James Dolan and Isiah Thomas's PR Machine


They banned all but a handful of reporters from their press conference (more about that from Richard Sandomir), and then put the good information in an interview run by Al Trautwig on the channel they own.

The big story, that I'm sure you have read everywhere already, was James Dolan telling Isiah Thomas he won't have his job in a year if things don't go well.

Now you can watch the whole thing now thanks to YouTube:

  • Part one. "We couldn't get the coach to focus on coaching. Instead he was focused on being the president and general manager." Twice, Dolan says, Isiah's staff negotiated with other teams, and were told they had heard better offers from Larry Brown. That's terrible

  • Part two. Isiah picks his words very carefully.

  • Part three. The grand finale. Dolan tells Isiah he has made some bad trades, and more.

In The New York Times, Harvey Araton describes an incredible moment:

"It is at least my contention that Larry never intended to coach this team beyond this season," Dolan said.

Evidence? We know that Brown wanted his primary antagonist, Stephon Marbury, and others with the Thomas imprimatur to disappear, but that was unlikely, because of their contracts, their miserable performance under Brown, and the coach's habitual carping, which served only to devalue them further.

But in the absence of trades, Dolan said Brown demanded that players be waived, around $150 million in guaranteed salaries eaten. If that is true, then maybe Brown did want to get fired, go home, collect his money while waiting for a more palatable opening to materialize.

If the accusation was just part of the larger Garden spin, then more shame on Dolan, but it doesn't change the conviction that Dolan couldn't choose Brown over Thomas because, as Dolan said, "Larry obviously lost the team" and wasn't getting it back.