year because the former Knicks coach and president was employed by FIU -- will continue to mount.

What storyline are you most sick of hearing about? Or is there something else? Leave us your comments below.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Report: James Dolan, Isiah Thomas meet

September, 8, 2012
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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?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

NCAA hires Anucha Brown Sanders

August, 9, 2012
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Former Knicks executive Anucha Browne Sanders has been named vice president of women's basketball championships, the NCAA announced Thursday.

Browne Sanders will set the strategic direction for, and oversee the operation and management of, the Division I, II and III women's basketball championships, the NCAA said in a statement.

Browne Sanders was the senior vice president of marketing and business operations for the Knicks, whom she successfully sued for sexual harassment. A jury in October 2007 ordered the Knicks to pay her $11.6 million after finding she endured crude insults and unwanted advances from then-coach Isiah Thomas.

She previously was an associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at the University of Buffalo, where she supervised men's and women's basketball, volleyball, softball, swimming, diving and rowing.

For the full story, including a quote from an NCAA executive, click here.

Grunwald talks Isiah, Woodson

April, 28, 2012
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Knicks GM Glen Grunwald played with Isiah Thomas at Indiana University. The two remain close to this day.

So Grunwald was asked on ESPN 1050's "The Michael Kay Show" on Friday if he had any plans to bring Thomas back into the Knicks organization.

"Isiah has been a great friend of mine for a long time," Grunwald told Kay. " We've worked together, we've been friends together. I don't want tho say anything about our staffing … we're not even going to deal with any of that right now."

In August 2010, Madison Square Garden chairman James 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 University, which created a conflict of interest.

That conflict of interest no longer exists; Thomas was fired by FIU earlier this month. So there's been speculation that Thomas may re-join the organization in an official capacity.

Interim coach Mike Woodson also played at Indiana with Grunwald and Thomas.

On Friday, Grunwald was effusive of his praise of Woodson, whom he remains close with. But the GM stopped short of endorsing Woodson for the Knicks coaching job next season. He said the playoffs will factor into the decision and it would be one made by the organization, meaning Dolan will have input.

"I think Woody's done an unbelievable job and I can't imagine some one who could have done a better job that him this year. Obviously, he's really helped his case," Grunwald said. "The playoffs will be a factor but, like I said, I think he's done a better than good job, he's done a great job. The players have obviously voiced their support -- you've heard that -- so those are all positive things."

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Will Knicks bring back Isiah Thomas?

April, 7, 2012
4/07/12
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In August 2010, James Dolan tried to hire Isiah Thomas as a consultant.

The hiring was essentially nixed by the NBA because of Thomas' position as head coach of Florida International University, which created a conflict of interest.

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty ImagesIsiah Thomas and James Dolan ... reunited at last?
That conflict of interest no longer exists; Thomas was fired by FIU on Friday.

Is it only a matter of time before the Knicks bring Isiah back into the fold?

Then again, does it really matter?

After all, Thomas has served as an unofficial consultant to Dolan for three years after he was fired in 2008. 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 in 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."

So there's no reason to think he isn't interested in returning to the Knicks in an official capacity.

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Now that he's been fired by FIU, will the Knicks bring Isiah Thomas back?

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The question is, do the Knicks want to deal with the fan and media backlash associated with Thomas' return to the organization?

Thomas floundered -- to put it mildly -- when he ran the Knicks from 2003 to 2008. Fans called for his ouster throughout his final weeks and months with the team.

So, undoubtedly, a large segment of the fan base would be upset over the move.

One thing Thomas has in his favor is the Knicks' current hierarchy. In addition to Dolan, who holds Thomas in high regard, Knicks interim GM Glen Grunwald is close to Thomas, as is Knicks interim coach Mike Woodson. All three were teammates at Indiana University.

Despite his dismal record as an executive, Thomas has a history of success as a talent evaluator. If he is brought back to the organization, he may fill this role -- one away from the public eye -- best.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

Isiah 'stunned' to be out at FIU

April, 6, 2012
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Isiah Thomas arrived at Florida International knowing he was taking a risk.

Three years later, the school didn't see enough reward.

The Basketball Hall of Fame player was fired on Friday by FIU, after his teams went 26-65 in his three seasons. His hiring came out of nowhere in 2009 -- "No one thought we could pull this off," FIU director of sports and entertainment Pete Garcia proudly said at the time -- and in the end, so did his firing.

Thomas told ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz he was stunned by the firing.

"This is the most surprising thing that has happened to me in basketball," Thomas said. "I never been fired before for basketball reasons. This is the first time.

"When I was in Toronto, I was trying to buy a team and I left. When I was in Indiana, Larry Bird told me that he liked what I was doing but he was closer to Rick Carlisle. The whole thing in New York was crazy. This is the first time someone told me that I was being fired for basketball reasons."

Thomas said he was conducting individual workouts on Friday before he was summoned to Garcia's office.

He said he also had recruits coming in this weekend and an assistant coaching candidate for a job.

Thomas said Garcia wouldn't get into specifics about why he was being fired. Thomas said the meeting took place at 1:30 p.m. ET. Thomas said he has two years left on his contract and a buyout wasn't discussed. He said he was so stunned he didn't ask.

Thomas said he told Garcia he should have at least been given five years to see a recruiting class through. Thomas said he was recruiting exceptionally well in Florida and in Chicago and Indiana and was close to turning the corner at FIU.

"We have a solid group of freshmen and sophomores," Thomas said. "They fired the whole staff. There is no one left. I feel bad for the kids. They are asking questions about what they should do. I'm trying to help but there is no one left here from our staff. I'm just stunned."

Knicks fans boo Isaiah Thomas

February, 15, 2012
2/15/12
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AP Photo/Frank Franklin IIKnicks fans were in high spirits Wednesday night, heckling opposing players with Jeremy Lin masks.
Knicks fans booed Sacramento Kings guard Isaiah Thomas mercilessly on Tuesday night because he shares a name with you know who.

Thomas first heard from the Garden crowd when he was introduced by the PA announcer as he was checking into the game. Then, the boos continued virtually every time he touched the ball during the Knicks' 100-85 win over the Kings.

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesIsaiah Thomas scored 14 points on Wednesday night.


"When I used to come to [MSG], I heard them talking about firing Isiah and all that, so I knew something was going to happen," Thomas said in the visiting team's postgame locker room. "I knew they were going to boo at least once. I didn't think they were going to boo the whole time, but it is what it is."

The rookie, who entered Wednesday averaging 7.0 points and 2.4 assists per game, has no relation to Isiah Thomas, the former Knicks president, general manager and coach.

Isiah Thomas worked for the Knicks in those different capacities from December 2003 to April 2008. The Knicks made the playoffs just once in that span and did not win a single playoff game. Thomas was responsible for several ill-fated acquisitions, including the high-priced signings of Eddy Curry, Jerome James and Stephon Marbury.

Even after Wednesday's game was over, Isaiah Thomas heard from a fan about his name. But it wasn't any typical fan. It was Spike Lee.

"He grabbed and said, 'Us little guys got to stick together. But next time you come to New York, just change your name, [laughs]'" Thomas said.

Thomas first played at the Garden a few years ago for the Nike Super 6 High School Invitational when he was a blue-chip recruit. He described how different the experience is there than playing at other arenas.

"The lights are real bright. You can tell it's just a different feeling," Thomas said. "It's the center stage, man. You've got to be ready for this. It's a nice place to play."

Isiah Thomas questions Chandler signing

January, 6, 2012
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Isiah Thomas knows how important a starting point guard is to a team with a championship mentality. As the floor general for the 1980s Pistons, he led them to back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990.

The former Knicks coach made that point on Miami radio's "The Sid Rosenberg Show" on Thursday when asked about the Knicks. In fact, Thomas questioned the team amnestying Chauncey Billups to acquire Tyson Chandler, which dimmed any hope for Chris Paul.

"The guard play right now in the NBA is off the charts," Thomas said. "Losing Chauncey, I thought he brought a veteran leadership to the team. His savviness and guard play has always been severely undervalued. Detroit found that out when they let Chauncey go. I think there was a certain amount of leadership to what he brought to [the Knicks] last year."

With Mike D'Antoni catching a lot of flack for his team's early-season blunders, Thomas defended the head coach for no other reason than ... point guard.

"If you don’t have great guards, it's hard to put together a game plan," he said. "You're only as good a coach as your guards.’’

Thomas may have a point. That's especially evident with how Amare Stoudemire is playing. In the past, he's always executed the pick-and-roll with a standout starting point guard, from Stephon Marbury to Steve Nash (in Phoenix), and to Raymond Felton (in New York last season). Now he's tag-teaming with a B-tier point guard in Toney Douglas, which is hindering his game.

Currently, the Knicks are tied for 23rd in the NBA in assist percentage this season, a slight downturn from last year. Specifically, Stoudemire averaged more points and a higher shooting percentage playing with Felton compared to Douglas. Here's a breakdown:

Stoudemire With Felton Vs. Douglas Per 36 Minutes

With Felton With Douglas
Points per game

25.7

20.2

Field goal percentage

51.0

49.0

Free throw attempts per game

7.6

6.2

Restricted zone shots per game*

7.2

5.3

*Shots taken inside the restricted zone in the paint around the basket

Source: ESPN Stats & Info

Stoudemire's higher free throw attempts playing with Felton suggests the pick-and-roll was more effective; therefore, he was in better position to draw contact closer to the basket. Now, playing with Douglas, Stoudemire is attempting about two fewer shots in the restricted zone. This statistic supports the scouting reports that describe Douglas as more of a scoring point guard who has trouble setting up his teammates, especially Stoudemire.

Can you say, "Baron Davis?" At least this season.

Do you agree with Thomas' point guard argument? Looking back on it, would you have amnestied Billups to acquire Chandler? Click here to read about Chandler's early impact on the Knicks.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.

Isiah: Not sure LeBron will ever top MJ

May, 31, 2011
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While Scottie Pippen thinks LeBron James has a chance to be the greatest player of all time, which would put him ahead of legend Michael Jordan, former Knicks coach and Hall of Fame point guard Isiah Thomas isn’t so sure.

Appearing on the Stephen A. Smith Show on ESPN NY 1050 on Tuesday night before Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks, Thomas said the potential is there for James to match Jordan, but he’s not sure if James will ever surpass him.

“I think LeBron has a chance to eclipse Jordan if he continues to improve his game, but where they are right now, you still have to take Jordan as being the better player,” Thomas said. “Now, six years from now, if LeBron continues to add different facets to his game, then maybe you can have that argument and you can have that debate.

“Right now, Jordan was such a complete player on both ends, he was a great foul shooter, he turned into a 3-point shooter, he had mid-range game, he had low-post game, he was a lock-down defender and LeBron is getting to that in all those areas. Now, he hasn’t gotten there yet and we don’t know if he will get there. But if he does get there, he will probably only be equal to, I don’t know if he can ever be better.”

Thomas, who beat Jordan three straight times with the Pistons in the playoffs before falling to Jordan’s Bulls in 1991, said Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were the best players of his era that he saw and watched and said they could be ranked 1a and 1b.

In the current series, Thomas, now the head basketball coach for Florida International, thinks James will get the first ring of his career as he predicted the Heat to take the series in seven games. Thomas said home court will be key, as the Heat has four home games, and he expects each team to steal one game in the opponent’s building but no more. Thomas also said free-throw and 3-point shooting will be critical components for this series.

“I think (Dwyane) Wade and Lebron together at the end of the day, their will, their talent will overwhelm in a seven-game series, but I do expect the series to go seven,” Thomas said.

As much as it’s been discussed that this series features two players in James and Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki who are searching for that first title for their legacies, Thomas did not think that neither player is buying into the idea that they need a championship ring more than their opponent.

He did add, though, that the championship ring, which he won twice, was something he personally had to attain in his career.

“Had I not won a championship, my career would not have been complete,” Thomas said. “When we were coming up in that era you were only judged by how many championships you won, and if you didn’t win a championship, you could never claim that you were the best. Times have changed since then and that was the criteria and how people were judged back then.”

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 9.6
AssistsR. Felton 5.6
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2

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