I’m not going to lie to you, I’m laughing hysterically as I write this. New York Knicks owner, James Dolan, met with Isiah Thomas yesterday morning at the Mandarin Hotel in New York City, which comes two days after former MSG Sports President Scott O’Neil left the position. Could a return to the Knicks be in store for the much maligned Thomas?
The decision and fate of the former Knicks coach and president from a disastrous period of 2003-08 will be left up to Dolan’s supreme and one-and-only advisor that he actually listens to without a second thought – Isiah Thomas. And that, my friends, is the sound of a collective groan from Knicks fans. From Marc Berman of the New York Post:
A band of security men surrounded the two men who were both dressed in business suits in a quiet corner of the lobby. Thomas has lobbied to return to the organization since he was fired as the Florida International basketball coach last spring. The meeting took place two days after the resignation of MSG sports president Scott O’Neil, who, according to a source, helped convince Dolan rehiring Thomas wasn’t a good move for the Knicks brand.
I believe most thought that Thomas would inevitably return to the hallowed halls of The Mecca, but it wasn’t as tangible and in our faces because the Knicks were rebuilding and recovering well from the Isiah Era. They brought in Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni, both of whom helped clear a salary cap mess and brought relevancy back to the organization. Of course, they’ve since left for various reasons, such as having an owner too enamored with star basketball players, current or past.
In any case, after news of this meeting, there is now an even stronger and “tangible like a punch in the face” possibility that James Dolan is on the verge of ruining the Knicks franchise by bringing back Thomas. Yeah… good luck with that, Knicks fans. But, hey, there’s always the Brooklyn Nets to root for!
The Garden stated it would conduct a search for a new Garden sports president, which is a marketing position. It is possible Dolan was seeking Thomas’ advice on filling the position because he has maintained his friendship with Dolan. Hiring the unpopular Thomas would come at an odd time considering the franchise is dealing with the fan fallout of losing Jeremy Lin and are bracing for the Nets’ debut in Brooklyn.
I imagine the meeting went something like the below:
James Dolan: I hate you.
Isiah Thomas: Whatever. I want the sports president position.
Dolan: Damn! I was hoping you just wanted to borrow $5 million! Damn!
Thomas: I’ll get that later. I want the sports president position.
Dolan: Okay, fine. Damn!
Thomas (whispering into a phone): Yeah, I got it. Put the pictures back in the vault.
Hold on… just had to wipe some tears away and stop hurting myself from laughing so hard, and not because of my attempt at comedic dialogue, but at the potential chaos that would ensue among Knicks fans if Thomas actually did return. We all need to breath and prepare for two potential outcomes: 1) Knicks fans shaking their heads until they fall off, either from sheer incredulity or denial and 2) a mass exodus of fandom for the team across the East River in Brooklyn.
James Dolan, it’s all up to you… but probably really up to Isiah Thomas.